We were lucky enough to stay here as part of our honeymoon and it was definitely a highlight. The boat picked us up from Sandakan and whisked us across the water taking about 90 minutes to get to the island.
As we walked up the jetty across the clear turquoise water toa palm fringed beachwear knew we'd made a great decision to come here. A lovely welcome,a few rules (it is a turtle nesting site) and we were shown to our beach side hut. Well more of a perfect haven. A balcony 2 metres from the water's edge, a four poster bed with beautiful curtains and flowers and petals to welcome us. The bath room was lovely with a massive rain shower.
The island takes about 15 minutes to walk around, at high tide you have to duck under or step over palm trees. You can watch the small reef sharks patrolling the water's edge and the egrets catching small fish. And go to the western point of the island to watch spectacular sunsets (with no one else around).
I dived but my wife did not. The equipment was pretty good, certainly well maintained and mainly less than a season old. I was given a refresher by the dive master to regain my confidence after a few years not diving, but this is not a resort with training facilities. The 6 dives I took were all within 10 minutes ride in the boat and were different every time. A couple of wrecks at 22m and a variety of reefs from 18 up to 5 metres.
We saw turtles, a leopard shark, several reef sharks, large lobsters, small rays, a grouper and a good range of smaller reef fish. The reefs here seemed to be in fairly good health - but I am no expert.
The other highlight is of course the fact that the island has nesting turtles visiting. We were lucky enough to see both a release of babies and a massive green hornbill laying eggs. The island collect the eggs so they can ensure more are hatched which meant there were 4 or 5 staff as well as 8 of us watching this beautiful creature lay her eggs. I have to say if felt like I was intruding.
Overall a perfect three nights which we should have planned for five.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Lankayan Island Dive Hotel Sandakan
- Lankayan Island Dive Sandakan
- Lankayan Island Dive Resort Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia