Home' Nova National : NOVA NATIONAL NOVEMBER 2011 Contents 23
Sadly, the prime growth rainforests that
filled me with such awe 20 years ago have
long gone and the tribespeople now wear
jeans and T shirts. In the quest to move
forward, so much has been lost including
the knowledge of all that the rainforest
once provided. To encounter the Borneo
that is still untamed, you need to venture
deep into the forest.
Getting there: Kuching is only 1.30 hours by
air from Singapore (Silk Air) or 1.40 hours
from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines or Air
Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. Buses
are cheap, efficient and modern. The
Visitors Information Centre can give you
advice on timetables and fares. Sampans
cross the river for around 15 cents per
person. For Bako catch Bus No 1 to
Kampung Bako and from there charter a
boat. Local tour operators organise trips to
Bako for a much higher price. Purchase a
map of the 16 walking trails on arrival.
Where to stay
The newly refurbished Hilton Kuching
is the place to stay, a landmark in its own
right on the Waterfront Esplanade in the
centre of town. Rooms are spacious, well
appointed and with great views. Phone: +
60 82 248 200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The modern and quirky Batik Boutique
Hotel will suit those wanting an upbeat
com, while Berambih Lodge www.
berambihlodge.com and the Tune Hotel
www.tunehotels.com are good budget
choices. Four hours by road and a short
© NOVA NOVEMBER 2011
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boat ride away, the Batang Ai Longhouse
Resort, managed by Hilton is set in a
pristine rainforest setting. www.hilton.com
At Bako National Park accommodation
consists of Chalets (nice), Lodges, Hostels
and a camping ground. An overnight stay
is recommended to allow sufficient time to
do the longer walks of up to seven hours
and to view the wildlife.
Where to eat
Magna Carta, The Old Courthouse, Main
Bazaar for great cafe food at Sydney prices.
Food Courts and Hawker Centres for
no frills dining. Recommended are laksa,
popiah, satay and any kind of noodles. Asia
Ice Shop 32 Main Bazaar has great coffee
and friendly staff.
Nelsons Gallery, 84 Main Bazaar for
antiques and handicrafts. Handmade items
are available at the longhouses.
If you would like help planning your
excursions, contact Borneo Adventure, 55
Main Bazaar, www.borneoadventure.com, a
travel agency that organises highly regarded
ecologically sustainable tours.
•Sarawak Forestry has information on
National Parks: www.sarawakforestry.com
•Sarawak Tourism: www.sarawaktourism.
•Tourism Malaysia: www.tourism.gov.my
An increasingly popular activity working
to enrich the lives of both villagers and
orangutans by encouraging sustainable
practices and rehabilitation
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