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Lostandconfused

Looking for boutique dive resort like Kasawari (direct boat access, camera room and good food) in Anilao/Bohol or other suggestions in Asia

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My dive buddy and I enjoy muck diving. Mainly love sheltered dives where we get to observe critters doing what critters do.

We are looking for any other dive recommendations for dive resorts around Asia where we don’t have to take a land transfer to get to the dive boat. Was looking at Tulamben and Brunei but it seems most if not all resorts do not have a jetty where one can easily get into a dive boat.

The resorts we liked and why.

Resortname-Location:Reasons

Kasawari -Lembeh:direct boat access, decent food, great team

Crystal Blue Dive Resort-Anilao:direct boat access

Cocotinos-manado:direct boat access, okay food

Lizard Island-GBR:Great food,very laid back environment, dive boat access wasn’t as geared toward daily dives but we did a lot of other activities.

Wakatobi-Indonesia:easy access to boats and good was good but not much muck diving, corals were great though. Wasn’t as focused on taking photos.

Would love to hear from others who have had good experiences. Wading through all the other trip reports for dive dive inspiration.

 

 

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Anilao fits your style of diving perfectly. All resorts have direct access right off the beach and you can dive 4x per day if you’re keen.  Those that are photographer friendly include Crystal Blue, Aiyanar, Buceo, Club Oceallaris, and a few others.  Bohol is not as convenient but has equally good diving.

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Hard to go past Lembeh, all the resorts there seem to have dive boats right at the resort.   They will organize a transfer from the airport for you and take you to Bitung where you can transfer to a boat from the lodge.

I stayed at Divers Lodge Lembeh, their boats are nice and as standard they have 1 guide per 2 divers, up to 4 dives per day and I thought the food was pretty decent.  Their house reef is available anytime and they do a mandarin fish dive there.  They don't have a camera room, but the lodge we stayed in had a good size table and was easy to setup your camera there.   The layout is individual lodges heading up the hillside you wander down to the beach to board the boats, you only carry your camera.  Access is pretty easy and in the past there were direct flights from Singapore, don't know if they have re-started.

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Black Sand Retreat, Lembeh ticks all your boxes. Been there three times and would go again tomorrow  if I could. Very boutique -  only seven rooms. Per the name - muck diving off the beach, two to one guide if you request it but we found that often happens anyway as  we have never found it busy. PM me anytime.. Bruce, the owner is an avid photographer so he knows what we want

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Posted (edited)

Yes, the flights from Singapore to Lembeh have resumed via Scoot, I am flying there at the end of October. 
Lembeh has several excellent resorts. I like good dive masters and compatible fellow divers. YosDive resort has them, I have stayed there at least 10 times; it has its own pier for the dive boats, three dives a day, night dive is extra, decent food and excellent rooms each with lots of space, a balcony on the water, twin beds, shower room,  and a large desk/work table, all for a very reasonable price. (info@yosdivelembeh.com).  I hear good things about the other resorts, it seems one can't go wrong diving in Lembeh!   

Indonesian entry requirements are here: https://kemlu.go.id/losangeles/en/news/11727/update-indonesia-travel-restrictions 

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Headed to Magic Oceans Dive Resort in Bohol next Sunday. Will report back on how it is.

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Posted (edited)

@Lostandconfused

You named several of the best dive locations in SE Asia. For Anilao the best (IMHO) is Crystal Blue, for Lembeh I (now) prefer Lembeh Resort (I enjoyed Kasawari quite a bit, Lembeh Resort is better. just as Kasawari was better than Kungkungan years ago). Wakatobi is world class... (going back for our fifth trip next summer).

Have you looked at the Atlantis Resort in Dumaguete? Puerta Galera was a bit of a dump, but their location in Dumaguete is entirely different. I was there right before the pandemic and was surprised by how good the diving was. Everyone will tell you that you will get tired finding frogfish on their dives (and you won't believe it until you experience it). The reality is... you will likely see more frogfish diving there than any other location (and it could be by orders of magnitude more... #not kidding#). Time of year matters... but they are there. 

One small (maybe 1 meter long) coral outcropping had a giant frogfish near the base, two smaller frogfish perched higher up, and 3 tiny frogfish in the sand around them. The guides weren't even surprised... 

Virtually anything you can find in Anilao you can find in Dumaguete, just in different numbers (variety of nudibranchs is smaller however).

 

Edited by oneyellowtang
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

Yes, the flights from Singapore to Lembeh have resumed via Scoot, I am flying there at the end of October. 
Lembeh has several excellent resorts. I like good dive masters and compatible fellow divers. YosDive resort has them, I have stayed there at least 10 times; it has its own pier for the dive boats, three dives a day, night dive is extra, decent food and excellent rooms each with lots of space, a balcony on the water, twin beds, shower room,  and a large desk/work table, all for a very reasonable price. (info@yosdivelembeh.com).  I hear good things about the other resorts, it seems one can't go wrong diving in Lembeh!   

Indonesian entry requirements are here: https://kemlu.go.id/losangeles/en/news/11727/update-indonesia-travel-restrictions 

Actually, one of our last trips to Lembeh (3 years ago) was to Dabirahe Dive resort (very little availability anywhere during the New Year season), it was *awful.* Food was extremely poor, and the walk to the top cabins made Anilao look "flat" by comparison.

The resort is now closed (which is good)...

 

Edited by oneyellowtang
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