Leaving it all behind to explore the world together
The One With The Big Noses – Borneo Part 2
If you wanted animal pictures (Kerry, Chris, Jacob) this is the one for you.
On the boat ride into Bako National Park our driver said the storm was coming. Around 30 minutes later, we could feel the change he felt. The air temperature dropped slightly and the wind picked up… then some thunder in the distance. Moments later the sky opened up and the sound of the huge rain drops on the sheet metal roofs made it difficult to talk. Tropical rain is an incredible experience to live through. It completely takes over everything, with a fantastic intensity that gives a brief and very welcome respite from the constant heat and humidity.
The incredible thing about Bako National Park is the amount of wildlife readily on display. This hit us right away, just in the sheer number of animals we saw in the 30 minutes between the boat and the start of the rain. Mudskippers on the beach, a bearded pig causally strolling along the path, troops of macaques and langurs, and two extremely rare proboscis monkeys enjoying the afternoon in the vegetation by the beach. This was in our first 30 minutes in the park. If that was any indication, it was going to be a great few days. And oh, it was.
And of course, the strangest looking creature at the park.
We had a great encounter with a troop of monkeys, who sat in the low branches above us and enjoyed their evening meal. Eventually they decided to move across the path, and they ran right in front of us.
Many people just do day trips to Bako NP, but there is also an option to stay over in their lodge style accommodation. It’s such an exotic experience to call this place home for a few days. We decided to stay for 2 nights, which was the right choice because the last boat for day trippers leaves at 3pm, so they miss out on all the animals active in the evening and at night.
The top activities at Bako NP are animal watching, and jungle hiking. In our time there we hiked most of the trails, which vary between jungle, cliffs, and open land on top of the hills. The humidity is intense, and we carried as much water as possible.
Staying overnight at the park is great for so many reasons. You can start early and take you time doing a long hike, and it is a much more relaxed pace than if you have to make the last boat at 3. The proboscis monkeys are most active just before dusk. The sunsets on the beach are incredible.
And then there are the night walks in the jungle. For 10 RM (around $3 CAD) per person, you can join a night walk lead by one of the park staff. The walks are 1.5-2 hours, through the still hot and very dark jungle.
We also saw a palm civet, a small mammal that lives in the tree tops and hunts at night. But it was far too high, and moving far too fast for us to get a photo. We aren’t even sure how our guides saw it. It must have been a hundred feet up, and it was moving so fast, all we really saw was a very long tail.
After 3 days and 2 nights at Bako NP we were exhausted. The heat and humidity are intense all the time, and the hiking is fairly tough at times. We were sad to leave, but really, really looking forward to a hot shower and some air conditioning. Bako was a highlight of Borneo, and really of our entire trip. Its a wild, vivid place where the Bornean nature can be experienced up close and personal. They could easily charge twice as much to visit and sleep here, and it would still be well worth it.
Now we are finished in Borneo, and after nearly 5 months we are finally leaving South East Asia. Our next destination is Kunming, China, where we will be spending a month exploring. Its exciting to be moving onto somewhere different, though we are a little nervous (or curious?) about how different China will be.
We aren’t sure what internet access will be like in China, in particular for our WordPress blog. So if we go quiet for a while, don’t worry. If we can’t log on, we will just save up and post a bunch of content once we get out of China and arrive somewhere with less restrictive internet. Apparently Facebook is blocked by the government, so we won’t be able to announce new posts like normal. So feel free to subscribe to our blog, so it will give you an e-mail notification every time we post something new.
Doug and Emily / May 28, 2017 @ 9:13pm / Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia / Big Bottle bar