At the moment we booked late flight to Kuching we realized that after arrival we might have to spend the night at the airport. The delay ultimately leaves us little choice and after arrival we spot a few seats in the departure hall secure our backpacks to so we can sleep for a few hours. There are no buses to and from Kuching Airport and taxis just aren’t our choice of transportation, so the next morning we walk a few kilometers towards the express bus station and catch a bus to the center of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak.
Guesthouses are plentiful in Kuching, but we mainly hit closed doors and empty counters when we look for a place to sleep. Eventually, we find a small room to stay for the next couple of days. Nadieh wants to see the big rafflesia flower since arrival, but until now we haven’t been lucky, there are no flowers known around this time. The other highlight of Borneo are orangutans and we want to see them too! We try to be in the wildlife park for the first feeding time, but at the bus station there is some confusion about the bus. The bus driver turns out to be sick. Or the bus is broken. Anyway, line 6 does not show up. We decide to arrange a van with three others and arrive at the park well in time. Even before we reach the feeding place there is already an orang-utan above our heads, giving away a show. We finally see twelve orangutans, including two females with their little ones and the ‘throne successor’ Edwin.The big boss Ritchie stays at distance in the rainforest, because Ritchie could be quite temperamental according to the rangers in the park.
Kuching is a pleasant city to spend a few days. We enjoy the sunset almost every evening on the banks of the Sarawak River and discover a few nice eateries and restaurants. Especially the pisang goreng (fried banana) like it. From the small number of sites around the city, we visit the orchid garden, the big mosque and Fort Margeritha.
Bako National Park is one of the most beautiful areas of Sarawak and easily accessible from Kuching on your own. An hour by bus and twenty minutes with a small boat to arrive at the parks headquarters. After three inquiries all accommodations seem to be fully booked and we seem to have to return to Kuching the same afternoon, while we actually want to stay two days. After a fourth and even fifth request, a room suddenly appears to be available! No idea where it suddenly came from, but we are happy. Immediately upon arrival at the park we spot the first Proboscis monkeys (nose monkeys) and meet a few wild boars around the HQ. We pick a few trails we want to hike the next two days and head off. The difference between the different types of rainforest is interesting to see and by the end of the day we spot a group of proboscis monkeys. Monkeys are just fun to watch!
The second day we walk along a few beautiful, almost movie-like beaches. Because we set off early, we have the spots to ourselves and enjoy our four travel anniversary. During the boat ride back to Bako Bazaar we are treated to a fresh shower, but the wind and the sun ensure that we are already dry before the bus brings us back to Kuching.