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Must-See Dive Sites

Diving in Lankayan

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When to go to Lankayan

While the diving season on Lankayan is open all year long, conditions remain the best during the dry season which usually lasts March through October. The average air temperature ranges from 23C/73F to 31C/87F.

Scuba diving in Lankayan

Lankayan Island is located in the Sulu Sea, about 80km/50mi off the north-east coast of Sabah, Borneo. It is one of the few destinations worldwide that offers macro diving, wrecks and coral reefs all in one place. The area was recently afforded national marine park protection status. Divers are sure to appreciate the remaining large stretches of unspoiled lettuce, staghorn and other species of hard and soft corals including feather stars and sponges. There are numerous octopi and cuttlefish in the local waters. Divers get a chance to experience some excellent macro opportunities, including frogfish, ghostpipefish and somewhat rare Giant jawfish and seahorses. Among the smaller denizens of the reefs, there are numerous juvenile fish, nudibranchs, clown anemone fish, decorator and spider crabs. Colorful snappers, parrotfish, wrasses, butterfly and anglesfish are in abundance. Sometimes even Guitar sharks and seasonally, from April through May, whale sharks are spotted. If happened on the island during the hatching season, divers can witness one of nature's most fascinating spectacles - baby turtles scurrying out to sea for their first swim. Lankayan features over 30 dive sites, most are submerged reefs, starting at approx 7-11m/22-36ft and falling gently down to 24m/78ft, to the sandy sea floor. Lankayan boasts a few wreck dives as well, such as Jetty Wreck, Lankayan Wreck and Mosquito Wreck. Lankayan Wreck consists of 2 boats lying side by side at 15m-25m/49-82ft depth. This wreck is open for divers of all levels of experience. The site is now a home to numerous fish, from small cardinals and yellow pikes to large groupers, cobias and emperors. Some other sites worthy of a mention are Jawfish Lair, Mel’s Rock and Pegaso Reef. Mel's rock is a small patch reef covered with hard corals and surrounded by sand and some smaller reefs (Ikoh's Rock, Twin Rock and Katcing Star). On the top of the reef, at about 12m/39ft, there are several very large coral blocks. Divers get a chance to observe large barrel sponges and beautiful pink squat lobsters living among them. Visibility can be quite limited, during the periods of heavy rain it usually averages 10-15m/32-49ft, but can be as low as 4m/13ft or as high as 30m/98ft depending on the weather.