Bako National Park, Kuching

7 November 2014

A few years ago, if anyone were to tell me that one day, I'll enjoy jungle trekking more than shopping and eating ice cream in a mall, I'll laugh. Unfortunately and fortunately, now I enjoy jungle trekking more than shopping and eating ice cream in a mall. People change, you see. After a series of growing up, maturity, trauma, I've learnt to appreciate slow life, mother nature and culture. 
 
Bako is the oldest and one of the smallest, national park in Sarawak. The park is famous for its variety of wildlife and natural scenery. In the photo above, look at the South China Sea! I was standing on a 400m cliff and looked down on this amazing work of art. How impressive and magnificent is this! 

After a 20 minutes exhilarating boat ride, we were welcomed by the Dinosaur rock at the entrance.

Chalets. From what we saw they were mostly inhabited by Caucasians. 

Ling Zhi mushroom

One of the jungle trails, Andy showed us extraordinary plants like the durian hantu (ghost durian) and pokok sabun (soap tree). Durian hantu looks exactly like durian, with thorns all over the fruit but there is no flesh, no seed, empty inside its shell. Soap tree can be used for cleaning by grinding the leaves in between your fingers and forming little foams. We saw wild boars too! Amazing huh?
 
Proboscis monkey, or the long-nosed monkey, endemic to Borneo.
Apparently the bigger the nose, the more attractive they are to females. 

It does look like a human child sitting on the tree branch.
Adult proboscis monkey can grow up to 70-80cm tall.
 
Baby wild mangosteen

With Melia and Vivian, at the jetty waiting for our boat to Teluk Pandan Kecil and see the renowned seastacks

With our guide, Andy the Bumi. He knows where're the monkeys and unique plants.



There are altogether 16 jungle trails with different walking distance and uniqueness. We went to the most iconic one, Teluk Pandan Kecil to see the famous seastack and rocky shoreline. There are two options to reach here which are to trek for one and a half hour or take a 10 minutes boat ride. We chose the latter. By taking the boat we got to admire the stunning landscape, sea arches and interesting rock formation - effortlessly.

"Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and seastacks with colored patterns formed by iron deposition." - Wikipedia

We arrived at a quiet beach, exhausted and burned by the sun. Andy convinced us to climb up the wooden ladders to reach the top of the cliff. That's where I strongly felt the beauty of mother nature, the sea and the importance of preserving them. There's no way a man-made concrete jungle can be comparable to this. This is a work of art and time. 
 

Information

After a 30 minutes drive from Kuching town, we registered at the Visitor Centre and bought the entrance ticket (RM10 for Malaysian). You're strongly encouraged to hire a guide and a boatman if you don't wish to be lost in the jungle. The price is negotiable but we paid around RM200 for the guide, boat and extra trips. I'm better at remembering things trough images than figures, if you are interested to visit Bako, please refer here and here


I went to Kuching in September all thanks to Melia and a sudden rush of blood to my brain. She told me she's going to fly there and visit her friend, asked me whether I'd like to join. Of course I would! Why would I say no? I bought my air tickets that very night. 

Visiting Borneo wasn't in my bucket list but I am beyond glad I made that hasty decision. It has changed my view on Borneo quite completely, and now I see Malaysia in a new and better perspective. To tell you the truth, I've only seen Borneo on textbooks. It is a fresh new experience to see the places with my own eyes. There are so much beauty to see. (If you could forget about politics for a bit.) I'll write a few more posts about other places, things and people I saw.

I am extremely grateful to Melia and Vivian for this unforgettable experience. The only way I can pay back Vivian's hospitality is perhaps by sharing the beauty of Kuching with more people.  xx

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