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Pulau Sibu - Rimba Resort


Rimba Resort is close to perfect if what you are looking for is a secluded tropical island get-away, nestled amongst a dense forest of trees overlooking the warm blue waters of the South China Sea. Comprising 20 huts, an ocean-view restaurant, reading room and a bar / lounge / clubhouse, what distinguishes Rimba from most other Malaysian island retreats, are the impeccable standards of its diligent operators Jo-Ann and Malcolm.

Clean, efficient and professional do not do justice to Rimba Resort. More importantly Jo-Ann and Malcolm care not just about how their establishment is run (ie. the rooms, beach, facilities and grounds are spotless) but also that their guests are comfortable and happy. They are genuinely interested in the guests and their comfort, always ready with warmth, charm, helpful information and a sense of humour. Jo-Ann's smile and quick wit alone could probably generate enough electricity to power the place.

Rimba seems to attract a clientele of mainly expatratiates and travellers. With a crowd like this, it should be apparent what Rimba is not: a megaresort overrun with tourists in search of 'today's planned activities.' Instead Rimba, with it's buildings and décor, gently reminiscent of Malcolm and Jo-Ann's native South Africa, fits comfortably amidst Pulau Sibu's lush raintrees as if it had absorbed the relaxed timeless mood of the islands. Thus, guests take their cue, shedding big city attitudes and schedules as would their shoes.

Except for snorkeling over the house reef which is about 100 meters off the slightly pebbly beach, with a surprising diversity of coral and fish (I even saw a small octopus.) and a mild hike through the jungle, there's little to do except swim, relax, get a tan, read a book, eat, drink and perhaps make merry with a fellow traveller or two. Although, when we were there it seemed clear that most travellers wanted to have their personal time, everyone was clearly extremely relaxed.

Each chalet has a low-key charm. Windows and doors are replaced by canvas blinds, bathrooms are remarkably clean and sand-free, and each chalet has its own porch from which one can sit and lazily ponder each shade of ocean blue, without ever getting wet. Rooms are cleaned and beds made each day by Rimba's quiet and seemingly invisible staff. Each chalet has a fan and good strong water pressure for the shower, however, air conditioning and hot running water are non-existent. Because Rimba is surrouded by trees, mosquitos can occasionally be a nuisance so bring your own repellent or ask for a mosquito coil.

Rimba's bar/clubhouse is a lovely structure with a veranda opening up onto the beach, it is extremely comfortable and inviting, strewn with pillows and Thai lounging chairs from which one can gulp one of Rimba's speciality drinks whilst watching the sunset. Games and books are also available. Meals are served in the restaurant at fixed times, and while some of the Malaysian food is quite good (we had a killer claypot fish curry once) the "western food," a concept and cuisine endemic to Malaysia, didn't quite float our boats. Likewise, those travellers accustomed to all-you-can-eat buffets at other resorts might find the three to five small pieces of fruit customarily served for dessert here, a little spare. But these are the most minor quibbles which should all melt away in the face of Malcolm and Jo-Ann's eagerness to please, and Rimba Resorts's comfort, beauty and charm. Jo-ann and Malcolm has some useful tips on what to bring with you to the island, click to best time to go for more.

Article contributor: Jonathan Wong.

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Accommodation and Holiday Packages to Johor ~ Johor Baru, Mersing, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Sibu, Endau Rompin National Park and Surroundings

Accommodation & Holiday Packages:

Johor Baru

| 11@Century Hotel | Aman Sari City Centre | A Vista Melati | Bayu Marina Resort | Citrus Hotel | Crystal Crown Hotel | Dorsett Johor Hotel | Goodhope Hotel | Grand BlueWave Hotel | Grand Hallmark Hotel | Grand Paragon Hotel | Hallmark Regency Hotel | J A Residence Hotel | JB Central Hotel | Mutiara Hotel | New York Hotel | Okid Cottage | The Puteri Pacific | Selesa Hotel | Le Grandeur Palm Resort | M Suites Hotel | Suria City Hotel | Hotel Sentral | Hotel Seri Malaysia | The Zon Regency | The Embassy Hotel | Thistle Johor Baru | Tropical Inn |

Kota Tinggi

| Mayres Hotel | Pelangi Balau Resort |


| Pulai Desaru Beach Resort |


| Pulai Springs Resort |


| Hotel Sri Pelangi | Hotel D'99 | Riverview Hotel | Streetview Hotel | Townview Hotel |

Gunung Ledang

| Gunung Ledang Resort |

Batu Pahat

| Pelican Hotel | Pinetree Hotel | The Katerina Hotel | The Landmark Hotel | The Silver Inn |


Budget Inns | East Coast Backpacker's Hotel | Omar's Backpacker's Hostel | Embassy Hotel |

Mid-Range Inns & Hotels | Havanita Hotel | Hotel Seri Malaysia | Teluk Iskandar Inn | Timotel Hotel |

Tanjung Leman

| Felda Residence Tanjung Leman |

Pulau Aur

| Aur Resorts |

Pulau Besar

| D'Coconut Island Resort | Aseania Resort | Mirage Resort |

Pulau Rawa

| Le Club Rawa | Rawa Safaris Resort |

Pulau Pemanggil

| Lanting Beach Resort |

Pulau Sibu

| Rimba Resort | Sea Gypsies | Sibu Island Resort | Sari Pacifica Resort and Spa |

Pulau Tioman (technically this is within the State of Pahang territory) but boats leave from Mersing

Salang | Salang Hut | Ella's Place | Salang Indah | Salang Beach Resort | Salang Pusaka Resort | Salang Sayang Tioman Resort |

Panuba Beach | Panuba Inn Resort |

ABC | Bamboo Hill Chalets | ABC(Air Batang Chalet) | Nazri's Beach Cabanas | Tioman House | Johan's Resort | Mawar Beach Chalets | My Friend Place | Nazri's Place |

Tekek | Peladang Inn | Pesona Island Resort | Babura Seaview Resort | Selesa Hotel | Swiss Cottage Resort |

Genting | Japamala Resort | Minang Cove Resort | Impian Inn (BM) | Island Reef Resort | Tioman Rock Beach Resort (BM) |

Paya | Paya Beach Resort | Tioman Paya Resort |

Juara | Manana | Bushman | Juara Turtle Project |

Kampung Mukut | Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort |

Kampung Nipah | Bersatu Nipah Chalet |

Dive Packages Salang/ABC | B&J Tioman Dive Centre |


| UK Farm (Farm Resort) |

Endau Rompin National Park

Kampung Peta Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Camping Package | Endau Rompin Chalet Package | Selai Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Selai Trekking Package |

Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park

| Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park Homestay Experience |


Malaysia Islands

Peninsula Malaysia Islands

| Pulau Aur | Pulau Besar | Pulau Bidong | Pulau Duyung Besar | Pulau Gemia | Pulau Kapas | Pulau Langkawi | Pulau Lang Tengah | Pulau Pangkor | Pulau Payar | Pulau Perhentian | Pulau Pemanggil | Penang | Pulau Rawa | Pulau Redang | Pulau Sibu | Pulau Tenggol | Pulau Tioman |

Peninsula Malaysia Coastal Beaches

| Marang | Merang | Rantau Abang | Penarik | Port Dickson | Tanjung Jara | Cherating |

Sabah and Sarawak ~ Borneo Islands & Coastal Beaches

Sabah Islands ~ | Gaya Island | Kapalai | Pulau Mabul | Pulau Sipadan | Selingan Turtle Island | Mantanani Besar Island | Manukan Island | Mataking Island | Lankayan Island | Layang Layang Island | Pom Pom Island | Pulau Tiga Resort (Survivor Island) | Mari Mari Sepanggar - Sepanggar Island |

Sabah Coastal Beaches ~ | Kinarut, Papar | Tuaran |

Sarawak Coastal Beaches ~ | Damai Beach, Santubong | Kayakking with Dolphins |