Islands Layang Layang Island

Where is it?

Layang Layang Island

Layang Layang, the "Swallow Reef," is an atoll in the South China Sea some 300 km north-west of Kota Kinabalu. The island is man-made and was constructed for the Malaysian Navy and later developed for the only dive resort, the Layang-Layang Island Resort. The island location offers absolute isolation, and the only mode of getting there, except by boat, is the regular Malaysia Airlines flights from Kota Kinabalu. The extreme location of Layang-Layang, the pristine reefs, excellent visibility, steep walls down to 2000 m and regular sightings of pelagics have given Layang-Layang the much deserved reputation of being one of the top ten dive locations in the world.

With resident schools of barracuda and big-eye trevally, and frequently seen green and hawksbill turtles the reef has something to offer for everyone. The corals are plentiful and healthy with sea fans more than three meters across, filtering plankton from passing currents. The 20 m deep lagoon has some great macro creatures to be found, including seahorses, cuttlefish and pipefish but it is the pelagics visiting the outer walls that truly excite divers. Schools of scalloped hammer sharks, grey reef sharks, leopard sharks and the occasional threshers and silvertip sharks can all be seen.

Stingrays are also regular visitors including manta rays, pygmy devil rays, marbled rays and eagle rays. Rarer sightings such as whale sharks, orcas and melon headed whales have all been reported over the last few years. Spinner and bottlenose dolphins frequently follow the dive-boats to each location and divers are sometimes rewarded by snorkelling and diving with these amazing creatures!

With its pristine reef, diverse fish life and visiting pelagics, Layang-Layang has rightly gained world wide recognition.

Attraction Points

  • Wall Diving
  • Swallows Reef
  • Atoll
  • Bird Watching

Popular Dive Sites

  • Crack Reef
  • D Wall
  • Navigator's Lane
  • Snapper's Ledge
  • The Tunnel
  • Wrasse Strip
  • Dog Tooth Lair
  • Gorgonian Forest
  • Shark's Cave
  • The Runaway
  • The Valley
  • The Point