A few friends and I was in Sabah last weekend – we were there for Glenn’s farewell, plus Falah was in Malaysia for a month, so a getaway was what we needed.
It was a short trip so we didn’t have much time to spend at the beach – but since we were in Sabah it would be sacrilegious not to do so at all, so we figured out, a day trip would be nice.
And we had a good time: Here’s a short daytrip itinerary to Gaya Island that you guys could probably follow as well.
There are several islands that you can choose to go for a daytrip; Manukan, Sapi, Mamutik, Suluk, Gaya…
We decided to take up a half-day package at Bunga Raya Island Resort – a secluded 5-star property, complete with a private beach.
We headed to the Jesselton Point jetty right after a breakfast of Sarawak laksa (yeah KK has that too!). The boat left at 1030am, and payment for the trip had to be made prior to boarding.
It was about RM170 per person, for a 4-hour excursion at the Bunga Raya Resort. This is all-inclusive, which means that boat ride, lunch, pool access and facility rental is all covered.
The jetty is equipped with basic facilities, there are also stalls selling run-the-mill snacks and packed meals, in case you want to bring some nasi lemak and mihun goreng to the island. Nothing fancy, but adequate.
The washroom stank, however. As Falah described it “poops everywhere”. Quite embarrassing, considering that the facility caters to tourists – the management needs to do something about it.
The boat ride took us about 20 minutes. It’s a very scenic ride to the island – the weather was fantastic that day. The five of us shared the boat with a group of French tourists.
We reached Bunga Raya Resort and I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet the place is. It’s perched nicely atop a gentle bay, surrounded by forested hills. We were given a short brief and access to the facilities – there are kayak and paddle boats for those who fancy something more adventurous. There’s also facility for snorkelling.
There are of course plenty of lounge seats and gazebos where you could just sit down, relax and enjoy the sea breeze.
Bunga Raya Resort has a limited number of accommodation units available. It prides itself as an eco-friendly resort, so the chalets and villas are all designed to blend seamless with the natural setting – non-obstructive architecture.
Given the remote location, 4G worked wonderfully here – so if your idea of travelling includes taking plenty of Instastories, you’ll be happy here.
There’s a beach bar there for those who fancy a tipple or two – drinks are unfortunately (yet understandably) not included in the half-day package tab, so be prepared to pay premium prices here. A coke costs RM19, while a cocktail, RM40.
There’s no ATM machine, so it’s probably safe to bring some cash with you.
Lunch is included in the package – it’s a 3-course meal, with soup of the day, two choices of salad and three choices of main course – between fish & chips, lamb shank and chicken wings. Be prepared to wait though – we waited for 40 minutes to get our order served. The wait was quite unfortunate as we only had 4 hours to enjoy on the island, so time is precious lol.
The lamb shank came, it’s delicious. Worth the penny and the calories of course.
Right after lunch, we just lounged at the beach and took a dip in the infinity pool. There were some drinks involved too, so it was perfect. We had the whole pool to ourselves, with the exception of a couple of guests who came for a short dip. We also saw a gay family enjoying a vacation at the resort – nice to see an idyllic scene of fathers watching their children play at the beach.
We stayed there until half past three – walked to the pier and felt quite sad to leave. If you do feel like treating yourself with an expensive vacation, you can choose to stay overnight at the resort. A room costs upwards of RM1,000 during off-season, so be ready to splurge.
More pictures below. Enjoy!