A patch of jungle right in the city, Sama Jaya Forest Park gives urban dwellers a taste of the wilderness, while at the same time serving as an important research centre. One of the few areas of virgin jungle within the Kuching urban area, this kerangas forest is popular with strollers and wildlife enthusiasts, while more active visitors appreciate the fitness trail and jogging tracks through the trees.
There are other ways to get healthy too. The Reflexology Park or ‘Path of Good Life’ is a pebble path on which visitors walk barefoot. The pebbles stimulate the reflexology points on the feet and promote well-being.
Nature conservation and education are the main objectives of the reserve and, while the forest remains in its natural state, the park headquarters a number of educational and recreational facilities. Not to be missed is the ethnobotanical garden with its more than 80 species of plants and herbs from throughout Sarawak.
The wonderful panorama of Sarawak’s forest can be found in the Timber Products, Bamboo and Forest Biology Museums that focus on the importance of forests to the State’s ecology and economy. A viewing tower gives visitors a panoramic vista of the area.
Visitors can also get a taste of Japan in the Hiroshima-Sarawak Friendship Garden. Sarawak Forestry, the Forest Department of Hiroshima Prefecture and the Hiroshima Landscape Architecture Association collaborated closely on this garden, complete with teahouse, to emphasise the close friendship between Hiroshima and Sarawak.
Sama Jaya is just a 10-minute drive from Kuching’s city centre, but gives visitors a taste of the delights of all the national parks.
Despite its suburban location, Sama Jaya is a rich reservoir of indigenous wildlife. The wide variety of small mammals, reptiles and amphibians found here include 2 squirrel species, a shrew, 3 rat species, fruit bats, tarsiers, 9 frog species, 3 lizard species, a tortoise, and 20 bird species. There are also occasional sightings of various wild monkey species.
Health & Recreation
Sama Jaya’s two jogging tracks are amongst the most popular in Kuching. At 870 metres and 1600 metres respectively, the tracks cater for both beginners and serious joggers, and offer variety to regular users. Both tracks wind their way through attractive forest scenery, promoting a sense of oneness with nature while you exercise.
Fitness Trail :–
The short fitness trail has a selection of fixed apparatus for visitors to do physical exercise before or after jogging.
Baruk Shelter :–
Ideal for group exercises such as aerobics and Tai Chi, the Baruk shelter can accommodate up to 60 people
Hiroshima-Sarawak Friendship Garden :–
This tranquil traditional Japanese Garden (complete with Tea House) symbolizes the close friendship between the peoples of Sarawak and Hiroshima, and their cooperation in the field of forest conservation.
Social & Educational
Activity Centre :–
This open air meeting place is ideal for group functions such as outdoor lectures, discussions, and social gatherings such as Family Days. It can accommodate up to 200 people.
Visitor Centre :–
The Visitor Centre houses an audio-visual theatre, exhibition room, and conference room which are available for use by local organizations, as well as a viewing tower and the Park’s administrative office.
Timber and Bamboo Museum :–
A showcase of 82 species of timber producing trees found in the State and the products derived from them, the museum also features various artifacts made from bamboo.
Forest Biology Museum :–
This museum displays the various insect species, mushrooms, algae, plants with ethnobotaniccal uses and other small organisms that are found in the rainforest, and describes the vital role that they play in the ecology of our forests and the lives of the people who live amongst them.
Ethno-Botanical Garden :–
Sarawak’s enormous biodiversity has produced a wide range of plants and herbs which have medicinal properties. A total of 82 of the most significant plants species used in traditional medicine or for ritual purposes are on display here.
Rest Shelters :–
There are 13 shelters situated along the jogging tracks for resting or taking shelter from bad weather.
A bus ride from Kuching to Bako Market takes about 45-60 minutes (red public bus number 1, originating from the wet market beside the Electra building, which will also pick up passengers from the burger stand opposite Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching and costs RM3.50 each way. Buses leave to/from Bako about once every hour starting from about 7am from Kuching and finishing about 6pm from Bako,
A minivan can be chartered for around RM30, and seats 5-7 people. They can reach Bako in half the time of the public bus, stationed near the Open Air Market, depart when there are enough passengers.
When you arrive at the Bako Market right in front of the jetty/visitor center, register, purchase your entrance ticket and buy your boat ticket. This 20-minute boat ride will lead you to the Bako National Park Headquarters. Enquire at the registration counter for details. Provided below some useful contacts for your kind view:
Bako Boat Service Counter
(Monday-Sunday, 9.00am to 3.00pm)
Tel: +6011 25132711
Bako Boat Service
Person In Charge : Mr.Shadad Haji Omar
Tel: +6010 9493 860
National Park Opening Hours:
8.00am to 5.00pm
Monday – Sunday including Public Holidays
Park accommodation consists of 3-bedroom Chalets, 2-bedroom Lodges, 4-bedroom Hostels and a camping ground. Please contact the National Park Booking Office for the latest room rates reservations.
A permit is required for professional photography or filming, which should be arranged in advance with the National Park Booking Office.