Bako National Park in Borneo


The island of Borneo is home to some of the most fascinating and diverse faunas in the world. The biggest island in Asia is covered by thousands of square kilometers of beautiful green jungle and is divided between Indonesia and Malaysia, the latter owning the north part of the island.

Borneo offers a range of unique activities to its visitors, but probably the best experience of all is a jungle walk, which we had in mind when visiting the Bako National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state.

A good place to start an adventure in Borneo is Kuching, which has a well-connected airport to the rest of the country and Bako National Park is just one of the places that the city offers easy access to.

Getting to Bako National Park

What makes Bako National Park special is the fact that it is isolated in the north part of the Muara Tebas peninsula and the only access to it for tourists is possible by boat. There are accommodation options in the park, but few and conform standards are low, which leaves room for a more authentic experience for those searching for wilder places to get lost in.

We took a bus from Kuching for 3 RM, which dropped us at the boat terminal, where we had to pay 40 ringgit for a half an hour round boat trip to the start of the trekking routes. Bako’s trail system is made up of 16 color-coded jungle trails, offering a range of walking and hiking options. Visitors are required to register themselves at the reception in the park and mention which route they plan to walk on, as well as the departure and arrival time. Some of the routes have a high difficulty level and the visits in the park need to be monitored for safety reasons.


We chose one of the more difficult routes that led us for longer than five hours through rich vegetation and offered us the chance to see multiple animals and plants. The park offers access also to some very beautiful beaches, but we’ve been advised to not get close to the waters as crocodiles have been spotted on the beach.

Seven distinct ecosystems and the superb wildlife viewing opportunities make Bako a truly beautiful and unique place. The park is very well maintained, with marked trails and several maps along the way. At the reception in the park visitors are being already welcomed by proboscis monkeys, known also as long-nosed monkeys, and lots of long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards, bearded pigs and a variety of birds. The dipper you go into the forest the more diverse the experience feels.



We met with several marching giant ant colonies, large spiders, two types of snakes, including the famous pit viper and, of course, a lot of mosquitoes.

At the end of the day, a boat picked us up from the beach at the reception of the park and brought us back to the point where we started in the morning. Since we had to wait a while for the following bus to take us back to Kuching, we agreed to pay a bit more than for the standard bus ticket to a passing minivan driver that offered us and to a few others a ride.

Read more about our adventures in Malaysia here.

For more pictures from Bako National Park and Kuching click here.

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