"Oh what a reef!" Pulau Layang by Quero

Pulau Layang Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 77 photos

A rocky rookery

Terumbu Layang Layang is an atoll about 300 km off the coast of Borneo in the South China Sea. It is part of the Spratley Island group. The name Layang Layang, meaning "Swallows," was bestowed on the atoll since it was the resting place of migrating sea swallows, more accurately known as great crested terns.

This is not a place to come if you like sandy beaches or want to chase away the darkness with club hopping--there's only the merest hint of a beach, and virtually no nightlife. But once you stick your head under the water, none of that seems to matter any longer.

So far away

Layang Layang is a necklace of 13 reefs with a lagoon in the center. It is too far from any landmass to have become an exploited fishing spot, and since it only recently could support human habitation, it has remained a pristine underwater fairyland.

From terumbu to pulau

The word "terumbu" means "atoll." However, part of the atoll has been built up to form an artificial island just big enough to accommodate an airstrip, a hotel, and a naval station. So now it is better known as Pulau Layang Layang, or Layang2 Island.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Superb diving
  • Cons:A drag for non-divers
  • In a nutshell:Get certified and go!
  • Last visit to Pulau Layang: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (10)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2009 at 3:14 AM

    Fabulous dive tips. Thanks for the inspirational tips. Hope your birthday finds you on another fantastic journey.

  • schwein's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Nice page, some good info! Have been wanting to travel here for a while...

  • kelnsha's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    Hi Marcia! Thank you for sharing your Layang Layang island trip. I hope to go there this May or Jun. Which month will you recommend? - Kelvin

  • sweetie_inc's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2005 at 10:07 AM

    beautiful page.... hope i get to visit the place soon.... cheeers.

  • muddybok's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2004 at 11:12 PM

    I am definitely going there. Really soon.

  • kenyneo's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2004 at 12:09 AM

    Okay ..another one in the cart ! How can i miss all this places when I am i Malaysia ? You dont realise how beautiful things around you until you go very very far ...but late better than never !

  • clsan's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2004 at 4:47 PM

    Damn, manta ray, hammer head shark, I must save up for Layang-layang !!!!

  • scubashark's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2004 at 2:30 AM

    Very nice page. You're a wonderful writer.

  • eelaine's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2003 at 7:01 AM

    looks amazing.. i'm definitely going there! :)

  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2003 at 10:53 PM

    Wow ... great pics !! A must-go place :-)


“Nessa estrada, não nos cabe conhecer ou ver o que virá. O fim dela, ninguem sabe bem ao certo onde vai dar. --Toquinho”

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