Maldives or Lembeh?
Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:25 PM
Can the Wetpixel forum help me decide?
If anyone who has been to both or either of the two, please fill me in on the scenario & which one would be best for whatever.
I hear Lembeh has cold murky water & the Maldives reefs are badly bleeched. Have read bad reports about the dive operators in the Maldives also.
My wife & I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary & one of these spots will be host.
I'm a photographer & she is only OW certified.
I've never been west of Hawaii so thanks for any & all info.
Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:32 PM
I found the diving in the Maldives great, more fish orientated than corals, lots of schooling fish, sharks, rays and then the obvious mantas and whalesharks.
When I visited the water was very flat, but once under the water the currents were quite strong and if you do go I recommend a reef hook so you can hook into the reef and hang there.
I didn't see any bleached corals, but that is probably due to dive guides taking us to the better places.
I would say it could be quite challenging for a new open water diver just due to the currents
Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:49 PM
You should look into places with beautiful hard and soft coral with more than just macro critters without big currents. Sipadan comes to mind and another is Palau. Palau has some current at the Blue Corner, but otherwise it is gentle.
Nikon D800E, D800, Subal ND800, Inon Z240, ULCS with StiX floats
Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:57 PM
The Maldives is a good destination for honeymooners etc. Just choose the right resort so the dive sites aren't too far. As been said, it's fishy and full of life. There are resorts that are luxurious and have wonderful spas etc but it's basically lazing around on an island for the duration.
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."
Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:30 AM
Feeling a bit braver, try the Kuredu express or fushivaru thila for mantas in the right season.
Just bear in mind that you'll be island based and if you choose a smaller island not much else other than beaches and water.
Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:21 PM
Canon 7d, Nauticam, Lots of glass, Olympus OMD-EM5, Nauticam, 60 macro, 45 macro, 8 mm fisheye, Inon, S&S, Athena Strobes plus lots of fiddly bits.
Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:09 AM
Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:56 AM
Found out recently that the Maldives is out of the question. Long story.
Looks like Lembeh is our only option.
We're staying @ The Lembeh Resort.
Could somebody who has been there give me the full scoop on things .... including alternate excursions?
I can be happy with just muck diving and shooting things around the resort, .... but my wife, she would like to do something besides watch my z240's create backscatter. lol
Best time of year? Water Temps, clarity? Any wide angle opps? How are the guides?
Volcano tour-worth it? Sunsets, .... should I bring any topside gear (i.e. pano, gnd,)?
Flight time from Houston, Texas?
Do's & Dont's?
Thanks for all of the opinions so far.
Posted 08 July 2012 - 01:02 PM
I have heard the temps can get lower in August......but I don't have experience with that time of year. Visibility when we were there, was probably 50 feet. This isn't really a place for the crystal clear water. Wide angle ops.... You can go up to the north sites..(California dreaming)....and get some decent wide angle, but again, people typically go to lembeh for the small stuff. As this will give you the best photo ops.
Being your anniversary, the spa at lembeh resort will be very nice for you. Congrats. My wife and I will be celebrating our tenth leaving for Komodo this week.
The flight is a long haul. We went, slc>sea>nrt>sin>mdc. About 23 hours of flight time. We did a layover in Singapore and booked a room at the transit hotel in Singapore. That is the way to do it....really nice and clean and you don't have to leaving immigration. Then take a silk air flight to mdc. From Houston, you probably have options to get to Singapore with united/continental. Then do the silk air flight. Also, Singapore air might have a flight from Houston, you would want to check on that. That could be easy for you.
Hope this helps.
Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:09 PM
Or if you want a more secluded romantic resort, how about Wakatobi? At least there is a beach, and you can do shore diving or snorkeling with your wife.
Best way to Manado, Bali, the Maldives or anywhere in that part of the world from IAH is with United via NRT to Bangkok or Singapore, then connect thru there. (there is no more Continental)
Are you using an agent? You may want to give Reef and Rainforest a call. The can answer all your questions and probably come up with something perfect.
Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:26 PM
Check out places like Bali with great topside attractions, Sipadan and look at Sipadan Water Village.
Edited by eyu, 08 July 2012 - 03:43 PM.
Nikon D800E, D800, Subal ND800, Inon Z240, ULCS with StiX floats
Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:35 PM
Edited by operam, 09 July 2012 - 12:38 PM.
Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:22 PM
See my trip report: http://diver.net/bbs...002/75277.shtml
From an earlier trip: http://diver.net/bbs...002/72865.shtml
FWIW, I've been to both the Maldives and Indonesia. I enjoyed both.
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.
Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:18 PM
We also get many divers coming with non-diving partners (we have two couples with us right now where just the men are diving). It's a beautiful quiet place. We have an enormous private bay which you can snorkel and dive with tons of coral and fish, lovely spa, great pool. No complaints from any of our guests, whether they have cameras. no cameras or not diving
Edited by liquidguru, 09 July 2012 - 10:33 PM.
Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:43 AM
I won this trip to Lembeh. So, I guess we kinda got a trip for two @ 1/2 price.
Next year we will most likely book a trip to Bali for our "real" 10th anniversary (July 3rd). We are actually only in our 9th year of beating each other up. lol
Until then, seeing the rest of the world cant be all that bad.
Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:10 PM
May I suggest that you also look at Gangga island resort which is only 1,5 hrs boat ride, it would be ideal for a honeymoon. The place has a nice beach, a pool, a spa, gorgeous bungalows, italian management, great food and fantastic diving around including coral dives. You could probably cut your stay in half Lembeh resort/ half Gangga.
As for the period of stay I would either favor april-may or september-october.
Galleries in Pbase : Ambon & Maluku, Bangka & Bali, Komodo & Maumere, Moalboal, Mabul & Sipadan.
Vanuatu incl.SS Pres.Coolidge wreck.
Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:54 PM
I would agree with Liquid Guru - you do not have to be a avid photographer or videography with tons of experience to enjoy Lembeh! I am a non-photographer who lives here and loves the diving.
I have had many newer divers come here and they have also loved it - being able to give them a good mix of the diving that Lembeh has to offer - muck dives, coral dives, wrecks and we can even do trips to Bangka or the South of Lembeh to give them something a little different.
Topside there are land tours, cooking classes and spa. I am sure that you and your wife will be fine (if you are not beating each other up ) Enjoying the sunsets is lovely especially with a cool drink! If you would like more information on the 'land based' activities then contact the resort directly and they will be able to help.
Re Flights - I would look at Houston-Moscow-Singapore-Manado with Singapore Air this is definitely the best option for you!
Edited by helengomez, 11 July 2012 - 05:55 PM.
Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:33 AM
Muck diving can be very addictive. Often on the liveaboard boats the divers don't understand muck so it's hard to convince the operators to spend much time at the muck sites. For us, muck diving is like a treasure hunt. My wife seaches for critters and then I photograph them. She will also mark the spots where the guides have found something so that I can take my time without worrying about missing a good find. Over the years, our teamwork and relationship have improved from our combined effort to find an photograph unusual creatures.
I think you will have a great time in Lembeh but it is definetely a vacation that is focused on diving. Durring the first two weeks we spent in Lembeh, I saw something I had never seen before on every single dive!
I would suggest that you add a week in Bunaken to the trip. The diving is beautiful and once you have incurred the cost and time to get to Lembeh, it's worth it to spend some time in the surrounding area.
Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:21 PM
Nikon D2X. Subal ND2. 2 Inon Z220S
Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:24 PM
Don't worry, if she likes diving, she'll love Lembeh.
Nikon D800, Subal, Sea&Sea D1's