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Gayana Island Eco-Resort
(click on thumbnail for full-size image)

After flying into Kota Kinabalu in the Sabah state of Malaysian Borneo, we took a short boat ride to Gaya Island. The resort is built on stilts in a quiet bay, with simple duplex hut accomodations. Walking along the pathways between our room and the restaurant, we could see multitudes of fish swimming below. Almost all of the other guests were local and only staying one night, a bit surprising for a beach resort.

Our activities consisted of kayaking and snorkeling in the South China Sea, interspersed with retreats to the minimally air-conditioned room to escape the heat. Though much of the reef has been damaged from dynamite/cyanide in the pursuit of tropical aquarium fish, a guide took us to a relatively healthy area teeming with colorful fish, corals, and anemone. I even saw clown fish and fancy giant clams for the first time. The resort also has a research center focused on giant clam rehabilitation as well as education. The "eco" part, I presume.

Huts built over the water at Gayana Resort

The water around the walkways was full of fish

Gayana Bay with Mt Kinabalu faintly in the distance

Stilt village on the other side of the island

City of Kota Kinabalu from the ferry

Copyright 2001 - Ann Mei Chang