Splendid Whale & Turtles at Lankayan Island

Looking to dive with the whale shark or maybe snorkel with little tiny turtles in a beautiful private island? Well, Bike and tours has a perfect place for you and your family to spend those amazing moments together. This peaceful untouched little bit of paradise is actually not far from the Sandakan town, yet secluded from the rest of the world. Lankayan island is an ideal island getaway for those who search for tranquility and relaxation in a virgin natural setting. It is a tiny palm-topped island ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, located in the Sulu sea. Many travellers considered the little gem to be the most beautiful island in Malaysia with amazing dive sites including several wrecks and numerous colourful reefs.

Lankayan island is renowned for its gorgeous underworld of macro paradise that offers fascinating array of diving opportunities even in a remarkably small area. Therefore, it offers the best chance for you to catch a glimpse of the whale sharks as well while diving or snorkelling. And do you know, that the species now are considered endangered by the IUCN { The International Union for Conservation of Nature}, due to the impact of fisheries, by catch losses and vessel strikes. Is it dangerous to swim or dive with the whale shark? Despite their names “Shark” and their size, the majestic mammals are actually a harmless creatures with tiny teeth. They swim elegantly in the warm waters of our planet in search of tiny food such as plankton, krill and small fish. It is the largest fish in the world and a full grown adult whale sharks are about the size of a large school bus. How to approach a whale shark when you are in Lankayan island? Approaching these harmless and attractive creatures is not very complicated. Often they are indifferent to our presence and the temptation to touch or swim too close is very large. However, is important to follow the rules of conduct to avoid disturbing these gentle giant. Or else, they will often bank and dive if snorkelers get too close. First and foremost, is to keep noise to a minimum by sliding slowly into the water and keep your fins under the surface of the water while you are kicking to reduce splash. Keep your distance, stay at least 3 metres away from the head and 4 metres from the tail. Snorkel calmly and slowly, do not chase whale sharks of block their path. And for the best view of the whale shark in the water, approach them from their side then swim alongside the mammals near its pectoral fins. Be mindful, if the creature banks as in rolls over and presents its back, you have to back away and stop free diving so not to restrict their natural behaviour and movements. Also, avoid excessive flash when taking pictures of the whale sharks, especially not to point it directly into their eyes. The best time to see these majestic giants is between March and May. Thus, its better to plan those holidays, if you are looking to take a selfie with the marvellous whale sharks.

Beside the whale sharks, Lankayan island is also a nesting site for both green and hawksbill turtles. Since there are large stretches of beautiful hard and soft corals among the multitude of macro world, Lankayan island appears to be an important foraging area for both species. Green sea turtle is one of the world’s largest species and it has either dark brown, green, olive, yellow or black colour of a tear-drop shape shell. Meanwhile, the hawksbill turtle is one of the smaller sea turtle with oval shape shell either in orange, brown or yellow shades. So what are you waiting for? Come and take this opportunity to bring your kids to witness the baby turtles emerging from the sand and release the hatchlings to the sea. There are a lot of turtles live around this island that even visitors who only do snorkelling are able to spot them underwater. It will definitely be an educational and a memorable holiday for you and your family to learn about their natural habitat and the life cycle. Between June and September, turtles come to shore to lay their eggs, so be sure to pick within these months to experience the turtle world.

There is only one resort in Lankayan island, which is the Lankayan Island Dive Resort. The resort is simply elegant and exquisite. They have about 23 idyllic wooden chalets that come with private balcony overlooking the white sandy beach and turquoise ocean, offering a perfect romantic atmosphere especially for the honeymooners. Lankayan Island Dive Resort has only a limited number of rooms, so it is advisable to book your package with Bike and Tours at least 6 months in advance. It is hard to find rooms available during peak season particularly in June, July and August. Therefore, do Contact Us if you have any inquiries about planning your trip to Lankayan island and we are happy to hear from you. Or simply check out our Discover Lankayan Island : Jewel of Sulu Sea for more information.