07 May 2013

Pulau Gaya - Gaya Island Resort Sunset Cruise

Date of Exploration : 27 Apr 2013

Our 4D3N stay at Gaya Island Resort included a Sunset Cruise but it got rained out. Juliana and I were DEVASTATED... okay, that's getting over dramatic about the cruise's cancellation but 'disappointed' didn't have that right degree of disappointment to describe our disappointedness. LOL.

The Sunset Cruise was one of the highlights in our itinerary that we really looked forward to so we decided to extend our stay for more one night in part to coincide with the next available cruise date but mostly because we enjoyed Gaya Island Resort so much. We were very glad we went ahead with the extension even though it jeopardized our plans and hotel booking at Kota Kinabalu because the cruise was totally worth going on!

Our ride towards the sunset... a 64-foot private yacht christened Lumba Lumba.
Cost : RM250 per person (includes free-flow white/red wine onboard). Duration : approx. 1.5 hours. Apart from sunset cruises, the yacht can also be booked for private dinner parties.

5:30pm. Guests are transferred from the resort's jetty to the yacht in a speedboat. Lumba Lumba's contemporary interior is designed and luxed by the French connoisseur of style, Louis Vuitton. 

Other than the lounge area (photos above), Lumba Lumba has a total of 4 cabins that can sleep 8 people. The master cabin comes with an attached bathroom and a skylight for stargazing! 

As Lumba Lumba is a private yacht, overnight stays are reserved for the owner and his guests only. However, the owner is open to negotiation for overnight rentals by Gaya Island Resort guests.

Lumba Lumba comes with a suite... talk about a high life on the high seas!

Upper deck of Lumba Lumba. The yacht takes a maximum of only 12 passengers per Sunset Cruise so book early with the concierge to secure a seat.

Our friendly captain and his crew gave us a warm welcome onboard before taking us on the watery path of the sun.

View of Gaya Island Resort as we depart. As the resort is built on a bay facing the east, we get a spectacular view of sunrise over Mount Kinabalu but sunset is hidden behind the hill.

After a 15-minute ride rounding the southward tip of Pulau Gaya, the western horizon spread out before us with the setting sun extending a warm welcome.

Magnificent scenery, good wine and the gentle Sabahian breeze... what a great place to be to celebrate friendship...

... or forever love. This pair of newlyweds from Australia chose Pulau Gaya for their honeymoon. Watching them hold hands, kissing each other and getting lost in each other's eyes with the sunset as their backdrop was just so romantic!

5:46pm. The sun begins its descend from the cloud blanket.

6:10pm. The earth warmer exchanged its blinding blaze for a golden eye over the horizon.

6.26pm. The day ending as a visual poem.

Close-up of the heavenly lights as clouds shielded the fireball on its final dip below the horizon.

6.35pm. As the sun got switched off, the sky lit up with the evening's bewitching hues.

From splendid gold to sweet pink to ethereal mauve to royal blue, I've not enjoyed a sunset as theatrical as this.

Drifting onboard a luxurious private yacht on the South China Sea with wine in hand while watching Mother Nature slip into her richly coloured evening gown brought me to a place that exists between awe and wonderment.

The sunset hyper-colourised with Casio Exilim ZR1000's Toy Camera Mode. I love how the in-camera filter creates an artistic impression of the scene. This photo has not been Photoshopped.
I love sunsets. They have a way of uplifting the spirit and consoling existential anxiety with astounding beauty. Pardon me for coming across as somewhat 'philosophical'. I get a little mental in the presence of overwhelming natural beauty. Heh heh.

The Gaya Island Resort Sunset Cruise was the first time I caught a sunset on a yacht and the experience was simply mind-blowing. Maybe it was because of the luxe-factor of the yacht and great service, maybe it's the wine, maybe it's the spectacular sundown seascape, or because of them all, this sunset experience ranks amongst some of the most unforgettable travel encounters I've ever had!

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