Bako National Park – In search of the proboscis monkeys

General information about Bako National Park

Bako National Park has existed since 1957 and covers an area of just 27 km². It is located at the northern tip of the Muara Tebas Peninsula. The park is easily accessible from Kuching and has several well-marked trails. The park is considered one of the most popular national parks in the country. To get to the entrance of the national park, you have to take a boat. The park has a cafeteria and various accommodations that make it possible to stay overnight in the park.

Strand im Bako Nationalpark

The Bako National Park

The special thing about Bako National Park is that it presents enormous diversity in a very small area. Almost every type of vegetation in Borneo can be seen in the 27 km² area: Swamps, mangrove forests, dipterocarp forest, rock vegetation. Flora and fauna are equally diverse. Various species of monkeys live here, such as the characteristic nose monkey, silver leaf monkeys, bearded pigs, monitor lizards, skinks and squirrels. We were not lucky enough to see nose monkeys, but we did see some bearded pigs, monitor lizards, squirrels and some other reptiles. When we were there, it was incredibly hot and humid, which made the walks in the park really exhausting. A large water supply is therefore essential. Even though the trails are not very long, we were sweating so much because of the high humidity.

What trails are there in Bako National Park?

There are a total of 18 different hiking trails of varying lengths. They range from 30 minutes to 7 hours (if you combine trails). While we were there, unfortunately, there was only a choice of 3 trails, all of which we could easily manage to get back in time. All 3 trails ended at a beach. We didn’t want to swim here, however, as the sea was not very inviting due to its brown colour. The trails mainly consist of wooden walkways, which are a bit outdated and sometimes look a bit rotten (don’t worry, it rarely goes down deep). This could also be a reason why some trails are closed. We have attached our beautiful map with the different trails. In our case, unfortunately, only the yellow marked trails were open.

Telok Pandan Besar
Telok Pandan Kecil
Telok Paku

Trail Map Bako Nationalpark

Directions to Bako National Park

Getting to the national park is relatively simple. In fact, there are 2 ways to get to the boat terminal of the national park. You then continue by boat to the national park. There is the option of a private boat for 100 MYR or a shared boat for 20 MYR per person and way. However, the “shared boat” only leaves when it is full, i.e. 5 people have booked. The departure times of the boats also depend on the tide.

By far the cheapest option is the red bus with the number 1, which usually runs hourly from the city to Bako National Park. Unlike the other buses that run in the city, this one is a coach. It also says “Bako National Park” on it. It almost feels a bit excessive when you get on the coach to make the 45-minute journey to the park. A one-way bus ride costs a whopping 1 MYR ( ~ 0.20 €). The last bus leaves the national park around 16 to 16:30 back to the city. We left at 8:00 in the morning and the bus runs every hour.

Bus zum Bako Nationalpark
The bus to/from Bako National Park is easily recognisable as a red coach.

A Grab to the national park costs just under 40 MYR (~ €8.50) each way and is of course the most convenient way to get to the park.

Overnight stay in Bako National Park

Those who wish can also spend the night in the national park and take part in one of the night hikes. Accommodation is available in a wide range of price categories. There are also dorms for backpackers. You can book accommodation here in advance or on site – however, depending on the season, there may be nothing available. The advantage of staying overnight is that you can join the night hike, which is relatively cheap at 10 MYR.

How much does a visit to Bako National Park cost?

Of course, this depends largely on whether you want to stay overnight in the park or not. Here is a brief breakdown of the costs for a day’s visit to the national park. Accommodation is available in Bako National Park in a wide range of categories and for every budget. It starts at just under €8 per night.

Return journey by bus2 MYR (~ $ 0.50)
Park entrance20 MYR (~ $ 4 )
Round trip by boat40 MYR (~$ 8)
(Accommodation)from $ 8 per night

Tips for your visit to Bako National Park

  • Take mosquito spray with you
  • Pack enough sunscreen
  • Take enough water with you (min. 2 litres per person)
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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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