A trip to the Bako National Park in Sarawak is a trip my friends and I will
always remember. To go there, we took a local bus from central Kuching to the
town of Bako. We stopped a few times along the way. One stop is a colorful
village on stilts, the wooden houses painted bright colors from which children
stream in and out, goats huddle around and
mothers do their cooking in.
We arrived in Bako and changed our mode of
transportation to a longboat. The boatmen took us, crashing through the waves
for about fifteen minutes until we were in sight of a beach with huge,
multi-colored, limestone cliffs. They told us to take off our shoes because it
was low tide. So they could not take the boat up to the jetty. We had to jump
out of the boat and walked onto the beach with our heavy backpacks.
After walking for half a kilometer, we checked into the Bako National Park
headquarters. It was then we decided to take a quick walk into the jungle before
it gets dark. We followed a plankwalk while the sun was setting, the best time
to spot Proboscis monkeys. We rounded a corner and a black, thin snake slid
through the water of a little pond. About fifteen minutes later, we heard
something crashing through the trees. This made us stop to see what was
happening. There were four of them overhead. At the moment before dark, it
started to pour, tropical rainstorm-style, and we had to head back.
The next day we woke up early to start a hike while the sun was still low. To
our right, in the trees, was an entire community of Long Tailed Macquaques.
These monkeys were much bolder than the previous night's monkeys. They
ventured really close to us, especially when
we were taking our cameras out of our bags.
Further on down the trail was much more serene. We passed loads of pitcher
plants: carnivorous, deep pockets with a liquid inside containing enzymes which
digest their prey. They were eye-height, and we saw that many of them had dried
up. We got to a plateau and the last part of the trail took us down through the
rocks and down to the sea. Around the beach are huge, red lakes. The rocks here
have deposits of iron throughout them. We ran down, all alone, and jumped into
the salty water. This place is fantastic. We were bodysurfing in the South China
Sea! While we were drying off, we watched mudskippers, small, fishy things that
looked like salamanders, run right across the top of the rusty water.
After a rest, we decided to go on another trail in the afternoon, this time
through the dense forest. After two absolutely sweaty hours, we reached our
destination, Tajor Waterfall. The waterfall itself is quite small and the rocks
around the pool are covered in slippery moss. There, we played in the water
enjoying the cool water running over our feet. On taking a closer look at the
water, we realised that although it was red, it was crystal clear.
The trip is certainly one I would recommend to those who want to get away
from the hectic city for a few days. The
Bako National Park is truly a place of natural beauty.