The diving here is all about Hammerhead Sharks and as with all things nature based you take your chances, we were there for 8 days early May and for the first 4 days we saw little but for the second 4, oh man was it good, we observed a number of individual sightings and two huge schools on separate days, upwards of 100 animals !! We were up close and personal (fantastic photos from very basic equipment ) that sort of encounter leaves a lasting impression.
Other than the hammers I wouldn't rate the reefs much compare to other coral reefs but then who cares when you have a chance of seeing hammers.
Some guys bring documentary type dive equipment and can be a bit of a pain (particularly the macro fanatics) standing your ground works for me, their equipment is far to expensive for them to risk damaging it.
I'd read a lot about dive masters prior to my travelling to Layang Layang and being one myself, here's my opinion for what its worth, diving here is all about in the blue looking for hammers, and with 10 or so divers to each dive master who is using his expertise to find shark not babysit you (within reason ) so if you are a resort only type diver and not comfortable at 30 - 35m potentially in a bit of current and possibly with limited visability or not capable of monitoring your own air consumtion, deco resquirements and personal assents then this is not the spot for you unless you want to book a private DM or take some other measures like a good competent dive buddy, you have got to intimately know your dive computer and the information being provided to you by it.
If however all of the above is you then take a chance, if you hit a school of hammers believe me you will discount everything else about the trip.
As with everything in life some DM's are better than others, we dived with Gavin for half our trip and found him to be an excellent and professional DM with good interpersonal skills, I again stress however you have to be competent in your own ability.
The resort? ? its a dive resort and if your not a diver there really is no reason for you to be there, I've read all the reports about thin walls on the accommodation, its true but who cares, after 3 dives a day starting at 07.30 everyone is in bed by 22.00 hrs anyway, the accommodation is perfectly adequate, clean and comfortable with a good ensuite (for the chance to see hammers I would have slept in the pool anyway ) the food is plentifully and there is something for everyone, be flexible the western visitor is not the islands main customer demographic, believe me you won't go hungry.
The staff are the jewel in the Layang Layang crown, they are so polite and pleasant always willing to look after you. I've read negotiate comments about staff attitude which I found totally unfounded, every morning they will greet you with a smile, if however you don't bother to interact with them, then you didn't get poor service !
After a week or so if you don't know at least a few of them by name ( Jerry the barman is a vital one) then what do you expect from them.
The only down point that I would definitely change if possibe is the very very early moring flight which results in an incredibly early check in at KK and results in a very long off day prior to depature, however I discussed this issue with the manager who agreed a lunchtime flight would offer a far better alternative, so here's hoping.
If your a competent diver comfortable in depth then give yourself a treat and book a trip, if you meet the hammers you will love yourself forever, I would return in a heartbeat.
Remember your uptime, engage with the staff, they will so enrich your stay. so good luck if your going I wish I was you.
- 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 nestles lies in 2,000 m 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 creatures await you! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
- Layang Island Hotel
- Avillion Layang Layang Sabah