So no, we didn’t manage to run into a crocodile (not even a tiny little dwarfodile! …crocodwarf?) on any of the somewhat remote trails we ventured into, and yes, that Pattaya Fried Noodles felt more like the shameful offspring between a jar of mayo and the shade of an old, long forsaken omelette.
But luckily, you won’t be visiting Bako (a real beauty of a National Park in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo) for its exquisite cuisine or for the chance to have a near-death encounter with a croc.
More on the practical side, you’ll also visit Bako for how dead-simple and easy it is to get there as a day-trip from “Cat City” Kuching, though you’ll actually stay at least two nights, because how else are you supposed to truly connect to the atmosphere of the jungle’s sights and sounds all around you?
Make sure to bring some instant noodles and energy bars, though. Cheap and tasty food is not exactly Bako’s strong suit, and all that walking and staring contests with monkeys just might make you hungry.
Getting there and back
Take public bus no1, running on the hour (7am to 6pm) from downtown Kuching, on Jalan Khoo Hun Yeang. Just ask a local at the (kind of) open air food court located next to the Electra House shopping mall (bonus tip: grab some steamed buns while you’re there). You can also catch it at one of the bus stops close to the waterfront.
Price is 3.50RM (0.60€) one way, and the bus will drop you right next to the Bako boat jetty, taking about an hour.
At the jetty, you’ll pay a park entrance fee (20RM or 4€), and from there a boat will bring you to the park, taking about 15 to 20 minutes, 20RM each way.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a schedule for these boats, and you might have to wait for it to fill up with at least five people before departing. Last boat is usually at 4pm (both ways), but beware of low tides, which might affect the frequency of boat trips.
Same bus will take you back to town. It’s supposed to run half past the hour every hour, but try to be there some ten minutes earlier if possible, just to be sure.
When to go
Best time to visit is from March to October, since November to February is monsoon season, and things tends to get pretty wet.