TREKS AND TRAILS

Bako’s extensive trail system is made up of 16 colour-coded jungle trails which offer a range of walking and hiking options. The fit and adventurous can opt for full-day jungle hikes or overnight camping expeditions, whilst those who prefer to take it easy can opt for a relaxing jungle walk. The following table provides details of approximate trekking times and distances and the colour codes used in the park.

The following paragraphs provide brief details of each of the trails. If you require further information, please consult with the park wardens.

Tanjung Sapi
A short but steep climb through cliff vegetation. Takes about 30 minutes. Excellent views of Telok Assam, the South China Sea and Santubong.

Telok Paku
Takes about one hour and passes through cliff forest before reaching a small secluded beach. Proboscis monkeys are often seen during early morning or late afternoon. Move slowly, keep as quiet as possible and listen out for strange grunts or movements in the canopy.

Ulu Assam
Passes at first through swamp forest and a flat section where proboscis monkeys are sometimes seen. At the ‘Beware of the Bess’ sign, the trail climbs steeply and at times you must hang on to tree roots to keep your balance. At the top you are rewarded with breathtaking views of Bako’s coastline.

Telok Delima
One of the best trails in the park for spotting proboscis monkeys, and only 45 minutes from park HQ. As the Lintang trail bears right and climbs a small hill you are in prime proboscis territory. Listen out for strange grunting noises or the crash of vegetation. If you hear something, stop, keep as quiet as possible and scan the forest. Try to ‘follow’ the strange noises with your eyes. If you are lucky you may see a harem of proboscis monkeys. 

Serait
This trails takes about one and half hours and ends at the park boundary. It is not frequently used and is somewhat secluded. Good for seeing some of Bako’s rainforest giants.

Telok Pandan Kecil & Telok Pandan Besar
The one and half hour trek to Telok Pandan Kecil is one of Bako’s most popular. It ascends the forested hills overlooking Telok Assam, reaching a plateau covered in scrub vegetation, and continues along a sandy path lined with carnivorous pitcher plants, before reaching a cliff top with stunning views of the secluded bay below and the famous sea stack just off shores. A 10 minute descent through cliff vegetation brings you to one of the best beaches in the park. Whilst swimming, watch out for monkeys who steal unguarded bags. The Telok Pandan Besar trail ends at a cliff top with vies of the beach below. 

Lintang
The Lintang loop trail is a very popular trek as it passes through nearly all of the vegetation types found at Bako. The whole trek takes between 3 and 4 hours. The section between the Ulu Assam and Serait junctions is another good spot for seeing proboscis monkeys. The Bukit Tambi viewpoint is a short detour off the main trail.

Tajor
The Tajor trail passes scrub and padang vegetation and ends with a steep climb down to a small beach. Take a hat as the sun can be quite fierce on the exposed sections of the trail. The trail also passes the Tajor Waterfall, a popular resting spot. The waterfall is quite small (and best after heavy rain) but it has a beautiful jungle setting and a small dip pool. From the park HQ it takes about two and half hours to reach the waterfall.

Tanjung Rhu
This trail branches off the tajor trail and leads across open country to the rocky Rhu peninsula and a small headland where you can see wave-cut platforms and rock pools. From the park HQ, it takes about two and half hours, or 45 minutes from the Tajor junction.

Ulu Serait
This trail connects the Lintang trail with the Bukit Gondol hill walk. It is deep inside the park and passes through the scrub, padang vegetation and swamp forest. From Lintang junction to the base of Bukit Gondola is about one and a half hours.

Bukit Gondol
This semi-circular loop trail passes over Bukit Gondol, the highest point in Bako at 2660 meters. From the top of the hill there are excellent views of Pulau Lakei and Muara tebas. The loop trek takes about 45 minutes.

Paya Jelutong
This trail is actually a short cut for those who do not wish to climb Bukit Gondol. Although it is very short trail it offers the opportunity of seeing fresh water swamp forest. The most dominant species in the area is Jelutong, a softwood used for making pencils.

Bukit Keruing
This trail connects Bukit Gondol with Tajor and passes some mighty rainforest giants. It passes along the slopes of Bukit Keruing, the second highest point in Bako. From Paya Jelutong to the Tajor Waterfall takes about one and half hours.

Telok Sibur
A full day trek. From the park HQ it takes about three and half hours to reach the end of Telok Sibur trail, first following the Tajor trail to the waterfall. Continue along the main trail for another 45 minutes until you reach a junction and the start of the Sibur trail. After a very steep 45 minutes descent, a walk through the mangrove and a wade across a river you finally reach the longest beach in Bako.

Telok Limau
This is Bako’s long distance trail, six or seven hours from the park HQ to the small beach at Telok Limau. You pass through rich rainforest, scrub land and swamp forest, cross small streams and climb a number of hilly sections affording excellent views of the whole Muara Tebas peninsula. You can camp at Telok Limau and return the next day or arrange for a boat to pick you up.

Telok Keruin
Being so far from the park HQ, the Telok Keruin trail is rarely used. It is usually done as a side trek from Telok Limau. From Telok Limau, the first section is a 15-20 minute climb through the forest until you reach a scrub section. You must then trek for another 25 minutes before you reach the Telok Keruin trail. Shortly after the junction the trail descends to an area of scrub vegetation. Look out for pitcher plants that line the side of the trail. There are four short side-trails which lead to the Bukit Keruin lookout, a small rock pool, the Muara Tebas lookout point, and the Tanjung Keruin and Tanjung Po viewpoints. The last section of the trail is a very steep descent to a mangrove forest.  The trail then continues through the mangroves. Look out for the marks on the tress which show the way to the deserted beach – one of the best in the park.

Pulau Lakei
This small island has a superb white sand beach. The National Parks department has a small guard house located on the island. Trips to the island can be arranged with your boatman. There are some mysterious rock paintings just a short walk from the beach.

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