A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation in all 16 wooden, roomy and perfectly appointed seafront double-occupancy chalets and 2 bungalows which consist of 4 and 5 units of standard room respectively.
While the ideal destination for those who search for tranquility and relaxation in a virgin natural setting and for families with children, Lankayan Island is also becoming one of the hottest diving destination on the map today: its dive sites – all just a few minutes away – boasting unbelievable colorful macro, fauna, fascinating wrecks and in season from March to May, regular sightings of gigantic and harmless whale sharks, the ''dream date '' of every diver in the world.
Situated within the Sea Turtle Corridor, Lankayan Island is also a nesting place and foraging ground for sea turtles; most commonly Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle. Therefore, guest will have a chance to see turtles nesting as well as new hatchlings of baby turtles released to the sea especially in season from June to September.
It has the only dive resort in Malaysia’s Sulu Sea called the Lankayan Island Dive Resort and is one of the best spots for whale shark sightings. The location of the whale shark is usually indicated by flocks of seabirds screeching high above the placid surface. With luck, divers and snorkellers may get close to this gentle giant, although it won’t stay close for long.
During the day you can witness black-tip sharks swimming about by the beach. At night, hawksbill and green turtles may be spotted coming to shore. Large stretches of beautiful hard and soft corals belonging to numerous genera can also be found here, the perfect habitat for colourful juvenile fishes.
Among the 40 dive sites is Lankayan Wreck, where the remains of an ocean-going fishing boat can be explored. This wreck now hosts many different species of fish from small glassfish, harlequin ghost pipefish, painted frogfish to giant grouper and marbled stingrays.
Despite the remoteness, the island has all the amenities of a tropical resort. Visitors can stay in wooden bungalows that blend into the natural surroundings. Indeed, Lankayan is not only for discerning divers but for anyone who appreciates the tranquility of a paradise island that offers beautiful sunrises, spectacular sunsets and magnificent seascapes.