July 13, 2008

Malaysia: July 7th - Bako National Park

Was up fairly early this morning (by my standards on holiday anyway) in order to have enough time for a shower and breakfast before catching a minibus bound for Bako National Park. I'm not sure whether the driver was trying to make up the ten minute delay to the departure or whether he always drives in this fashion, but we were treated to an incredibly bumpy ride that really put the suspension to the test. At one point we hit a particularly big bump at speed which resulted in the next passenger and myself headbutting each other quite hard on the rebound, so we were both nursing bumps for the whole day. I was not impressed.

We eventually arrived at Bako and met up with some other tourists and our guide for the day, Steven. From Bako village we had to take a boat for a twenty minute ride to the entrance of the national park. The ride was pretty exhilarating and the view was spectacular.

Bako National Park is a large expanse of varied wildlife and it's the oldest national park in Sarawak. It's particularly famous for having the odd-looking proboscis monkey as well as a variety of other flora and fauna. If you have the time to explore at length, you can see rainforest, mangrove swamps, peat swamps and sandstone plateaus as well as beautiful beaches. Our tour was only a one day visit, so we were limited to just a sample of the park experience, but it was great fun nevertheless. I think that if I came back here again, I'd opt to stay in the park overnight and spend a couple of days exploring all the things it has to offer.

Sign at the jetty in Bako village
Houses on the Bako river

Fishing boat

The trail through the forest
A hermit crab
Precarious rock formation on the trail
Beach at Telok Paku

Sandstone cliffs viewed from the boat
The famous Sea Stack

View over the Telok Pandan Kecil beach from the sandstone plateau

A type of pitcher plant
A flying lemur at rest

A proboscis monkey
A venomous spitting viper, though I have to confess I couldn't catch the proper name when the guide mentioned it.
The naughty monkeys in question ~ the long tailed macaques.

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