International travel came to a halting stop in 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19, but this hasn’t stopped the more adventurous Malaysian travelers from exploring their own backyard.
Sarawak is a beautiful state, filled with wonderous waterfalls and breathtaking sceneries… If only one knows where to look.
Below are my top 13 camping spots I know of around Kuching. If you have one you’d like to share, make sure you leave a comment!
Bukit Gondol, Lundu
I came across this beauty on my weekly hikes and I was absolutely smitten by its beauty. When the sunset blazed across the horizon, I felt the world go silent. This is the power of nature. It humbles you and stops you in your tracks.
The hike up Bukit Gondol is rather short, but there are no facilities up the hill, so you’ll have to bring your camping equipment, food, and lots of water!
It’s a short drive away but they offer BBQ pits and showers. Most hikers camp there for the night before heading up to Bukit Gondol to catch the sunrise.
The first time I came across this place was when we got lost and trekked around for 5 hours before someone rescued us.
That’s why it’s so important to always get a guide! You can set up a tent anywhere in the Bengoh Range but you can also go for a guided 2D1N tour (available for purchase till 15th Nov 2020 only), inclusive of meals.
There are many waterfalls and trails, with one of the most notable being the Susung Falls and this photo op created by mother nature:
The Curtain or Pe’An Falls are also truly a sight to behold, so even if you aren’t a camper, you should still plan a daytrip to Bengoh Dam.
Koloyan River Cottage
If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, this is the one. Situated in Bau, this place is a true gem. The facilities are done up real nice, with functioning toilets, kitchen, and BBQ pits all around Koloyan. There’s even a restaurant nearby!
You can choose to set up your tent by the river for about RM20 per tent or book an entire longhouse for your group. Each room comes equipped with its own bathroom.
But try to go during the non-monsoon season as the river would be too strong to play in if it rains.
Golden Beach (Pantai Trombol)
Situated in Kampung Trombol at Telaga Air is a lesser known beach with a panoramic view of Mt. Santubong.
There’s a dirt road that leads to the beach with hard-packed sand that you can drive across.
It’s pretty basic with no proper facilities so you might want to consider bringing your own water for showers. If you’re planning a day trip here, you should also bring your own tent because there isn’t much shade.
D’Cove Family Park
For a better equipped beach, you can head to D’Cove Family Park at Pasir Panjang. Entry is RM2 per head.
There are grassy knolls and little nooks that provide ample shade from the Malaysian sun.
While it does have some basic facilities, there aren’t any designated campsites. It’s a great spot for amateur campers who are just beginning to foray into wild camping.
Sumiran Eco Camp
Sumiran offers a fun day trip at RM15 per person. There are also various animals on the farm such as a horse, rabbits, guinea pigs and more! It’s a nice place to explore with young children as it’s pretty accessible and well taken care of.
You can paddle in their lake, try out the flying fox, or take an ATV for a spin. There’s plenty of activities to partake in.
They also offer a mansion tent package for RM120, inclusive of air mattresses and breakfast! For RM180, you can get your own toilet. For a basic campsite, it’s RM30 per tent.
Permai Rainforest Resort
Next to a very atas Damai Puri is the budget-friendly Permai Resort. There is a refreshing jungle pool where you can relax after having a go on their obstacle course.
If you’re feeling up to it, you can hike an hour to the Blue Pool to cool off!
Camping is RM25 per person, on top of a RM10 entrance fee which is reasonable, considering that you get the best of both worlds: the rainforest on your right and the beach to your left.
This was the first place I’d ever camped at, so I’d say it’s a great place to begin your camping endeavors! Or you can simply stay in a treehouse:
All of our national parks facilitate camping on their grounds. However, you’ll have to liaise with the respective offices personally. Certain parks might have specific camping grounds or rules on camping. It’s best to speak with a park ranger in that regard.
Bako National Park is built on an island and has multiple trails and viewpoints. One of the more secluded spots for camping are Teluk Limau Bay or Tanjung Rhu. The former is a 15 minute boat ride whereas Tanjung Rhu is a 3 hour hike. You can also choose to camp nearer to the headquarters, or at the most popular Teluk Pandan Kecil.
Tanjung Datu National Park is at the tip of Borneo and only accessible by boat from Telok Melano. It’s Borneon wilderness in its full glory. The beauty of its untouched beaches are absolutely unparalleled and you might be able to encounter egg laying turtles if you time your visit right. You are free to camp at RM5 per head at any of their 4 camping grounds or around HQ. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season as there will be no boats for you to charter.
Gunung Gading National Park is a popular spot for Rafflesia blooms. They have a campsite but it is rather limited and can only house 5 tents. At RM5 per person, it’s relatively cheap to book the campsite . It’s shaded and elevated, so you’re protected from the elements. You’ll also get access to showers and BBQ pits.
Santubong National Park doesn’t offer any accommodation but you can do what Wilson Chin did and camp near the rivers and make use of the BBQ pits available. It is home to the tallest mountain and a prominent fixture in Kuching’s skyline, you can also get to the Blue Pool from here!
Matang Wildlife Center is a conservation center situated within Kubah National Park. If you’re not so lucky to spot a semi-wild orang utan during your treks (there are 7 trails in Kubah and 4 in Matang, excluding one that leads to the famous frog pond), you can visit the orang utans in rehabilitation, along with rescued sun bears, macaques and other wildlife native to Sarawak. They provide both cabin accommodation and camping sites. They also have a volunteer program, if you’re so inclined.
Matang Family Park revolves around a river with cool water, and offers campsites for those who wish to spend a night in the rainforest, complete with washrooms. It is one of the few child-friendly parks, with well constructed pathways and shelters. Admission is capped at RM4, and children under 6 enter for free.
When camping, please be respectful of the environment. Pick up after yourself, or better yet, leave the place cleaner than you found it.
If you prefer to indulge in the finer things in life, check out the top 10 Kuching staycations that will blow your mind.