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Advice on Resorts w/Shore Diving -Indonesia & Papua


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#1 3000psi

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 06:30 AM

This is a quick planned trip for sometime toward the middle of this month (March). We thought we had everything set to stay at Kri Resort for a week than over to Lembeh for 3-4 days but Kri threw us a curve by telling us that they are now charging $50 per shore dive even if you have bought the weekly dive package.

Since we were planning on supplementing the boat diving with several shore dives this probaby makes it a bust as we can't see spending an extra $100-150 dollars a day to go shore diving. The travel agent is trying to reconfirm the charge as this is the first they have heard of it and it might just be a communication problem.

Just in case it isn't we are now turning our attention to the Manado area for a few days and then over to Lembeh for a week (I do realize most of the resorts here seem to offer shore diving). While we plan on diving the Bunaken Marine Park we are also looking for a resort that offers unlimited shore diving. Most of the resort's websites don't seem to dwell a lot on their shore diving or even mention if they have any or not. Murex seems to offer it but some of the others mention snorkeling or a casual reference to a night dive being possible.

Just out of curosity are most divers that frequent these areas content with making 3 dives a day? Is it customary now for resorts to charge $30-50 for a shore dive? Last time I visited the area was in 98 when we went to Wakatobi but shore diving was unlimited and as far as I know still is. I can understand charging this amount for extra boat dives above and beyond the dive package you paid for but not sure why so much of a charge for shore diving when no boat, fuel, captain, or dive master is being used.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Mike

#2 cor

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:08 AM

Ive never heard of a charge for shore diving, and I would avoid any place that charges you for that unless there is some extremely pressing reason for the charge.

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#3 MDB

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 12:35 PM

$50 is ridiculous

#4 Drew

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 02:33 AM

Cor
Quite a few places in Indo charge for shore dives. Scuba Seraya charges $25 for their shore dives for instance. Many places which do not have integrated plans (eg 3 dives + night dive etc) will charge for individual dives.
I've been to quite a few places which don't charge for shore dives. KBR (I think) never charged me for diving the house reef. Planet Dive in Anilao has a unlimited house reef (air) dive program if you buy 2 boat dives. I could go on. Bottom line is that if they can't make money, it won't be free.
Mike, the problem is that Max's resorts are the ONLY resorts in the area for now. The other alternative is a liveaboard which is actually better priced in terms of diving and comfort. You can PM me if you want more info.

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#5 mauidoug

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 01:06 AM

Aloha Mike

I have made 17 trips to Indonesia, most to Manado and the Lembeh Strait. In the early 90's I found Murex dive resort, to be the safest and most reliable dive resort in manado, and have done countess trips on their liveabords & at the land based dive resort. The live aboard is a great value and takes 10 divers for a weeks trip. The cost is less than $200 a day. Murex also has an excelllent land based resort that costs about $125 per day & includes a nice room, meals, and two boat dives a day. You can add a shore dive, or extra boat dive for just a little more. Not like the $50 you mentioned. The resort is owned by the Batuna family, and they were among the first to dive Bunaken, Sangir Taloud, And Lembeh.

Murex operates the diving for Lembe Resort. I stayed at the resort a year ago, and loved it. Whiile not owned by the Batuna family and a bit expensive, it was worth it. The atmoshphere, and view was great. The room was huge, and the tub was outside like in the expensive Bali hotels. It was very nice.

I did as many as five a dives a day, and photographed several species of frog fish, pygmy seahorse, sea moths, mimic octopus, incredible nudibranches, rhinopious and so much more. I cant wait to go back. The diving was organized with the same attention to detail, small groups, and respect for the marine life.

My delima has been that I like Manado and Lembeh so much that I have yet to explore Raja Empat, Komodo, or wakatobi.

Here is some info that might help you

Aloha


Murex Resort & Live Aboards murexdive.com

lembehresort.com and danny@murexdive.com
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#6 okuma

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 06:37 PM

If you want to dive Raja, this is the way to go.
http://www.adventureh2o.com/index.html
We'll be on our 4 th trip on this ship this fall.

Contact me directly if you want details.
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#7 Sloss

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:08 PM

Just my two cents, KBR is a wonderful place to spend a dive vacation. I have been there 4 times and have always had a blast. The DMs are all great, so is the food and Steve and Miranda, the managers are very nice accomodating people. The same can be said for Danny and the crew at Lembeh Resort. Plus the diving is always exceptional. 50 bucks sounds outrageous for a shore dive; maybe they have mating bobbit worms on display every night under the dock ^_^ Perhaps it is miscommunication, keep us posted if you can. Have a great time on vacation, I'll be there next fall.
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#8 3000psi

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:53 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I thought I would update this thread since our trip and let anyone interested know the outcome.

We decided to stick with our original intentions of staying at Kri despite the expected cost of shore diving. The alure of Raja Ampat was just too much and it was too late to try to find a liveaboard to coincide with our dates or for only a week trip. We did extend our stay at Lembeh Resort by a couple of days. So we had 5 days of diving in Lembeh and 5 and a half days on Kri (no diving on Saturday is permitted).

The staff and dive guides at Kri could not have been nicer. A good time was had by all. There was no miscommunication on the cost of shore diving. They do charge and it does have to be guided. Never really got an anwser on why. If I went back I would probably look into a liveaboard as mentioned by several of you above. The added cost of additonal dives whether from shore or extra boat dives above your prepaid package brings some liveaboards more in line with the land based option. (more so if you compare to Sorido Bay) If you toss in no diving on Saturday at the resorts you even pick up an extra day of diving on the liveaboards. The no diving on Saturday was not a big deal for a couple of us in our group as we enjoy birding as well and the opportunity to see the Red Bird of Paradise was something we wanted to do while visting that part of the world anyway. However I am sure the liveaboards may have been able to accomodate such a request as well. We had purchased the week package with 12 dives included. All dives above this cost 37 euros but some discounting begins with 5, 10 and 15 dive purchases. We basicaly did 3 dives a day for our stay there so we had an additonal 4 dives we had to pay for above our package.

The land base did provide us with an opportunity to explore the island a little during surface intervals and when doing some other dive sites further from the resort we spent our surface intervals in villages allowing us to observe their daily lives. One thing we did hear was there is evidently some resentment by the villages concerning liveaboards plying their waters and anchoring off their shores with no benefit / compensation to them. One village we were at had tenders delivering guests from a liveaboard anchored offshore. I know Max, the owner of Kri and Sorido Bay, was compensating the village for the privilege of their hospitality but can only guess not all liveaboards do the same. I could see where providing compensation might get out of hand as the location we visited to see the Red Bird of Paradise was evidently not the one used a couple of weeks before our arrival as that village had decided they wanted more money from Max so he had negotiated with a new village who had access to some of the birds.

Just a quick note about Lembeh Resort as it too was very accomodating. Again the staff and dive guides could not have been nicer. I will attempt to add a trip report in the appropriate section in the next week. In the meantime if anyone has any specific questions I will be happy to respond.