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Bali or Philippines

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The girlfriend and I are looking at going out to the far east for the first time toward the end of this (Nov, Dec). Hoping to keep it relatively cheap and cheerful, we have been looking at either Bali or the Philippines (Cebu or Manila way). This is because flights are around £550 and we seem to be able to get 7-9 days diving, accommodation and transfers for around £450. Effectively £1000 each all in.

 

What we would really like is the chance to photograph some of the unusual critters that you don't see in the Med or Red Sea. I have a preference for small over large. Obviously we would also like to do some WA reef or wreck.

 

Has anyone been to both and able to give a comparision? Alternatively, anywhere else we should be looking that isn't going to push the bill?

 

Many thanks

Daniel

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I believe you would get more value in the Philippines, try either of the Club Atlantis resorts. We were happy with both, or there are many other good locations there. Bali has very good diving, but at a higher cost.

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I believe you would get more value in the Philippines, try either of the Club Atlantis resorts. We were happy with both, or there are many other good locations there. Bali has very good diving, but at a higher cost.

 

I personally wouldn't recommend Atlantis. While their Negros location is not bad, the Puerto Galera one is situated at the dirtiest beach among the 3 in Puerto, there is a persistent stink that wafts up from the sewer overflow pipes going into Sabang Beach, find a resort in Small La Laguna beach.

 

Anilao will be good as well but the only thing about Anilao is you're stuck on the resort, no going into town or exploring.

 

The Visayas (Cebu) is good, weather is calmer and less chance of typhoons. But the season you're going isn't conducive to the threshers at Malapascua.

 

If you click on the slideshow on my website, www.stewartsy.com it will show you some of what you can expect diving in the Philippines. 99% of the macro is from the Puerto Galera area, wide angle is a mix but most come from Tubbataha but that's only diveable during the spring.

 

Stu

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If you must compare prices, once you use a resort like Atlantis, I think pricing will be quite similar. PI is cheaper in many places like Anilao, Sogod etc. The diving compared to Bali is more diverse due to the many places you can hit (Anilao, Puerto Galera, Cebu) and more fishy but Bali has the molas and the muck(macro) diving is more diverse. I prefer the Liberty to any of the wrecks in Anilao/PG/Cebu.

The beaches in PI are generally more beautiful than the Balinese beaches. I like the restaurants(MUCH MUCH better choice of restos), nightlife(some very cool clubs with great music) and atmosphere of Bali more than PI. PI is certainly cheaper and I like going there a lot but the macro diving in Bali is top class.

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I recently returned for a week of diving near Dumaguete. I stayed at El Dorado Resort in Dauin. Great macro diving - lots of way weird creatures - flamboyant cuttlefish, ghost pipefish, nudibrancs - maybe 2 dozen, frogfish every dive in all colors, ribbon eels, turtles. Altogether too much fun. El Dorado was nice - not quite as pretty as Atlantis or Pura Vida nearby, but my nice room with a/c and tv was $29.00US per night, including breakfast, recently remodeled. food was relatively interesting and diverse and inexpensive for a resort - quite a bit less expensive than Atlantis. Diving was wonderful and FREE NITROX was a bargain! I think I spent about $1000US for airfare from Manila to Dumaguete, my room and meals and diving - 18 dives in 6 days. Fly Air Philippines instead of Cebu Pacific - show them international boarding pass and dive certification card and all your heavy dive gear flies free of extra weight charges.

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