Sarawak, Kuching, Bako National Park

Despite the cloudy sky and heavy downpour last night that might cause the hiking became risky or dangerous, we still proceed to Bako as we do not want to miss this oldest national park in Sarawak.

The taxi lady we met yesterday (Ms.June) arrive on time to pick us up. It's about 45mins Imperial Hotel to Bako National Park. She charge us RM60 for one trip. However we did not book her for return trip as we plan to travel back to city via public bus. Reason why we go to Bako via rented taxi is because the public bus don't pass by Imperial Hotel.

Public Bus fare is cheap - RM3.50 per pax for single trip. Since we need to pay RM25 to go to Waterfront to catch the bus, we prefer to go in a convenient way. If you stay in waterfront area, you may refer to the following for the public bus that going to Bako. 

Bus Info: Red public bus no.1, originating from the wet market beside the Electra building, which will also pick up passengers from the burger stand opposite Riverside Majestic Hotel / right beside the Khatulistiwa restaurant and bar. Buses leave to/from Bako about once every hour starting from about 7am from Kuching and finishing about 5.45pm from Bako.

We arrived the Kampung Bako- Bako Terminal (Jetty Terminal) around 8.20am. Upon arrive, a staff approach us and pass us this form to fill up our particulars. We are ask to bring this form along with us to the park later and pass to the registration counter  upon arrival and before we start hiking. We pay RM30 as entrance fee for both! RM10 for Malaysian & RM20 for Non-Malaysian.

We then ushered by some staffs over there to boat service counter to purchase boat ticket. We need to take a 20 minutes boat ride to the national park.

Boat fare cost RM15 per person for one way. You may purchase a return ticket - however for us, we plan to charter a boat to pick us up at after the hike therefore we only purchase single journey tickets. 

The jetty where we ride the boat to Bako. The boat will depart once there are enough passengers (at least 6 persons and above). We hang around for less than 10 minutes and the boatman finally ask us to boarding to the boat and depart to Bako.

There is a green sign of beware of crocodile near the jetty!! But no crocodile spotted so far. 

Boat no.1 - looks like we are the first batch for the day! We were given life jacket before boarding to the boat.  

It was bumpy ride! The river water was calm at first until we reach the point where river water meets sea water. The wave hits the boat suddenly and I can feel my butt is away from my seat (like riding a roller-coaster!) OMG! I guess the boatman heard our screams (lol) and he slower down the boat whenever there is a strong tide hit. Still, it is bumpy!

When the boat reaching the jetty, we came across this Eagle Head Sea Stacks. I would say it looks like Garuda - the mythical half man half bird - the ride of Lord Wisnu in Bali, Indonesia.

After 20 minutes ride, we arrived to the national park. *feels like seasick* There were people waiting to leave after the boat drops us all at the dock.

 Mont Santubong's dark shadow in the cloudy and froggy weather. 

The beach in front of the National Park entrance.

Park Headquarters Map Signboard at the dock

The wooden deck seems very old but solid. We took a picture with the welcome signage and proceed walk into the park headquarters to register ourself.

The headquarters is inside the jungle. I am walking on a cement bridge with mudflats on the bottom of the bridge.

This is our first time seeing an Electric Blue Fiddler. This should be a female as both craws are even size.

And these are the Male Fiddler Crabs! Fiddler crabs are most well known for their sexually dimorphic claws; the males’ major claw is much larger than the minor claw while the females’ claws are both the same size! 

And the common mudflat creature - mud skipper!

The Park Headquartes is located in Teluk Assam.

Accommodations (lodges) that available in the park. This park often visited as a day-trip however one can stay overnight in the park if wish to hike to all the trails in the park.

This is registration counter located at. Next to it is a canteen where you can grab local foods, public toilets (better go before start hiking as there is no toilet in the jungle!) and some information boards of the animals and floral fauna that available in the park.

The registration counter staff give us this map (half in a A4 size paper) which contain all the information that we needs for the hiking trails and important contacts. To know more about the trails click here.

 We then proceed to Bako Boat Association Counter to get boat service.

We charter a boat to pick us up at Teluk Pandan Kecil beach after the hike. It cost RM35 per boat for the 1-5 passenger. Initially we plan to go Teluk Paku for the Proboscis Monkey then hike to Teluk Pandan Kecil for the sea stacks (at least 3 hours needed). 

The staff told us the boat will only pick-up either 12 noon or 4pm! We choose to be pick up by 11.30am as we only plan to spend half day here - we skip Telok Paku and choose to hike Telok Pandan Kecil for sea stacks! 

The hiking trails starts from the wooden deck where we disembark. And these long-tailed macaque monkeys were found invaded the dock area when we are here!

Long-tailed macaque are also known as crab eating monkey, they stalked around mangroves searching for food like crabs. 

 And wild boar or bearded wild pig foraging for food in the mud flat near the low tide beach.

We were here taking photos with the Welcome to Bako signboard half an hour ago but there wasn't any trace of them around. We were so glad that they appear right on time before we hike!

We follow the yellow paint signs to begin our hike. It's 9.45am and we have 1 hour and 45 minutes to hike to our destination.

Beginning is easy, just walking on a flat wooden tracks.

Almost 90% of the  jungle streams in the jungle the water color is red! The water is discolour probably due to the plants (will find out why). 

 Walk less than 50 meter on the wooden tracks, we reach the "Stating Point".

Start ascending in forested hill after the start point. 

Follow by the steep wooden stairs. We start to feel a bit exhausted for the first 100 meter. Begin to imagine there will be more steep ascending paths to come after this *sweat*

 Reach 200 meter where there is a giant formation rock next to the path! Keep walking up!

 400 meter and still ascending through the steep rock-face and dry vegetation *sweat to the max*

Then we reach this plateau covered in scrub vegetation / scrubby fire padang vegetation.

 500 meter onwards is a sandy path.

And we reach the point where the track heading to Telok Pandan Kecil (Yellow line).

Wodden boardwalk on sandy path make the hike more easy though it is ascending! We are amazed how can the top of the forested hill covered with white sands from beach.

For us, this is the most beautiful spot on top the hill.

Our signature photo for our hike!

5 minutes later, we reach the intersection where there are trails for the Park's longer treks (leading to Tajor Waterfall, Telok Limau, Telok Kruin Trail, Bukit Gondol Trail) branch off to the right. While Telok Pandan Besar and Kecil continue to walk from the left. 

900 meter onwards, after going down a steep woonden stairs, we begin to descending *yay* 

 Continue descending through cliff vegetation.

20 minutes later, we reach the junction where Teluk Pandan Besar and Teluk Pandan Kechil trail is split to left and right. 

Reach 1.8 km.

The water ponding at the sandy path due to heavy rain last night. To avoid it the water ponding area we walk zig-zag or even jump over and I skidded on a slippery rock and felt. Some minor scratch on my left ankle. *sigh* 

The route then change to wooden boardwalk again and we reach 2.3km, not far from the rock cliff now.

Descending for another 5 minutes, finally we saw South China Sea in front of us! 

We arrived to the cliff top at 11am! The cliff top is a  broad exposed erosion sandstone rock-face overlooking the Teluk Pandan Kecil beach and Mont' Santubong.

And that's the Sea stack that we are here for! The cliff is very steep and beware not to be too close from the cliff to prevent fall. We can see a boat is waiting perhaps that's the boat going to pick us back later. 

Some interesting rock formations due to the Erosion of the rocky slab. Kind of similar to what I saw in Jeju Island. 

We continues down the wooden stairs in the forested gully after stay about 10 minutes on top. It's another 10 minutes descent to the beach through here. 

From wooden stairs to cliff vegetation while we descending. 

It end with a very steep wooden stairs situated on top of a erosion rock, we finally reach the beach!

 Telok Pandan Kecil is a beautiful beach –  clean and nestled deeply between the sandstone cliffs.

The cliffs bordering the beach are beautifully sculpted by wind and water, and the steepness with which these rise out of the sea adds to the feeling of seclusion in the bay.

This is not constellations, this is some evidence of ghost crabs activity. Lol, 

Ghost Crab, which is also a superb runner on the sandy beach.  It is not easy to take a photo of one of this as they run very fast when you try to catch it.

Husband and the giant eroded formation of the sandstone. 

 A photo at the beach with sea stack  behind us before we leave! 

That's the boat who going to send us back to the National Park Entrance. 

While on the sea, the boatman stop by the sea stacks so we can take a look closer.

 According to him that's Cobra sea stack (front) and Frog sea stack (top behind).

Lion head Sea Stack (Or Cat?)

 Turtle sea stack and some other unknown shape rock formation up to your own imagination. 

The boat then stop by the National Park Entrance to pick up 2 other passengers before heading back to Mainland. 

The tide is low in the noon all passangers required to walk very far to reach the National Park Entrance. 

Salute to the boatman! As we leave the National Park, the tide is very low that the boat wasn't able to move forward, he spent a lot of energy to pull the boat deeper water area so the boat can move with 4 passengers on board (and few heavy backpacks from the other 2 passengers). 

Heading back to Mainland!

And we are lucky enough to catch the no.1 bus which is park outside the Bako Terminal for 12.30pm route! 


  1. Very details! This helps a lot for my trip to BaKo. Thanks!


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