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Dive Review of Layang Layang Resort in
Malaysia/Layang Layang

Layang Layang Resort, Mar, 2008,

by Ricky Tuss, DE, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 3997.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the US East Coast, Caribbean, and SE Asia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 130 ft limit with no deco.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Layang Layang is an island the Malaysia government built on an atoll 200km Northwest of Kota Kinabalu in to protect their interest in the disputed Spratly Islands. All that exists on the island is a short runway, dive resort, and a small navy base (which supplies power for the resort). Arrival and departure is accomplished by a noisy flying box with wings (operated by the world famous air carrier Layang Layang Aerospace). The island has been described as a stationary aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean. There ain't nothing but water as far as you can see, even from a plane 8,000 feet up!

Why go there? Schooling hammerheads and other pelagics. You see ,the wall around the atoll drops off to over 6,000 feet.

First the resort. Ok accommodation, but the food was great. This is definitely a place to eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, eat, dive. Yes, 5 meals a day. Food was plentiful with both Western, Chinese, and local choices.

Diving? 3 boat dives a day with an optional boat night dive. Also there was shore diving at the house reef... shallow, but a pretty nice night dive full of critters like snake, eel, octopus, lion fish, crab, shrimp, etc. But, the big draw are the pelagics on the walls and out in the blue. An abundance of Napoleon Wrasse, gray reef and whitetip reef sharks,huge schools of barracuda and jacks, hawksbill and green turtles, pigmy devil and spotted eagle rays, schools of dogtooth and yellowfin tuna, a lone manta, and a couple lone hammerheads. I'm sure I missed a few, but who's counting.

The wall and corals were in great shape... very healthy.

Oh, and about the schooling hammerheads? Last dive of the last day of the trip!! More hammers than I can count. Dropped to 145 ft in a very strong down current. I had hammers above below and as far right and left as the 100 ft vis would allow me to see!! I definitely broke the dive profile rules for both depth and deco, but who gives a crap on the last dive!

What could be improved? Finding the hammerheads is a real hit and miss operation although their favorite hangout is at "The Point". I would think that the dive operations could invest in a fairly cheap fish finder and do a far better job of locating the school{s}and determining if dive-able. I'm sure big schools of big fish within 150ft of the surface would show up quite well!
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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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