Pulau Lankayan Malaysian Borneo Snorkeling Trip Report

School of Rabbitfish with corals in the background Pulau Lankayan Malaysian Borneo
Rabbitfish at Pulau Lankayan

By Sue Harris – (New Zealand)
I wanted to share a story about my snorkeling trip to Pulau Lankayan in Malaysian Borneo. After time seeing wild orangutans, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and lots of other critters in Borneo, I had to have a week snorkeling in April 2018.

As a solo traveler safety is important, so I chose Pulau Lankayan with very accessible snorkeling from shore and I was also hoping to see whale sharks and many other fish. No whale sharks as the water was too warm for them to come down to but heaps of turtles, triggerfish, huge schools of batfish (which were really mesmerizing), schools of rabbitfish, lots of blennies (really easy to see them in their sand homes; hadn’t realized what characters they are). I also was very lucky to see a very large grouper which I nearly bumped into. I got a photo but wasn’t quite ready for it. I really enjoyed the variety of schools of fish in such accessible water.

Big grouper over a sandy bottom in Malaysian Borneo
Large grouper I bumped into.

The turtles are right there from the shore munching away on sea grass or dozing in the water and bobbing up every so often. I felt so privileged to be able to be really close to them and watch their routines. I am mad about turtles and Pulau Lankayan did not disappoint.

The coral is in very good condition although the water was very warm.

I took a boat snorkel trip which wasn’t very good. There was no guide and not a lot of time in the water.

There is one resort on the island and the cabins are excellent and the staff are friendly. It is a very laid back, unpretentious place which I liked. The food is good but not gourmet.

Young Batfish with corals in the background Pulau Lankayan
Saw lots of Batfish at Pulau Lankayan
Turtle eating sea grass, with plumes of sand Malaysian Borneo
Turtle getting lunch in the sea grass

The army is on the boat to and from the island and also on the island to keep visitors safe. After the initial surprise of their presence it was fine.

I’d recommend Pulau Lankayan for anyone, and if someone was just starting snorkeling this would be a great place. Very calm, warm, clear water, lots of fish life, and you don’t need to work hard to see the critters. The sunsets are amazing too.

Comments Moved From Previous System

Nicole and Galen – Apr 15, 2018 – Thank You!

Sue, thanks so much for sharing your story and pictures of your snorkeling trip to Pulau Lankayan. Looks like a great destination!

Anonymous – Nov 5, 2018 – Thanks

Appreciate your writing this. Have booked a trip there for December. Looks lovely.

Leave a Comment