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Lankayan is a tiny island in the Sulu Sea, off the northeast coast of Borneo, reached by a one-and-a-half-hour boat ride from Sandakan, sitting within a vast Marine Protected Area.
Unpopulated apart from the small resort, the island is covered by think tropical vegetation and ringed by a white-sand beach.
Accommodation is in simple wooden chalets, built on stilts right on the seafront, all with private balconies overlooking the beach and direct access to the turquoise-coloured ocean. Meals are served in an informal atmosphere at the central building, with its open-air terrace surrounded by swaying casuarina trees. There is also a sunset bar where you can enjoy evening drinks and barbecues with panoramic views.
There are no fewer than 14 dive sites dotted around the island, boasting healthy reefs, unbelievable colourful marine life, and two fascinating wrecks. Green and hawksbill turtles use Lankayan as a nesting site, and in season (March to May) there are also regular sightings of whale sharks. Watersports gear and equipment for diving, snorkeling and ocean kayaking are available for rental at the resort's dive centre.