Welcome to Part 4 of Borneo Adventure. Come along with us today for an exciting boat trip and a steamy jungle hike into Bako National Park, Sarawak Borneo.
Sarawak Borneo – A Nature Lover’s Eden
Our fourth day in Sarawak with Borneo Ethical Adventures and Sarawak Tourism, dawned bright and sunny, which was brilliant because we were heading off on a boat trip followed by a jungle adventure with a little trekking.
Click on the titles below for previous posts in this series about Borneo.
- Borneo Travel Adventure – BorneoPart 1
- Orangutans and Kayaking – Borneo Part 2
- Matang Rehabilitation Centre – Borneo Part 3
Bako National Park – A Naturalist’s Delight
And we’re off!
PE our garrulous, friendly and knowledgeable guide picked us up from The Grand Marherita Hotel at 7.45am and drove us the short distance to Bako National Park.
Along the way he regaled us with local knowledge, and quite a few good crocodile stories!
“Have you heard about The Happy Batchelor! He was a croc 6 metres wide not 6 metres long. Nobody could catch him!” he said as we approached a creek.
What we also found out along the way, and through his enthusiastic narrative, was how proud PE is of his home and how in tune he is with nature.
“You should eat wild ginger for stomach upsets,” he told us, before promptly stopping the minibus and running off into the bush to find fronds of wild ginger for us to try.
“By the way, it’s also good for hangovers,” he said giving a knowing wink to those amongst us who may have indulged a little too much during the course of the jazz festival.
Again we mentioned in hushed tones to each other how lucky we are to be experiencing Sarawak now, possibly before any mass tourism boom finds this idyllic part of the world.
We arrived at Bako National Park at around 10 am and it was busy but not buzzing, and Alison organised our boats.
As we waited we noticed the ‘cat’ element of Kuching was as prevalent as ever.
Our boat ride (not booked through a tabby cat) was absolutely thrilling and the scenery was exquisitely beautiful.
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And we’re off on a jungle adventure to Bako National Park with @borneoethical. First a boat trip along the inlet through a stilted water village out into the South China sea. .. .. ..#kuchingsarawak #travelgram #visitsarawak #thisissarawak #wildlife #offthebeatenpath #malaysia #exploremalaysia #bucketlist #travelblogger #exploremore #wanderlust #kuching #sarawaktourismboard #sarawaktourism #jazzinthejungle #borneoethical #borneoethicaladventures #adventure #kwjf #kwjf2018 #kuchingwaterfrontjazz
First we went through a stilted fishing village, bustling with small craft and fishermen, then on through mangroves where perhaps the Happy Batchelor might lurk.
Still further and out into the calm waters of the languid South China Sea where we sped past traditional fish traps and small islands.
It was beautiful. Wind in our hair, hazy views of distant mountains, and close sighting of strange and contorted sandstone cliffs which looked variously like people and reptiles.
Then there were pristine, sandy, remote beaches straight out of the movie idyll of the perfect tropical getaway.
Alighting from the boat our group set off with experienced guides on a jungle walk which was both fascinating and illuminating.
Again we were thankful for our tour guide Alison’s knowledge of the area, the people and the tour guides, because she had hand picked two excellent guides who ran ahead (literally) doing the footwork for us so that in our short time in the park we could see and learn as much as possible.
We were lucky to be shown green pit vipers, long tailed macaque, silver leaf monkeys, wild boar, and proboscis monkeys, but it was the peace and tranquility of the walk which was mesmeric. So quiet – except for the whirring of cicadas or the clack of falling palm fronds.
After navigating a winding trail along jungle paths, up steps, across wooden boardwalks, over knotted tree roots and finally along a gorgeous stretch of beach we were honoured to be greeted by a troupe of monkeys whose antics kept us amused until our boat arrived.
Then we hoiked up our trousers, took off our shoes and waded into the warm sea to get on the boat before being taken on a short tour off the coastline and back to the village.
What a brilliant morning adventuring it had been.
Back in Kuching Alison took us for a delicious sate and laksa lunch (and to drink, what we think was calamansi juice) at a local restaurant in Carpenter Street, China Town.
Again her local knowledge was the winning ingredient, because the meal was fabulous (and inexpensive).
The late celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain is said to have popularised Kuching Laksa in his TV series and on Instagram calling it, “Breakfast of the Gods.”
Fortified and bracing ourselves against the heat of the afternoon Dave and I spent a couple of hours getting a bit hot and bothered, photographing street art around Kuching.
There is so much street art in Kuching, and despite the heat of a tropical afternoon, it was an absolute delight walking around and chancing on yet another wonderful mural when we least expected it.
We found India Street, just amazingly colourful, and other quaint streets with houses that just begged to be photographed, and again we kept saying what an unusual and interesting city Kuching is.
Alison had suggested the girls might like to have have wash and blow drys at local hair salons.
So later on, off I went and had my hair done for a grand total of about $14. I was washed, massaged, primped and preened in a 45 minute beauty session which was divine!
The soft hues of dusk were soon apparent and it was time for dinner at the historic James Brooke Bistro on the waterfront, after which Dave and I popped up to the Sky Lounge in the Majestic Riverside for a wonderful farewell sparkly birds eye view of this captivating city.
We have fallen in love with Kuching, city with soul … and we shall definitely return.
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What Others are Saying about Borneo Ethical Adventures
“Fantastic trip, and yes an extremely fun group of people. We travelled together harmoniously, and effectively. I highly recommend Borneo Ethical Adventures. Thank you Alison Pritchard for your extensive knowledge of place, people and culture.”Jillian
Exclusive Invite to Lifestyle Fifty readers. Join us next year in Borneo!
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Disclaimer: My trip was sponsored but all opinions are my own.