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#1 Scubysnaps

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:16 AM

I'm looking into the most cost effective way to get there, our liveaboard doesnt leave Sorong until the Wednesday, but we would like to leave London on the Friday before, and spend a few days somewhere on our way.
I thought Jakarta would be the easiest place to stop for a couple of days, but it doesnt seem to be rated very much for diving. I also looked at Hong Kong or Beijing to stop as a city break but they look expensive routes too, once a stop is involved.
So 2 options I seem to have left are 3 days in Lembeh or 3 days on Papua Paradise at Raja, its $300 for the boat trip to PP, so I was thinking we may as well spend that on stopping at Lembeh instead.
What are peoples' opinions on this?
and what is the cheapest way to get to Manado from London, Singapore Air is looking very expensive lately.
Cheers
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#2 Drew

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:20 AM

If you must dive, then Lembeh is probably the best way to do it. The black sand critters is something you probably won't see too much off in R4. It's technically on the way but I can't remember the frequency of MDC-SOQ flights but I remember Merpati's flight is like 5am so you really only have maybe 2 days of diving if you following the 24hr rule. So is it worth it?
Some people like Cor spend a few days in Singapore to acclimate and shop. With your VAT @ 20%, I guess you may want to go shopping overseas :)

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#3 Scubysnaps

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

Thanks Drew, I did Lembeh on 2 day trips last year from Tasik Ria, so I think we'll head there and I can live in the water while my wife lives in the pool at KBR! I'm not bothered with Singapore, I went in 93, it was ok, but not as "cultered" as I would like, Hong Kong or Beijing would be awesome, but I think Lembeh it would be.

Its the London to Manado options we really are stuck on now, all these compare websites dont seem to help much. IIRC was there a cheaper option via Kuala Lumpur or Manila?
Cheers
Paul

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#4 Drew

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 10:13 AM

Singapore airlines & Silkair: LHR-SIN-MDC

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#5 Scubysnaps

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 10:57 AM

I know of that one Drew, thanks but I'm trying to find other options as its pretty expensive compared to others for the distance at about 1050 pp
I'm trying to find other airlines who fly to Manado from outside Indonesia
Cheers
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#6 frogfish75

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

An other alternative is to fly to KL - There is an Air Asia flight from KL to Makassar where you can catch flights to Sorong, and maybe do a bit of tourism in South Sulawesi.

#7 Drew

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:51 PM

Air Asia dropped KUL-MDC last year. They do have a KUL-UPG which is halfway to getting to Ambon. And there is Ambon SOQ flight once a week I think.

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#8 BigJeff

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 04:19 AM

Singapore Airlines comes up as the cheapest on the seach engine - as low as 641pp if you are slightly flexible with days.

May be more if you "have" to fly on a particular day of the week.
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#9 Scubysnaps

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for the answers, Jeff, Singapore Air's flight fly up in Dece,ber to over a grand to Manado, Air Asia may be the best bet to Jakarta or Makassarm, thanks ff

...eta...Air Asia dont fly to Makassar

Edited by Scubysnaps, 17 January 2011 - 07:13 AM.

Cheers
Paul

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#10 robertsalisbury

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:41 PM

I used Air Asia over the Xmas period from Perth to London and would highly recommend them. They were almost $4500 cheaper than Emirates or Singapore for 3 adults and a child. The attendants were very quick , efficient and polite. Just make sure you buy as much luggage allowance as you can as they will charge out of London for every gram over. They also do an extra 15kgs for 15 pounds for sporting goods which I overheard at check in. Well worth the money!!

#11 frogfish75

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 09:04 PM

Thanks for the answers, Jeff, Singapore Air's flight fly up in Dece,ber to over a grand to Manado, Air Asia may be the best bet to Jakarta or Makassarm, thanks ff

...eta...Air Asia dont fly to Makassar



Just checked on their web site - They do fly KUL - UPG four times a week...

#12 Scubysnaps

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:01 PM

Ah! sorry they do...but I was entering London and seeing what final destinations they take you to, and Makassar didnt come up as one of them for some reason? Still, a couple of options with Air Asia tho, thanks
Cheers
Paul

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#13 Drew

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

Probably because you have to overnight in KUL to make the flight times match so the online UI doesn't show it. You can easily split up the ticket purchases or call Air Asia direct to book.
Travel agents may be obsolete for simple travel, but for complicated routes, they are still an essential service, especially good ones. Saves having to research 20 websites and endless hours of hairpulling :)

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#14 Scubysnaps

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:23 AM

Yeah just checked Drew, it would be about an 18 hr wait before transfer to Makassar, but to Jakarta its just a 3 hour wait
I could leave a Friday night at 22:55 into KL @ 19:10, leave KL @ 22:25, land in Jakarta @ 23:25, and leave for Manado at 0500 with Lion Air, sounds ok :)
Cheers
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#15 stewsmith

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:48 AM

Lembeh has become an expensive place to travel to. Just make sure that you allow plenty of days prior to your boat Paul in case you get caught up in any of the crappy weather that we have experienced over the last couple of years.

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#16 Scubysnaps

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:57 AM

Yes Stew, thats half the reason we want to stop somewhere beforehand, we should be in Manado on a Saturday and our boat doesnt leave Sorong until Wednesday. We'll toass it up between Air Asia/Lion Air and SingaporeAir/Silk Air when the flights become available
Cheers
Paul

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#17 tunc

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 10:57 PM

Yes Stew, thats half the reason we want to stop somewhere beforehand, we should be in Manado on a Saturday and our boat doesnt leave Sorong until Wednesday. We'll toass it up between Air Asia/Lion Air and SingaporeAir/Silk Air when the flights become available

dear Paul ,
As a travel agent living in Jakarta and organizing frequent groups from Turkey to the whole archipelago i would recommend you not to trust on flight schedules here in indonesia too much and always leave a couple of days before and after your vacation to handle flight delays and cancelations ,And even missing luggage . Thats why i always leave at least 24 hours before & after the original stay which was big help couple of times . i would recommend connecting from Jakarta or from Makassar as all flights fly out from Jakarta & connect in Makassar. Manado to R4 could be a little risky , Merpati is the most reliable in terms of flight schedule ( tough have expierienced delays with them) , not safety :P

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#18 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 01:08 AM

Thanks for your advice Tunc, thats very kind of you :P
Cheers
Paul

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#19 John Bantin

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:55 AM

Got back again from Raja Ampat just before Christmas. This time I had the journey from hell via Dubai, Jakarta, Makasser and Sorong. Before, I've always flown to Singapore then on to Manado with Silk (Singapore's domestic) before doing the last bit with Lion Air. As advised, flight timings in Indonesia are very informal. I travelled back with two Austrians who missed their connection in Jakarta and had to pay 1500 Euros extra each to get home. I'd left a day in Jakarta for delays but enjoyed two because my Emirates plane broke down in Jakarta and we had to wait a day while a part was flown from Dubai. When I got to Dubai, they said there were no more seats until after Christmas. (I came back that leg in the front of a plane.)

Oh, I forgot to mention that our luggage was delayed at Jakarta on the way out and Merpati took SIX days to get it to Sorong.

I was travelling with a bloke called Tony Backhurst. He won't be using that route again!

Edited by John Bantin, 26 January 2011 - 06:07 AM.

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#20 SimonSpear

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:33 AM

Dam. Air Asia KUL - MDC was a great alternative to Singapore/Silk for getting to Lembeh and Bunaken. Like many I've heard so many horror stories about Indonesian airlines that I'd always try to avoid wherever possible, but if you are heading to Sorong then I guess you don't have a lot of options!

Cheers, Simon