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Dive Review of same in
Malaysia/Layang Layang

April, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Laura Todd, CA, USA
Report Number 1705
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Tahiti, Niue, Fiji, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
83   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
45 minute limit was pretty much enforced  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Photo gear is laid on mats in the bow.  Cameras handled with care by staff.
 Good rinse and work areas on shore.  Video pro on site.  No processing.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Even though there were few hammerheads, (one of the main reasons I went), I
would return to Layang Layang any time.  Try going as soon as the resort
opens in March for more hammer action.  The sea will be rougher then, but
since the boats come in after every dive and they enforce a 45 minute
limit, there's not too much time to get seasick.  If you really need calm
seas, wait until the wind switches for sure in late May (the water will be
too warm for the big guys then, though).  Other guests did see a thresher
shark and a whale shark.  There's an amazing level of luxury considering
you are 150 miles from anywhere in the South China Sea: satellite TV,
freshwater pool, international phone calling, etc.  The accomodations
themselves are uninspired, just functional motel block rooms with dark
paneling but all have air conditioning.  The landscaping is nice, with
hammocks and plenty of pool side lounges.  It's a great value with 5 meals
and 3 boat dives per day.  The food is not gourmet, but every meal has lots
of variety, from the onion and fish things that Asians prefer for breakfast
to a custom omelette bar to baked beans on toast.  Great fresh fruit and
several desserts at both lunch and dinner.  Tea could be either sweet or
savory local snack.  The staff is friendly and very organized in a low key
way.  Gift shop with very reasonable 
t-shirts and dive supplies.  The boats are simple, with shade and safety
gear.  No heads, but they return to the resort between dives. Communal gear
storage is huge.  The outdoor drying racks are in full sun most of the day.
Divemasters are responsive to guest requests, safety conscious without
being manic.  All speak at least 2-3 languages.  Gauges and weights are
metric.  You should easily get to all the sites here in a week.  The big
critters tend to hang out at the points of the island, where currents can
be unpredictable.  Most of the sites are sheer walls, 6000 feet straight
down - if you drop anything, that's the last you'll see of it!  We were
treated to several bait balls with hundreds of jacks swirling around,often
with a giant trevally cruising the outside.  The best was a huge school of
brilliant blue fusilliers with a turtle on the outside.  Always one or two
gray or black tip sharks each dive.  Only one distant hammerhead.  Lots of
great small tropical fish, including long nose hawk fish, fire gobies, leaf
fish, and the exquisite long nose filefish (bright turquoise with yellow
markings).  many nudibranchs, mostly quite small.  Several clownfish
species.  Usually a couple turtles every dive.  There's night diving when 6
or more people sign up - reports were mixed.  The island itself is nothing
much to look at.  There's a tiny beach with some decent shells to walk to. 
Don't bother going only for the bird refuge - it's one tiny, stinky island
that you can only see from the boat - no landing.  The island is shared by
the Malaysian Navy.  The website gives the impression that this is on some
remote part of Layang layang, but you can throw a rock from the dive dock
and hit it.  Their website is otherwise very accurate except that they have
many more than 3 charter flights a week (the plane itself is a little
spartan, but it gets you there).  Sometimes they even put on 2 per day when
it's busy.  The incredibly young-looking sailors hang out at the beach in
the evenings and sometimes eat at the restaurant.  They were friendly but
most don't have enough English to get beyond introductions.  No
photos/video of military staff or facilities is allowed.  The guests were a
mix of Malaysians, Europeans, a few Aussies and Brits, Japanese; very few
Americans, but not a problem.  
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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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