We were picked up from the airport and off we go to the sabah parks jetty. We arrived at about 845am and were schedule to take the 10am boat to the Lankayan island dive resort. So while waiting, there was a coffee shop where we had local breakfast of roti prata with curry and some traditional Malay cakes and coffee. We were also told by the driver that there is a supermarket nearby and they are open at 9am.
There are no shops on the island so you better get whatever you need, tibits, potato chips, nuts, instant noodles and whatnots. On the island there is only a small souvenier shop at the main building, really nothing much to buy there...so you better get whatever you need last minute from the mainland.
Boat journey took about 2hrs and 10mins on good weather and when it's not it may take a little bit more than that... passed 2 hours and we were so worried as we can't see any island except the sea. The boat journey could get quite a bit bumpy so prepare raincoats or ponchos if you are sitting on the sides of the boat as you will definitely get wet. Upon arrival and were greeted by the resort staffs and a dive master.
Jerry the dive master gave us an orientation of the island, do's and don't, location of where our luggages are kept for us to collect after we get our room keys. At the main building we were greeted by the restaurant staff where we were given cold wet towels to freshen up and a welcome drink. There we did our registration and after that we make our way to the room. Lunch is served on the day we arrived. There are no wifi in your room and only wifi is at the main building, that's where you have your B/L/D and on the second level that's where the TV and library is located. We bought the maxis sim card from Kota Kinabalu and it's the only telco signal available here and also the signal is not that good. Oh did I mention my partner is a Diver and I'm a Non-diver. So if any couples who is like us and for non-diver if you want to follow on the dive trip all you have to do is ask the dive master, I managed to follow the boat the next day on the first dive but on the second dive I decided not to as the waves were too big and I got seasick :( and you cannot snorkel while waiting, so there's no point in following the boat.
Food was ok, mixed of local and western dishes for B/L/D and for breakfast they have egg and waffle station, thank you for that. Breakfast is serve from 6am-1030am, lunch is at 1pm-230pm and dinner is 7-830pm. In between those timing if you are hungry they have cookies, bread, coffee, tea and water at the restaurant. On our 2nd night we had BBQ fish, chicken, squid, steamed corn and many more...
Our room #18 has direct access to the sea and it's about 5mins walk to the dive center and 6-7mins walk to the main building(restaurant & library). You can snorkel from the dive center to around the island(free), but if you need the snorkelling gear it's available for rental upon checking-in they will brief you on that, you have to pay if you want to go on a boat to snorkel to places that is away from the resort, just about 10mins. Amount is MYR58, we had this on our last day, you get to see more corals, that's it. On our 2nd last day was our lucky day as we get to witness the releasing of the baby green turtles into the sea.
Room is beautiful with modern amenities and very spacious but the aircon is not cold and we can't figure out how does the hot water works, since it was quite warm in the room even tho there is a ceiling fan, we don't mind the cold water. We brought out portable radio but there was no signal, how disappointing. Please bring your iPod, iPad or whatever that can play some music, as there are no TV and no Radio, only silence in the room, but if you open the door you can hear the sound of the waves. The balcony is very windy, bring a hammock which we did and we enjoyed our time spend at the balcony.
If you are taking AirAsia flight try request for a window seat on the left side- seat A if you fly from Kota Kinabalu as you will get a good view from the TOP of Mount Kinabalu if weather permits. We booked our package from a travel agent called Asia Diving Vacation online, booking process was smooth and easy. This is our second time booking with them.
Overall we enjoyed our stay at the Lankayan Island Dive Resort, out of a 5 rating, 5 being the best we decided to give it 3.5.
- 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