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Bakelalan Airport [Review]

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Review of Bakelalan Airport
It is a evaluation of the Bakelalan Airport in Sarawak, specifically executed for anybody who’s planning to go to this stunning highland in northern Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. 
Bakelalan is one in all two primary highland cities that provides in all probability the very best of Malaysian Ecotourism and in addition rural tourism, which is solely group pushed by the native Lun Bawang individuals right here. 
Evaluation of the Bakelalan Airport in Sarawak

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Photo of Bakelalan Airport
Arriving on the Bakelalan Airport

To start with, you must take not that solely MasWings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airways flies to Bakelalan and there are not any different airways that service this route.

The plane they use is the DCH Twin Otter turboprop planes which may solely seat as much as 16 passengers per flight, and takes about an hour from Miri Airport. 

The Bakelalan airport might be one of many smallest airports in Malaysia, and could be very simple and easy, not like what you’re generally used to.

Ba Kelalan Airport Photo
The arrival corridor on the airport

The Bakelalan airport code is BKM, and is situated simply by the primary village of Bakelalan, which is at an altitude of 884 meters or 2,900 ft above sea degree.  

Right here is my private and distinctive expertise concerning the Bakelalan airport once I final visited numerous years in the past.

The airport sits on the fringe of the Bakelalan village, which means that once you land right here, you may simply stroll to your homestay from the airport. 

Sure, the airport is so small, it’s manufactured from primarily wooden and has solely three sections. A mixed arrival and departure room, a ticket counter, and a management tower on the highest. 
Necessary Data About Flying to Bakelalan

Me sitting within the Twin Otter aircraft certain for Bakelalan

First timers might want to know that within the occasion you allow Miri for Bakelalan, there could possibly be diversions or different components that will require the flight to show again.

For instance, simply earlier than your flight is arriving and there’s a storm or robust winds, the flight could return again to Miri and your flight might be re-timed for the subsequent obtainable flight. 

In case you have a confirmed flight ticket and on that day, if it storms terribly, your flight could also be pushed to the subsequent obtainable day. Sure, I’m not kidding about this because it as soon as nearly occurred to me.

Bakelalan Flight Landing
The MasWings flight about to land in Bakelalan
I’ve heard of conditions the place passengers may already see Bakelalan from their aircraft window, however needed to flip again to Miri due to the robust winds and the flight couldn’t land. 
One other case I heard is that on the flight out of Bakelalan, the passengers couldn’t fly on that day because of a heavy storm, and the battle from Miri or Lawas was unable to depart. 
How Many Flights Are There to Bakelalan? 

Aerial View Bakelalan
Aerial view of Bakelalan whereas flying within the Twin Otter aircraft

There are solely three flights to Bakelalan per week, which is on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays solely. This implies you really want to plan your flight out and in, in keeping with the flight schedules. 

One other factor to notice is that a lot of the flights will get absolutely booked, because of the locals touring round. That is additionally as a result of every flight can solely accommodate as much as 15 passengers per flight. 
If you’re planning to go to right here, I might strongly suggest you e-book not less than a few months upfront as at instances, final minute bookings could not supply any seats.

Throughout the college holidays or different giant holidays in Sarawak, the flight are often absolutely booked by the locals who journey again house. 

There are solely three airports that service the Bakelalan route, and they’re Miri, Lawas and Bario. Miri is the worldwide airport for Northern Sarawak, whereas the opposite two are smaller village airports.

Staff Ba Kelalan Airport
The emergency response unit at Bakelalan Airport

 Bakelalan Flight Data

Three flights per week, and that is essential on your reserving if you wish to go to this distinctive highland village. The most suitable choice is a direct flight from Miri to Bakelalan.
Miri to Lawas, then to Bakelalan (Mon, Wed, Sat) – Depart: 10.35 AM, Arrive: 12.10 PM
The above flight makes a cease in Lawas for a really brief transit earlier than persevering with to Bakelalan. There isn’t a direct Miri to Bakelalan flight. 
Bakelalan Airport Baggage Weighing
Baggage must be weighed earlier than checking in, together with the passenger

What If I Can’t E-book A Flight? 

It is a frequent query requested by guests who try to e-book on the final minute. Usually there could also be solely one in all two seats obtainable, or it’s a must to maintain attempting till you get it.

This is applicable to these touring in pairs or teams of three or extra, and as I discussed earlier, it’s best to e-book properly forward if you wish to go to this stunning place. 

Some guests handle to fly in, however are unable to fly out, therefore they should take the native 4WD transport out of Bakelalan, again to Lawas or Limbang.

The worth varies, and is often above RM100 per particular person, and relying if there’s a journey happening that day. Often will probably be woth different locals which might be utilizing this service too.

Should you plan to constitution the whole 4WD, the worth could also be three to 4 instances increased. That is solely executed if you really want to catch a connecting flight or different pressing issues. 

Different Methods To Go To Bakelalan
Effectively, if all fails, there may be nonetheless the great previous approach of taking a 4WD from Miri or any of the opposite cities round right here. There are not any buses or trains that journey to Bakelalan, and you could e-book a 4WD from those that often function the service. 
If you’re driving cross border, you will want to have your passport with you as you’ll head into Brunei earlier than exiting once more. What most individuals do is take a flight to Lawas or Limbang, after which begin their journey to Bakelalan from there. 
  • From Miri – eight Hour Drive (Cross Border)
  • From Limbang – 5 Hour Drive 
  • From Lawas – four Hour Drive
  • From Kota Kinabalu – 7 Hour Drive (Cross Border)
  • From Bandar Seri Begawan – 7 Hour Drive (Cross Border)

For this expertise, you will want to interact a specialised tour firm that operates these routes. For me, I labored with one of many respected corporations from Sarawak, and my journey began from Lawas. 

Landing Strip Runway Bakelalan Airport
A trek up the lookout level reveals a part of the Bakelalan Airport touchdown strip

What to Do in Bakelalan?

Effectively, in case you are already planning to come back right here, you could have some type of itinerary deliberate out for you, until you take a tour package deal to Bakelalan.

For individuals who are pondering of visiting this distinctive vacation spot in Sarawak, then you could know what you are able to do in Bakelalan, as I’ve written about this place. 

There are not any correct inns or modern-day outlets obtainable right here, solely homestays and household run grocer outlets, native cafes and eating places.

Issues are fairly laid again right here, and actions embody trekking, studying concerning the native tradition and simply absorbing the laidback life right here. 

Chicken watching in Bakelalan is likely one of the particular actions as a few endemic birds in Sarawak are discovered within the space. This must be specifically organized, and never a industrial exercise.

I’ve additionally written a complete article on what to do in Bakelalan, and in case you are planning to go to right here, you must learn that article to get a heads up. 

Bakelalan Airport in Sarawak
Airport Code: BKM
Plane: DCH-6 Twin Otter
Airways: MasWings
Operator: Malaysia Airports

Where is Bakelalan
MasWings Flight Community round Sabah and Sarawak

Conclusion 

The Bakelalan airport might be probably the most distinctive airports I’ve been on this planet, and once you do get right here, you will note why.

Total, in case you are an aviation fan, it is a distinctive rural airport expertise, which you’ll bear in mind for all times. The way in which issues are executed, nonetheless date again to the early days and is such a rush to witness and expertise. 



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