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Layang Layang Island is fondly known as “The Jewel of the Borneo Banks”. Situated 300 kilometres northwest of Kota Kinabalu in the South China Sea, this small artificially enhanced island is one of the many islands belonging to the disputed Spratly Islands archipelago.
The coral-blessed, deep sea atoll of Layang Layang rises 2,000 metres from the ocean’s depths, barely breaking its surface. As many as 13 coral reefs have formed here, creating some breathtaking underwater scenery. Diving is the pinnacle of a stay on Layang Layang.
Layang Layang is known for the opportunity to dive with schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks which congregate in the area to perform their mating rituals between the months of March to May. The deep water around the atoll provides some excellent wall diving, exciting pelagic encounters and incredible visibility.
Located on the island is the modest Avillion Layang Layang Resort and dive facility which is open during the year from 28 February to 01 September (based on 2017 opening dates and subject to change).
There is also a bird sanctuary, a small Malaysian Naval base and 1,400 metre runway on the island.
Flights operated by a private charter airline depart from Kota Kinabalu to Layang Layang on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Kota Kinabalu to Layang Layang Island : Depart 05:45 / Arrive 06:45
Layang Layang Island to Kota Kinabalu : Depart 07:15 / Arrive 08:15
Flight schedules are subject to change at any time without notice.
Built to look like a traditional long house, Avillion Layang Layang is well appointed with amenities and facilities for modern comforts.
The resort’s restaurant serves a wide range of Asian and continental cuisines, with a different menu each day. Five meals a day are included in the tariff. The bar offers refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The resort also caters for banquets, seminars, meetings, conferences and incentive group functions, with the ability to host up to 200 people in the conference room.
There is a swimming pool, souvenir shop and PADI Dive Centre headed by certified instructors and a team of qualified dive masters.
Complimentary wi-fi is available in the lobby area.
The resort has 86 air-conditioned rooms comprising of 30 Standard rooms, 46 Superior rooms, 8 Deluxe rooms and 2 Suites.
The rooms have either a king sized or twin beds, ensuite shower, fridge, TV, telephone and private verandah.
Many stunning dives await you as the average visibility is between 30 to 60 metres year round.
Layang Layang is a wall diving mecca. The combination of deep water, pristine walls and coral gardens ensures you'll see varied marine life from pelagics to colourful tropical fish, anemones and nudibranchs.
Being in such a remote and unpopulated area, the visibility is excellent mostly ranging between 30 to 60 metres year round.
A highlight of diving at Layang Layang is the possibility of seeing the schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks which perform their mating rituals in these waters between March to May. Manta rays are often spotted as are schools of jacks, giant trevally, tuna, trigger fish and bait fish.
Dense forest-like formations of gorgonian sea fans line the drop-off wall. This is also one of the main areas to see the hammerhead sharks. Schooling fish are abundant and the hard corals are spectacular. Amongst the plentiful growth of sponges and sea whips on the wall, horse-eye jacks in their thousands swim alongside tuna, surgeon fish, fusilier and grey-reef sharks. Sweet-lips can be photographed up close and giant groupers hang out along the wall.
This dive has everything you could wish for - from large to small of both fish and corals. Turtles, schools of fusiliers and surgeon fish swim by while swirling horse-eye jacks swarm the reef. There are overhangs and ledges to be explored. Stingrays sleep next to white-tip reef sharks. Large sun-fish and hammerheads have been spotted here over the drop off.
D'Wall is a sheer, vertical, free-falling amazing piece of nature. The drop-off starts in 1 metre of water then plummets into 2,000 metres of water. The wall face is breathtakingly adorned with life and colour. Schools of surgeons and jacks cascade down the face of the wall like a waterfall. Sea whips and sea fans defy gravity, while silver and bait fish dart and dive about. Many sharks cruise this area - white tips, grey-reef, and hammerhead sharks. Majestic manta rays glide gracefully up the wall. Barrel sponges, coral formations and anemones grow on the wall face and gorgonians extend into the blue. Small creatures such as arrow crabs, nudibranchs and clams hide amongst the coral.
Drift down the face of the drop off to a sand ledge where you’ll find several Leopard sharks resting. Finning past sea fans, whips, and coral formations, you'll see tuna and reef sharks glide in close. You’ll then find yourself in front of Shark’s Cave. Small white tips huddle together at the back of this tranquil cavern. Once out of the cave you’ll make your way along another majestic portion of the wall.
Wrasse strip is one of the most eye-opening coral dives in the world. Hard and soft corals are on display in full technicolour and unique formations, some so intricate that they resemble an English horticultural show. The fish each have their own little kingdom of coral that they seem to stand guard over. There are large coral bommies with small caverns and overhang home to batfish, sweet lips and soldier fish. Keep an eye out for the Titan Trigger fish. Turtles and schools of surgeons, jacks, barracuda are regularly seen. If you’re lucky, you may find a small school of manta rays. Hammerheads are also regulars here in their hundreds and compacted groups.
Scuba diving is the core activity at this resort which has comprehensive diving facilities and programmes. Three boat dives a day are offered. A team of dive boats will get you to various dive sites within 10 to 30 minutes.
Visit the Bird Island Sanctuary where countless migratory birds seek refuge within the huge lagoon - swallows, egrets, brown foot boobies, crested terns and other feathered friends come to rest at this breeding ground.
Other activities offered are snorkelling trips, wind surfing for qualified windsurfers, kayaking and swimming.
Package Rates 2017 (USD)
28 February 2017 to 1 September 2017
*Surcharge of 10% on package rates applies from 1st April to 7th May departures
Flight Fare (BKI/LAC/BKI): USD $408 per person (including Airport Tax and GST)
Flight Schedule (selected days only – contact us for schedules and availability)