We made a trip to Bako National Park today. We left the hotel at about 9.30am in a rented automatic Proton Wira sedan (RM240 excluding taxes for a day-and-a-half). Armed with a GPS, we drove to Kampung Bako about 30 minutes away. At the jetty, we hired a boat (RM94 per boat, return) which took us to the mouth of Sungai Tabo out into the South China Sea before arriving at the park headquarters. It was a 20-minute ride.
[The jetty at Kampung Bako]
[Fishermen catching prawns in the South China Sea]
Before setting foot in the park, we asked the boatman about seeing the sea stacks. He obliged, taking us on another 20-minute ride (RM35 per boat). There were many interesting rock formations - an eagle, the Sphinx, a proboscis monkey's nose, and the famous one looking like a cobra.
[Doesn't this resemble the Sphinx of Giza?]
[The cobra-like sea stack]
We arrived at the headquarters at about 11.15am, having to wade through shin-deep sea water. As we were washing our feet near the cafeteria, we were greeted by the "resident" wild pig. While my parents went off on a hike, we and the boys had a simple lunch before setting off on our own kiddy-paced hiking experience. At 12.30pm, we first attempted the Telok Delima trail. After about 30 minutes we decided to turn back as the boys seemed restless (or bored) on the boardwalk trail, and Justin had soiled himself.
[The wild pig: Looking for the toilet, perhaps?]
At about 1.30pm, we decided to try out the Telok Paku trail. We had to walk past a mangrove area before arriving at the start of the trail. This was when we met my parents who, being experienced hikers, had already made it to the Telok Paku beach and back. The hilly Telok Paku trail was a hit with the boys. They loved scrambling over the rocks and uneven ground. But when we arrived at the 100m mark after about 30 minutes, we had to turn back although the boys seemed to want to explore further. We had agreed to meet our boatman at 3.00pm.
[A small snake]
[The mangrove area just before the Telok Paku trail]
[Marching along the Telok Paku trail]
[A hiking landmark for the boys]
[The list of trails at the Bako National Park]
We rendezvous-ed at the cafeteria at about 2.30pm and ordered some cold drinks. We left shortly after 3.00pm and arrived back at Kampung Bako at 3.25pm. It was a short visit but considering we had the boys with us, we were happy to have made the most out of the time we had.
There is a bus service between Kuching and Kampung Bako. The fare, as advertised on the bus we saw, was RM3.50 one way. Not sure where to get the bus in Kuching, but it stops right at the Kampung Bako jetty.
For the record, that night, we had dinner at Planet Sambal located not far from our hotel. The food was quite spicy and not bad actually. However, the dining experience was marred by the restless boys *sigh*.
More on our visit to the Bako National Park on Chris & Connie's blog.