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Sarawak ~ Bako National Park

There are few places in the world that can pack so much natural beauty into such a limited area, all just 37km from Kuching.

Bako is situated on the beautiful Muara Tebas peninsula, a former river delta which has been thrust above sea level. Its sandstone cliffs, which are patterned and streaked with iron deposits, have been eroded to produce a dramatic coastline with secluded coves and beaches and rocky headlands.

Millions of years of erosion by the sea has resulted in the formation of wave-cut platforms, honeycomb weathering, solution pans, arches and sea stacks. Bako’s most distinctive feature is the westernmost headland – Tanjung Sapi, a 100ft high sandstone plateau, which is unique in Borneo. Although very small, it has an exceptional variety of flora and guaranteed wildlife sighting. Its beaches and accessible trails make it a wonderful place to chill for a few days. There are few places in the world that can pack so much natural beauty into such a limited area, all just 37km from Kuching.

With its rainforest abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails, Bako offers visitors an excellent introduction to the rainforest of Borneo. It contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo - 25 distinct types of vegetation from seven complete eco-system, Beach vegetation, Cliff vegetation, Kerangas or heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest.

Bako is probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experience. The best times for seeing wildlife at Bako are dawn and just before dusk, when the animals are at their most active. Telok Assam, The area around the Park Office is a great place for seeing wildlife. Long-tailed macaques, silver leaf monkeys, common monitor lizards, plantain squirrel, bearded pigs and mouse deer are all found here. It is also home to approximately 150 rare proboscis monkey, found only in Borneo. They are mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling), moving about the forest or mangroves in small groups and feeding on young leaves, shoots, sour fruits and seeds.

The largest mammal found at Bako is the Bornean Bearded Pig. As its name implies it is distinguished from other wild pigs by prominent bristles either side of its snout. Bearded pigs are often found around the Park Office scavening for food or wallowing in mud. A number of lizards are found here. The largest is the common water monitor, olive green in colour and reaching a length of 2 metres. Young monitors are green with yellow spots and therefore easier to see. Monitors are scavengers, feeding on carrion and occasional live prey. They are often found near the accommodation area or near the boat jetty, scavenging for scraps of food. They are also visible at the Park's beaches

Treks & Trails

1. Tanjung Rhu: Length - 1.8 Km / Time One Way - 2 Hr 30 mins
This trail branches off the Tajor trail and leads across open country to the rocky Rhu peninsula and a small headland where you can see wave-cut platforms and rock pools. From the park HQ it takes about 2.5 hours, or 45 minutes from the Tajor junction.

2. Bukit Kruning: Length - 2.25 Km / Time One Way - 3 Hr 30 mins
This trail connects Bukit Gondol with Tajor and passes some mighty rainforest giants. It passes along the slopes of Bukit Keruing, the second highest point in Bako. From Paya Jelutong to the Tajor waterfall takes about 1.5 hours.

3. Paya Jelutong: Length - 0.2 Km / Time One Way - 3 Hr 30 mins
This trail is actually a short cut for those who do not wish to climb Bukit Gondol. Although it is a very short trail it offers the opportunity of seeing a freshwater swamp forest. The most dominant species in the area is Jelutong, softwood used from making pencils.

4. Bukit Gondol: Length - 2 Km / Time One Way - 4 Hr 30 mins
This semi-circular loop trail passes over Bukit Gondol, the highest point in Bako at 260 meters. From the top of the hill there are excellent views of Pulau Lakei and Muara Tebas. The loop trek takes about 45 minutes.

5. Ulu Serait: Length - 2.75 Km / Time One Way - 3 Hr
This trail connects the Lintang trail with the Bukit Gondol hill walk. It is deep inside the park and passes through scrub, padang vegetation and swamp forest. From the Lintang junction to the base of Bukit Gondol is about 1.5 hours.

6. Telok Sibur: Length - 0.8 Km / Time One Way - 3 Hr 30 mins
This trail is a full day trek. From the park HQ it takes about 3.5 hours to reach the end of Telok Sibur trail, first following the Tajor trail to the waterfall. Continue along the main trail for another 45 minutes until you reach a junction and the start of the Sibur trail. After a very steep 45 minute descent, a walk through the mangroves and a wade across a river and you finally reach the longest beach in Bako National Park.

7. Telok Limau: Length - 5.75 Km / Time One Way - 7 Hr
This is Bako’s long distance trail, 6-7 hours from park HQ to the small beach at Telok Limau. You pass through rich rainforest, scrub land, swamp forest, cross small streams and climb a number of hilly sections affording excellent views of the whole Muara Tebas peninsula. You can camp at Telok Limau and return the next day or arrange for a boat to pick you up.

8. Telok Keruin: Length - 1.5 Km / Time One Way - 7Hr 15 mins
Being so far from the park HQ, the Telok Keruin trail is rarely used. It is usually done as a side trek from Telok Limau. From Telok Limau, the first section is a 15-20 minute climb through the forest until you reach a scrub section. You must then trek for another 25 minutes before you reach the Telok Keruin trail. Shortly after the junction the trail descends to an area of scrub vegetation. Look out for pitcher plants that line the side of the trail. There are four short side-trails, which lead to the Bukit Keruin lookout, a small rock pool, the Muara Tebas lookout point, and the Tanjung Keruin and Tanjung Po viewpoints. The last section of the trail is a very steep descent to a mangrove forest. The trail then continues through the mangroves. Look out for the marks on the trees, which show the way to a deserted beach, one of the best in the park.

9. Tanjung Sapi: Length - 0.5 Km / Time One Way - 30 mins
A short but steep climb through cliff vegetation. About 30 minutes and rewards with excellent views of Telok Assam, Santubong, and the South China Sea.

10. Telok Paku: Length - 0.8 Km / Time One Way - 1 Hr
Takes about an hour and passes through cliff forests before reaching a small secluded beach. Proboscis monkeys are often seen during the early morning or late afternoon. Move slowly, keep as quite as possible and listen out for strange grunts or movements in the canopy.

11. Ulu Assam: Length - 0.8 Km / Time One Way - 1 Hr 15 mins
Passes at first through swamp forest and a flat section where proboscis monkeys are sometimes seen. The trail climbs steeply and at times uoy must hang on to tree roots to keep your balance. At the top you are rewarded with breathtaking views of Bako’s coastline.

12. Telok Delima: Length - 0.25 Km / Time One Way - 45 mins
One of the best trails in the park for spotting proboscis monkeys and only 45 minutes from the park HQ. As the Lintang trail bears right and climbs a small hill you are in prime proboscis territory. Listen for the strange grunting noises or the crash of vegetation. If you hear something, keep as quiet as possible and scan the forest. Follow the strange noises with you eyes. If you are lucky you will see a harm of proboscis monkeys.

13. Telok Pandan Besar: Length - 0.75 Km / Time One Way - 1 Hr
14. Telok Pandan Kecil: Length - 1.5 Km / Time One Way - 1 Hr 30 mins

The 1.5 hour trek to Telok Pandan Kecil is one of Bako’s most popular. It ascends the forested hills overlooking Telok Assam, reaching a plateau covered in scrub vegetation, and continues along a sandy path lined with carnivorous pitcher plants, before reaching a cliff top with stunning views of the secluded bay below and the famous sea stack just offshore. A 10 minute descent through cliff vegetation brings you to one of the best beaches in the park. Whilst swimming, watch out for monkeys who steal unguarded bags. The Telok Pandan Besar trail ends at a cliff top with views of the beach below.

15. Serait: Length - 1.25 Km / Time One Way - 1 Hr 30 mins
This trail takes about 1.5 hours and ends at the park boundary. IT is not frequently used and is somewhat secluded. Good for seeing some of Bako’s rainforest giants.

16. Lintang: Length - 5.25 Km / Time Return - 3 Hr 30 mins
The Lintang loop trail is a very popular trek as it passes through nearly all of the vegetation types found at Bako. The whole trek takes between 3-4 hours. The section between the Ulu Assam and Serait junctions is another good spot for seeing proboscis monkeys. The Bukit Tambi viewpoint is a short detour off the main trail.

17. Tajor: Length - 2.75 Km / Time One Way - 2 Hr 30 mins
The Tajor trail passes scrub and padang vegetation and ends with a steep climb down to a small beach. Take a hat, as the sun can be quite fierce on the exposed sections of the trail. The trail also passes the Tajor Waterfall, a popular resting spot. The waterfall is quite small, and best after a heavy rain, but it has a beautiful jungle setting and a small dip pool. From the park HQ it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the waterfall.

Pulau Lakei
This small island has a superb white sand beach. The National Parks Department has a small guardhouse located on the island. Trips to the island can be arranged by boat. There are some mysterious rock paintings just a short walk 
from the beach.



[Sarawak Cultural Village] [Orang Utans & Crocodiles] [Bako National Park] [Kubah National Park] [Gunung Gading National Park] [Talang Satang Turtle Islands] [Batang Ai National; Park]

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