Bako National Park Travel Guide

Discover the beauty of Bako National Park in Malaysia with helpful travel tips and itinerary suggestions. Learn about cultural and natural attractions, outdoor adventures, food scene, safety guidelines, transportation, and nearby excursions.

Introduction to Bako National Park

Nestled in the province of Sarawak, Bako National Park is a picturesque destination in Malaysia that offers visitors the chance to discover diverse wildlife and stunning natural beauty. Established in 1957, it is one of the oldest national parks in the country, and is renowned for its incredible biodiversity.

The park is home to a wide range of habitats, including rainforests, mangroves, and sandstone cliffs that line the coastline. It is also the ideal place for visitors to experience outdoor adventures like hiking, trekking, and sightseeing.

If you are looking for a place to reconnect with nature, Bako National Park is the perfect destination for you. Keep reading to discover a comprehensive tour guide for Bako National Park, including a list of places to visit, hiking and biking routes, best things to do, food and drink scene, where to stay, local culture and customs, safety guidelines, transportation options, and nearby excursions.

List of Places to Visit in Bako National Park

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

While the park is best known for its natural attractions, there is also a rich cultural heritage to be discovered. Here are some of the must-see cultural attractions to visit:

  • Bako Museum: This small but informative museum is located on Telok Assam Beach, and showcases the wildlife, geology, and history of the park.

  • Kampung Bako Settlement: A traditional Malay fishing village, Kampung Bako has been inhabited for hundreds of years and provides an insight into the local way of life.

Natural Attractions of Bako National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

The park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventure seekers alike. Here are some of the natural attractions you should not miss:

  • Biawak (Monitor Lizard) Trail: Take a walk on this trail, and spot the iconic Bornean bearded pigs, proboscis monkeys, and monitor lizards.

  • Paku Trail: This trail is an easy walk, and offers a beautiful view of the park’s stunning rainforest scenery.

  • Telok Paku Beach: This stunning beach is accessible via a short boat ride from the park’s headquarters. It is a great spot for swimming, relaxing, and enjoying the picturesque scenery.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Bako National Park

Hiking and biking are two of the most popular activities in Bako National Park, and for a good reason. Below are some of the top hiking and biking trails in the park:

  • Lintang Trail: This scenic trail offers views of the park’s diverse landscapes, including its dense rainforests, stunning beaches, and impressive rock formations.

  • Telok Pandan Kecil Trail: This is another popular trail in the park that leads visitors through thick forest cover, arches of trees, and stunning cliff views.

Best Things to Do in Bako National Park: Activities and Tours

Besides hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities to do in Bako National Park. Here are some suggestions:

  • Wildlife spotting: Keep an eye out for the park’s over 150 species of birds, 27 species of mammals, and 30 species of reptiles, including the iconic proboscis monkeys.

  • Night trails: Experience the thrill of the park’s diverse wildlife as they come out at night on a guided night trail.

Week-Long Itinerary for Bako National Park

Here is an itinerary for how you can spend one week exploring Bako National Park:

Day Activity
Day 1 Arrive in Kuching and settle in at your hotel.
Day 2 Take the early morning bus to Bako National Park and start your exploration of the park.
Day 3 Embark on a full-day trekking in Lintang Trail.
Day 4 Enjoy a relaxing day at Telok Pandan Kecil Beach.
Day 5 Go on a boat ride to explore several remote beaches and enjoy snorkeling.
Day 6 Go on a night trail in the park and observe the park’s nocturnal wildlife.
Day 7 Take the bus back to Kuching and explore the city’s sights and sounds.

Food and Drink Scene of Bako National Park

When it comes to food and drink, the park offers a range of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Nasi Lemak: A Malaysian national dish, nasi lemka is a fragrant rice meal cooked in coconut milk and served with a variety of side dishes.

  • Laksa Sarawak: This flavorful dish is a spicy noodle soup made with fish, shrimp paste, and tamarind.

Local Beverages

  • Teh tarik: A popular tea drink in Malaysia, teh tarik is made with black tea and condensed milk.

  • Coconut water: Refreshing and hydrating, coconut water is a great way to beat the heat and replenish your energy levels.

Where to Stay in Bako National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

While the park does not offer luxury accommodations, there are plenty of options available for travelers, including budget-friendly guesthouses, lodges, and campsites. Here are some of the recommended places to stay:

  • Bako National Park Lodge: Located near the park’s headquarters, the lodge offers comfortable and spacious accommodation with basic amenities.

  • Bako Homestay: Offering visitors an authentic cultural experience, the Bako Homestay is a great option for visitors looking for a budget-friendly, family-friendly, and homey experience.

What to Buy in Bako National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

From handmade crafts and textiles to local handicrafts and souvenirs, there are plenty of options available for shoppers in Bako National Park. Here are some of the items you should consider bringing home:

  • Handmade pottery: Bako National Park is known for its unique and handcrafted pottery products, which make for great souvenirs.

  • Locally made textiles: Sarawak is famous for its textiles and traditional weaving techniques, making them a great souvenir or gift.

Local Culture and Customs of Bako National Park

Malaysia has a diverse and rich cultural heritage, and Bako National Park is no exception. Visitors should be mindful of local customs and practices, and respect the natural environment. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Modesty in dress: It is recommended to dress modestly and refrain from wearing revealing clothing, especially in cultural and religious sites.

  • Take only memories, leave only footprints: Visitors should avoid littering and taking any natural resources away from the park.

Best Time to Visit Bako National Park

The best time to visit Bako National Park is between March and October during the dry season. Visitors can expect sunny weather and cool temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bako National Park

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your visit:


  • Respect the wildlife and natural environment.

  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable clothing.


  • Feed the wildlife.

  • Take any natural resources away from the park.

Safety and Health

While Bako National Park is a safe destination, visitors should be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions to avoid any untoward incidents.

Safety in Bako National Park

  • Visitors should stick to designated trails and refrain from any dangerous activities.

  • Always keep a safe distance from any wildlife encountered while touring the park.

Health in Bako National Park

-Visitors should stay hydrated to prevent sunstroke and heat exhaustion.

  • Visitors should be vaccinated against malaria since mosquitoes are common in the area.

Getting to Bako National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Here are some of the transportation options available for reaching Bako National Park:

Airports Near Bako National Park

  • Kuching International Airport is the closest airport to the park, located around 30 km away from the city.

Bus Stations Near Bako National Park

  • The bus terminal in Kuching offers bus services to Bako National Park.

Other Options

  • Visitors can opt for boat transport to reach Bako National Park.

How to Get Around in Bako National Park

The park is well-connected by hiking trails, and visitors can explore the park on foot or by bicycle. Boat rentals are also available for those looking to explore the coastline.

Where to Go Next from Bako National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some places visitors can explore after their trip to Bako National Park:

  • Kuching: The provincial capital of Sarawak, Kuching is a vibrant city with plenty of cultural and historical attractions.

  • Semenggoh Wildlife Centre: Located approximately 22 km away from Kuching, this wildlife center is home to various endangered animals and provides an insight into conservation efforts.


Bako National Park is a spectacular destination that offers visitors a chance to discover Malaysia’s natural beauty, history, and culture. With its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes, it is a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a break from urban life. We hope this comprehensive tour guide will help you plan your trip to Bako National Park, making it a memorable and unforgettable experience. Happy travels!