From Kuching, Bako National Park is the easiest way to trek through the tropical rainforest on described trails and visit secluded beaches. To get to the Bako National Park from Kuching you have to drive to the fishing village of Bako (about 45 minutes by car). There it is necessary to register with name, country of origin as well as passport or ID number and to pay admission. Then you drive 15-20 minutes by boat. With the boatswain you should immediately arrange at what time you want to be picked up from the dock again. The cost of an adult’s admission was 25 Malaysian ringgit in February 2010 and the boat trip cost 90 Malaysian ringgit for a group of a maximum of 6 people.
Upon arrival during high tide or average high water level you can get off at a boat dock. At low tide, the boats can not go to the dock and you may have to go through knee-deep water to land. If that is the case, then there is a risk of being injured by marine animals. Our boatman advised us to walk slowly in the water and not lift our feet but to push the mud on the seabed in front of him.
After arrival you have to register immediately at the headquarters. There each group receives a map for easier orientation as well as detailed information about the possible hiking routes. Tropical rainforest surrounds all paths and the destination of many routes is a lonely beach. Before you can set off for jungle trekking you have to sign up in a logbook, where you also have to enter the planned route.
You can arrange directly with the boatswain, that you will be picked up for a surcharge on a secluded beach. It is good to remember the number of the boat and enter it in the logbook. If there is a misunderstanding, then the staff in the main building can react.
Just after the starting point of the various trekking routes, wooden footbridges lead over marshy terrain. There you can already find proboscis monkeys and macaques. The proboscis monkeys are shy and stay at a distance, without proper camera equipment good photos are hard to come by. Attacking macaques are more likely to
Pandan (= beach) Kecil can be reached in 1.5 walking hours. The path of the same name is a popular trekking route. Just before the finish, you pass a plateau where excellent views of the beach reward all efforts. As this beach is one of the most popular destinations, the route is often overrun by tourists. As an alternative, Tajor is recommended, because after about 2.5 hours walking through tropical rainforest you pass an idyllic waterfall. The Tanjung Rhu turnoff is another lonely beach after another 30 minutes.
Hikers have little difficulty orienting themselves in the tropical rainforest, as all trekking routes are well signposted and color-coded. In addition, overview maps made of wood at crossroads to counter doubts about the direction for the onward march. The distances to different beaches and vantage points are given in walking hours or walking minutes. Trekking routes with less than 3.5 hours can easily be reached in the given time. For longer distances, however, it is hardly possible to undercut the times, as the last third of the paths leads through very hilly terrain.
It is possible to set up a camp in tropical rainforest on clearly designated sites or to stay in accommodations near the headquarters. This is currently a pre-notification necessary. A cafeteria ensures the basic supply and a new supply station is under construction. The Bako National Park is a tourist destination that will seem boring to an adventure seeker. For anyone who is inexperienced in jungle trekking, but he offers a pleasant opportunity to experience the tropical rainforest first hand without much risk. The longest hiking trail, with more than eight hours walking in one direction, will undoubtedly provide a lush jungle experience on Borneo.