firedivegear's Reviews

Kungkungan Bay Resort

Listed in Accommodations, Dive Operator, Dive Resort, TRAVEL

+62 438 30300

Lembeh Strait, Bitung, North Suluwesi, Indonesia, NA, Suluwesi

Reviewed on October 29, 2018. #1 of 4 Reviews

Overall Impression: A 5-star experience

Getting There: That’s a bit ugly from the USA but getting to any location in the Indo Pacific from the USA is no better. This just has to be considered. As long as you know going in you can prepare accordingly. Bring extra sleeping aids, meds, change of underwear, snacks etc.

Transfers: The ride to and from Manado to the resort is roughly 2 to 3 hours depending on traffic. It can be a bit of a “white knuckle” ride for the faint of heart. Like anywhere in this part of the world the traffic is crazy and the drivers are crazier but there were no crashes or dead bodies on the road so you just take it in stride. They will tell you that you need only 2 hours to get back to the airport but that can be cutting it close. I would advise 2.5 to 3 hours to be safe. The airport is air conditioned and nice – better to be early than risk missing a flight.

The Resort:
Check-in: They will be ready for you when you drive up. Check-in is fast and easy. A quick briefing is given the explain the “lay of the land” and you are released to get to your room.
Grounds: The grounds are meticulously maintained with beautiful shrubs and flowers everywhere.
Rooms: The rooms are spacious, very clean, well furnished, air conditioned, and pleasant in every respect. There is a small fridge and lots of bottled water. They tell you “DON’T DRINK THE TAP WATER”. This of course is true everywhere in this part of the world. So they give all bottled water you can possibly drink. The bathrooms are large with plenty of hot water with soap, shampoo, conditioner and a hair dryer provided. There are plenty of railings on the outside deck to dry your gear before departure. You will need a power adapter to charge items in your room. All the outlets are 220 volt European plugs.
Staff: The entire staff of the facility is first class. They are well dressed, polite and very accommodating. Some don’t speak English very well (the grounds keepers for example) but they are all extremely friendly and if they don’t understand you, they will get someone who does. Of course, the staff you need to interact with the most speak English very well – the counter staff, restaurant wait staff, dive crews etc.
Food: The food is plentiful and very good. Everything is “menu driven” so you select what you want to eat from a large menu of choices and it’s prepared specifically for you as you want it as opposed to a buffet.
Internet Access: Web access is solid from all the rooms. It’s not very fast and they implore you not to download movies or upload hundreds of images but it’s great for checking in at home and getting emails. It is better than most places in this part of the world.
Security: They have a full-time security staff. They will give you a room key but there isn’t much point unless it makes you feel better.

Diving Facilities:
Camera Room: They have a large well-lit camera room with lots of power outlets for chargers. Outlets are both 220-volt European plugs and 220-volt USA plugs. I suggest you bring a power strip so you aren’t crowded. Compressed air is provided for blowing off camera gear.
Rental Gear: Although I didn’t use any of it, their compliment of rental gear appears plentiful and well maintained.
Dive Crews: The dive masters and crew are very professional, well trained and knowledgeable. Tell them what you want to find and they will find it for you.
Boats: The boats are in good repair and covered from direct sun exposure. It may be a good idea to remove your BCD before attempting the ladder after a dive however as it can be a tough climb when “geared up”. Water and fruit are offered on the boats.
Diving: This is a muck diving location. If you want unlimited visibility and large creatures, this is not the place for you. This is the best macro, small stuff location on earth. Vis varies from 5 to 10 meters (15-30 feet) most days; sometimes a bit better. However, for macro photography and seeing the tiniest of the tiny, this is the place to go. Blue Ringed Octos, Ghost Pipe Fish, Pigmy Seahorses, Nudies, Sea Pens, Tiger Shrimp……it goes on and on. Post dive you are met at the dock with coffee, tea or hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies.

Summary: As noted in the beginning, this is a 5-star diving location. 5-star is a relative term however. This is not the Ritz Carlton or Waldorf Astoria. It is a relatively remote dive location on the other side of the planet. With that considered, it is clearly among the best locations you will find anywhere.

Papua Explorers Dive Resort

Listed in Dive Resort, TRAVEL

Tel: +628118000511 (WhatsApp) ,+6281319770760 (WhatsApp)

Pantai Pinsilim, Kamp. Yenwaupnor, Kec. Meos Mansar, Indonesia

Reviewed on October 7, 2016. #1 of 9 Reviews

My new favorite dive sites on Earth! I’ve been to the four corners of the world and this has the best overall diving I’ve seen anywhere. Great vis, beautiful reefs, and lots of fish. Fam reef and Crossover sites are an absolute must see. Crossover can have some treacherous drift currents but that is fun for the experienced diver. Dive boats were good with the only exception being the ladders. They need improvement (as of early Sept 16) and by the time you go there those issues will be solved. This is a resort that is “off the beaten path”. It’s a two-hour boat ride each way from the mainland. This can be a bit rough but the seclusion is the reason why the reefs are so pristine. If you want easy to get to but beat up conditions, go to Bonaire. If you want stunning diving, go to Papua Explorers. Food was plentiful and good. Rooms were very nice albeit a bit warm at night. No A/C because this resort is way off the grid and is powered by solar and diesel generators. Staff was very accommodating. Dive and boat crews were exceptional. Nice camera room. 5 stars.

Kasawari Lembeh Resort

Listed in Dive Resort, TRAVEL

na, Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, na, na

Reviewed on October 7, 2016. #1 of 8 Reviews

EXCELLENT Facility – Support staff from the grounds keepers to the dive crew are exceptional, friendly helpful and go out of their way to accommodate your every need. Very nice rooms with AC (although not needed during my September visit). Great food – lots of it. Good dive boat with easy entries and exits. VERY professional dive staff that spend a great deal of time with each diver finding the tiny stuff. This is a muck diving resort so that is the main focus. They can take you to reefs but the main focus is clearly macro photography and muck diving. The ride from the airport is a bit over an hour so you can see the local “civilization”. A very accommodating operation. 5 Stars all the way.

Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort

Listed in Dive Resort, TRAVEL


Sitio Looc, Barangay Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas, na, Philippines, na, na

Reviewed on July 7, 2015. #1 of 4 Reviews

Another great PI location. Wonderful food and accommodating resort staff. Highly professional dive teams and dive facilities. Definitely a destination worth considering. Value priced and stunning views both above and below the water line.

Marco Vincent Dive Resort

Listed in Accommodations, Dive Operator, Dive Resort, TRAVEL

(632) 813 6329

156 H.V Dela Costa St. cor. Ayala Ave., Makati City, Puerto Galera , Philippines, na, Oreintal Mandoro

Reviewed on July 7, 2015. #1 of 9 Reviews

Amazing resort in every respect. Great diving, great dive crews, phenomenal dive boat, great resort staff, exceptional food, a fun location, value priced. It just gets no better. 5 Stars for sure – you will love this location

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