Layang Layang's Scuba Diving

Layang Layang (Swallow Reef) is an atoll in the Spratly Archipelago located in the southwestern South China Sea in Malaysia. It rises 2 m above the water; is 1.5 km in length; and about 500 m in width. A Malay naval base and splendid dive resort are found in this paradise.
Layang Layang is the perfect place for coral lovers. You can enjoy corals in shallow waters just 5-meter deep, or the forest of gorgonians located at a depth of 20-40 m. There is a wall of stony corals between them. Hidden from the sun, it goes down steeply — as if to dive under the island. Despite the underwater beauty of Malaysia, you should be cautious of some of the reef dwellers, such as hammerhead sharks; surgeonfish; and sea urchins.

Getting There

The Layang Layang Atoll is situated between Borneo and Vietnam — a 1-hour flight to the north of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah. If you stay in a dive hotel on the atoll, flights to Layang Layang and back will be included in the cost of your accommodation. Charter flights are operated by local airlines.


Layang Layang has an equatorial climate with a high level of humidity, which is slightly decreased by fresh sea winds. The air temperature stays between +28 and +32 °C all year round. Diving at the atoll is available only from March through to August. The water warms up to +30 °C during this period, and visibility hits a record 60 m.

Dive Spots near Layang Layang

Crack Reef is a dive site with a lot of corals and reef formations. Fish scurry up and down the walls searching for food. Turtles nonchalantly swim around and silvertip reef sharks lazily drift, lifted by the weak current.
Dogtooth Lair has everything a diver could wish for: walls, large pelagic fish, and tropical fish. Here you can see sunfish and rays; as well as hammerhead shark coming to the "cleaning station".