Diving Layang Layang
Many people consider this to be Layang Layang's signature dive site, and is one of the main areas for hammerhead sharks. Currents can be strong here and this draws in the bigger fish. It also creates fabulous horizontal visibility, commonly in excess of 50 metres.
Drop in here onto a gentle slope packed with marine life. Move down over the stands of bottlebrush corals and warty corals, take a look at the large giant clams, and watch out for hawksbill turtles resting out from the current.
At 12 metres, you'll join the main wall proper and descend into an amazing array of large barrel sponges and the colourful fans which give this site its name. The fans of yellow and orange sway gently in the current, from where they begin at 22 metres or so right down to over 40.
When the current is running, vast quantities of fish pull in here, and this is really what makes this Layang Layang dive site so special. Lunar fusiliers and giant fusiliers will race past along the reef slope. Small packs of giant trevally hunt over the reef surface, and large dogtooth tuna swim past, sometimes stopping to check you out when their curiosity gets the better of their quest for food.
As you drift along, countless reef fishes, such as redtooth triggerfish and pyramid butterflyfish, dart about on the slope. Large species of grouper are common here, as well as large congregations of midnight snapper, and smaller groups of harlequin sweetlips and round batfish. Unicornfish frequent this portion of the Layang Layang atoll, either feeding in the nutrient-enriched blue or stopping on the reef slope's cleaning stations.
However, to focus solely on the seascape would be to miss the likely presence of scalloped hammerhead sharks, especially around April and May. Sometimes these bizarre looking sharks appear alone, and other times in great schools with a mix of the young and mature. As you gaze admiringly at them, they may venture in towards the reef or slowly slink off into the blue.
Gorgonian Forest Reef Basics: Steep slope
Depth: 10 - >40m
Visibility: 20 - 50m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 25 - 30°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: February to October
Distance: 10 minutes north east from Layang Layang Resort pier
Access: Layang-Layang dive resort
• Layang Layang travel information
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• Sabah - Borneo - Malay Peninsula
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