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Bako National Park, Sarawak- A complete day tour guide

Bako National Park, Sarawak

Bako National Park is the most famous national park near Kuching. Naturally, this park is included in our itinerary in Kuching. So, in this article, we will show you our day trip to Bako and what we saw and experienced.

It took us about half an hour to drive from Kuching town to Bako National Park. Our first thought was that the national park must be quite far from the city, but this park is so close, and we genuinely enjoy what we experience and see.

Bako National Park, Sarawak, terminal

We arrived early at the Bako terminal as we planned to go for two trails. We will first take the Delima Trail, then go to Ulu Assam and Teluk Delima, and after lunch, continue to Teluk Paku. 

The entrance ticket to the park is only RM10 for adults, which is considered cheap. But we have to purchase a boat ticket which costs RM200 for each boat for a round trip. Please refer to the official website for more information.

After buying the ticket for the boat ride, we walked to the river, where the boatman was waiting for us. That is when we started our exploration of this beautiful forest.

The Sea Stack

So we hopped into the boat and started traveling along Sungai Tabo out to the sea to see the famous sea stack. It is a peninsula, but because there is no road reaching where the sea stack is, taking the boat out to the sea is the quickest way to reach there. Alternatively, one can hike there, but we had limited time today, so we took the boat.

Bako National Park, Sarawak, sea stack

Our boat trip let us pass many stunning rock formations at the steep cliffs. And it is a perfect place to take some magnificent photographs.

Bako National Park is special because over here, there are seven types of forest in one place-mixed dipterocarp forest, mangrove forest, beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, kerangas or heath forest, padang or grasslands, and peat swamp forest. 

sea stack, Bako National Park, Sarawak

Then, we arrive at the most spectacular rock formation in Bako National Park. From the beach at Teluk Pandan Kecil, you can see Bako’s trademark, the rock formation called sea stack, which the waves had carved for hundreds of years. 

The park’s iconic sea stack, shaped by millions of years of erosion, is a true testament to the power of nature. These stunning rock formations, featuring beautifully sculpted headlands, sea stacks, and arches, stand tall against the glistening blue waters of the South China Sea. As we explored the park, we were mesmerized by the sheer grandeur of this geological treasure.

sea stack , Bako National Park, Sarawak

Besides the most famous sea stack, another one is smaller and looks like a frog.

rock formation, Bako National Park, Sarawak

We passed by the cliff vegetation while traveling out to the sea.

Watch the video we shot at Bako National Park at the end of this article 👇👇.

Bearded pigs, proboscis monkeys, and long-tailed macaques

Upon observing the sea stack, our boatmen navigated us to the Bako National Park HQ. Thankfully, the high tide enabled our boat to approach the jetty closely. The boatman informed us that the boat could not sail near the jetty during low tide. Otherwise, we would have to roll up our trousers and walk in foot-deep water to reach the jetty. The beach is unsafe for swimming due to the presence of crocodiles, as indicated by many warning signs.

Bako National Park, Sarawak jetty

Bako National Park, Sarawak jetty

Bako National Park, Sarawak headquarter

We began trekking into the jungle after registering at the counter and using the washroom.

ong-tailed macaques near the National Park headquarters

We were about to enter the first trail and noticed a group of long-tailed macaques near the National Park headquarters. Unfortunately, they were too far away to capture a clear picture.

bearded pigs

We stumbled upon a group of bearded pigs playing in a mud pool. Surprisingly, they were quite close to us and didn’t seem to mind our presence much.

proboscis monkey swinging from a nearby tree,

As we were taking photos of the bearded pigs, someone pointed out a proboscis monkey swinging from a nearby tree, just a short half-minute walk away from them. We could see the monkey, which wasn’t too far from our location.

The Delima Trail and Ulu Assam Trail

We continued our trekking, entering the  Delima Trail and heading to Ulu Assam and Teluk Delima,

heading to Ulu Assam and Teluk Delima,, Bako National Park

Bako National Park

termite nest at Bako National Park

We came across some caterpillars and giant termite nests during our hike. 

Bako National Park

The water of the small stream we crossed caught our attention with its unique red color. Our guide informed us that the water’s high content of minerals, especially iron, is responsible for its color.

Bako National Park

We followed the color markings along the trail to stay on track. The blue/red color code is used for the Ulu Assam trail. 

There are various local trees adequately labeled with their names. This helped us to identify more about the different flora in the area.


We came across a colorful spider waiting for its prey along the way. 

Bako National Park

After some time, we finally reached the mangrove swamps with a spectacular coastline.

swampy forest

swampy forest

There, we spotted a horseshoe crab.

horseshoe crab

Overall, The trail is of moderate difficulty, with some parts requiring climbing, but it is mostly forgiving. 

green pit viper at Bako national Park

On our return journey, we were informed of a green pit viper sighting, which we eventually managed to locate with the help of another trekker who marked the spot and guided us. 

After trekking for about two hours, we finally returned to the headquarters and took a break for a simple lunch.

Teluk Paku Trail

After having lunch, we decided to take another trail to Teluk Paku, which was approximately 1.5 kilometers away from the headquarters. This trail was more difficult than the previous one, as the area was mainly made up of sandstone with many steep climbs.

During the hike, my wife unfortunately sprained her leg and had to rest at a nearby hut. However, this was a blessing in disguise, as she spotted three proboscis monkeys playing on the tree top while listening to this creature’s strange grunts and movements. This trail is one of the best for seeing these monkeys in their natural habitat.

Paku trail

We climbed uphill and downhill through a narrow trail that passed through a cliff forest. After a long trek, we finally reached the small, secluded Paku Beach. Although some sea stacks and rock formations were not as spectacular as the ones we saw earlier.

paku trail

teluk Pak at Bako national Park

After completing the trails, we returned to the headquarters and took the boat back to the Bako terminal to end our tour.

Brighton Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd organized our trip. A few months ago, they also helped us plan another trip to Sarawak, covering Bario, Miri, Mulu, and Niah.

Watch the video we shot at Bako National Park 👇👇.

Helpful information about Bako National Park

1. What is the main attraction of Bako National Park?

Bako National Park is a picturesque and well-preserved protected area that spans over 2,742 hectares at the southernmost tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula in Sarawak, Malaysia. It is the oldest national park in Sarawak, Malaysia, established in 1957

Bako is renowned for its vibrant ecosystems, pristine coastline, small bays, beaches, mangroves, and sea stacks. There are breathtaking jungle treks and fascinating wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, silvered leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, squirrels, flying lemurs, and bearded pigs. Many of these animals can only be found on the island of Borneo.

The park boasts an impressive range of flora and fauna, with almost every type of vegetation on the island thriving within its borders. The park’s well-maintained trails make it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Bako offers secluded beaches, including Teluk Pandan Kecil, with a unique sea stack formation.

2. What is the best time to visit Bako National Park?

The ideal time to plan a trip to Bako National Park is during the dry season, which spans from March to September. During this period, the weather is more pleasant, and the sea is calmer, making exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems, coastline, and wildlife easier.

3. What is the best way to explore Bako National Park?

The best way to explore Bako National Park is to take land transport from Kuching to the Bako National Park jetty, followed by a boat ride to the park’s entrance. Once you reach the park, you can choose from 16 different color-coded trails ranging from easy forest strolls to full-day jungle treks, all without needing a guide. However, it is worth noting that some of the trails were closed for maintenance during your visit.

Hiring a guide can be beneficial as they can spot most wildlife, point out various tree and insect species, and explain the rock formations. If time permits, spending at least one night at the park is recommended to increase your chances of spotting wildlife during peak hours at dawn and dusk. The National Park also has lodges and campsites available for overnight stays. Consider taking a night walk to observe the nocturnal wildlife, such as the rare slow loris.

4. What are the safety precautions while exploring Bako National Park?

Taking precautions is important to ensure your safety and enjoyment when visiting a park. 

  1. To avoid mosquito bites, apply repellent, especially if you plan on spending the night. 
  2. Wear loose cotton shorts and tees, and bring a rain jacket in case of heavy downpours. 
  3. Comfortable, waterproof shoes are recommended for navigating the trails. 
  4. Remember to sign in when you start a hike and sign out when you return, following the park’s guidelines. 
  5. It’s also a good idea to carry at least 2 liters of water and some nutritional snacks or nuts, as there are no food stores once you enter the jungle. 
  6. Finally, for your safety, avoid swimming, as crocodiles may be present. 
  7. Be sure to stay on the marked trails, as they are color-coded for your convenience.