Bunga Raya Beach Resort‘s sister property, Gayana Eco Resort is located minutes away by boat on Gaya Island in Sabah, Borneo. 44 water villas, ideally located at the edge of the jungle forest and over the sea. Our recommendation is to stay in the Ocean View (Bayu Villa). Do note however, there is no long-stretch beach at this resort. Also soon coming, is the Palm Villa to be launched which is simply breathtaking and we can’t wait to test this out!
PZ and I visited for a day trip this unique resort which is, at its heart, about protecting and re-generating the unique Malaysian Marine Ecology. We were very exited to see pioneers and leaders of the practice of eco-tourism in Sabah and Malaysia. For as far as I know, this unique concept property that balances ecology and luxury hospitality, is the only one to have on-site a Marine Ecology Research Centre (known as MERC).
MERC has three main programs:
– Protect and breed Giant Clams: In the wild, larger clams are extremely rare and hard to find. Although abundant in the past, they have been collected for food and are over-fished to the point of extinction. Clams actually provide a wide range of benefits such as filter feeders, meaning that they help marine ecosystems maintain high water quality by absorbing nitrates, ammonia and other organics that are harmful to sensitive reef inhabitants even in very low concentrations.
– Coral replanting: Coral reefs are currently threatened by destructive practices such as fish bombing; elevated sea surface temperatures due to global climate change; rising levels of CO2; and human presence. Coral reefs provide a wide range of benefits e.g. reducing the amount of sand and sediment to shore; foster diverse species like mollusks, oysters, clams, shrimps, sea urchins, turtles; and many fish seek food and shelter amid coral reefs. You can participate in activities such as replanting coral which PZ did and she can monitor the progress over time.
– Restoring marine life: Many endangered marine creatures are constantly threatened by human development and over-fishing practices. MERC works as a sanctuary for creatures in distress to provide them with immediate assistance. Sea creatures rescued from the nets of fishermen are rehabilitated back to health by the research staff.
I was very impressed by the resort’s standards of practice, both eco-friendly and sustainable to ensure a long-term profitability. As a guest, especially if you have kids, you will enjoy to participate in restoring unique life back to the damaged ocean floors. Sustainable tourism can be fun!