So with 10 dive buddies we did this dive trip to Layang Layang. This is also called the Swallow Reef and is located an hours flight time from Kota Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah, Malaysia.
Layang Layang is a Malaysian Navy Base reclaimed from a small island. It has a small airstrip used by both and Navy and also MAS wings , subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines to fly their ATR 72-500 twice a week to this small island. It has now become the divers Mecca to see the Hammer head Sharks.
The resort is open I think 6/7 months a year. The peak season to dive is March - June. Though some web sites tell you till Sept also but the probability of seeing the Hammerhead Sharks is max in March - June only.
There is only one small quaint resort there 'Avillion Island Resort'. He resort is adjacent to the 7233 feet long airstrip. The resort doubles up as the Airport too.
The Resort has a nice Bar 'Hammerhead' Bar, the drinks are quite reasonably priced considering everything has to be flown in to the resort twice a week only.
It's has a nice pool, spa.
The island is home to a small fantastic Bird reserve island nearby where you can see the nesting Back Naped Terns, Great Crested Terns, Sooty Terns , Lesser Frigate Birds, Pacific Golden Plover and the Brown Booby to name a few.
This place is called the swallows Reef also because of the abundance of the Migratory Barn Swallows you see on the island. They are very tame and adapt to humans well.
The dive centre is well equipped and during season goes full and offers the full range of dive certification courses along with gear rental.
The dive instructors are very friendly and double up as Dive masters to take you out diving.
There is a jetty from which the dive masters take out the diving groups for dives on boats.
Night dives are not part of the package and you need to pay 150 MYR and a minimum of 4 divers fir the night dives.
The one issue to watch out for is internet and mobile connectivity.
The internet wifi at the resort (only way) is terrible to say the least and the only cell network that works there is 'celcom'. Nothing else.
This issue has made me give this place 4 stars but others may give it 5 stars also because of this. :).
All in all a fantastic place to go diving in season to see the Hammerheads and host of other marine life and to really unwind with nice walks and seeing amazing sunsets.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks", it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestled lies in 2,000m of ocean and due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, Dive Center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creature awaits you! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
- Layang Island Hotel