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Dive Review of Layang Layang in
Malaysia/Layang Layang

Layang Layang, Apr, 2008,

by scott johnson, ca, usa (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports). Report 4035.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments 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 dives…nothing 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 hog…The 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 thermoclines…well I wished I had my 1mm full suit on!

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 fusilier’s, 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 dives…expensive 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 POW’s. 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 Monkey’s 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 all…the diving was disappointing but the visit to Malaysia and Borneo was a plus.

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

Weather cloudy, dry Seas currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Depths to 120' Max dive time 45 to 50 minutes.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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