With soft, powdery white sandy beaches and almost untouched natural surroundings, Lankayan Island is a secluded paradise island found in Sabah that’s ideal for those who seek a romantic getaway or for those who wish to dive in its pristine waters away from the masses. Lankayan derives its name from a Sulug word, lakian, meaning final or last of the series – a fitting name for this remote island in the Sulu Sea.
There are no other inhabitants of this paradise island with the exception of those from the one and only resort on Lankayan Island. The eco-friendly Lankayan Island Dive Resort was built with sustainability in mind and is instrumental in having the surrounding waters protected and declared a national marine park. Although situated on a remote island, Lankayan Island Dive Resort offers modern amenities and an open-terrace restaurant and bar. Internet is also available at a fee for those who cannot live without technology.
Made out of local wooden materials to blend in with the natural surroundings, each of the 24 beach front chalets at Lankayan Island Dive Resort have private balconies that overlook the white sandy beach and crystal clear ocean. All chalets offer direct access to the beach which is in fact just at your front door step. Rooms include a mini refrigerator, hot running water, and a coffee maker. Power outlets are compatible with 220V or 110V appliances.
Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area in Lankayan Island
Conservation efforts have made Lankayan Island one of Borneo’s best dive destinations by maintaining the pristine condition of its reefs and by protecting its rare and endangered marine life. In December 2001 the Malaysian government declared Lankayan one of three islands constituting the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA). Fishing is now prohibited in the area.
There are upwards of 500 species of marine fish and 300 species of corals in the conservation area, including two species of marine turtles and the manatee.
Visitors to Lankayan may spot the huge and harmless whale shark from March through May. As part of the Sea Turtle Corridor, Lankayan Island is a regular stop for Green and Hawksbill turtles. From June through September, sea turtles come through Lankayan to nest and guests at the Lankayan Island resort can request that they be woken up or contacted if the turtle hatching occurs during their stay. Throughout the year Lankayan’s colourful reefs are home to a wealth of marine life.
Fun Under The Sun
It is without a doubt that snorkeling and scuba diving will be the hightlights of your stay in Lankayan Island. With its world-class coral reefs and pristine clear waters, there is much to see around the island.
For snorkelers, the shallow house reefs at Lankayan Island is perfect for spotting baby blacktip sharks. For the avid scuba divers, there are over 32 dive sites including several wrecks and numerous small reefs that surround Lankayan Island.
Those who wish to stay dry can explore the 2km coastline of white sandy beaches, work on the perfect tan, daydream under the palm trees or get onto a kayak and view the magnificent underwater life from above.
Enjoy amazing sunsets in the evening and watch nature come to life on Lankayan Island at night with dancing fireflies and swooping fruit bats around you.
Getting to Lankayan Island
Air Asia Airlines flies daily from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Click here for the latest Air Asia Promo rates.
For international flights and connecting flights, make life easier and head on to Traveloka Malaysia for the best prices and options.
Lankayan Island can only be reached by a 90-minute speedboat ride from Sandakan. Speedboat transfers and hotel pick-up/drop-off is included in your package with Lankayan Island Resort. Transfers to the island depart at 10:00am but do check with the resort on the possibility of arranging for other timings.
If you decide to travel from Sandakan to the Philippines or vice versa, there are also alternatives by ferry.
*Pictures by Pulau Sipadan Resorts & Tours