Today we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in Bako National Park. We were all able to visit the park in different ways ranging from a photography walk to a challenging four kilometer hike. Although it appears to be never ending when first approaching Bako National Park from the ocean, it happens to be one of the smallest parks in Sarawak! That said, it is still over 27 square kilometers of very thick and ever-changing jungle.
Within the park almost every plant found in greater Borneo can be found, one of the most famous being the pitcher plant. There were many varieties of pitcher plants to be found by anybody walking in the park, all of them just as intriguing and beautiful as each other! The "pitcher" part of the plant is an evolutionary trait to adapt to nutrient poor soils. The various shapes that pitcher plants form all attract insects and animals in hopes of them coming into the "trap bowl," and then various shapes and downward facing shape varieties stop the creatures from getting out. The prey item is then broken down and the plant is able to benefit from the nutrients that are derived from the broken down matter, making the pitcher plant carnivorous!
For those more interested in fauna there were many birds, 150 resident proboscis monkeys, and many other creatures to be found, both terrestrial and marine.
In the afternoon we went on a Zodiac cruise along the shoreline. It was fantastic to see how the soft sandstone based geology had been carved away into beautiful formations over time from the ever molding wave action from the oncoming of the South China Sea!