Backpacking in Bako, Sarawak

December 2, 2011 by

Day Trips, Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Things To Do

Hiking through Bako National Park - photo courtesy of amrufm via Flickr

Hiking through Bako National Park – photo courtesy of amrufm via Flickr

The oldest national park in the province of Sarawak, Bako National Park contains cliff-side views of the South China Sea, pristine coves and headlands, inland waterfalls that empty into freshwater pools that are perfect for swimming, and a network of trails through dense jungle terrain that make the park an ideal place for hiking and camping.

Nature lovers will be richly rewarded for taking a trip to the park. Among the profusion of flora and fauna are 275 rare proboscis monkeys that are native only to Borneo. Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the more than 150 avian species that have been seen in the area. The best times to try and catch a glimpse of these, and other creatures, is at dawn and dusk as this is when many creatures are at their most active.

Established in 1957, the park is one of the smallest in the region, though its mere 11 square miles pack a surprising number of opportunities for recreational enthusiasts. The array of biomes in such a small area have made Bako one of the country’s most popular wilderness destinations. The trail system is clearly marked and designated by color, and trekkers possessed of a sufficiently hardy constitution can opt for an overnight stay.

There are a number of beautiful beaches in the park. A word of caution: Watch out for the mischievous monkeys who like to steal unguarded bags from unsuspecting swimmers.

- John Reality

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