The boat ride at 10 AM will take you 1.5 hours from the jetty, and upon arrival you are given an orientation of the resort. The island is basically made up of the dive centre (over water), main dining hall / reception (over water), turtle hatchery centre, chalets and the encircling beach.
The island is a nesting spot for green and hawksbill turtles during the season between June and September. You could experience hundreds of turtles hatching out of the sand in the hatchery, and then released on the beach where they run for their cute little lives into the ocean. At night, you could also view mother turtles laying their eggs on the beach. Its a beautiful experience but be prepared to get furious over noisy and loud tourists with unmanageable kids and camera flashes. Camera flashes and noise disrupt and irritate the mother. I would have expected the "reef guardian" (the hatchery institute) to better manage the crowd with education during the orientation (in various languages beside english), and strict crowd control during the events.
The rooms are incredibly huge and each has an ocean view. Be sure to ask which sun you'd like to face. I had the evening sun which was too strong for me to enjoy the ocean view. Rooms have a sabahian theme but little details like brightly coloured plastic dustbins and buckets spoil the whole flow. Using the hot water is a mystery with painful consequences, so be careful!
There are basically two types of packages to stay in this resort, the diver and non-diver packages, which includes full board of all meals (buffet style).
The management is very well organised and efficient, who are quick to attend to your needs.
Diving around Lankayan Island is a mix of beautiful corals and bad visibility. Almost all the dive sites are within 10 minutes boat ride. The poor visibility could be due to multiple runoffs of river mouths from Sabah mainland that bring deluge into the ocean. Most marine life of interest are macro. The best dives for me that are rich in diversity and good visibility with beautiful healthy corals are, Bimbo Rock, Goby Rock and Whale Shark Reef.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Lankayan Island Dive Hotel Sandakan
- Lankayan Island Dive Sandakan
- Lankayan Island Dive Resort Sandakan, Sabah