Layang-Layang, an atoll, amongst a host of other atolls near the famous Spratly group of islands. A new name for an oceanic atoll once called "Swallow Reefs". Layang-Layang is rated as a "Big fish and Wall Diving Mecca of Southeast Asia", to which divers from all over the globe are attracted to. This oval shaped island is nearly 7 sq. km wide and 1.2 sq. km long. With a 1,665 to 1,998 metres drop, the island is an exceptional place for the more experienced diver. The waters beneath offer fascinating seascapes and marine life, including several diverse species of coral and reef fish.
Amongst other one will find hammerhead sharks, manta rays, hawksbill turtles and tunas. The island itself is a sanctuary to thousands of migratory birds. Tour cruise around the island and night dives are also available. The best time to visit is during the off-monsoon season from February to September.
There is however, one drawback - "The caustic smell of guano assaults your senses, scouring your nasal passages with its acrid ammonia. It is all-pervading".
For those wishing to stay, visitors can choose between chalets or a 3 star resort hotel.
Location: About 165 nautical miles northwest of its capital city, Kota Kinabalu. Pulau Layang-Layang is accessible by light aircraft. The flight takes about one hour from Kota Kinabalu.
Click for an overview of what Pulau Layang-Layang is like