Layang Layang

Layang Layang known as the ‘jewel of the Borneo Banks’ is a coral atoll situated around 300 km north of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, North Borneo, Malaysia. It's coral walls plunge a staggering 6,000 feet (2,000 meters) down to the floor of the South China Sea and given its location in the middle of nowhere, the ocean waters are clear and unpolluted with potential of spotting deep water marine species such as the Hammerhead shark.

What to see

The atoll isn't that large - it only covers an area of 14 square kilometres but is surrounded by waters teeming with a rich biodiversity of marine life and some of the most heart-stopping diving opportunities around. Hammerhead sharks visit this location and it is possible to encounter large aggregations of these marine megastars between April & June as they visit the atoll for mating purposes; visitors should always remember that spotting the Hammerheads is never guaranteed! However over the course of a trip there is a pretty good chance! Other pelagic visitors include Manta Rays, Mobula rays, barracuda & giant trevallly, we have even enjoyed visits by the occasional Thresher shark!

As well as the deep blue waters, the coral gardens that decorate the shallow water reef tops are in fantastic condition and with no fishing permitted, the fish life is abundant. Amongst the vast array of intact, unbleached hard and soft corals, barrel sponges & gorgonian fans; Turtles, snapper, clown fish, morays & schools of large fish along with the usual array of colourful little fish can be seen on each dive. The diving conditions can vary with the weather & potential strong Ocean currents, our cruise leader & captain will select suitable sites accordingly. 

The extraordinary coral gardens of these virgin atoll reefs surrounding Layang Layang Island have never been fished or experienced any kind of man-made pollution. They are undoubtedly the healthiest reefs in Malaysia and rank as high as any for fish species and coral diversity too.

Visibility in these waters often exceeds 30-40 metres. In fact, the extraordinary visibility and exciting variety of marine life can sometimes be misleading and dangerous to divers - watch your diving depth and no-decompression times, you could well be diving deeper than you think!  

Dallas & Mariveles Reefs

These reefs form part of Spratly Islands and are situated about 2-4 hours sailing time from Layang Layang. Largely unexplored and reachable ONLY via liveaboard when possible we try to include these reefs on at least 1-2 days of our Layang Layang trips. update; Due to recent territorial disputes currently both reefs are OFF limits to any vessels as the Malaysian Navy conduct their naval exercises. This may change but at this time (Mar-2018) both reefs are out of bounds.

How to get there

Embarkation / Disembarkation : Sutera Harbour Marina, Kota Kinabalu (10 minutes from Airport) 

How to Get to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; daily flights to Kota Kinabalu International airport (BKI) from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and more by Cathay Pacific, Silk Air, Jetstar, Air Asia, Tiger Airway, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Dragon Air , Korean Air

Please ensure your flight arrives no later than 1pm on trip departure day in time for 2pm White Manta departure from Sutera Harbour. We shall meet you upon arrival and transfer you to the waiting White Manta.                                          


Kota Kinabalu Airport is located just 8 kilometres southwest of downtown Kota Kinabalu. There is a wide variety of hotels within a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport. If you would like to stay at the Sutera Harbour complex, from where White Manta departs you can choose from The Pacific Sutera Hotel or The Magellan Sutera Resort. Amongst the many other hotels to choose from in the local vicinity are; Cititel Express,The Klagan Hotel,Sabah Oriental Hotel, The Palace Hotel,  & The Hotel Shangri-La