Bario is in the northeast of Sarawak, Malaysia in the centre of the Kelabit Highlands. It is a popular tourist destination and the best way to reach the town is definitely by air. There are beautiful areas for hiking and it is here you can find Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. If you hike high enough up into the mountains you can look down and see the Brunei Shell oilfield and the burning flame. The town of Bario although isolated does have modern technology and there is internet access and one public telephone. The small square has a café, a general store and a craft shop.
You might find on your flight to Bario that any empty seats will be full of goods sent by family members living somewhere else. It is quite usual to be sharing floor space with electronic stuff, cooking oil, sacks of sugar and so on. So the plane isn’t overloaded everything and everybody is weighed before departure from Miri airport en route to Bario. Most flights to Bario have a quick stop over at Marudi for parcel collections and drop offs.
Bario Airport is publicly owned and operated by Malaysia Airports Sdn. Bhd.
The wooden terminal building at Bario Airport is small but functional. The operations manager at Bario, Joanna, will be able to help you with any queries as she speaks English. Joanna also owns a Homestay right opposite the terminal where excellent food is served.
Bario Airport still use the log book and pen system for logging flights so make sure you confirm your return ticket at the ticketing counter when you arrive.
Flights and Destinations
The 16-seater Twin Otter planes fly between Bario and Miri twice daily apart from Mondays when the one flight is cargo only. The flights are operated by MASWings
Transport To and From the Airport
The town is only a 20 minute walk or so from the airport and if you have booked Homestay accommodation quite often the proprietor will come and pick you up. If not, transport vehicles are limited so walking is usually the best option.
The isolation of Bario means that the only routes out apart from by aircraft are logging tracks. It can take 18 hours to get to Miri in a 4X4 but the journey can be hazardous with boggy roads and the added danger of landslides.