Bako is a beautiful little national park in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. It has been a protected wilderness area since 1957 and is a great place to see wildlife unique to Borneo up close in a natural location (the first national park in Borneo).
The only way to access Bako National Park is by boat (if the tide is out, you get out in the water and walk across the beach to the Park HQ) – an easy but rushed day trip from the city of Kuching but I thoroughly recommend staying at least overnight to enjoy all the amazing wildlife, hiking and other activities available at the park. Accommodation is basic but comfortable enough and very affordable (all can be arranged via the official Sarawak State Government eBooking website).
Some of the beautiful creatures your will see there include the Proboscis Monkey (they only live in Borneo as they ear particular plants only found there), Long Tailed Macaque monkey (you may see them in huge troops out in the forest or in the mangroves), Silver Leaf Langur, Flying Lemur(the one I saw had a baby too), Green Pit Viper (look for them in low tree branches, they have a broad, triangular head), water monitors, the rather amusing Bornean Bearded Pig (if you go at the right time of year, you may see piglets – I saw older piglets in May 2018) and all manner of creepy crawlies on a jungle night walk. Although it’s a wild place you are still most likely to see many of these animals around the Park HQ where all treks and tours start from, along with where you will stay overnight.
Watch out for the Macaques around the Park HQ though, as they unfortunately have become notorious food thieves – It is not uncommon for them to burst onto the dining deck and raid a plate or two! Luckily (for us and them) the ones out in the forest are no were near as brazen!
The Proboscis Monkeys (that schnoz! The Indonesians apparently refer to them as the “Dutchman” as apparently some colonists had pot bellies and big noses!) and Silver Leaf Langur (that lustrous fur!) are much more chilled and if you remain quiet, they are most likely to stay where they are, eating fruit, leaves, flowers or just sleeping in the trees above you. Its can be pretty serene.
I stayed in Bako National Park for two full days and one night but there is plenty of trekking and wildlife viewing to enable an even longer stay. The drinks and food is also good and affordable at the Park HQ restaurant so you do not really need to bring anything much with you. All in all I can thoroughly recommend a trip out to the park if you are travelling in Sarawak.