About Layang Layang

Experience Layang Layang

Layang-Layang Island is every diver’s haven. Sabah’s Layang-Layang is in fact a new appellation for an oceanic coral island that was once dubbed ‘Swallow Reefs’.

Located about 300 kilometers northwest of Kota Kinabalu, Layang-Layang Island is a tiny deep-sea desert island bordered by a coral isle. It is along with the well-known Spratlys, which is a collected works of approximately 600 islands, reefs and islets advantageously situated in the South China Sea. There are many vacationers who have visited Layang-Layang that rate the island as an elite dive spot. The island has even been dubbed as “Big Fish” or Southeast Asia’s “Wall Diving Mecca”.

Layang-Layang Island enfolds only 6 hectares however a coral island over 7 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide that besieges it. The coral island highlights a 2000 meter abyss around its perimeter, hence making it a tremendous dive spot. Sited far from land-dwelling and human infringement, its waters are absolutely see-through with visibility averaging from 50 to 60 meters. Divers will absolutely get a lucid view of the startling underwater locales. Seeing that it is submerged in tropical conditions of 7.5 degrees north in the direction of the equator and 114 degrees east of the meridian, its waters are humid with surface temperatures varying from 21 to 32 degree Celcius.

Layang Layang is one of the 600 Spratly Islands whose ownership is disputed but is controlled by Malaysia. Malaysia lays her claim to ownership of Layang Layang by building a naval base there in the 1980s and has maintained an offshore security post known as Uniform Station. The naval base is completely off limits and wandering into the area will result in detention.

A Malaysian dive resort has operated on the island for a number of years and is situated on a coral atoll. The naval base has an important indirect contribution to the quality of scuba diving in the area by protecting the island from destructive fishing practices seen elsewhere in the region.

To get to Layang Layang, visitors have to take a 60-minute chartered flight from Kota Kinabalu Airport. The flight is available 3 times a day and only on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Visitors have to contact the Layang Layang Island Resort staff on day of arrival in Kota Kinabalu to reconfirm flight to Layang Layang Island Resort.

Climate

Layang Layang enjoys an equatorial climate. The temperature generally varies from 28 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius. Due to the heavy monsoon rains and to ensure diving only in the best weather, the place is closed to tourists from September to February each year. The islands experience relatively high level of humidity around 85% to 95%. However, cooling sea breezes often make the humidity environment pleasant and unnoticeable.

Currency

The currency used locally is Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). Credit cards are widely accepted but be careful of possible scamming. Do not let the card out of your sight. Alternatively, visitors can also top up their cash using ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) that are located at the major bank branches, most shopping malls, airports, bus terminals, etc.

Foreign visitors are allowed to bring in MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and any amount in foreign currency and cheques not exceeding USD10,000 in total. If the amount is exceeded, they must be declared in the IMM26 form during in-processing at the customs. Foreign visitors are allowed to bring out MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and foreign currency and cheques not exceeding the amount they brought in during the point of entry.

If you are sure that you want to bring in/out cash exceeding the stated limits, prior written permission can be obtained from Exchange Control Department, www.customs.gov.my/index.php.

Electricity

The electricity is supplied at 220V, 50Hz. The power point used is of the British Standard BS 1363 which requires use of a three-wire grounded and fused plug for all connections to the power mains. The suitable plug will be one with three rectangular prongs that form a triangular pattern.

Time Zone

The time zone for Malaysia is GMT+8.

Telecommunications

In Malaysia, there are three notable cellular phone operators:- Maxis, Celcom, and DiGi Do check with your cellular operator back home if they have roaming capacity in Malaysia. 60 is the International Country code for Malaysia. Maxis and Celcom are on GSM900 frequency while DiGi is on GSM1800 frequency. Maxis and Celcom supports 3G connection too. Emergency Service Numbers 999 – Ambulance, Civil Defence, Fire or Police Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island. There are 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak, making the 13 states, and of course the Federal Territories of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan).

Pulau Layang Layang is considered part of the Sabah state and its Area code is 089. When calling a local number from overseas, the number to dial will be either +6089XXXXXX or 006089XXXXXX. When calling a local number from within Malaysia, the number to dial will be 089XXXXXX. Visitors are encouraged to buy pre-paid cards for their cellular phones to avoid paying exorbitant telephone bills in their home country. The pre-paid cards are sold in most bookstores and grocery stores in Malaysia.

Immigration

Citizens of the following countries are required to have a visa to visit Malaysia : People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea. Nationals other than those stated will receive a visa upon arrival or are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for a visit not exceeding one month. However, it is recommended that visitors contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or Malaysian consulate before visiting as regulations are subject to changes. Visitors can also check http://www.imi.gov.my/ for updated information.

Foreign visitors are allowed to bring in MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and any amount in foreign currency and cheques not exceeding USD10,000 in total. If the amount is exceeded, they must be declared in the IMM26 form during in-processing at the customs. Foreign visitors are allowed to bring out MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and foreign currency and cheques not exceeding the amount they brought in during the point of entry.

If you are sure that you want to bring in/out cash exceeding the stated limits, prior written permission can be obtained from Exchange Control Department , www.customs.gov.my/index.php.

Q: Do I need an entry or visa requirements?
A: Any Australian passport owners do not necessarily need a visa for social trips of up to 3 months. For other foreign passport holders, you may contact the right authorities to verify current visa requirements.

Q: What is the currency in Layang-Layang?
A: MYR or Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia and is referred a lot to as the Malaysian Dollar. Any currencies can be traded at most banks, hotels and the airport. All major credit cards are accepted at most shops, resorts and hotels.

Q: Are there any departure tax in Malaysia?
A: Currently, there is no locally paid departure tax for Malaysia.

Q: What particular clothing to wear while in Layang-Layang?
A: Seeing that weather condition of Malaysia is sunny roughly all year round, so it is ideal to wear light clothing. Smart casual wear is the standard for dinners and night spots while staying in Layang-Layang Island. Take note that there are traditional dress codes at particular places, for instance taking off shoes prior to coming in an establishment. When coming in to a mosque and temple, ladies are advised to wear long sleeves and loose skirts or long pants. Topless or entirely undressed sunbathing is totally not permissible in Malaysia.

Q: Are there any banks of Automated Teller Machines in Layang-Layang?
A: There are major banks in Borneo situated in Kota Kinabalu and they are open from 9:30 in the morning and closes at 4:30 in the afternoon from Mondays to Fridays.