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My wife and I will be on a business trip to Singapore in early November. We want to add on a week of diving somewhere in Indonesia. Can anyone suggest a location that we can get to with out much difficuty (a day or less of travel). With only a week available would a land based location be best or a live aboard? We are open to all options and this will be our 1st trip to the Malayasia/Indonesia area. We are looking for a great dive operation, with good or better accommodations and food. We prefer all inclusive. We are experienced divers (250+ dives, advanced and Nitrox certified) All suggestions and refers to websites are welcome.
Excellent accommodation, excellent food - small operation with only 6 bungalows, located in the middle of the best dive sites in Lembeh. Was there last year was impressed.
www.diverslodgelembeh.com Excellent accommodation, excellent food - small operation, located 10 - 15 minutes away from the dive sites in Lembeh on the island. Was there a few years ago and also was impressed, but prefer to be nearer the dive sites.
www.divekbr.com Have not stayed, but it is just down the beach from Black Sands and all reviews have been positive. larger operation.
Would suggest Lembeh, just a single flight from Singapore. However this is muck diving - looking for unusual critters in the sand.
But don't forget that Lembeh is virtually next door to Bunaken and Bangka, so an air ticket to Manado opens up not just muck diving in Lembeh, but also coral gardens, walls, and possibly some pelagics.
It's just my opinion, folks ... ___________________________ " ... when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent. "
What are the logistics to get from SIN to Manado ?
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What are the logistics to get to Lembeh area?
Silk Air has 4 flights per week from Singapore to Manado (3h40). Then 1 hour by car from Manado to Bitung to reach Lembeh or less than 1 hour by boat to reach Bunaken Island. You should contact some resorts as they can pick you up straight in the airport and even organize you a trip on both places. It is what I did last year. It is a really awesome place. Otherwise you can look at Bali that is closer but if you've never been in Indonesia, Lembeh and Bunaken are really good starting points
Lembeh and Bunaken are excellent choices, easily done in a combo trip.
Or if you favor Corals & Walls a week in Bunaken isn't to much in my opinion. Lembeh is fantastic but some non-photographers find the muck/macro boring. Not much coral habitat in Lembeh, but the critters are spectacular. I Loved it! A week in Lembeh isn't to long in my opinion also.
If you only want a place that is a direct flight from Sing then as stated above your best choices are Manado (leading you to Bunaken, Bangka or Lembeh) or Bali (which also opens up Nusa Lembongan).
Personally I would hit Manado and do 3 days on Bangka and 3-4 days in Lembeh. Or if you want to chill out then just pick either one, you wont go wrong. For Bangka there are a few decent dive resorts but I've stayed at Mimpi Indah and can recommend it. As for Lembeh, well I actually have not heard a bad thing about any of the resorts. I've stayed at NAD, cheap and very good. And Divers Lodge Lembeh, slightly more expensive (it actually depends on exchange rates at the time) but bigger and better rooms and the service is amazing.
A tip for when you fly into Manado, try get a seat as close to the front as possible. The visa on arrival que can take ages if you are stuck at the back of the plane.
Bali is very busy and it take 3-5 hours drive up to Tulamben and the northern bive sites, but apparently the diving is worth it.
Man I just realised I've echoed exactly what others above me have said!! My bad.
You can't go wrong with either North Sulawesi and Bali, both are good choices.
If you go to Lembeh and looking for tops accom, I'd suggest Lembeh Resort which is one of the most upmarket in the area, with excellent guides (I tried them in feb, loved the place).
Bali : you should then rather stay in Tulamben for diving : Seraya, Ocean View or Tauch Tulamben should be fine.
You may also add Ambon (My prefered area in Indonesia so far) on your shortlist :
- Fantastic macro dive in Ambon bay
- Great coral divesites along the southern shores of Ambon.
Check out Maluku divers www.divingmaluku.com
You'll need a connection but it's quite easy to go to, you'll be in Ambon in the afternoon if you plan your departure from Singapore early morning :
- Either fly to Jakarta (AirAsia.com/Garuda/Lionair) then Batavia/LionAir/Garuda to Ambon.
- Or Makassar (AirAsia.com/Garuda) then Ambon (Garuda/LionAir)