We traveled Kota Kinabalu, Gunung Mulu nationalpark and Kuching. Watch the beautiful video here ! With the “Best of Borneo” I want to tell you why I liked Kuching and its surrounding best! You find all the attractions linked to homepages that will help you to plan your trip.
We stayed in Le Nomade Hostel & Cafe and we can highly recommend it! The accommodation is very cozy and nice, quiet but central. You can walk to Bishop’s gate and Carpenter road. There’s great street art to be found around the corner. Waterfont and shopping malls are also close by. Check out the Black Bean cafe – it became our absolute favorite for a strong local coffee, iced or hot!
We took hundreds of pictures in the Orchid garden. The entry is free and it is very beautiful and peaceful there! You should bring a book and sit down somewhere in the garden. By the way: any small boat can bring you to the other side of the river for 1 Ringgit! You find the orchid garden just behind the government building (the special golden one). If you want to go to the cat museum it’s probably best to catch an Uber. Uber is super safe and easy in Malaysia. Just download the app! We found the cat museum absolutely hilarious. Because it is so trashy it’s almost worth a visit… Fortunately it’s for free – otherwise you might want your money back!
The best restaurant we found was definitely the wrong place. They even have an additional vegetarian menu. Vegetarian food is pretty hard to find in Malaysia, so the wrong place is actually the right place to go to! The food is absolutely delicious and cheap! Plus I really loved their interior design!
Bako nationalpark can be reached from Kuching within half an hour by car / Uber. The bus takes a bit longer and is way cheaper (3,50 Ringgit one-way). Once reached the boat jetty you pay 20 Ringgit one-way for the boat and 20 Ringgit for the nationalpark entry. The boat ride takes about 20 minutes and is really beautiful. When it is high tide you land on a boat jetty, if not you land on the beach and walk to the entrance. Have your camera ready as it is likely to see the first animals strolling around the head quarter!
The nationalpark is about 60 years old. Facilities are not really well maintained. The park itself is quite wild and absolutely stunning! We spent the night there which was not really a pleasure because the accommodation (the hostel) was really run down. Nevertheless I would spend two nights there next time – an amazing sunset at the beach, the variety of wildlife and nature could more than compensate the low standard room! Because of the tide the last boat leaves the nationalpark at about 3 pm. You can only participate at the night walk and see the beautiful sunset if you sleep there. It’s best to go to the nationalpark quite early, do one or two trails in the morning, have a rest in the after noon and go for the night walk. You don’t need to book the night walk in advance but you should book the accommodation. One bed in the hostel costs 15 Ringgit (nearly nothing) and for 40 Ringgit you can have the whole 4-bed-room (which is probably the best option as a couple). The lodges and chalets seemed to be in a better condition than the hostel huts so maybe you should consider spending a little bit more.
There is a canteen in the HQ which is quite ok. It’s a self service buffet for all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). I recommend to bring some snacks (crackers, fruit) and water (as it is more expensive here).
Tip: The combination of lively Kuching and wild Bako nationalpark is absolutely recommendable. Why not spend three days in Kuching, two nights in Bako and then Kuching again? Bako was one of the most clean places I’ve seen in Asia! They clean up the beaches and protect nature. That’s good to see!
Semenggoh wildlife center
The Semenggoh wildlife center near Kuching is worth a visit. Check in advance if it is fruit season in the rainforest or not. If the Orang-Utans find enough food in the rainforest they don’t come to the feeding. – When we were there we saw about ten different Orang-Utans who came to grab some fruit. It was a very special experience. To see these impressive, intelligent animals really touched my heart. The work of that center is very important as the rainforests are continually destroyed. From the airplane you see: There are palm oil plantations all over Borneo, as far as the eye can see! It endangers wildlife and nearly extincted Orang-Utans. Good to see a center that is full of love and respect for these beautiful specie.