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mandarinfish

Indonesia itinerary recommendations sought...

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I'm getting started on planning a 4-6 week trip to Indonesia in the fall next year (2005). Looking at options for about three destinations, including Lembeh, Wakatobi, Raja Ampat, Komodo, etc. Liveaboard or land-based, whatever is the best for the area. I've been to Wakatobi and loved the diving, but haven't been to any others in Indonesia.

 

Would love to hear from others what you'd choose for three areas (not limited to the above!), and what op you'd go with.

 

And frankly, after seeing Craig's Sipadan gallery, I'm very tempted to go there. How easy would it be to integrate it into an Indonesian itinerary?

 

Any suggestions would be much appreciated....

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If looking at Lembeh I would consider the Lembeh Resort. It is brand new with diving operations from Murex. It is right across from KBR. Rates were reasonable but accomodations were excellent with air-conditioning, camera room and pool.

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If looking at Lembeh I would consider the Lembeh Resort.

 

Thanks, Todd. Lembeh Resort is at the top of my list for Lembeh. Trying to decide if it's worthwhile to stay in Manado as well, or if it's better to try to get to another area (e.g. Raja Ampat) on a multi-hop trip. There are too many good choices...

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Linda,

I stayed at Murex to dive Bunaken, and while the dive staff was great, prices reasonable, the diving was so-so. Vis wasn't great (July), and not very pristine. One of the good places was Siladen..loved it. You can stay on Siladen, but charging batteries may be an issue. I think you're better to do a liveaboard, so you can Bangka (amazing site).

Depending on how rustic you like it, the best diving that I have done in Indonesia (actually the world) was on one of Grand Komodo's boats to Alor. There are other operators that go there that are more upscale. Amazing visibility, big and small life...just amazing. The downside is that most of the boats go from Flores. That means flying on Merpati, which means plan a few extra days in case your bags don't arrive. Mine didn't. Bribery at Denpasar's airport didn't help. Don't get there too early as we did. It meant our bags were at the bottom of the trolley, and once the plane was full, everyone's bags at the bottom were left behind!

If you are going through Bali, and haven't been, plan some time at Tulamben, and diving Nusa Penida. Book a package, as it's much more reasonable than booking diving separately. A good operator is ENA. I have recommended them to many friends, and all were very positive. (Ask for TUDE as a guide) No, I don't get kickbacks!

Have a wonderful trip!

Marli

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Marli, That's great information, thank you. I keep hearing about Bankga, so that may be a must. I'll have to look into some liveaboards there; I know Thalassa has one. I'm still looking into Komodo as well as Sipadan/Mabul. So many choices...

 

Thanks!

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I can strionlgy recommend raja empat. The coral growth, diversit of diving,

topside scenery, and huge numbers of fish are amazing.

 

I have been to raja empat, lembeh, and wakatobi. If you go for 6 weeks, you coudl probably do all 3.

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Linda,

Murex has liveaboards, one is called the Serenade, which you can book through the resorts. Bangka is fabulous, but weather dependent. It was snarky when I was there, resulting (for the group of 5) two flooded strobes and one flooded housing.

Luckily, mine was minor! The soft coral life (particularly Tubastrea) is the most amazing I have seen: so much current it's all open in daylight, and just solid yellow and orange. Pygmies, ribbon eels, Robust ghost pipefish, and nudibranches walking on scorpionfish. Just be prepared that they may not be able to go, and frankly, even though I'm used to BC diving, it was something else due to huge waves on the surface. If too nasty, then you have to dive Lembeh. Shucks, now that's disappointing! :lol:

Marli

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Hi Linda...If you are interested in diving Bali i.e. Secret Bay and Tulamben I highly suggest you contact Graham Abbott at diving4images. com He can arrange the trip for you at a very reasonable price. He can also arrange a live aboard trip to Komodo. Check out his website for details on resent finds. I will be diving with him in September and November of this year. Can't wait. You can't miss anywhere in Indonesia. My favorite spot!

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one is called the Serenade

 

That would be one to miss, though unless you like diesel fumes.

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