Imagine 25 miles of golden beaches on the South China Sea, fringed with whispering casuarinas and coconut palms. You do not have to imagine it; you can see the real thing at Similajau National Park with its long, deserted sandy beaches, geological formations and rainforest treks.
Similajau National Park is just 30 kilometres northeast of Bintulu and offers far more than just wonderful beaches. Guides will take you along jungle trails such as View Point Trail, Turtle beach and Golden Beach to where the huge estuarine or salt-water crocodiles, the worldis largest, often bask in the sun.
The park is home to 185 species of birds, among them hornbills and sea eagles and also 24 species of mammals, including wild boars and macaques. Add coastal and river cruisers to the other attractions and you can see why Similajau National Park is such a popular destination for nature lovers.
Similajau National Park also have accommodation that is chalets hostels and camp site and one stop interpretation centre. Cafeteria and catering service available here. Note to Tourist getting to the Park is by Taxi.
There is one main trekking trail at Similajau, which follows the coastline of the park, and a number of side treks off this main trail. The trail is relatively easy to follow with red paint markings on the trees. From the park HQ you must first cross the Sungei Likau via the suspension bridge to reach the plankwalk over the mangroves from, where you have two choices. The first choice is to follow the plankwalk which leads to the start of the trail proper. Alternatively, you can take a short cut by turning left at the very beginning of the plankwalk.
A wooden ladder leads down to a secondary trail which joins the main trail near the junction for the Viewpoint Trail, the first side trail. There is a shelter with picnic tables at the viewpoint which looks back to the beach and park HQ.
Shortly after the viewpoint turn-off, the main trail leads to the coast. From here on the trail hugs the coastline and passes numerous small bays and beaches. An hour or so after the viewpoint trail, and just before the Sungei Kanyau, there is a turn-off which leads to the Selunsur Rapids. This side trail passes through kerangas and mixed dipterocarp forest before reaching a series of small rapids and rock pools.
Most visitors continue along the main trail to reach the park’s excellent beaches – two turtle beaches set in beautiful bays, and Golden Beach which is a long, unbroken stretch of sand. All three beaches offer excellent swimming in emerald green waters. Alternatively, an interesting side trail (marked in yellow) leads to the Selunsur rapids, which are best visited after recent rainfall. One way of getting the most out of Similajau is to hire a boat and be dropped off at Golden Beach and then trek back to the HQ (see below).
The following table provides details of one-way trekking times from the park HQ.
|Destination||One Way Trekking Time From HQ|
30 min (via short cut)
|Selunsur Rapids||2 hrs 30 min|
|Turtle Beach 1||2 hrs|
|Turtle Beach 2||2 hrs 30 min|
|Golden Beach||3 hrs|
|Selubong Pool||20 mins (plus boat trip)|
Hiring a boat is one of the best ways of seeing Similajau. The wardens at the park HQ can assist with boat hire. Boats can be hired by the hour, for half day and full day coastal and river tours, or for crocodile spotting tours at night. You can arrange to be dropped off at a beach and picked up at a pre-arranged time, or you can take a boat from the park HQ to Golden Beach or Turtle Beach and then trek back along the main trail.
Boat tours along the rivers of the park can also be arranged, for example, up the Sungai Likau near the HQ or the lower stretch of the Sungei Sebubong. The Sebubong river is navigable for a kilometre from the river mouth. Visitors can then travel by foot along a small trekking trail which leads to Kolam Sebubong, a small jungle pool. Enquire at the park HQ about other river cruising options.
Similajau National Park is located 30 kilometres north-east of the town of Bintulu and is reached via an unsealed. There is no regular bus service to the park so independent travelers usually take a taxi from Bintulu (approximately 30 min – don’t forget to book your taxi for the return journey). Local tour operators also offer transport and guided tours to the park. Alternatively, you may charter a fast boat from Bintulu Wharf, a somewhat more expensive but enjoyable option.
Park Opening Hours:
8.00am to 5.00pm
Monday – Sunday including Public Holidays
Similajau National Park
Tel: (+6) 019 8610998
Both individual chalet units and hostel accommodation are available at the Park HQ, all with 24-hour electricity and running water. Please contact the National Parks booking Office in Miri for the latest room rates and to make reservations.
A permit is required for professional photography or filming, which should be arranged in advance with the National Park Booking Office.