Bako National Park

>> Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If you come to Kuching and like wildlife, you should visit the Bako National Park. Bako National Park is Sarawak's oldest national park, covering an area of 2,727 hectares at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula. It is one of the smallest national park in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting as it contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo.

Bako contains an incredible variety of plant species and vegetation types and this is one of the park's great attractions. at Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. 25 distinct types of vegetation from seven complete eco-system, Beach vegetation, Cliff vegetation, Kerangas or heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest. It is wasy to explore these eco-system via the jungle trails. The contrasts are so distinct that you do not have to be scientist to notice the differences. Furthermore, most of the different vegetation types are found close to the Park Office at Telok Assam. Amongst the unique and strange plant life are the carnivorous plants (pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts).

Bako is probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experience. The park has been a protected area since 1957, so the animals are less wary of humans. Visitors, especially those who stay overnight wull have countless opportunities to observe and photograph various types of wildlife.

The best times for seeing wildlife at Bako are dawn and just before dusk, when the animals are at their most active. You are more likely to see animals on the trails if you go in small groups, walk slowly and silently, keep as quit as possible and listen out for sound and movements in the forest. For example you are likely to hear a strange grunting sound or the crash of leaves long before you actually see a Proboscis Monkey.

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. Watch out for the macaques as they are possibly the most fearless monkeys on earth. They will raid dustbins and kitchens in the resthouses or scamper into the canteen to steal food or an unguarded bag. Keep all doors locked and never encourage them by offering food. In contrast to the unruly macaques, the silvered leaf monkey or silvered langur is a docile and attractive creature. Adults have silver grey fur and spiky crest of head hair, whilst the infants are covered in bright orange fur.

Bako's extensive trail system is made up of 16 colour-coded jungle trails which offer a range of walking and hiking options. The fit and adventures can opt for full-day jungle hikes or overnight camping expeditions, whilst those who prefer to take it easy can opt for a relaxing forest walk. The following are the available trails:

Tanjung Sapi
A short but steep climb through cliff vegetation. Takess about 30 minutes. Excelllent views of Telok Assam, the South China Sea and Santubong.

Telok Paku
Takes about one hour and passes through cliff forest before reaching a small sechuded beach. Proboscis monkeys are often seen during seen during early morning or late afternoon. Move slowly, keep quite as possible and listen out for strange grunts or movements in the canopy.

Ulu Assam
Passes at after through swamp forest and a flat section where proboscis monkeys are sometimes seen. At the 'Beware of the Bees' sign, the trail climbs streeply and at times you must hang on tree roots to keep your balance. At the top you are rewarded with breathing views of Bako's coastline.

Telok Delima
One of the best trails in the park for spotting proboscis monkeys and only 45 minutes from the Park Office. As the Lintang trail bears right and climbs a hill you are in prime proboscis territory. Listen out for strange grunting noises or the crash of vegetation. If you hear something, stop as quite as possible and scan the forest. Try to 'follow' the strange noise with your eyes. If you are lucky you may see a harem of proboscis monkeys.

This trail takes about one half hours and ends at the park boundary. It is not frequently used and is somewhat secluded. Good for seeing some of Bako's rainforest giants.

Telok Pandan Kecil & Telok Pandan Besar
The one and half hour trek to Telok Pandan kecil is one of bako's most popular. It ascends the forested hills overlooking Telok assam, reaching the plateau covered in scrub vegetation and continues along a sandy path lined with carnivorous pitcher plants before reaching a cliff top with stunning view of the sechluded bay below the famous sea stack just offshore. A 10 minutes descent through cliff vegetation brings you to one of the beaches in the park. Whilst swimming, watch out for monkeys who steal unguarded bags. The Telok Pandan Besar trails ends at a cliff top with views of the beach below.

The Tajor passes scrub and padang vegetation and ends with a steep climb down to a samll beach. Take a hat as the sun can be quite fierce on the exposed sections of the trails. The trail also passes the Tajor Waterfall, a popular resting spot. The waterfall is quite small (and best after heavy rain) but it has a beautiful jungle setting and a small dip pool. From the park Office it takes about two and half hours to rach the waterfall.

Tanjung Rhu
This trail branches off the Tajor trail and leads across open country to the rocky Thu peninsula and a small headland where you can see wave-cut platform and rock pools. From the Park Office, it takes about two and a half hours or 45 minutes from the Tajor junction.

Ulu Serait
This trail connects the Lintang trail with the Bukit Gondol hill walk. It is deep inside the park and passes through scrub, padang vegetation and swamp forest. From the Lintang junction to the base of Bukit Gondol is about one and a half hours.

Bukit Gondol
This semi-circular loop trail passes over Bukit Gondol the highest point in Bako at 260 metres. From the top of the hill there are excellent view of Pulau Lakei and Muara Tebas. The loop trek takes about 45 minutes.

Paya Jelutong
This trail is actually a short cut for those who do climb Bukit Gondol. Although it is a very short trail it offers the opportunityof seeing fresh water swamp forest. The most dominant species in the area is Jelutong a softwood used for making pencils.

Bukit Keruing
This trail connects Bukit Gondol with Tajor and passes some mighty rainforest giants. It passes along the slopes of Bukit Keruing, the second highest point in bako. From Paya Jelutong to the Tajor Waterfall takes about one and a half hours.

Telok Sibur
A fully trek. From the Park Office it take about three and half hours to reach the end of Telok Sibur trail, first following the Tajor trail to the waterfall. Continue along the main trail for another 45 minutes until you reach a junction and the start of the Sibur trail. after a very steep 45 minutes descent, a walk through the mangrove and a wade across a river you finally reach the longest beach in Bako.

Telok Limau
This is Bako's long distance trail, six or seven hours from the Park Office to the small beach at Telok Limau. You pass through rich rainforest, scrub land and swamp forest, cross small and climb a number of hilly sections affording excellent views of the whole Muara Tebas peninsula. You can camp at Telok Limau and return the next day or arrange for a boat to pick you up.

Telok Keruin
being so far fro the Park Office, the Telok Keruin trail is used. It is usually done as a side trek from Telok Limau, the first section is a 15-20 minutes climb through the forest until you reach a scrub section. You must then trek for another 25 minutes before you reach the Telok Keruin trail. shortly after the junction the trail descends to an area of scrub vegetation. Look out for pitcher plants that line the side of the trail. There are four short side-trails which lead to the Bukit Keruin lookout, a small rock pool, the Muara Tebas lookout point and the Tanjung Keruin and Tanjung Po view points. The last section of the trail is a very steep descent to a mangrove forest. The trail then continues through the mangroves. Look out for the marks on the trees which show the way to the desrted beach, one of the best in the park.

Pulau Lakei
This small island has a superb white sand beach. The National Parks Department has a small guard house located on the island. trips to the island can be arranged with your boatman. There are some mysterious rock paintings just a short walk fro the beach.

So how to get there? From Kuching, take a taxi or a Petra Jaya Bus No. 6 to Kampung (village) Bako. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Continue a 30-minute boat ride to the Park. Boats can be chartered at the terminal and they are operated by the villagers. Permits and accommodation reservations can be acquired at the National Parks Booking Office, Kuching. Local tour operators also organise trips to Bako.

As I was lazy to write my own post, the above was copied and pasted from Sarawak Forestry. But I didn't copied all. So maybe you can click the on link and visit the website.

And now, these are originally by me.

After reaching Bako and arrived at the Bako National Park terminal, you need to enter this building and buy your tickets and arrange for boat.

So, these are the fees that for the trip to Bako National Park.

After buying your entrance ticket at the counter and get a boat, you can go to the jetty behind it and board the sampan. To be safe, ask for life jackets.

Along the journey to the national park, you will see the following.

After about 20 minutes of boat ride, you will reach the park.

This will be the map of the park.

You will need to walk to the environmental education centre not far from the jetty after you arrived and register yourself there to indicate that you have not lost into the sea. Washroom are available there. Besides that, you can also put your belongings there.

Before you start to hike the mountain, you can walk around the ground first. There are restaurant and hostels on the ground. You might also see some wild boars and monkeys.

Then, you can walk. But be careful, look at the map properly and look out for the monkeys. Make sure you check your phone line and get a contact number before you start to hike. But of course, it is not that easy to get lost. But just in case.

Since I went to Telok Pandan Besar and Kecil, I will show you some pictures about the trail.

This is Telok Pandan Besar. You can't go down there as it is a high cliff. But if you insist to go to the beach, maybe you can swim from Pandan Kecil (joke).

This is Telok Pandan Kecil. As you can see from the pictures, there are many tourist around.

To go down to the beach, you need to walk again of course. You can walk down to the Pandan Kecil beach, but not Pandan Besar.

You can swim at the beach and ask your boatman to wait for you here so that you don't have to walk back to the headquarter. Before going back, you can ask the boatman to bring you to circle the famous Bako sea stack.

Then, you leave Bako and go somewhere else to have fun. If you don't waste much time, the whole journey should only takes you about 4 hours.

Map of Bako National Park, Kuching:


Gourmet Sausage @ Kuching Festival

>> Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gourmet Sausage, the stall that claims to sell the BIGGEST sausages in Borneo, is just located in front of the big entrance to Kuching Festival 2010. If you are going in from the big welcoming gate, you will be able to see it on your right.

So, what does Gourmet Sausage sells? Sausages of course, but not solely sausages only. It sells burgers too. But here, I am not going to talk about burgers. I will only talk about their sausages.

So, these are the biggest sausages on Borneo. Look at the length of it, it's longer than the plate. Have you ever ate any sausage this big before? I sure never. And best of all, it cost RM5 only. However, if you want to have a taste of it, you must reach there early because it finishes real fast.

Besides the giant sausage, Gourmet Sausage also sells smaller sausages. But even they are smaller, they are still bigger than other sausages around. And they cost RM3 per piece only. Look at those pork, they look so yummy.

Next, let me introduce this special curry sauce to you. I've heard about chilly sauce and tomato sauce before but I've never see a curry sauce. They say it is a special sauce that you can't find outside.

And what will happen when special sauce meet with special sausage? This is what they will become.

Finally, the following are their menu and contact.


Kuching Festival 2010

>> Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kuching Festival, one of the most welcomed event is here again, and this time it's better than ever. It has more food stalls, and a mini fun fair, which is the first ever mini fun fair since there is Kuching Festivals. Besides that, you can also ride a horse for RM10 in the day time, if I am not mistaken.

Date: 31 July to 22 August 2010
Venue: Dewan Masyarakat, MBKS Jalan Padungan Kuching, Sarawak

I don't have much to comment so I will just show you some pictures of Kuching Festival 2010 here. There should be more, but these are the few that I chose to be put up here. If you are not from Kuching and will be here before 22 August, then you must pay a visit here. By the way, saw the 1st stall on the 1st picture below? It is "Gourmet Sausage". What is so special about it? Well, it has the biggest sausage on Borneo that you must try. The last time I went there, the sausages were out. So I am gonna go there again to try it when I am free.

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