GAYA ISLAND

We spent four days in Gaya Island in April 2015, and stayed in Gaya Island Resort (by YTL). While it is a lesser known place compared to some other islands in the region, it is a great place to go for a getaway trip in Southeast Asia, especially if one wants to get close to nature.

Gaya Island Resort
Gaya Island Resort
Why We Like Gaya Island Resort
  • With only three resorts in the island, which are spaced sufficiently far apart and are not connected by any road, the resort has an exclusive feel about it
  • Easily accessible, i.e. no long transfers are needed
  • Clear sea water, with schools of fish and corals just off the beach
  • With rainforest and mangrove surrounding the resort, one feels close to nature. Monkeys, wild boars and monitor lizards can be sighted.
  • Guided nature walk allows guests to explore the rainforest safely
  • Canoeing can be done quickly off the beach to see fish, corals and sea urchins in the sea, and even monkeys coming out from the forest to the sea
  • Snorkeling can also be done easily off the resort jetty i.e. no need to take boat trips out of the resort
  • During low tide, hermit crabs can be easily found
Hermit Crab In Gaya Island
Hermit Crab In Gaya Island
What We Dislike About Gaya Island Resort
  • As the island is not far away from Sabah, one can see commercial buildings from the main beach or swimming pool. The view from the resort’s private beach (accessible by complimentary boat ride) is better
  • Bitten by sand flies, most likely at the secluded end of the resort’s private beach
Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Accommodation In Gaya Island

Gaya Island Resort (by YTL)

  • Peaceful setting with the resort stretching out along the beach, and tropical rainforest and mangrove surrounding the resort
  • Besides the main beach, which can be easily hopped over from the swimming pool, the resort has another private beach that can be reached by a boat ride
  • Discounts can be found in their website. We had a complimentary night stay out of our four nights there
Cayden & Julia Playing In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Cayden & Julia Playing In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Getting There To Gaya Island Resort
  • Nearest international airport is in Kota Kinabalu. From the airport, it’s a 20 min car ride to Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, where the Gaya Lounge can be found. A 10 min speedboat transfer will then bring the guests to Gaya Island Resort
Cayden & Julia In Ferry To Gaya Island Resort
Cayden & Julia In Ferry To Gaya Island Resort
Food In Gaya Island Resort
  • The downside of being in a private beach resort is that food is limited to the restaurants in the resort. That said, the food is pretty decent in The Feast Village (where all three meals are served) and Pool Bar & Lounge. There are also other restaurants in the resort which we did not try
Practical Tips For Gaya Island Resort
  • Try out the various activities in the resort, rather than just laze around the swimming pool and beach, e.g. snorkeling, nature walk, canoeing, finding sea creatures along the beach during low tide etc
  • Embrace nature. It is rare for a beach resort to have not just beautiful sandy beach and clear sea water, but also surrounded by tropical rainforest and marine life
  • Take the short boat ride to the private beach as it is more secluded, and bring along sand fly repellent
  • Remember to put on sunblock regularly. Our kids had sunburnt after two days
  • Families with young kids may prefer staying closer to the main facilities near the beach than up the hill with better views, as it can be quite a steep walk up to the villas
Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Amanda, Cayden & Julia In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Amanda, Cayden & Julia In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Fish Around Jetty In Gaya Island Resort
Fish Around Jetty In Gaya Island Resort
Wild Boar Drinking Water Behind Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Wild Boar Drinking Water Behind Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Monitor Lizard In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Monitor Lizard In Private Beach In Gaya Island Resort
Dry Shell Of Cicada In Gaya Island
Dry Shell Of Cicada In Gaya Island

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *