The nearest national park to the energy town of Sarawak, Bintulu, is Similajau National Park.
Widely known by its official name, ‘Similajau’ in the early days of the park’s establishment, locals preferred to call it ‘Likau’ after the biggest river flowing through the area.
The national park is more than just unperturbed coastlines. It has jungle trails for visitors to explore and enjoy the park’s diverse biodiversity.
According to Sarawak Forestry website, the park is home to 185 species of birds as well as 24 species of mammals including Borneo bearded pigs and macaques.
There is only one main trail at the park where one has to cross Sungai Likau via suspension bridge to start.
From there, the trail eventually breaks into eight different routes.
With eight trails to choose from, first-time visitors might not know which trail to take.
Here are KajoMag’s top 3 trails in Similajau National Park you must take at least once:
1.View Point trail
Imagine looking over South China Sea at the mouth of Sungai Likau. The View Point trail is about 1.3km long and takes about 40 minutes one-way.
A shelter sitting on top of a small rocky headland at the mouth of Sungai Likau will greet you at the end of this trail.
It is a fairly easy hike passing though few small streams.
2.Turtle Beach trails I and II
There are two turtle beaches and they are only about one kilometer apart. It takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach Turtle Beach I and another 25 minutes to reach Turtle Beach II.
The whole stretch of Turtle Beaches I and II are about 3km long. So if you have extra time, you can slowly explore both beaches.
Speaking of time, after reaching Turtle Beach II, if you still have the time and stamina, continue to hike another 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Golden Beach.
It is a very long walk but you can make the trip in a day as a long as you start early. Those who have visited the Golden Beach have raved about its beauty as the coastline is lined with scenic cliffs.
Both Golden and Turtle Beaches have similar golden-coloured sand. The sand consists mainly of large, well-rounded quartz grains that have an orange tint due to their high iron content.
Hans P. Hazebroek and Abang Kashim Abang Morshidi wrote in National Parks of Sarawak that the sand is derived from the Nyalau Formation sandstone that forms the coastal cliffs and inland river beds.
“Erosion by breaking waves and flowing breaks the sandstone down into its constituent mineral grains. Sea currents, which flow parallel to the coast, continuously distribute and redistribute the ebach sands.”
That explain why the sand at these beaches stays golden in color.
While the rest of the trails at Similajau National Park can be finished without any climbing, the Batu Anchau trail requires a little bit of climbing.
Hence, the trail is for those who are fit as the trail has several fairly steep sections. According to Hazebroek and Abang Kashim, this is a good route for those interested in watching forest birds. And you may see long-tailed macaques and gibbons along the way as well.
Tips and tricks
No matter which trail you are planing to take, the best is to start early. Wear light clothing to protect you against the tropical heat.
All these trails can be muddy after rain so wear shoes which come with strong grip. Additionally, do not forget your sunscreen and insect repellents.