Eco travel doesn’t always necessarily involve a backpack, and there are certainly ways you can put your feet up without having to go completely off the grid. In many local island communities, eco luxury resorts have actually stepped in where local governments couldn’t; conserving endemic species, supporting ethical local trades, and educating the local communities. I want to do a round-up of the best eco-resorts in South East Asia, not just for their picturesque poolside aesthetic, but also for everything these resorts have done to conserve the tropical islands they call home.
EL NIDO RESORTS, PHILIPPINES
Located amidst the natural limestone cliffs and lagoons of the Philippines’ beautiful Palawan region, El Nido Resorts is a group of four island properties with sustainability at its core. Each island has its own unique personality that explores a different aspect of island Eco-tourism. Apulit is an Eco-adventure island with a variety of thrill-seeking nature activities on offer, while Miniloc is an Eco-discovery island where you can learn about Palawan’s ecology, and even swim with giant Jackfish. Lagen is an Eco-sanctuary island nestled in a four hectare lush forest, while Pangalusian is an Eco-luxury Island, with its own seven hundred fifty metre white beach.
TONGSAI BAY, THAILAND
At Tongsai bay, all wildlife is protected. The resort is home to monitor lizards, monarch butterflies, dolphins, and a total of sixty-seven different bird species. In fact, their green policy dictates that no plant or tree may be cut down without permission. This policy encourages wildlife to the hotel, making Tongsai Bay the perfect sanctuary for both travellers and local indigenous species. In addition to this commitment to wildlife conservation, the hotel also has a number of note-worthy sustainable practices. They have replaced all plastic straws with lemongrass, produce their own natural cleaning agent with local fruits and vegetables, as well as offer a completely plant-based menu. It is no wonder why Tongsai Bay’s environmental credentials are so substantial, and why it has led the way for Koh Samui’s ecological preservation.
PHUM BAITANG, CAMBODIA
The Phum Baitang is sustainability at its finest; a green oasis deserving of its name. The resort is equipped with an autonomous water treatment facility, which provides guests with fresh and drinkable water throughout the year. They have also replaced all plastics with reusable Glosch-top purified bottles, and have banned fuel powered vehicles in and around the resort. The Phum Baitang also takes the farm to table concept to another level by serving locally farmed “Sen Kro Ob” rice among other herbs and vegetables. All of which are grown on site in the resort’s paddy fields. Guests are encouraged to immerse in the local community, with the unique opportunity to interact with the local farmers. Helping them understand the farming culture of Cambodia; and learn more about rice cultivation and processing. All this and more make the Phum Baitang a truly unique retreat, right in the heart of mystical Cambodia.