Building on eco-friendly principles in Malaysia
Malaysia’s palm oil industry continues to wreak havoc on the jungle habitats of orangutans and other endangered animals. Mining has also stripped patches of wetlands and forests bare. This is where ecotourism plays a vital role in helping repair and protect against further damage to some parts of the mainland and Malaysian Borneo.
Kuantan on the east coast has a boutique resort constructed from eco-conscious materials. Featuring private villas built on stilts over a tranquil lake, Mangala Resort & Spa is a beautiful example of how luxury and sustainability can work hand in hand.
While over in Borneo, Gaya Island Resort is a prime example of how a hotel can be sustainably built without harming the surrounding tropical rainforest, mangroves and delicate coral reefs. Guests are also asked to donate conservation fees when they check out – to help with the ongoing preservation of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park where Gaya Island is located.
Travelling further inland, and along Borneo’s Kinabatangan River, safaris take place on boats fitted with quiet electric motors. These minimise noise and any resulting stress to nearby wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, Bornean pygmy elephants, rare hornbills and orangutans swinging by.