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Malaysia Diving Holidays

Lankayan Island Travel Information

The sundeck at Lankayan Island Dive Resort

Lankayan has been steadily growing in reputation and is beginning to emerge from the huge shadow of Sipadan. Much less crowded, the island has only one resort and much more of a desert island feel to it. Covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little piece of paradise is ringed by an endless pure white sandy beach.

Lankayan Island is a small island, fully covered with tropical vegetation, featuring tall casuarina trees and pandan screwpine. The island is pristine, being part of the fully protected Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area and not having suffered human occupation for long, so the beaches and clean clear waters are free of the curse of plastic.

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How to Get There

Flights - Boat Transfer
If you are arriving from Kota Kinabalu then there are daily 50 minute flights from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 departing to Sandakan at 07:30 hrs, 09:05, 12:40, 17:40 and 19:50 (returning at 08:45, 12:15, 14:00, 18:50, 21:10 respectively) with Malaysia Airlines, and 07:05 and 13:10 (returning at 08:15 and 14:20) with Air Asia.

If you plan to arrive from Sipadan then there is only 1 flight per day from Tawau to Sandakan, a 40 minute flight at 11:15 hrs (returns 10:15). There are also 2 daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia departing at 07:15 and 17:25 (returning at 10:30 and 20:40 respectively).

Guests are collected at the airport and taken to the jetty for registration before being transferred to the island. The boat transfer takes between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours. To get a transfer on the same day, you need to take one of the earlier flights, otherwise you can stay overnight in Sandakan and get a transfer next morning.

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Sightseeing and Adventure

Lankayan is favoured by couples seeking a romantic getaway, and those who want to dive in its unheralded waters away from the hordes. There is little in the way of organised fun, but that is Lankayan's charm.

Black-tip reef sharks in the shallows at Pulau Lankayan, Malaysia

Many describe their time here as like being in a nature documentary, where at night dancing fireflies, swooping fruitbats and turtle hatchlings scurrying to the sea all delight the guests. Add to this the amazing diving and Snorkelling sights such as numerous baby black tip sharks, and you can see why you might leave sounding like David Attenborough.

Due to the dangers of flying after diving, guests often overnight in Sandakan before taking any onward flights, and often incorporate a day or 2 visiting the orangutan sanctuary in Sepilok, near Sandakan. You can stay at a jungle lodge in Sepilok which is next to the orangutan sanctuary. Add on packages are available. Here you can see rehabilitated orangutans coming in from the open jungle to feed on bananas distributed by their human former carers. More orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, elephants, crocodiles and more await you deeper in the jungle and a few hours river cruise can take you there. With such a list of possible sightings it is a little like diving without getting wet. Borneo's natural wonders abound above and below and all are more than worth a look.

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If you're keen to explore the sparkling waters of Lankayan, then click below to check your options now for:

Be sure to book in plenty of time to avoid limited choice! The best diving opportunities are booked by repeat customers who book well in advance to ensure their reservation!



Price Specials

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Dive Resorts

Scuba diving vacations from US$ 193 per day ...



An add-on jungle package to our Borneo dive resorts. From US$ 76 per day.

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