This little known scuba diving island resort lies an hour and a half out from the city of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea. Lankayan is a tiny spit of land ringed by a white sand beach and covered in a labyrinth of tropical green forest. Hidden under the pandan trees and palms is a simple resort whose charm lies in it's healthy respect for the natural environment.
Surrounding the island is a reef system of flat plateaus that gradually drop off into a shallow series of coral reefs. There are no great walls and the slopes are covered primarily in hard corals, which are a haven for the many species who take refuge in the cracks and crevices. There are baby nurse sharks, leaffish, giant jawfish, all sorts of crustaceans and even the rare and elusive weedy scorpionfish.
A special feature for divers are three small shipwrecks, including one that is just below the jetty. This is a fantastic dive that meanders across the sandy seabed past a few manmade items that were deposited to attract critters and ends at the small wreck. The other two small shipwrecks are a little way from the island but both are older and covered in more growth.