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Layang Layang

Layang Layang Island Resort

Layang Layang 88005 Malaysia
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Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks", it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestled lies in 2,000m of ocean and due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, Dive Center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creature awaits you!
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Layang Layang 88005 Malaysia
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Before arriving at Layang Layang last week, I was very concerned by the mixed reviews on this page. However after a week in this amazing atoll, I think one should just visit the island to experience it for himself. The Resort The resort is dated, but as the only resort 300km away from civilisation, you can’t be expecting a Maldives range of facilities and rooms. The room I stayed in was basic and clean. The staff were quick to fix faults and also keep the rooms clean. The service provided is great. Everyone’s always smiling and willing to go the extra mile. The Food The food can be a hit and miss but it’s alright for a Malaysian resort. Being the only resort on the Island, you will need to manage your expectations on the food quality. Also, you are there mainly to eat, sleep, dive, repeat. You can bring snacks if you'd like, but honestly, the food keeps you so full, you probably will end up bringing back all your snacks, just like I did. The Dive Centre The Dive Centre had good quality equipment and attentive and skillful dive professionals. My dive guides Zoe and Jackson were both very good at what they do, finding for the hammerheads at each dive while guiding and providing assistance when needed. Layang-Layang has difficult dive sites. You must be experienced and confident in order to attempt them. I wouldn't agree with the divers who say otherwise in this page, at the end of the day, its your responsibility to take care of yourself, you have been trained for almost all situations anyway. The diving is insane. The corals are untouched, the fishes are plentiful. The hammerheads only appeared for us twice in the 5 days we spent there, but hey, they are wild creatures after all. Can't wait to go back!
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Response from Coastal12556369013, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded May 27, 2019
Dear Sir, Thank you for your feedback. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Meanwhile we will do our best always and make improvements on all feedbacks we received. Take Care. Happy and Safe Diving! Regards LLee
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I feel that i owed Layang Layang Resort a review thus decided to write this while waiting for my flight back to Singapore. I read the reviews here just 1 day before i flew and likely because of this my expectation was managed. However, when i reached the resort, i was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the rooms and was even more surprised by their services and dives experiences. If you are expecting to do a no-deco dives, unfortunately Layang is not for you. Unless you manage to get 10 divers, all like you. The Hammerheads are likely to appear below 35m and when u see it, u really discipline urself to take pic of 1 min and prepare to surface? Unfortunately the hard truth is, many of us wun. Thus, this is NOT the resort and their guides' fault. I am a Singaporean who came with 1 other Singaporean and 8 Chinese and i do not find any of them in any ways more inferior in diving. Yes the ratio is 1 is to 10 but we are blessed to have 1 instructor (Jackson) and 1 DM (Shuk) taking care of us. They have certainly done a great job and did not at any point in time, lost any of us, or made us feel unsafe. As for the Hammerheads, we only managed to see them (a school of them) on the very last 2nd dive of the trip. We have in fact resigned to the fact we will not see them. They are wild marine life, thus there is no guaranteed sighting. If you are someone thinking its confirmed sighting, you might want to go aquarium instead. As for the food, its standard buffet dishes. Steamed rice, pasta, fish, veg, chicken, beef or lamb and 1 soup. Very typical diving resort or Liveonboard meals. Thus i dont find it particularly good or bad. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all their crews including those not leading us for sharing the locations of Shaun, Hammies and experiences so generously. Special thanks to Shuk and Jackson for taking good care of us and not giving up on finding the hammies. Last but not least, thank you Mark for the great hospitality! Till we meet again!
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Response from Coastal12556369013, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded May 18, 2019
Dear Sir, Thank you for taking the time to provide us your feedback. All of us at Layang Layang is glad you enjoyed yourself on your trip. We will always continuously make improvements so to provide better experience for our guest. Thank you. Regards LLee
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Travelled from the UK to Layang Layang to experience the world class diving I’d read and heard about. Well what a massive disappointment! I’m going to do this review in 2 parts focussing firstly on the diving then the resort itself. DIVING After arriving on island and expecting 2 dives in the afternoon we were told there was no fuel to dive! Seriously?? We were given a ropey story about how the fuel boat had gone missing at sea but no one seemed that bothered about it. The resort managed to borrow some fuel from the military base so we could have 1 dive. We were also offered free jetty dives (although the coral is dead in the lagoon and there is nothing to see). On the second day where we were supposed to have 3 dives, no diving all day! Still no fuel. The boat finally turned up at the end of the day but the lack of communication from management was very disappointing. The next day we were all told we would be going 4 dives with one of them obviously very shallow. When you go to layang layang you are paying to do the deep dives to hopefully see the hammerhead sharks migrating. We saw not a single one. In terms of the quality of the diving.. the tanks were in terrible condition, o-rings missing. Just before we left for an afternoon dive all divers on the boat reported leaking tanks - some of them serious leaks. Not what you want when you are going to deep depths! The lack of marine life was disturbing for a remote atoll. DO NOT believe the write ups on layang layang website. We only saw 2 sharks one white tip and one grey reef. As we understand it now from locals in kota kinabalu, the military and other fishing vessels have dynamite bombed areas killing a lot of the marine life. It is virtually impossible to see the hammerheads as they are at such deep depths (50-60 meters). There is no fish for them to feed off because of the over fishing. Our dive master was lacking in terms of safety in the water. She failed to tell us about the strong currents around the atoll. There should have been a briefing about the up and down currents as well as the strong currents pulling you away from the reef. Also whilst on the dives our DM paid no attention to us in the water. Sat down at 40 m just looking for the sharks. Given the strong currents and deep depths I found this astounding. Don’t get me wrong, we were all experienced competent divers and didn’t need baby sitting but it’s not the point. Things can go wrong at any time. This is supposed to be a full service resort and our dive gear was not washed down each day. As we all know, kit can stick when sat out without being washed - another safety issue. The crew refused to wash the kit down when asked saying it wasn’t there job. After the DM saying you’ve have a diving ban if you went into deco, on one dive we all came up to the surface and our DM wasn’t there. We all got our kit off before realising and then asked the boatman if she was ok and he said “don’t worry, she’s in deco”. Pretty hypocritical. I appreciate that she was trying to find the sharks for us, but safety should always come first. All of this plus the extra we paid for ‘hammerhead season’ was a joke. THE RESORT Ok, we were on a remote atoll and not expecting luxury BUT the pool was dirty and green and not useable. So when we couldn’t dive we couldn’t use it. There was no water coming out of the shower every night we were there so we were given a cold bucket of water and a shovel to pour it over us to shower. Great!! On the first day the toilet wouldn’t flush either due to lack of water so we had to chuck water down to get rid of our own ‘waste’. The food was pretty average at the resort. The drinking water they provided tasted disgusting. Full of chlorine and undrinkable. When the dive times changed there was a lack of communication between the dive team and the kitchen meaning food wasn’t ready at the right time. The rooms are extremely tired/dated and it’s only a matter of time before the floor boards give way. I could forgive some of the issues with the resort had the diving been safe and good but it was poor at best. There is a distinct lack of care and safety on island. I came away very very upset with what was supposed to be a trip of a life time. It’s a very long way to come from the UK for such poor diving and a poor resort. Do not waste your time or money. The resort and diving has clearly gone down hill. I should add that the resort have promised 50% refund on the non diving days plus a discount on a future trip but this is not enough compensation. Firstly I will never go to layang layang again, secondly 50% on the non diving days if half of what should be refunded. Thirdly it doesn’t compensate the massive cost of international flights that I had to pay to get there. Fingers crossed the resort comes good and I actually get some money back otherwise I will have to take legal action.
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Response from Coastal12556369013, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded May 18, 2019
Dear Marie, Thank you for your feedback. Our sincere apologies for your poor experience when staying us. The delayed in arrival of fuel was really unexpected as our first boat via the authorities boat was delayed resulting in a delay thereafter we arrange a second boat on the 8 May. Unfortunately the boat broke down and got drifted resulted in arriving on the 11 May afternoon. We however manage to provide 8 boat dives however noted on the breakdown of communication on the island. We will study this matter and make improvements on the standards and procedures. Meanwhile your agent will arrange your refund. It is indeed very unfortunate and we regretted the poor experience you had at the resort. Once again i apologize. Regards LLee
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1) The island is only for divers (max. 70 on up to five boats) and when I was there in late April/early May a liveaboard "The White Manta" also anchored in the lagoon. The resort is pretty basic, the pool filled with sea water, the food repetitive and pretty average, the aircon mediocre, the drinks selection limited but the staff is great, very friendly and polite. 2) The atoll has all-round wall diving with beautiful, large coral and a lot of marine life (the odd shark, hammerhead, turtles, manta rays, barracudas (large and small), schools of jacks, trigger fish, frog fish etc.3) The only problem is that you will most likely NOT see huge schools of hammerhead sharks migrating around you, even in peak season (I saw one!). There are probably several reasons for this: too many divers in the water at the same time - we spent nearly every dive waiting for around 15-20 minutes in the blue at around 30m off a point where a shark had been spotted a few days before but not just the twelve divers on our boat but the other three boats' divers as well! All boats most of the time go to the same spot around the same time which means that you'll see far more other divers than sharks! The second reason is that a lot of the divers are from China (on our week around 75%) and not all of them seem to be experienced divers and unfortunately some of the - not a small minority, mind you - did not understand the concept of not gunning for a shark or other fish, turtle, ray etc. when seeing one but to stay put and wait for the fish to swim by. This led to sharks and other marine animals being scared away as soon as they saw a bunch of divers. The third reason probably has to do with overfishing and simply less sharks being around than twenty years ago. Unfortunately this is the same in the Maledives, Egypt etc. where I have been diving since 1989. To cut a long story short: the diving is great but manage your expectations since you will most likely see the odd shark at a distance, if very lucky 5-6 of them at around 50-60m (far below you) but not hundreds of them swimming past you like they used to many, many years ago. For Europeans this sort of wall diving can be done closer to home and much, much cheaper on a liveaboard in Egypt.
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Response from Coastal12556369013, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded May 14, 2019
Dear Sir, Thank you for your feedback and comments. Regards LLee
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Never expecting there’ll be a luxury resort on an isolated island, but overall the room is within my expectation as it’s clean and spacious. Various selection of foods and desserts are provided. Friendly and helpful staffs are always at your services. I joinEd this dive trip arranged by Go Asia Diving to Layang-layang. The vis of the sea is superb clear and we spotted one hammerhead shark twice. Although not school of hammerhead shark spotted but i still enjoyed the diving with beautiful corals there and school of other marine life. Will come back again to hunt for the hammerhead sharks again 😊 And thanks a lot to the dive guide who tried his best to spot for the marine livings
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Response from Coastal12556369013, Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort
Responded May 14, 2019
Dear Sir, Thank you for taking the time to provide us the feedback. Glad you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again at Layang Layang. Regards LLee
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MalaysiaSabahWest Coast DivisionKota Kinabalu DistrictLayang Layang
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