I'm in the midst planning for my trip to Kuching in March next year. Initially it was a tour-around-city plan, but now it expands and I'm thinking of visiting Bako National Park and Damai Beach as well. Just a few quick questions:
1) Is there any local tour operator that provide tour to Bako and/or Damai (plus Orang Utan Sanctuary) for ONE pax?
2) My plan is to visit Sarawak Cultural Village before proceed to Bako National Park and will then stay overnight at Bako National Park. Same question again, is it safe for tourist travel alone? any tour guides provided by the Park management? How's the charges like?
3) For destination above, is there any transportation included back and fro Kuching city, which is value-for-money for ONE pax?
Thanks for all your help!!
For one person, you can try to ask travel agent around Kuching waterfront, but I bet that you have two option, join available group tour with other people, or pay an expensive price for just you and one travel guide. A good alternative is by getting a taxi. Negotiate with the driver where do you want to go, and get a fix daily price from the taxi driver. It is way cheaper.
Sarawak Cultural Village, Semengoh Orang Utan Sanctuary and Bako are all heading to different direction from Kuching. From all the place you mention, only Sarawak Cultural Village and Damai beach are closed to each other.
To go to Bako, you need a permit first, which is available at tourism center near Kuching Waterfront. Here, you can also ask all the question you need to know about transportation and everything. To stay overnight, purchase the accomodation there too. I suggest that you do Bako early in the morning, because it is best time for jungle walk and to see proboscis monkey there. So, to do Cultural village first before Bako, is not advisable. Plus to reach bako, you have to take the road and boat ride.
It is save to do trekking alone in Bako (I did this), as long as you registered your journey at the counter before you go. You have to register the trail that you want to go, and only use the selected color trail that you registered. If you are not back (Checked-out from the registration counter) after the permitted trail hours, the ranger will be looking for you and start the man-hunt to make sure that you are save. so, it is important to to change which trail you want to go in Bako. If you want the ranger to be your guide, you can do so at the registration counter, but you have to pay for it.
My Suggestion, for day 1, you can do Damai, Cultural Village and then proceed to Semengoh for Orang Utan. And then back to Kuching to stay for the night. YOu can do this cheaper by hiring a taxi, and agreed with the price for the whole trip, daily rate. I didn't suggest you to take bus on this, because of the bus frequency and you will lost alot of time waiting for the bus, the multiple stops the bus make, changing bus at kuching from Damai to Kuching and then Kuching to Semengoh, and also the afternoon feeding time which end at around 3:30PM.
On the next day, early morning, get the Bako Permit first (If you can't do it the day before), and take the early bus or just a regular taxi to go to Bako. For this journey, it is okay to take bus, but taxi is just a faster option. If you do taxi, you can arrange for pick-up. You can choose to stay the night at Bako or go back at the same day. but decide on it in Kuching, when you get the permit. And you also have to inform the boatman for pick-up service to go back from Bako National Park to the jetty.
Good Luck and welcome to Malaysia
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