If you’re looking for an idyllic retreat far away from other worlds that is still well connected with strong WiFi head to Rimba Resort on Sibu Island. As a digital nomad, it is both a blessing and a curse when I come across a place with good WiFi, especially in a tropical setting. Out of all of the island resorts I’ve been to in Malaysia, Rimba Resort was the most prepared to be a great space for remote workers as the price of the room includes three delicious healthy meals a day and high-speed internet. All of this set in paradise, what more could a digital nomad want? With an eclectic staff of young adults from around the globe, there are also plenty of like-minded individuals to interact with. Basically, I never wanted to leave.
The stunning Rimba Resort property is surrounded by the jungle with gorgeous luxury huts sporadically placed along the shore. Each chalet faces the ocean with the sound of the waves crashing filling the air as you drift to sleep in ultra-cozy beds surrounded by dreamy nets. The rooms are open-air so you can enjoy a jungle breeze and listen to the sounds of the jungle. That’s right, no doors, no windows, no seamless roof. This also makes the rooms very eco-conscious as there is no need for air conditioning.
Oddly there are no monkeys on the island so you don’t need to worry about primates breaking in and snatching your things. The en-suite bathrooms are also outdoors. If you didn’t already know I’m fanatic for a jungle shower. There is no water heater but after a warm day by the sea a cold shower is entirely refreshing. You can book a stay at the property on Airbnb and save $40 off your first booking of $75 by using my referral link.
The chalets are similar to what I imagine a beach hut in Tahiti would look like but they actually borrow their design concept from Kenyan lodges. Locally built with all natural materials these wooden rooms perfectly compliment the surrounding vegetation. At no point during our stay at Rimba Resort did I not feel like a complete Jungle Queen! When not relaxing by the sea you could find me dozing off in the massive hammocks tied between enormous palm trees, they’re big enough for two, or maybe even three people!
The team at Rimba Resort gather regularly to do coastal cleanups around Pulau Sibu. Although the resort is plastic-free free trash from the sea washes up onto the shore often. During my stay, I learned that by 2050 scientists say there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Did you know a plastic bottle will take 450 years to break down? A diaper takes 500 years. How about a PVC credit card? 1,000 years! We can’t let this happen. Next time you’re at the beach pick up at least five pieces of trash and discard of them properly, please.
The bar, lounge, reception, and restaurant are also built in the Kenyan hut style using all raw wood materials. The result is an extremely beachy yet luxurious atmosphere. Three meals are served daily by an excellent local chef. Each dish is prepared with local ingredients. Our meals at Rimba Resort were some of the healthiest and tastiest dishes I tried in Malaysia. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style and Carly, the lovely resort manager, made sure to have ample vegetarian choices available for me to meet my dietary needs. Dinner each night was a treat for my taste buds and my tummy with four courses that always included a light starter, my favorite being a mango and shrimp salad. Soup and a fish entree were served most nights. I lingered over dessert and coffee after my meal and gazed at the dusk settling in over the sea. I even had homemade donuts one evening that were simply divine.
From just about anywhere at Rimba Resort you’re out of the jungle and into the blue within seconds. The 350m private curved beach is covered in soft white sand that slowly turns into pebbles in the sea. Strolling along the shore in the early morning was one of my favorite experiences, it felt as if I had the entire paradise completely to myself as I enjoyed the endless bay views. Rimba is extremely dedicated to their aquatic neighbors and strongly discourages collecting the beautiful shells you can find along the beach. Admire them, take photos of them, but leave them there to do what they’re meant to do–become homes for other crustacea or become a part of the sandy beach over time.
I loved the sandy stretch of beach near my chalet where I hardly ever saw any other visitors. Here I could use my Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM millennial pink speakers to blast my favorite reggae tunes and other beach jams as I floated in the transparent still water. The portable Bluetooth speaker is the loudest thing ever with super clear sound. It is awesome for listening to tunes on the beach as it is very small, lightweight, and comes with a loop that can easily be clipped onto any bag. It’s actually waterproof and can float so you can use it in the ocean.
Rimba Resort has an in-house dive school, Hi-Tide Divers, which also does snorkeling trips to a nearby uninhabited island with wild beaches and vivacious coral reef at Pulau Lima Besar. I spent hours slowly drifting with the current and admiring the strange sea creatures, I even think I saw a tiny octopus head behind the reef. Small blacktip sharks mingled in and of large coral formations, something I’m still astonished to see. I always love watching clown fish dart in and out of anemone and here there are massive gardens of blush and blue anemone. After snorkeling to my heart’s content I took a stroll on the powder white sand to admire the truly turquoise sea and have a few moments on the beach completely to ourselves before we headed back to the speedboat for a 20-minute ride back to Rimba Resort.
Snorkeling is a must at the Rimba Resort house reef as well, just be sure to head out during high tide so you don’t hit the precious coral. It will hurt you and you will hurt it. A quick swim from our chalets and I was surrounded by incredible colorful coral and fish. I’m always amazed how intuitive fish seem to be, whichever one you decide you want to film always seems to sense that he’s being followed and will dash away while the remaining marine life remains calm. Another delightful experience in the vast underwater world of golden coral beds is coming across psychedelic clams in neon shades of blue, purple, yellow, green, and more.
Rimba Resort cares deeply about the environment they are so fortunate to call home and are working hard to project local sea turtles. They operate a sea turtle hatchery where they nurture the turtle eggs that they’ve purchased from the local fisherman that sell them in the markets as they’re a delicacy in Malaysia. The sanctuary didn’t have any release during our stay but have had many successful hatches this summer!
Thank you to Rimba Resort for hosting us and Ultimate Ears for the WONDERBOOM speaker. All opinions and photos are my own. This post contains affiliate links, please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.