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Red Sea (Again) or Indonesia

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by ontdiver, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    543
    340
    63
    I've done LOB and land-based trips in the Red Sea and enjoyed both. I enjoy reefs more than wrecks and have done balance of warm water diving in Caribbean, predominantly on LOBs.

    While I will not travel before being vaccinated, starting to think about next LOB trip and have been reading a number of threads about Indonesia, particularly Raja Ampat (RA) which has strong appeal.

    But given the travel time from central Canada (think Toronto) to anywhere in Indonesia, the obvious question is whether the diving in RA is so much more superior to the Red Sea that RA should come out ahead as first choice, regardless of how long it takes to get there.

    I have broken up trips with stopovers, but find this ultimately translates into more time in and out of airports. If I ultimately went to RA, it would be a 10 day trip with at least 3 days at the front end to acclimatize.

    I appreciate that it is never easy to make direct comparisons because of individual interests, but curious to hear from those who have been to both destinations and have thoughts/recommendations.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  2. stepfen

    stepfen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    710
    519
    93
    Even if Raja Ampat was on Mars I would prefer it to the Red Sea.
     
  3. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    543
    340
    63
    What is it about RA that makes it so special for you?
     
  4. stepfen

    stepfen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    710
    519
    93
    The amount and diversity of the marine life is just unbelievable. I have stayed in total 3 weeks in the area doing on average 3 dives a day and there was not a single moment that I felt bored.

    In comparison I have done a 5 days LoB in Egypt (south - Brother islands etc). It was nice, but the amount of marine life we encountered was easily 10 times less than the one from Raja Ampat.

    Top side nature and scenery are also magnificent in Raja Ampat. Keep in mind though that the area is very remote and not very well developed hence apart from the LoBs and/or the resorts, top side activities can seem too extreme for the typical comfort looking visitor. If you are not so adventurous, you could stop over to Bali for some rest days. Bali is also very nice and more developed hence it has much more variety of topside activities to choose from.

    There are a lot of people in SB who have much more experience than me and they can provide more details. Give them more details of what you enjoy most and you will be given huge amount of info.
     
    Angelo Farina likes this.
  5. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    543
    340
    63
    Much appreciated...
     
  6. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    2,541
    752
    113
    RA for sure, and add in some diving in other areas of Indonesia as well. Ambon, Bali, Komodo and Lembeh come to mind. Way way better than the Caribbean and similar to Red Sea but with far more variety and far more biomass. Also far more expensive and remote. I typically will go to a shore based location like Lembeh for a few days to get over jet lag and then do a ten day liveaboard. Yes the travel is significant, but the reward is worth it. However, for me the Red Sea is just as difficult to get to as RA, just significantly cheaper.
     
    Cali_diver and Mike Veitch like this.
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,606
    2,766
    113
    R4(4 Kings).
    How about this instead of LoB or expensive land operators and you have the chance to see the other side of the area!
    Stay Raja Ampat: The best Raja Ampat accommodation & travel information source

    To make a really memorable trip, combine R4 with Lembeh as someone has already suggested. Take as much time off as you can!
    You need good planning for the connection.

    Good luck
     
  8. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,758
    4,333
    113
    It’s no comparison. I was in Red Sea in December 2019 & in Raja Ampat a month later (January 2020). Check out my trip videos of both trips and judge for yourself.



     
    Bora_Horza, ontdiver and Indah like this.
  9. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,606
    2,766
    113
    Actually the answer is obvious! Try something new.
    Depend on the time of the year, Komodo is also very very good.
     
  10. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    6,208
    5,146
    113
    In the seven years I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and did hundreds of dives in the Red Sea, including the Egyptian and Jordanian sides, none of that compares to the diversity of SE Asia, in particular Indonesia and the Philippines.
     

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