The trip to Bako National Park is almost more fun than the park itself. You must hail down a red bus, hire a longboat driver and manage to avoid the river alligators.
You certainly don’t want to fall in the water on your trip to Bako National Park – but they don’t make it very easy to stay in the boat. We nearly flew into the murky brown water each time out canoe-comme-motorboat took on 3-meter high ocean swells from the South China Sea.
Where was Crocodile Dundee when I needed him? Instead we had Mohammad the nihilist boatman who cackled with glee each time we hit a monsoon-season wave.
But crocodiles and capsizing were just the beginning of our Bako park adventure. As soon as we got off the boat we were greeted by more naughty monkeys, bearded pigs, super-sized insects and one very poisonous green viper. At this point I realized that perhaps I’m really not a jungle person after all.
Bako has more than a dozen hikes that take you through several different tropical environments. It’s pretty cool until you have to pee.
I spent a large part of our hike weighing the benefits of relieving my bladder vs. the likelihood that some strange fish would swim upstream and lodge itself in my urethra. But if a parasite didn’t get me, what could I wipe with? I didn’t want a nasty jungle rash on my ass. The drama.