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Other names: Danwan Jiao 弹丸礁;
Đá Hoa Lau
|Satellite image of Swallow Reef by NASA.|
|Location||South China Sea|
|Area||6.2 hectares (15 acres)|
|People's Republic of China|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|District||Truong Sa, Khanh Hoa|
Swallow Reef, known as Layang-Layang Island (Malay and Dusun for Place of Swallows) in Malaysia, Danwan Jiao (Chinese: 弹丸礁) in China, Celerio in the Philippines and Đá Hoa Lau in Vietnam, is an oceanic atoll of the Spratly Islands situated approximately 300 km northwest of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Swallow Reef had an original land area of approximately 6.2 hectares (15 acres), but with reclaimed land now covers a much larger area.
The reef is controlled and occupied by Malaysia, but as with all of the Spratly Islands, the ownership is disputed, and it is also claimed by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam. The Philippines does not lay claim to Swallow Reef; it is outside of the Kalayaan Island Group which was defined by Presidential Decree No. 1596 signed by Ferdinand Marcos.
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Spratly Islands military occupations map
Swallow Reef lies in 2,000 m of ocean and, due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. The naval base has also had an important indirect contribution to the quality of scuba diving in the area, in that it has protected the island from destructive fishing practices that occurred elsewhere in the region.
Located within the equatorial belt, Swallow Reef has an equatorial climate. It is closed to tourists from November to January each year because of heavy monsoon rains. Temperatures range from 24 to 32°C. Although an equatorial climate comes with fairly high humidity, there are cooling sea breezes.
How to get there
- "Philippine Presidential Decree No. 1596". Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Joshua Ho; Sam Bateman (15 February 2013). Maritime Challenges and Priorities in Asia: Implications for Regional Security. Routledge. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-1-136-29820-2.
- Layang Layang travel guide from Wikivoyage