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Dive Review of Layang Layang in
Malaysia/Layang Layang

April, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by scott johnson, ca, usa
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports)
Report Number 4035
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Kona, Galapagos, Tahiti, Truk, Cozumel, Raja Ampat, Lembeh,
Wakatobi, East Timor, Bali, Christmas Island and a few others
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
currents, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depths to 120' Max dive time 45 to 50 minutes.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
2 stars    
Layang Layang Trip report April 14 thru the 28th

It took over 3 days to arrive in Layang Layang from Los Angeles. Flew JAL
from LA to Narita Japan-spent the night, to Kuala Lumpur-spent the night,
finally to Kota Kinabalu-spent the night. Next day caught a 10:00 am flight
to Layang Layang. It was almost four years ago I last visited Malaysia. Had
forgotten how wonderful the Malaysian people are, very friendly and helpful
people in the hotels, airports, taxi drivers, moneychangers,
Infrastructure, tour operators in Borneo etc. In addition, another pleasant
surprise when going through customs they no longer require a customs form.
Just present your boarding pass from your arrival flight and your passport,
you go right through. 

Layang Layang- 

Finally getting here at around 11:30 am, found the resort is nice, large
pool area, dive shop area was old but adequate, rooms were basic with a TV
and a couple of English channels, staff was very friendly and helpful. I
found the meals were average or below average, served buffet style,
something for everybody, but nothing exceptional except for Saturday nights
they have a Barbeque, you will finally get chicken, beef etc. with no
bones, and the desserts are ok. 

The Diving: The new arrivals (7 of us) did a couple of check out
divesnothing worth mentioning more like get wet diving. They are very
strict on depths and dive times 45-50 minutes; No Nitrox, max depth 120 if
you exceeded that you lost a dive. My DM Averil would let someone stay up
to 55 minutes. I can understand the reason for the strict regulations as
the closest chamber is about 300 plus kilometers away. One thing I noticed
right off the tanks were at around 2800 psi. I complained the first two
days about the short fills and Averil my dive guide (he was great) made
sure they were filled to 3000 psi. Being they only have 80cc tanks and I am
an air hogThe dive times 45 to 55 minutes were never a problem for me.
Visibility was between 40 to 60 (I had heard it was a 100 plus, No
way).Water temperatures ranged 78 to 84 degrees. I dove in a shorty but
when I hit one of those thermoclineswell I wished I had my 1mm full suit

The diving was just OK, I did 30 dives. There was not a lot of Marine Life,
you will see an occasional shark (White Tip or Grey), some tuna (now and
then), Occasionally a Manta, yellowback fusiliers, parrotfish, wrasse,
angelfish, butterfly fish, grunts, squirrelfish, cardinal fish, groupers,
triggerfish, snappers, boxfish, porcupine fish, jacks, lionfish, puffers,
drums, damselfish, sweet lips, barracudas, assorted tropical fish etc.
(over 30 dives). I saw a school of Devil rays a couple of times, a large
school of Jacks a few times and a school of Hammerheads three times about
30 away with vis about 40. To see the Hammerheads you had to swim about
15 minutes into the blue to catch a glimpse of them then they quickly
disappear. I did the best dive sites like The Point, Valley, Crack reef,
Mid reef, Dogtooth, Gorgonian forest etc. Dogtooth was the best site (did
that five times) on one dive saw the school of Hammers, Batfish, Snappers
and a few other things in one dive. When I asked one of the Dive Masters
why the dive sites lacked marine life, she said they have commercial
fishing in the area and she has seen a yearly decline in the Marine life.
Corals were mostly beige, brown, pale blues and greens no vibrant colors.
Both hard and soft corals and I could not find a nudi! This is my second
trip to Malaysia. Four years ago, I went to Sipadan my report then is
almost the same except there was better visibility at Layang Layang.
Although Malaysia is a wonderful country and people, found the diving at
both locations to be about a C- to a D. I wish this diving knocked my socks
off but after diving locations like Palau, Raja Ampat/Papua, Christmas
Island, Fakarava, Rangiroa etc I guess I am a bit spoiled. I thought Layang
Layang was at the same level. It is not, it is more get wet diving and a
place to log divesexpensive ones!

I added on a couple of days to tour Borneo. Had an exceptional guide Lee
Teck Seng. Did a tour of Sandakan and visited the water village, amazing
seeing some nice homes built on stilts over the water. I did not realize
how important Sandakan is to the Aussies. During WWII there were three
death Marches of their POWs. I was lucky to be there when many Australians
were in Sandakan for the memorial and was able to talk with them. After the
tour of the city, I then went to the Sipalok Nature Resort and spent the
night. The next morning my guide and I then visited the Orangutans reserve
and then proceeded with a ride down the Kinabatangan river for about three
hours. Spent the night at the Melapi Lodge. After arriving at the lodge, we
then took a small boat to see Proboscis and MaCaque Monkeys also a wild
Orangutan with baby along with a Croc and many different type of birds. Did
not see the Pigmy Elephants, they had been through four days earlier and
were on their migration path and probably not be back for a couple of
weeks. I wish I had left Layang Layang a couple of days earlier and spent
more time in Borneo. 

All in allthe diving was disappointing but the visit to Malaysia and
Borneo was a plus.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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