Bako National Park: The screaming tour guide

It happened after lunch.

Lunch looked kinda cool but it was awful.

Lunch at Bako National Park

There’s a canteen in Bako National Park which serves a variety of rice, noodles and local dishes. For a few dollars, I think, you get a plate which you can heap with as much food as you want.

Lunch at Bako National Park

But the food was cold, hard and tasteless.

There’s like fish, and chicken and a few curry things, too, but I didn’t take any of them because they looked dodgy.

Or maybe I just wasn’t that hungry. I was hot and tired after a morning of climbing mountains and trudging through swamps, and sleepy after not having slept much for a few nights in a row.

But what happened after lunch woke me up.

Our two tour guides wanted to show us more creatures, such as cute monkeys.

Here’s a picture of Anastasia, our main guide:

Anastasia and Sheylara

I don’t have a picture of Alex, our secondary guide, which is just as well (and you will find out why, soon).

We were trekking around the chalet grounds. Yes, you can stay in Bako National Park. But I wouldn’t because it looks really creepy, the perfect setting for a horror movie.

Bako National Park

The view from inside the chalet:

Bako National Park

And you have scary neighbours, such as an exceptionally large sunbathing monitor lizard:

Monitor lizard

It trotted off after a while, probably realising that it had paparazzi on its tail:

Monitor lizard

I’m getting to the story.

Shortly after, we came upon a green tree pit viper. Alex found it first. I mean, it’s really amazing how our guides are able to spot camouflaged creatures a mile away.

Tree pit viper

Tree pit viper

We spent the next ten minutes furiously clicking our cameras at the viper, while Anastasia went off to look for monkeys.

We eventually got tired of gawking at the viper, which fortunately didn’t jump at us or anything like that. Alex said he’d take us to Anastasia, so we followed him down this walkway.

Bako National Park

Suddenly, Alex let out a bloodcurdling shriek, jumped backwards very violently and started racing towards us, yelling all the time, like, “AaaaaH AAAAAHHH AAAAIIIEEEEEE!!”

Shocked, we all jumped back. I almost died of fright. I thought that maybe a hungry man-eating carnivore had strolled out of the forest in front of Alex or something like that.

He continued screaming and yelling and jumping as if a swarm of bees were attacking him.

Nothing was attacking him. We stood rooted to the spot in fright, waiting.

Anastasia appeared from the other end of the walkway.

“What happened?” she shouted.

To which Alex replied, very emotionally, “It’s a snake!! Arrghh! I hate snakes I hate snakes!!”

At this point of time, I burst out laughing. I was instantly reminded of that silly cult hit from years ago, Badgerbadgerbadger.

By the time I saw the snake, I didn’t have much time to take a good shot of it before it disappeared under the walkway. It was really quick!

Bako National Park

Bako National Park

Actually, what I managed to take was a photo of Javad and Lili taking photos of the snake.

Bako National Park

To be honest, I didn’t dare to go too near.

After the snake disappeared and we all nervously sprinted past the spot where it was hiding under the walkway, we were able to have a leisurely laugh while Alex explained vehemently that he hated snakes and they gave him goosebumps and so on.

That was quite funny.

In the end, we didn’t get to see any monkeys. We heard them, though. But they kept running from us and we could never get near.

There are supposed to be silver leaf monkeys in that area. I found this photo in someone’s Flickr:

Silver Leaf Monkey

Cute, isn’t it?

Following this, just about five metres from the snake, we came across pretty red dragonflies.

Bako National Park

Bako National Park

Which was a nice finale to our Bako National Park outing.

No, wait.

Actually, the nice finale was finding out that high tide had ENTIRELY covered our dock, so there was NO DOCK from which we could take a boat back to the mainland.

That meant we had to walk through a beach and then wade out to a part of the sea deep enough for boats to moor.

Bako National Park

The beach was very nice. We kinda hung out there to camwhore for a bit.

Bako National Park
From left: Juraida, Lili, Sheylara, Nicholas, Wai Kit, Soh, Javad.

Nicholas wanted to do some jumping shots.

Bako National Park

And then someone got the bright idea to do a group jumping shot!

We only did one take because we had to rush off to our next location.

Here’s the shot, taken by Javad!

Bako National Park

The journey out to the boats was actually quite fun. We had to remove our shoes.

And everyone had to stop for a while because Nicholas and Lili wanted to camwhore in the water.

Bako National Park

Deeper and deeper.

Bako National Park

And deeper.

Bako National Park

I tried to take a photo of my legs half submerged in the water, but it didn’t work very well.

Bako National Park

Lili’s parting shot:

Bako National Park

I have no idea what her expression meant. Maybe she was having a premonition of what was to come.

Because, a minute after this shot was taken, she fell into the water while trying to get into her boat.


Well, she didn’t hurt herself, just got drenched. Hehe.

I didn’t actually witness her accident because I was at that time trying to get into my boat. I only found out when we arrived at the mainland and saw her dripping wet. Haha.

The journey back was quite uneventful. No crocodiles this time. Just a few playful dolphins too quick to photograph.

And that concludes my three-part Bako National Park report.

I wouldn’t have gone there on my own because parks are not normally my thing. But I was glad to have been made to go. It was truly an experience!

If you’re interested in paying a visit, more info can be found here.

7 thoughts on “Bako National Park: The screaming tour guide

  1. Avatar

    So how is it that the green tree pit viper didn’t scare Alex, but the little one on the walkway scared the living daylights out of him?

  2. Avatar

    Astute observation!

    The answer is because the tree pit viper stayed put and Alex saw it from far. We realised on hindsight that he didn’t stay very near after he pointed it out to us. :P

    The other snake kind of actually slithered very quickly towards Alex while he was walking.

  3. Avatar

    Yeah, probably. I didn’t really ask deeply. I kinda just took our guides’ words for it. :P

    But that’s how it’s usually done. If you want to enter or leave the park in the afternoon, you have to get your feet wet. :P

  4. Avatar

    @Sheylara: Hmmm… talk about misconceived notions… when you first mentioned a screaming tour guide, my money was on Anastasia*sheepish grin* In any case, thanks for the excellent and enjoyable report!:)

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