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5-7 days - Woman traveling alone - Where to go???

Discussion in 'General Asia' started by KristenK, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. KristenK

    KristenK Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado Springs
    130
    178
    Hi everyone, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by choices and need advice please.

    I'm flying to Singapore for work. Last year went over to Bali and dove with Gekko and had a great time. Fell in love with the area and especially loved the Bloo Lagoon Eco Lodge. Would be very happy to return, but wondering if I should try something else out.

    I'm a good diver (not great or expert), mostly Caribbean plus what I did out of Padangbai last year (experienced one very strong current, that was a bit scary, but a good learning experience.) I just love being underwater in general. Pretty fish, coral, big fish...wrecks don't interest me too much, but perhaps I haven't experienced a good one yet...Liberty Wreck was soooooo crowded.)

    It's easy and affordable to fly all over from Singapore....so lots of possibilities (Philippines, Thailand, Maldives, etc.) I'm not familar with any of those places, though.

    I'm not opposed to a Liveaboard, haven't done one before. But I don't want to share a room.

    Having time to rest during SIs is important...as I work alot and this trip is right before 4 weeks of crazy business travel. 2-4 dives a day is plenty. Spa onsite is a HUGE plus!

    Budget...mid-range.

    I travel a lot on my own and am pretty savvy and comfortable, even in remote areas.

    I'd like a top notch dive op, where I can have a personal guide if conditions are challenging...and I love making new friends on the boat, as well.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!!!
     
  2. FT

    FT Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    301
    142
    With that short time frame, you don’t want to waste hours on getting to the dive location, so returning to Bali makes a lot of sense. Nusa Lembongan/ Nusa Penida carry the risk of some current, but you can ask for the less scary locations. We liked Blue Corner dive op but it might be a bit quiet for you (except on Friday nights). Gekko Dive and Padang Bai would be an even shorter trip from the airport.
    The Philippines? Asia Divers or other ops in Small La Laguna or Big La Laguna areas of Puerto Galera offer the kind of diving you like, easy good company and oh yes, that spa. The dive schedule sees you back at the resort for SIs. Fly to Manila and then a roughly 4-6 hour bus/private drive plus ferry combination.
    Have not been to Moalboal but many have described its diving as your kind of experience. Fly to Cebu (a more pleasant airport than Manila’s) then it’s 3-4 hours by road, rather less with a private driver I’d imagine. Check the Philippines section for recent threads to choose among the operators.
    Too much of this and you’ll never be satisfied with the Caribbean again.
     
    KristenK likes this.
  3. Wingy

    Wingy Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,268
    "Wherever you want" (with probably the exception of Banda Aceh at times)

    Your gender or relationship status does not define you as a diver or traveller. Never let anyone tell you it does.
     
  4. Hank49

    Hank49 Contributor

    9,766
    7,420
    I lived in Kuantan for almost two years in 97-98. Have you considered Redang? Pretty nice and not too far away. 8 hour drive from Singapore, or you could fly to Kuantan.
     
    KristenK likes this.
  5. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,168
    1,735
    You didn't tell anything about the period of stay which could lead to different options.
    Of course Bali might be the shortest trip from Singapore, but Manado/Bangka area could be another one flight option (Are Gangga island or Siladen resort out of your price range?)
    In Bali you'll find plenty of dive ops including their own spa of course. Padang Bai was maybe not the best area to find such resorts, I can suggest Tulamben where some resorts are both dive and spa resorts (Tauch Tulamben for instance).

    Philippines might be a little bit too far given your limited number of days diving, it would take at least one flight and a minimum of 4 hrs transfer (if not another flight). If you don't mind then I would rather recommend Dauin (Dumaguete area), personally I don't care much for Puerto Galera girl bar atmosphere nor for Moalboal backpacker certification mill dive centers, I'm not even speaking about crowded dive sites.
     
    KristenK and Schwob like this.
  6. Wingy

    Wingy Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,268
    Sorry, a more in depth and relevant response - I agree again with Luko, Bunaken or Siladen are particularly easy landbased for solo chicks. I've been diving and traveling up there for a decade and it's a good solo dive spot. Froggies and two fish have never charged me "single supplement" and you're eating with the staff and other divers so there is no awkward finding a restaurant type issues if your not a fan of sitting in restaurants solo. Siladen has more lux and a spa I believe (can't remember rooms, did have a look when I had lunch at Siladen after doing Siladen jetty which is a good dive site). Direct flight Singapore to Manado makes things easy, the ops will pick you up from airport and take care of everything. You could also do a combo of Bunaken MP and mainland manado (Murex has a great house reef, they're bungalows are massive and the gardens are magnificent, Tasik Ria apparently has a spa and is good) Manado town transport can be arranged easily) - I'm not sure what if anything has happened progress wise in Manado but if you like foody scene and activities maybe Bali is a better idea.

    I truly love Bangka, it's firmly on the boards now and won't be long before Walgreens opens up but anyway...also another option out of landing at Manado as is Lembeh. If you're not a fan of currents Bunaken and Mainland Manado may suit you better than Bangka although the ops seem to be making an effort for minimal current dive sites...dammit.

    Or if you want to throw around paper money - Wakatobi might be your vibe.

    I agree with Luko about the bar girl scene at Sabang/Puerto Gallera - it didn't shock or put me off the place it just reminded me of Phuket or Siahnoukville and while I like the diving topside was just meh for me.

    Have you thought about Sipidan or Mabul?
     
    chillyinCanada and KristenK like this.
  7. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,150
    588
    I have been to Black Sand Dive Retreat in Lembeh twice by myself and I really cannot commend it highly enough. The food is wonderful and everybody eats together, which is so nice. The owners also often eat with guests which is fantastic as they are so sociable and kind and interesting. Lembeh diving is incredible, the guides are brilliant and the bungalows are beautiful. If you dive for five days you will see so so much. There is no spa on site as such, but excellent massages are available. The dive sites are really really near, the furthest is only twenty minutes away so you will have plenty of time to rest. All of the divers I dived with during two stays there were very organized and punctual. We were often in the water at 8 am on the 8 am dive.
     
    chillyinCanada and KristenK like this.
  8. FT

    FT Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    301
    142
    With some planning, Dauin could be as short a trip from Singapore as Puerto Galera. But the kind of diving the OP wants is at Apo, a bit further and not necessarily available daily if staying at a Dauin resort. Creature comforts a bit lower on Apo itself.
    Staying at Big La Laguna would be my recommendation for being able to ignore the Sabang sleaze scene. Besides, BLL has a beach.
    Excellent Indo recommendations above.
     
    KristenK likes this.
  9. KristenK

    KristenK Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado Springs
    130
    178
    Thank you!!! I love seeing and diving the world. I'm very spoiled and blessed.
     
    ScubaWithTurk likes this.
  10. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,168
    1,735
    Well boats go almost everyday from Dauin resorts to Apo and Dauin is not all black sand, Lembeh style.
    Something you be hard pressed to find on PG is a calm resort with a spa while you'll find all sorts of comfortable resorts on the quiet black sand beaches of Dauin shores, the hotels on BigLalaguna are more the beerdrinker/diver style , not to mention the beach in BLL is almost rhetoric from the layers of bangkas stationing on it. From that perspective (quietness, comfort, crowds) PG and Dauin are quite antinomic, while i agree there are more coral sites around PG.
     
    FT likes this.

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