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Dive Review of same in
Malaysia/Layang Layang

same, Apr, 2005,

by Laura Todd, CA, USA . Report 1705.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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.

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

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 83-0°F / 28--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 45 minute limit was pretty much enforced
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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.
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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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