Finding Something?

A Day In “Jungle” Paradise


0545 : Sunrise

Head over to your balcony to watch the sun slowly rise from Mount Kinabalu.

This might just be the highlight of your day!


0800 : Starting the day right at Feast Village

Heading down for breakfast at the Feast Village is a must when in Gaya Island Resort.

Enjoy sweet Malaysian dragon fruit and made-to-order omelets with early morning sea breeze.


1000 : Off to the Mangrove Forest, we go!

Join Justin Juhun, the resort’s in-house naturalist, and discover the resort’s man-made mangrove forest.

Be sure to apply insect repellant, first!

A Day At Gaya Island

1400 : Tavajun Bay

Take a 10-minute speedboat to Tavajun Bay, the resort’s private beach.

Once there, beeline for the tree hammocks hanging from the low-lying trees at the very edge of the stretch of sand. Repeat after me: inner peace.

A Day At Gaya Island

1530 : Sunset

Going on a sunset cruise might sound ideal for seeing the bright orange sunset slowly turn to twilight, but sitting by the Pool Bar & Lounge with a cocktail in hand also sounds like the perfect end to a day of worshipping the sun.  

A Day At Gaya Island

1900 : Food and music at Fisherman’s Cove

Resort chic is the ensemble of choice at Fisherman’s Cove – how could you not enjoy dinner when the restaurant’s candle-lit interiors make the perfect background to the band’s singing?

A good atmosphere always translates to a good meal, after all.

2100 : Nightcap!

If in need of a nightcap, head back to the Pool Bar & Lounge,

and let Leila serve your choice of poison on the rocks.  

A Day At Gaya Island

Though it might sound like a full itinerary, you’ll realize soon enough that a day in this side of the island is not enough to fully experience its unique spirit.

There will always be a next time, Gaya Island!

 *All photos are shot at Gaya Island Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
William @ Passport Out

William is the Editor-in-Chief of The Passport Out.

  1. amandamyers86

    July 23, 2016 11:43 pm

    Oh my this photo + illustration mix!!! So good! Haven’t seen anything like it!!

  2. Donna Jones

    July 23, 2016 11:45 pm

    Malaysia looks so beautiful and dreaammmyyyyy 😍😍😍

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 2:53 am

      It indeed is, especially if it’s Malaysia’s beaches we are talking about!

  3. David

    July 23, 2016 11:46 pm

    your photos gave me the “good” in good morning! hahahahaha
    good morning from nyc, passport out!

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 2:54 am

      Wow, that’s truly one of the best compliments we’ve had so far! Thanks, David! Keep tuning in.

  4. Monica Choong

    July 23, 2016 11:47 pm

    Your illustrations made it even more beautiful!
    More power

  5. anettekhho

    July 23, 2016 11:48 pm

    i live 3 hours from kota kinabalu! tnk u for this visual journal! very creative

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 2:55 am

      Have you been? We love Kota Kinabalu – the islands surrounding it are beyond amazing!

  6. chloe889

    July 23, 2016 11:50 pm

    This article seriously looks like a magazine article!!!
    Last time I was in KK, I stayed at Shangri-la. Considering Gaya Island Resort now because of you guys!!

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 2:57 am

      Which one? Tanjung Aru or Rasa Ria? Gaya Island Resort’s brand of hospitality scores high in our books. We’re releasing a review soon. You might be interested in more info about the property!

  7. sarahprinceton

    July 23, 2016 11:52 pm

    Seriously, how do you make an article this visually good?!! Those photos and illustrations are beyond me!!!
    Glad I found this site.
    More reason to fly 15-hours to visit Malaysia!

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 2:59 am

      We like mixing things up! We’re glad you like how it turned out, Sarah! Let us know how you like Malaysia after (or during) your visit.

  8. Marlo De Vera

    July 23, 2016 11:55 pm

    I was just here a few months ago! Very nice resort! I wouldn’t mind going back!
    Have you stayed at the hotels/resorts in the city center? Can you recommend a nice place to stay there?

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 24, 2016 3:02 am

      Hi, Marlo! Yes, we have stayed at the city center. What kind of hotel are you looking for? Would you like a place near the shopping centers, craft markets, and Gaya Street, or a place away from the hustle and bustle of the town? If it’s the former, Hyatt Regency is a good choice. Their restaurant’s menu is superb. If it’s the latter, you might like Shangri-la’s Rasa Ria Resort. Hope this helps!

  9. cassandra liew

    July 24, 2016 12:37 am

    love that fun illustration touch! chic and cute

  10. Carolebrunswick

    July 24, 2016 11:07 pm

    This is really beautiful

  11. JamalTurner

    July 24, 2016 11:11 pm

    Great post!!! I’m half malay and really glad ure featuring the place now. Now, when will I visit this place?!!!!

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 25, 2016 7:01 pm

      If it’s Gaya Island you’d like to visit, we suggest going there in September. The water will be lovely then! Thanks for tuning in!

  12. Andrew Shaby

    July 24, 2016 11:12 pm

    Cheeky and visually appealing. Im hooked!

  13. carasmith

    July 25, 2016 7:51 am

    this is really creative and beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!
    follower from insta here
    loving your work

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 25, 2016 7:03 pm

      Thanks for following the link in our Instagram bio, Cara! We’ll try our best to keep things interesting!

  14. Mark Ng

    July 25, 2016 7:52 am

    Great post! Nothing but the best from this site!

  15. janette chiu

    July 27, 2016 12:31 am

    your instagram account led me here! such a beautiful article
    welcome to hong kong!

    • Jillian at Passport Out

      July 28, 2016 3:51 am

      Thanks for following the link in our Insta bio, Janette! Welcome to Passport Out!

  16. Quincydean

    July 27, 2016 12:32 am

    High Five! Very creative

  17. annastevens

    August 4, 2016 6:26 pm

    So beautiful!!! And I dreamt of being in paradise last night! This might be the sign. Great post!

  18. mark newmann

    August 4, 2016 6:27 pm

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 cheers to you guys.
    very beautiful

  19. Dale Bispham

    August 22, 2016 3:58 am

    Time seems to have stopped at Gaya Island Resort. Accessible only by boat, this particular piece of paradise is a natural sanctuary hidden away in beautiful Borneo. Our hotel reservation specialists are available to assist with your hotel reservations, itinerary changes, or questions.

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