Bako National Park with is a wonderful rainforest, abundant wildlife, plenty of jungle streams, some panoramic waterfalls, a lot of interesting plant life, numerous of trekking trails, some beautiful beaches and all these only 37 km from the capital of Sarawak, Kuching.
The park has been a protected area since 1957, so the animals have become used to human visitors and are less shy than their remote jungle cousins. Visitors, especially those who stay overnight will have countless opportunities to observe and photograph various types of wildlife.
The Bako Headquarters in Telok Assam comprises the administrative and information complexes, canteen and sundry shop, accommodation, staff quarters and boathouse. Boardwalks are constructed to link all these buildings, which are otherwise separated by mangrove swamps and peat forests. Visitors are therefore, almost guaranteed an unforgettable encounter with the Proboscis monkey by just walking along the boardwalks. The best time to visit the park is during the drier season of April through September. It is advisable not to go there during the months of October until March as the sea gets rough due to the monsoon and access to the park may not be possible.
Telok Assam, the area around the Park Office is a great place for seeing wildlife. Long-tailed macaques, silver leaf monkeys, common monitor lizards, plantain squirrel, bearded pigs and mouse deer are all found here. Telok Paku trail takes about one hour and passes through cliff forest before reaching the small-secluded beach. Proboscis monkeys are often seen during seen during early morning or late afternoon.
The interior of the park can only be traversed on foot. Staying on or close to the marked trails is strongly advised. Boardwalks and ladders are installed to help with some of the more difficult stretches.
Small boats similar to those that take you to and from the park wait on the beaches at busy times of day and can be chartered to take you to other beachside destinations. A boat pickup can also be arranged to help ease the return journey from some of the park's longer trails that finish on beaches. Pulau Lakei, some distance offshore, can only be reached by boat.
Visitors to the park should ensure they carry large quantities of water with them; trekking in subtropical rainforest is thirsty work. The cafeteria has a variety of drinks including beer and soda. There are bungalows for rent at the park headquarters. A stay of a night or two is highly recommended to experience the full diversity of Bako, although accommodation can be stuffy and may have some mold growing on the ceilings, and expensive accommodation is entirely absent. The city of Kuching offers a much broader range of accommodation and the luxury of air-conditioning if you are interested in visit Bako just for a day trip.
Bako National Park is only 37 km from Kuching city, the capital of Sarawak. Getting to Kuching is easy with direct international flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei, Jakarta, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon, Tokyo-Haneda, and connections to most of the major Malaysian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, and Johor Bahru.