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“Not worth the money... a major let down compared to the rest of Sabah and Sarawak.”
Review of Lankayan island

Ranked #11 of 21 things to do in Sandakan
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 September 2018

I understand why all of the reviews say that it is a beautiful place... the water is clear, sands a golden white and calm atmosphere, however this was our least favorite place on our 3 week Borneo trip and the most expensive by a mile!

The negatives:
- The boat ride was cramped and bumpy... not recommended if you have back or neck problems.
- The arrival was long and tedious (we had to be briefed for over an hour before we were let into our room).
- The room it's self is ok... wooden and slightly dark with only one window and no door for the bathroom. The outside shower is a nice touch however. Chairs on the terrace to relax, however with no cushions was not comfortable.
- They are building 10 new luxury cabins over the water, so there is noise all day. As the island is very small (you can walk around it in less than 10 minutes) there is no where to get away from the construction noise.
- Meal times were noisy (lots of Chinese children grabbing at the food) so make sure you arrive early or nothing will be left.
- The snorkeling and diving. With the clarity of the water and abundance of sea life I was expecting world class diving and snorkeling but was really disappointed. Firstly after the expensive that you pay to stay here not ever the eye mask is included. Secondly the corals are damaged from people standing on them and the staff did not inform us well on where best to snorkel. Didn't see much on the dive apart from fish and corals.
- The main reason for the 1 star is the baby turtle release and egg laying. We were lucky enough whilst there to be able to see baby turtles being released and a mother turtle laying eggs. The staff told us to be quiet and not go into the water during this time, however when tourists followed the baby turtles into the water (almost standing on them), the staff did not say anything and shrugged when I expressed my concern. You can not call yourselves conservation when you are doing more harm than good!

The positives:
- The entire place is very clean and tidy, with friendly staff. The dive staff in particular was very friendly and the equipment was in good order.
- Beautiful sunsets, lovely stars, stunning water.
- Almost certain that you will see sea turtles.

1  Thank rpaul_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2018

This island is a real gem. Not as famous as the other islands in Sabah but its as good as you can get. Army personnel stationed at each end of the island just in case.

Thank Adli G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2018

Lankayan is a beautiful island with very friendly staff. Snorkling is beautiful with all the turtles. Diving was a bit disappointing, less nice then snorkling. Rooms are very nice and clean. Wifi connection is very poor, so difficult to stay in touch with the office

1  Thank MauriceY17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2018

Here I am describing the island itself, not the resort. Lankayan island is a wonderful paradise surrounded by turquoise waters full of sea life. Snorkelling you can find all kinds of colorful fish swimming in the corals and even sea turtles. The experience is not limited to that, you can see sea a turtle laying its eggs that later are carefully collected and looked after until they hatch and the little sea turtles are released in the sea, you can see this too. To sum up, an awesome place not be missed.

1  Thank RYOKOSURU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 January 2018

I'm struggling to find the words to describe just how stunning this place is.

-The first thing that struck me when we got off the boat was just how quiet, remote and tiny it was, it's sublime being somewhere so natural and pristine - and being away from the internet and the needless buzz of modern life for a few days was just paradise!
- There is nothing to do except snorkel, dive, sunbathe, read, relax and absorb your spectacular surroundings.
- The variety of marine life surrounding the island is simply breathtaking, some really beautiful coral and a dazzling array of fish. We were even lucky enough to see several sharks!
-There are turtles EVERYWHERE, literally everywhere and we were even able to swim with several.
- We were lucky enough to witness two different baby turtle releases over the time we were there, which really was magical.
- The sunsets are simply spectacular.
- The accommodation is really comfortable and rustic.
- The ocean is the clearest water I have ever seen in my life, simply unreal, it's just stunning.

Lankayan Island is a true hidden treasure. From my perspective it captured everything I would want from a Maldives/private island style holiday. Yet the focus on conservation and the rustic style of accommodation means it is still (thankfully) lacks the 'Instagram tourists' and remains a paradise for true nature lovers.

In short, the best place I have ever stayed - can't wait to return one day.

5  Thank Sally M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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