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We, a party of four, are going to SE Asia for a month of diving and traveling in the October. I am aowd with deep and nitrox spec's, around 50 dives under my belt. Two of us are owd's with around ten dives, one hasn't even done the owd course yet.
We have flights booked to Bangkok and from there we are going to go to Koh Tao for around a week. After that our plans are mostly open.
What we are looking for is:
a) a place suitable for beginners and also for more advanced divers. I am comfortable with doing deep dives and dives with moderate currents but obviously the owd's in our party can't do deep and don't know how comfortable they would be with currents.
b) a place with the best possible visibility and weather conditions in October. We are travelling from 30.9 to 26.10.
c) a place that is not overly expensive, Bunaken costs around 600 euros for a week or so, including the flights from Singapore to Manado. That is around the limit. (And by the way, a strong candidate for us now.)
I have been researching the web for countless hours and have gotten some grasp on the diving spots around SE Asia but I would like to get some suggestions from people.
Sorry for the possible grammar/spelling/whatever errors, I'm from Finland.
I like Bali in October. You could go to Tulamben and have great diving for everybody, newbies and experienced alike. The prices there are good, and you save a lot on airfares with Air Asia flights from Thailand.
Bunaken or Lembeh in Indonesia.
Bohol or Moalboal in Philippines(fly into Cebu by Cebu Pacific).
In Bohol try Sea Quest while it is Ocean Safari in Moalboal. BTW, these two places in Philipppines are accessible by public transport from Cebu airport. Ocean Safari is the most economical!!