Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bako National Park


Hey there! Sorry for the late update. Been quite busy lately with my studies. I'm off once again, this time to Bako National Park. I was with my friends, Faris and Xavier. Since we all had a break from our studies, we decided to go to the national park. Bako is located approximately 37 km north of Kuching, and it takes around an hour plus to get there. Being Sarawak oldest national park, Bako is actually the smallest national park yet it contains all the types of vegetation found in Borneo. Being made a protected area since 1957, Bako has been reputable for its vast wildlife experiences. Visitors who want to spend more time here also have an option to do so as there are chalets along the Bako National Park Headquarter. Those who are interested can check it out here http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g298309-d1784450-Reviews-Bako_National_Park_Hostel-Kuching_Sarawak.html

Entrance of Bako National Park

The trip to the park itself consists of 2 parts. After setting foot to Bako village, you will have to catch a speed boat to the park HQ. On the way, I spotted these plants which is covered fully by thorns. My advice is watch out where you put your hands!





What is the best time to see wildlife ? Well, best times to see them are just after dawn and before dusk. During these times, the animals are most active. Its very likely you come across animals on trails if you travel in small groups, quietly. Another thing to look out for the macaques, as they occasionally raid dustbins and steal food or an unguarded bag. Bako is also a great spot for bird watching and is home to nocturnal animals such as civet, colugo, pangolin and mouse deer.

Wild boar seen roaming around

Proboscis monkey

We drove to Bako village and parked the car near to the fishing village. Then, we headed to the national park counter where we had to pay an entrance fee of RM 10. Next to the counter is the boat ticketing counter which costs RM 94 for the boat ride both ways to the national park. We all were kind of surprised as there was a lot of tourists there even though it was on a weekday.

Speed boat we took to the national park

All smiles
video

The price of the boat trips was pricy I gotta admit, as there was only 3 of us. As we could split the fare with up to 5 persons we waited a bit longer to see whether anyone wanted to share the fare with us. However all the tourists seem to have enough people to split the fares. After waiting for some time, we decided to just go for it. The boat ride was a 20 minute journey. You could see Mount Santubong on the way there, and I got to admit it was a pretty interesting boat ride.

Mount Santubong in view

Swampy area near the national park
Gentle reminder

After what seems like a short journey, the boatman finally dropped us at the jetty in the Bako National Park where we both made agreements on the pick up times. We agreed that the pick up time would be at 3pm. Once we got down from the jetty, we followed the pathway which lead to the park's HQ. There we filled in all our particulars and obtained the trail information we were about to uptake. There were various trails, each ranging from a half hour trail up to a 7 hour trail. We opted for the Ulu Assam route, an hour's journey which wasn't too short nor too long.

A guide leading to the trail we're about to take
The list of trails available

The trail up to Ulu Assam was unusually quiet when we followed the trail up. The trail up was quite steep and the pathways were uneven, so we had to be careful. We followed the red markers up and half way into the trail, we came upon Tanjung Sapi which was the shortest trail in the park. 

Steep climb up

The stairs can be quite slippery when its raining
We decided to stop at Tanjung Sapi for a while before continuing our journey up to Ulu Assam. There was a small hut there with an overview of the beach.

On the way up
Reached the first marker

























After a brief rest there, we followed the markers up. As we followed the markers deeper into the trail, the markers just kind of disappeared. After going around for about half an hour trying to look for the markers, we decided to call it quits as the rain began to set in. Quickly heading to the hut at Tanjung Sapi viewing point, we decided to wait there till the rain stops. And while waiting for the rain to stop, we still couldn't figure out where the Ulu Assam trail was. After a while, we just decided to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.


The red and white markers


View from Tanjung Sapi
At about 1pm we were still at Tanjung Sapi viewing point. The weather was approaching and it didn't look like it was gonna stop raining. So we carefully made our way down the trail as we were afraid we would miss our boat ride back. The trail down was quite slippery and luckily I had my new shoes on. About 20 minutes later, we made our way back to the Bako HQ. There were lots of tourists waiting there as the rain got heavier and heavier. We waited inside till about 4pm, as the boatman didn't dare to ride into the choppy waves.


Random poses we did before leaving

Approaching weather
We had to wade out to the sea, as it was low tide that time and the boats couldn't reach the jetty. The ride back was pretty choppy and we got wet too. Half way back, our boat started to have problems. It was still raining though, we were stuck for about ten minutes in the open sea. Soon after that, another boat pulled up right next to us and offered to take us along too. Feeling cold and wet, we finally arrived back to the Bako fishing village.

Just after the weather starts to subside
We had to wade out to the boats

We quickly got changed then headed back. It was nevertheless a pretty interesting trip, especially the boat ride back. Although the waves was rough, and we almost fell off a couple of times, it was an awesome ride back. To sum it up, we all had a great time here although we couldn't find our way to the trail. I would definitely recommend this place for those who love the outdoors.


Bako's beach