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Bali - this April, ...help! suggestions????

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Hey Everyone,

I'm on a excitement high right now, so please bear with my franticness...

 

...Just got a last minute confirmation can cut loose and do Bali in April for a week. Yes, just a week. So, overall, I need some really good suggestions as this just came to light tonight and I have to get in gear....

 

I'd like to get in the most I can...

 

U/W:

Bali in April is going to be macro right?

Overall, where would you concentrate on the best diving for limited time??? Tulamben, Seraya, Amed, Nusa Penida ???

A few operators and resorts stay suggestions please knowing I have just the week and really just want to move around around 1-3 times while there???

 

Topside:

I cant travel everywhere at once and dont want to do it all in a short time, but the best I can while I can.....

so volcanoes, rice fields, ceramonial cremations, cool dances, etc, where in correlation to the diving is best? Where do you suggest I go, who can I use for guides and operators?

 

Bedding - Want a nice place to stay without screwing the pocket book altogether... ;)

No surfer hotels, no camping on the beach, my wife is coming along and I'd rather give up some cash then try the hard core all-budget minded sacrifice if needed.

Willing to change acccommodations 1-2 times as most unless its really worth it, I'm only there a week for heaven's mercy... :D (so wish I had longer) Where do you guys thinks, a nice place to stay, nice surroundings, great diving, and good food>

 

Cool stuff to see? That would NOT be t-shirt shops, churches, museums, antiquities, bla, bla.... its, just, not, us. Preferred: hiking, trekking, every-day people, culture, landscape, altitude, wild stuff, wild0life, fun people-watching places, etc.

 

Again, sorry to be frantic sounding, but its coming up fast and I can use your help.

 

THANK YOU!~

 

paquito

Edited by paquito

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One week ! that will be rush my friend!

 

That will be 5 days of activities only . In that case i will do first 3 nights at Tulamben and then 2 nights at Ubud .

 

Don't know how conditions are there in April but i suggest you contact Jeff Mullins http://www.reefwreckandcritter.com/guided-diving.html

in order to maximize your photo opportunities . He's a great guy and have a perfect knowledge of the area from a photographer's point of view.

 

In both places you will have several options for accommodation ( much more in Ubud ) and will depends on your budget and preferences . At Tulamben i had stay at Mimpi everytime there , in Ubud the place i liked most is Komaneka at Bisma.

 

I suggest you hire a driver from Tulamben to Ubud and you will see some temples and lakes doing the route trough the mountains.

 

Any more specific info let me know

 

Good luck and enjoy Bali

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I agree 100% with elbuzzo - Ubud (land) and Tulamben (diving). Ubud's the "cultural center" of Bali higher in the mountains, so there's dance, temples in the surrounding area, good trekking, great food, lots of shopping, and not as crazy as the Kuta/Legian beach area. As he says, lots of accommodation options in Ubud. In Tulamben I've also stayed at Mimpi and it was very nice, Scuba Seraya also gets high marks.

 

As an alternative route, if your driver takes you "around the corner" vs. through the mountains between Ubud and Tulamben there are some amazing rice field views as well.

 

Have a great trip!

 

Phil

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For a week, I suggest 3/4 days in Tulamben @ scuba Seraya(which is very nice ly priced 3.5-4 star accomodation)., From there, u can arrange for a Besakih temple sunrise tour. Before u hit the water!

Day 4/5 dive @ Puri Jati a day/night in Puri Jati / Seririt. Then drive to Secret Bay for 1-2 dives, then drive to Tanah Lot(2.5hrs drive) for sunset drinks/dinner, before either checking into a hotel in sanur or drive to Ubud.

Ulu Watu is beautiful and the Kechak isn't the most authentic BAlinese dance. The Legong troupe in Ubud is one of the best costumed on the island, but that's cos they serve the most tourists in Bali. For a more private dance, have dinner @ the Viceroy's Cascades. Food is good and they have the dance for guests. Another alternative is the Alila"s Plantation. Great views if u sit outside on the patio on a full moon night.

Difficult to recommend accom without a budget. In Bali u have $40 gems to $2000 villas which are splendiferous!

Also read the past Bali threads for ideas. With a rushed, itinerary, I suggest u hire a driver for a few days to make travel easier. I've used BIDP for all my local diving for years, and have tried quite a few other ops. Good luck!

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Hi Everyone!

Thanks so very much for the suggestions. It is such a short time I completely understand (but shouldnt be my only trip :P ) and its come up last minute but totally worth going in my opinion and I plan to make the most of it.

 

I sent an email off to Scuba Seraya and Mimpi's. I've read up on the previous posts which have helped a lot, and also a thank you to Steve for sending a driver/guide suggestion my way. We hired a driver like that in Italy and it truly enriched our trip beyond expectations. If you guys have someone special you like, please PM or let me know. We are so psyched!!

 

My thought process was exactly as you say, splitting the diving and the land. Ubud totally looks like our type of idea place to explore, great land and people. It was mentioned to check out Tjampuhan Hotel & Spa there. Also saw on wetpixel mention of Puri Wulandari and Alila. I'm do some more digging.

 

I'm thinking of doing Tulamben first and then Ubud after. I've heard to be careful on the altitude, if I play it safe it shouldnt be a problem I think? Thanks you Drew for the additional suggestions, I've not seen them before so definitely going to research.

 

Really want to say thank you Gentlemen, I am way pumped up for this!

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Hey Guys,

One quick question so I keep on target. Definitely lean toward Tulamben versus staying in Sanur and diving Nusa Penida instead right? Just want to remain on point.

Thanks!

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Bali is wonderful and the diving is great. You can not go wrong with diving at Talumben and the Mimpi is very nice.

I would suggest you also contact: www.aquamarinediving.com/, they are Bali diving travel agents who have helped me set up some great trips. They met me at the airport and they arranged great dive and land adventures.

 

Elmer

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The road( Jln Amlapuira) to Tulamben has a few view points for padi fields. The best ones are accessible by foot and u really don'( have the time to go looking for the best spots.

Penida is for coral and fish and of course molas.If you've never seen a mola, it may be worth a visit, esp the "special" insider site.

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Thanks Guys, I did put an email into aquamarine, BIDP, Scuba Sereya, but am still awaiting any responses.

 

I'm thinking going as far around as the northwest for will be a bit tough, that's where secret bay and the muck diving is isnt it? We've been to North Sulawesi so I'll plan to stick around the central to eastern north around to the souteast portion and Ubud inbetween for the other areas instead with such limited time. I've only seen a Mola Mola once on the way out to Guadalupe but I think the Mola's are not there in April (unless its once of Drew's secret-agent hideaway sites?) the season is usually in the summer right? Visibility would be a factor, so macro for sure 9not for the Molas), and bringing the wide angle anyway, what the heck, gonna have the lens for topside too right. :P

 

It is hard to gauge distance between areas, but its coming to light a little more as BIDP lists the travel time on their site for their packages, etc. Hopefully I'll get some responses from these contacts and that will help kind of put the bigger picture together. But for now, I want to say thanks again for your help! I've got a list going and doing loads more research tonight.

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The one thing about the Indonesian throughflow is the abundance of sea life. I've seeen molas on cleaning stations @ the wreck( last april in fact) and also in deep cleaning stations on rebreather @ tulamben and along the eastern coast. I don't usually suggest those with 1 or 2 days to try for molas due to sea conditions. The wreck provides plenty of WA options, so you must bring it.

The itinerary I suggested is to give u the 3 top areas for Bali shore dives. As always, I advocate doing the wreck from a boat for maximum dive time on subjects. Obviously, it'sif u want to add nore cultural elements then u need to cut dive time. From Tulamben to PJ is about 1.7 hrs and PJ to Gilimanuk is about 1.5 hrs.Gilimanuk to Tanah Lot is about 2.5 p-3 hrs. Tanah Lot to Ubud is 1.5 hrs or so..Have the driver pick u from Tanah Lot and drive to Ubud. Just make sure to be diving instead of going to Ubud over good fri weekend. The crowds for good restos r a pain over holiday weekends. But that's why u go to insider restos :P

Bali isn't huge but traffic is slowish and the 2 lane roads have lots of slow vehicles.

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Bali is a great place and I am sure you will love it. I have done several location pages on my site that cover the places that you are looking at visiting - here is the LINK to the main page and just follow the links to the subsequent pages.

 

Don

 

Hey Everyone,

I'm on a excitement high right now, so please bear with my franticness...

 

...Just got a last minute confirmation can cut loose and do Bali in April for a week. Yes, just a week. So, overall, I need some really good suggestions as this just came to light tonight and I have to get in gear....

 

I'd like to get in the most I can...

 

U/W:

Bali in April is going to be macro right?

Overall, where would you concentrate on the best diving for limited time??? Tulamben, Seraya, Amed, Nusa Penida ???

A few operators and resorts stay suggestions please knowing I have just the week and really just want to move around around 1-3 times while there???

 

Topside:

I cant travel everywhere at once and dont want to do it all in a short time, but the best I can while I can.....

so volcanoes, rice fields, ceramonial cremations, cool dances, etc, where in correlation to the diving is best? Where do you suggest I go, who can I use for guides and operators?

 

Bedding - Want a nice place to stay without screwing the pocket book altogether... :P

No surfer hotels, no camping on the beach, my wife is coming along and I'd rather give up some cash then try the hard core all-budget minded sacrifice if needed.

Willing to change acccommodations 1-2 times as most unless its really worth it, I'm only there a week for heaven's mercy... :) (so wish I had longer) Where do you guys thinks, a nice place to stay, nice surroundings, great diving, and good food>

 

Cool stuff to see? That would NOT be t-shirt shops, churches, museums, antiquities, bla, bla.... its, just, not, us. Preferred: hiking, trekking, every-day people, culture, landscape, altitude, wild stuff, wild0life, fun people-watching places, etc.

 

Again, sorry to be frantic sounding, but its coming up fast and I can use your help.

 

THANK YOU!~

 

paquito

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Last year, I spent 8 days diving all over Bali. It was my first trip diving but my 4th trip overall. Great place. I wrote a report giving my thoughts on the various parts of Bali:

http://sasdasdaf.blogspot.com/2010/05/bali-trip-report.html

 

For diving, I would spend the majority of the time in Tulamben, Seraya, and Amed. Go to Nusa Penida if you want to see mantas and mola molas (wrong season though).

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I have also heard good things from personal friends about Aquamarine too! If you wanna do the dive safari kind of thing, they can take care of everything for you...

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Hey Guys,

Advice on packing?

We own loads and loads of equipment, multiple sets of regs, bcds, wetsuits, etc, etc, etc. So in addition to our camera equipment, if its needed, we have it. But if we wanted to consider staying lighter, does anyone have recommendations or advice on if any rental equipment is available and if its up to par and in good working order? sasdasdaf recommend on his blog that you bring everything. We've never rented before, and I'm only considering renting the bulkier items like the bcds and fins to stay more nimble that way, or would we have rental issues? We could then do carry-ons and hit the ground running unless its in agreement that renting equipment there is a no-no?

 

For shorediving, I see its the volcanic pebble beaches, are dive boots definitely a must for the shore diving? And does that affect possible rental options?

 

It looks as though water temps can vary greatly, we will likely travel with no less than 5mm full suits as we are thinking it will probably be more on the cool side when we are there? With long bottom times we tend to get cold fairly easily, would 7mm suits be smoking crack and way out of line? Looks as though Penida and Padang Bai would have the coldest of the temps. We would love to see the Mola Mola's, Drew got a good roll of the dice, but we understand it could be extremely hit or miss to see one during our timeline.

 

BTW, the Lonely Planet book on Bali/Lombok states that Nyepi is scheduled for April 4 - one of the days we are there. Okay, so the festivals beforehand have got to be just amazing, but then having such a short itin already, and all day doing nothing, I almost crapped. But, LP is WRONG, its 5 March this year. And yep, checked flights for the entire region, no flights, nada. What a cool day to experience, I'm just happy its not on our quick and dirty fast trip. (whiping forehead with a "phew").

 

We will definitely concentrate on the Amed-over-to-Puri Jati area for diving and if we can sneak in Penida, otherwise leave it for the next trip.

 

Drew, we have all day the last day, flight doesnt leave out until 8pm. We will cut diving at least 24hrs pre-flight, you recommended the best ones are by foot (but you need the time) can you make some suggestions, we are game.

 

We are so stinkin' excited! Thanks again you guys and I can't wait to repay the favors.

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If you want the best experience, I'd recommend bringing all your own gear. Renting can be hit or miss and we're talking Indonesia, pretty far down on the economic scale here. You might have no problem but you only have a week's dives to waste. If anything, bring what must fit and rent anything else. Remember this is Asia so available sizes will typically fall towards the smaller frame, so consider that.

 

A bit on the touristy side, we did the Elephant Safari thing near Ubud. Kind of cool in that you get to ride an elephant through the countryside and jungle where you get to see plants and animals. Very cool to stand next to the elephants to get your pic taken after the ride. The gutteral sounds they make are amazing. It's my wife's favorite pic and it's more than evident in her smile in the pic. I have to think this helps support the elephants by returning some economic gain from them instead of working in the jungle or even living in the city.

 

Of course the monkey forest. Remember, they touch you, not vice versa. I wasn't going to do this place, but ended up going for other reasons. We got in sort of between groups and the place only had a few people. We didn't make a lot of noise and get them freaked out, like I imagine the busload of tourists would, so we had good experiences. Didn't intend to even touch them but they were on my wife's back before she knew it. You just stand still and they get off in a moment. Pretty cool to be so close.

 

Wetsuit thickness is always a matter of your own conditioning and temperament, and I only dove in Komodo, but since I only use 7mm here in Monterey, I'd think that is way overkill. I only used 3mm suit for the Komodo diving, so I'd question even 5mm. To level set, I'd use 5mm starting at maybe mid 70s water temp. Drew and others can comment on water temp actually in Bali.

 

Oh yeah, if you haven't been to Indo, it is cool. Interesting people, places, and sights.

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Thanks Shasta_man,

We've been fortunate to spend time with the Elephant villages in northern Thailand and ride elephants in the backcountry there. We have also witnessed them up close and personal in Africa and also seen a darker side of their lives in Africa. Our thoughts of them marry the same smile your wife has in her pic and are reflections of some of the greatest moments of our travels, but we will probably not try to tie it into this one and leave it for a return trip.

 

I can confirm that we will travel with no less than 5mm suits. We've only been to Bubaken, Bangka, Lembeh Straits in Indo but having thousands if dives from all over we know 3mm doesn't cut it for us unless it's Chuuk in August :) or Grenada in July. Even though I have many years of ice diving and cold water dives under my belt, I'm still a wimp who would rather be warm then cold. Thank you for the recommendation on bringing equipment, we will plan to carry what we can - it would just be nice to do carry-ons (we are flying decent sized aircraft) to avoid luggage hassles for the 4 flights we will have getting there.

Edited by paquito

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I don't think you will regret bringing the 5mm. I dove Bali last May and there are spots that can be pretty cold.

 

Bring your own gear (and spares) if you can. If you are in say Tulamben or Amed and you have an equipment malfunction, good luck to you. There are a number of dive shops in the region but don't expect them to be well stocked.

 

If you have time, do an Ubud cycling tour. They start part way up the volcano and cycle down through villages and paddy fields. The trip ends with lunch in a village. It is a lot of fun, the views are spectacular, and it is very educational.

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Hey Everyone,

I'm on a excitement high right now, so please bear with my franticness...

 

 

U/W:

Bali in April is going to be macro right?

Overall, where would you concentrate on the best diving for limited time??? Tulamben, Seraya, Amed, Nusa Penida ???

A few operators and resorts stay suggestions please knowing I have just the week and really just want to move around around 1-3 times while there???

 

paquito

 

I am traveling from Alaska to Bali in April as well. The original plan was to go via Perth in order to see Whale Sharks before heading to Bali. It just became too expensive. So I am heading to Tulamben then to Gilli Trawangan. I will meet an Aussie that has been there many times and she states that it is the off season and we should have no troubles getting prime places to stay for reduced rates.

 

I am pretty excited too!

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Hey Guys,

One quick question so I keep on target. Definitely lean toward Tulamben versus staying in Sanur and diving Nusa Penida instead right? Just want to remain on point.

Thanks!

 

I go to Tulamben - excellent diving. Look at Tulamben Wreck Divers or Liberty Resort (just Google them). From there it is a 10 min car ride to Seraya which you can do as a 2nd and 3rd dive of the day (first dive is usually on the wreck).

 

Lots of dive sites to choose from.

 

Karl

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I am traveling from Alaska to Bali in April as well. The original plan was to go via Perth in order to see Whale Sharks before heading to Bali. It just became too expensive. So I am heading to Tulamben then to Gilli Trawangan. I will meet an Aussie that has been there many times and she states that it is the off season and we should have no troubles getting prime places to stay for reduced rates.

 

I am pretty excited too!

 

That's excellent. We will be flying over your house on the way over through Norita. Have a fantastic trip!

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You are right on the best track- I recommend a few days getting out on the Liberty wreck at dawn with wide-angle gear, later doing the Seraya sites with macro, then up to Mimpi in the north west for a day on Menjangan island and a day at Secret Bay. Mimpi is pricey but lovely with hot springs, at Talumben I enjoyed staying and diving with Tulamben Wreck Divers, eating at the Warung (restaurant) opposite, and drinking at the German resort bar called Tauch Terminal a short walk down the road. My experience staying at the more expensive Scuba Seraya resort up the road was... erm... 'variable' but I've heard when the owner is staying there too it is fantastic.

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You are right on the best track- I recommend a few days getting out on the Liberty wreck at dawn with wide-angle gear, later doing the Seraya sites with macro, then up to Mimpi in the north west for a day on Menjangan island and a day at Secret Bay. Mimpi is pricey but lovely with hot springs, at Talumben I enjoyed staying and diving with Tulamben Wreck Divers, eating at the Warung (restaurant) opposite, and drinking at the German resort bar called Tauch Terminal a short walk down the road. My experience staying at the more expensive Scuba Seraya resort up the road was... erm... 'variable' but I've heard when the owner is staying there too it is fantastic.

 

Thanks Will, I appreciate the encouragement.

Its Nyepi there now and so all is silent, but should have more updates soon.

Cheers!

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Hey All,

 

We figured going all the way around the island was a bit much for the short time we have.

 

So we booked for Scuba Sereya and then headed to Ubud afterward. Looking at the maps, it looks like I can avoid most of the altitude. We would like to dive the morning before checkout and then work our way to Ubud in the afternoon. Transfers are not a problem but having made the trip before, do you guys see any issue with diving that am and then heading to Ubud? Thoughts?

 

Our plan is to dive a bunch days there and check out areas near Tulamben, then work our way back south to Ubud for 2 nights where we plan to hike in the rice fields hikes, get pawed by monkeys, do the north Ubud biking, and local home cooking class and maybe a spa to top it off. The last day after leaving Ubud, we will likely head for Ulu Watu to check it out and any other interests along the way. And then its back to reality for the 8pm flight out. :D

 

Additional feedback so far:

I have to say the communication with Sereya has been fantastic.

In-between, other resorts in Tulamben were communicative but did take quite a long time to reply - I guess we are learning about the Bali way of time :lol:

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Paradise never did respond even after numerous attempts.

 

We are greatly enthsiastic for our trip.

Thanks for the help and suggestions you guys!

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