Beautiful sandy beaches, water sports, and a date with sea creatures – how does that sound for an adventurous yet relaxing holiday? We recently had the chance to explore Lankayan Island Dive Resort with its natural beauty, and this hidden getaway ticks all the boxes.
Located in the Sulu Sea within the Sugud Islands Marine Conservative Area (SIMCA), this tiny jewel is a 1.5 hours boat ride from Sandakan. What’s unique about this luxury resort is that SIMCA not only became the first Green List Site in Borneo, Malaysia, but also the first Green List marine protected area in the East Asian region.
Having the recognition and certified by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is a huge deal as SIMCA (the first privately managed marine protected area in the country) is home to over 500 species of fishes, 300 species of corals, 2 species of sea turtles, 6 species of giant clams as well as 26 species of seagrass and algae.
That being said, Lankayan Island Dive Resort has more than just fascinating sea creatures in the vicinity. It’s also the prefect beach holiday for couples longing for a romantic getaway or travellers wanting to disconnect from fast paced world and slow down time by reconnecting with what Mother Nature has to offer. And boy, does she has plenty to offer here.
It’s no wonder why BALL Watch Malaysia wanted to get involved by launching the Adopt-A-Reef campaign in partnership with Reef Guardian Malaysia. By pledging their support to Reef Guardian’s coral reef research, marine conservation training and outreach programs, BALL Watch adopted one of the best reef side in Lankayan named Ball Reef (Reef 38). This also marks the first business/ private funding initiative for SIMCA.
“BALL Watch has always valued the sanctity of life and bold human endeavour. Through its efforts in documenting the positive outcomes of biodiversity protection and a well-managed and well-governed protected marine area, Reef Guardian proves that ocean conservation is a necessary investment of resources. Together with the commitment of local governments and organisations, we are proud to play our part in ensuring the reefs within SIMCA are well protected,” said Evelyn Wang, General Manager of BALL Watch Malaysia.
This partnership has also inspired BALL Watch Malaysia to launch the next generation dive watch named Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer Reefs. Unlike other timepieces, the new Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer Reefs (set to launch in January 2023) features two significant marine symbols: the Shark and the Reef.
While coral reefs are integral to the marine ecosystem (by providing habitats and supporting larger fishes), sharks have been facing extinction threats throughout the world. In lieu of the 143 species of sharks listed under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, BALL Watch Malaysia is only producing 143 units of the Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer Reefs.
In addition to exploring the stunning coral reefs in the ocean, here are other things visitors can look forward at Lankayan Island Dive Resort:
1. Catching Sunrise/ Sunset
If you’re a morning person, do set your alarm for 5:30am-6am to watch the sunrise. It’s an amazing experience to watch as the sunlight brings your surrounding to life. But fret not if you prefer sleeping in, cause the sunset is equally mesmerising.
2. Comfy Water & Beach chalets
Accommodations at Lankayan Island Dive Resort is divided into beach chalet and the slightly pricier water chalet. Each wooden chalet here has an attached private balcony to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Sabah Booking currently has a holiday promo going on where a 3D2N vacation package starts from RM1979 onwards (as at time of writing).
Facilities include hot bath, coffee and tea making facilities, mini refrigerator and fresh water.
3. Walking to the main area
Here’s where the restaurant and lounge area is located. It’s also the only place where you can have limited access to internet. The best part about walking there is spotting fishes and turtles along the way. Breakfast, lunch and dinner start from 7am, 12:30pm and 7pm respectively.
4. Exploring the sandy beach
C’mon, who doesn’t enjoy a romantic walk by the beach with your partner?
8. Sea Turtle Nesting
As aforementioned, there are 2 species of sea turtles in Lankayan Island – Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles. It’s not always a guarantee to catch a mother turtle laying eggs, but such instances often occur at night. Customers who sign up with a small contributing fee can witness the egg-laying process (typically 10 minutes) and follow the mother turtle as she returns to the sea.
- Nesting peak season: July – October
- Nesting low season: January – April
9. Baby Turtles Release
Newborn turtles usually emerge from their nest around evening or night time. The baby turtle release will usually be conducted around 5:30pm – 6:30pm where the Reef Guardian rangers will guide registered guests to release baby turtles at the beach to the sea.
- Hatching peak season: September – December
- Hatching low season: March – June
10. Take part in their conservative efforts
While Reef Guardian only collects a conservation fee of RM25 per visitor per night, it’s not enough to fund their conservation efforts. Those who wish to do more can take part in their Adopt-a-Nest programme. For RM100-RM200, visitors can adopt a turtle nest and get updates when the turtles hatch and are released into the ocean.
Enjoy the video promo here:
For more information on Lankayan Island Dive Resort, visit the official website here.