East of the Santubong Peninsula, and no further away from Kuching, a second peninsula is occupied by the fabulous BAKO NATIONAL PARK, named for its location at the mouth of the Bako River. Sarawak’s oldest national park (once a timber reserve, it attained its present, fully protected status in 1957), it’s also among its most memorable. Its steep coastal cliffs, offering huge vistas over the South China Sea, are thrillingly different from the rest of the predominantly flat and muddy Sarawak coastline, and there are opportunities to spot proboscis monkeys, swim in jungle streams or at isolated sandy coves, and hike through terrain that takes in rainforest, mangrove and kerangas, with pitcher plants easily visible on some trails.

Bako is such a gem that trying to pack it all into one day is not ideal, though you can make a go of it if you set out early from Kuching and pay a boatman at the park to take you out to a remote beach, then walk back to the park headquarters; this gives you a good taste of the park without having to do a trek in both directions. A stay of at least one night is still preferable, though, and there’s a range of accommodation to choose from, some newly built.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Malaysia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Malaysia

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Malaysia

Already gaped at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, lazed on a white beach in the Perhentians, met orangutans at Sepilok and filled a whole SD card with…

31 Aug 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

9 tips for backpacking Malaysia

Despite having turquoise-ringed tropical islands, misty rainforests, cosmopolitan and arty cities, colourful festivals and one of the world's most interesting e…

08 Jun 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook