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Davidhol

Where to stay in Bali

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We have obtained accommodation vouchers from a group with three hotels in Bali. None of them seem too great for diving, our main reason for going to Bali. The towns are Sanur in the South East, Negara in the South West and Gili Meno part of the three "Gili Islands" west of Lembok. After a bit of a search none of them seem to be what we really want because:

Sanur - Not highly rated dive sites. Long trip to Tulamben area

Negara - no close dive sites and a 2,5 hour trip to Secret Bay muck diving areas

Gili Meno - Coral apparently destroyed by dynamiting in the area

 

So my question is would you consider any of these alternatives as worth 26 hour in transit or should we give up the vouchers and find accommodation elsewhere?

 

Thanks

 

David

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hey Dave,

 

I've been to bali 3 times for diving. Personally, I like to stay as close to the diving as possible, so it's easy to do early morning dives, night dives, etc. I stay in Padang bai, Amed, and Tulamben. I prefer to be within 10 minutes of the boat or shore dive entry point.

 

I find good accommodations to be quite inexpensive in those place. If it was me, I would not use the vouchers, even if they were paying me some money, lol. I'm sure others will give their own opinions though.

 

Scott

 

 

We have obtained accommodation vouchers from a group with three hotels in Bali. None of them seem too great for diving, our main reason for going to Bali. The towns are Sanur in the South East, Negara in the South West and Gili Meno part of the three "Gili Islands" west of Lembok. After a bit of a search none of them seem to be what we really want because:

Sanur - Not highly rated dive sites. Long trip to Tulamben area

Negara - no close dive sites and a 2,5 hour trip to Secret Bay muck diving areas

Gili Meno - Coral apparently destroyed by dynamiting in the area

 

So my question is would you consider any of these alternatives as worth 26 hour in transit or should we give up the vouchers and find accommodation elsewhere?

 

Thanks

 

David

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David,

 

I just got back from diving Bali again on Saturday. I would suggest you use Aqua Marine Tours for your lodging and diving. You can e-mail them at: info@aquamarinediving.com They can arrange basic lodging or 5 star lodging plus private dive guides and are located in Bali. They picked me up at the airport, transported me to Talumben with a private guide. We dove the Liberty wreck and Seraya, then Crystal Bay with Mola-Molas. Address the e-mail to Lanny and feel free to use me as a reference. Bali has great diving for both wide angle and macro.

Elmer

Edited by eyu

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I'm with Scott. Accommodation is very reasonable in Bali, so ditch the vouchers and stay close to the diving. I've stayed at Mimpi twice and can recommend them, also heard good things about Scuba Seraya.

 

Have a great trip!

 

Phil

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I'm with Scott. Accommodation is very reasonable in Bali, so ditch the vouchers and stay close to the diving. I've stayed at Mimpi twice and can recommend them, also heard good things about Scuba Seraya.

 

Have a great trip!

 

Phil

 

Last time I stayed at the Mimpi and this time I stayed at Paradise, two resorts down from the Mimpi, at 1/4 the Mimpi rate.

 

Elmer

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Last time I stayed at the Mimpi and this time I stayed at Paradise, two resorts down from the Mimpi, at 1/4 the Mimpi rate.

 

Elmer

Scott and I stayed at Paradise when we were in Tulamben this past June. No problem with that place. Not 5 star luxury, but then, I'm there to DIVE.

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Tulamben Wreck Divers is my choice of accommodation at Tulamben. Mimpi Menjangan is nice too! (Esp the hot spring tubs)

Maybe u can use the vouchers for the 1st or the last nite of your trip (stay at Sanur?)... The drive from Denpasar airport to Tulamben is quite long (3hrs?!)...

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Hi David,

 

Just back from Bali and agree with everyone else, stay in Tulamben to avoid the day tripping crowds.

 

We stayed at Liberty Dive Resort, which is the newest resort in the area and very reasonably priced, and only 300m from the Liberty wreck.

 

Regards

 

Nigel

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I strongly recommend Scuba Seraya, it's located right next to the Liberty Wreck, and the muck dive in Seraya Secret is just great!! The staffs there are also helpful and the dive guides are very accomodated to photographer. You can still dive in crystal bay and PJ but will have to take a few hours drive. Also the rooms are really nice and comfortable too.

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I strongly recommend Scuba Seraya, it's located right next to the Liberty Wreck,

 

wow, we have very different definitions of "right next to", lol

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wow, we have very different definitions of "right next to", lol

 

ha ha ha!! Well, it's around 5-10minutes boat ride from seraya to liberty, let me rectify that.

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David, Sanur is the launch site for Penida/Lembongan for many dive operators. That's the area where the adrenaline drift and pelagic dives (manta/mola/sharks) are. I consider them to be not to missed. Choose an op which knows where the better sites are and avoid Crystal Bay because you have 20 boats on that site at any time

I'd suggest you use your vouchers for the days you are diving Penida/Lembongan then go up to Tulamben (2.5hrs drive depending if you get caught in local ceremonies or not). I'll second Scuba Seraya since the guides dive the area daily and know the locations of many of the critters. They also have nitrox.

Diving the Liberty by boat is really the only way to do it with a camera. No way on the stony beach and you can finish in any part of the wreck. This is especially nice when there is current on the wreck.

Amed/Padang Bai are pretty good dives too.

Unfortunately, the island's best sites are pretty spread out and to do them properly, one has to move around a bit.

I would also suggest you look at Singapore Airlines JNB/CPT-DPS. You can be in DPS in 18 hrs.

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Several in Lembongan. Bali Diving Academy is who i use www.scubali.com

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There is so much diving opportunities in Bali that I doubt it is worth staying in a place like Lembongan, unless all you want to do is dive with the Molas. For Lembongan/Penida, I would take day trips from Sanur, it is not that far, between half an hour to an hour and a half depending on the boat. And even if you stay in Lembongan you will be doing boat dives anyways.

 

For Tulamben there are a lot of options, many of the best ones already suggested. My tip here is to book well in advance. Places like Paradise Palms and Tulamben Wreck Divers are fully booked for 2-3 months, so I would say plan on booking at least 3 months before your trip. I was in Tulamben about a month ago and had to stay in a hotel that was about 1 mile up the road from the main town. Not terribly bad, but very few options for food. And I started trying to book about a month ahead of time.

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The reason I asked about staying on Lembongan is that my experience (which currently doesn't include Bali) is that when you have a longer boat ride you have: 1) fewer dives per day, 2) more divers on the boat to help manage fuel costs, 3) more expensive because of fuel for the passage, 4) dive guides that dive there once or twice a week instead of every day because they limit trips to fill up the boats.

 

So I was going to look in to staying on Lembongan thinking that i would get shorter boat rides, more dives per day, guides more experienced with the local sites, smaller groups or private guiding, and less money per dive. Are my assumptions wrong when it comes to Bali/Lembongan?

 

Time may not be an issue for me. I have an open ended return ticket and am thinking about staying in SE Asia from mid-Nov to late-April. I realize probably no molas during that time, but my wife wants to see mantas.

Edited by gravity

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Diving the Liberty by boat is really the only way to do it with a camera. No way on the stony beach and you can finish in any part of the wreck. This is especially nice when there is current on the wreck.

That's crazy talk. Our group (3 DSLRs, 1 heavily-rigged P&S) spent 5 days diving the Liberty from shore. Considering the wreck is LITERALLY rock-throwing distance from the shore's edge, and there are raised platforms for camera gear, there's no reason why a boat is better than shore unless you're actually handicapped.

Edited by CompuDude

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There is so much diving opportunities in Bali that I doubt it is worth staying in a place like Lembongan, unless all you want to do is dive with the Molas. For Lembongan/Penida, I would take day trips from Sanur, it is not that far, between half an hour to an hour and a half depending on the boat. And even if you stay in Lembongan you will be doing boat dives anyways.

You obviously haven't done the crossing when the wind and current are headed in opposite directions. Then it doesn't matter what boat you take. And some of the better sites are further away and better dived early in the morning. Staying on Lembongan/Penida allows you to finish those days quicker. And there's a lot more the Penida than Molas and mantas. :lol:

 

For Tulamben there are a lot of options, many of the best ones already suggested. My tip here is to book well in advance. Places like Paradise Palms and Tulamben Wreck Divers are fully booked for 2-3 months..

It's scary when I read that Paradise is considered the one of the best accomodations in Tulamben. :blink: Peak season is Aug-Sep and this year was a bumper year.

 

So I was going to look in to staying on Lembongan thinking that i would get shorter boat rides, more dives per day, guides more experienced with the local sites, smaller groups or private guiding, and less money per dive. Are my assumptions wrong when it comes to Bali/Lembongan?

Well you then have to equate that to remote area where accomodation/food etc is more expensive and much fewer choices. The need to have it shipped over from Bali is another cost factor.

Just depends on what you want.

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That's crazy talk. Our group (3 DSLRs, 1 heavily-rigged P&S) spent 5 days diving the Liberty from shore. Considering the wreck is LITERALLY rock-throwing distance from the shore's edge, and there are raised platforms for camera gear, there's no reason why a boat is better than shore unless you're actually handicapped.

LOL I know I'm getting older but handicapped is a little strong no? It's doable from the beach, of course. But from a boat, I can drop in on whichever part of the wreck I want to work on, or run through the entire wreck, finish up with the jacks or in the coral garden, pop up and there's no long swim or walk back to the entry point where the tables or particular resorts are.

Then there are conditions. If there's current, you don't have to swim back to shore and walk back to your entry point where your table, instead of doing whatever you want on the wreck and finishing up on the top to be picked up once done. There are also times when the waves get big due to winds etc, then you have to deal with chop as well on a pebbly rock walk with full rig on you and in your hands.

The other sites (like the drop off), when done by boat, there's no need to swim against the current, because you can be dropped off ahead of the current of the site and enjoy the dive going with it. Opposed to just kicking into the current, burning through your tank and circling back. If the current is good enough, I can even finish the dive on the wreck where the cleaning stations are or with the jacks, all the way from the drop off.

I'm not adversed to shore diving and admittedly it is eco-unfriendly, but it's that much simpler with a boat in for the Liberty and the surrounding sites.

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I'm not adversed to shore diving and admittedly it is eco-unfriendly, but it's that much simpler with a boat in for the Liberty and the surrounding sites.

 

This is my first post at wetpixel. I just want to say hi and I agree with Drew that it is much easier to do it by boat. I was at Liberty last month on my fourth trip there. First time on boat and i must say it is much easier. I was much too scared to scratch my Seaflash 150 if i had to do shore entry :-)

 

We stayed as Scuba Seraya and recommend anyone to stay there. I was with large family (including 18 months baby) and enjoy our stay there.

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So I was going to look in to staying on Lembongan thinking that i would get shorter boat rides, more dives per day, guides more experienced with the local sites, smaller groups or private guiding, and less money per dive. Are my assumptions wrong when it comes to Bali/Lembongan?

 

Time may not be an issue for me. I have an open ended return ticket and am thinking about staying in SE Asia from mid-Nov to late-April. I realize probably no molas during that time, but my wife wants to see mantas.

 

Yes, u should be right to assume that the guides would be more experience in their local sites. Usually the guides will share their latest interesting critter finds with 1st their colleagues & then their friends fr other local shops.

 

When I was at Tulamben in March this year, it was a lot quieter than Aug 08. Year end is the peak travel period, not sure how bz the place would be tho...

 

Happy holidays!

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