Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 1 August 2014 • Blog
After failing to dive on the first days in Manado, I finally got a chance to dive in the world famous Bunaken National Marine Park right after I got back from Talaud Island. I had to go alone because Mumun was heading to dive in Lembeh and the rest of the gang had flown back to Jakarta earlier. I made a reservation with Two Fish Divers, a dive resort in Bunaken Island that my friend Norman recommended. Whoa. My first dive trip and I was going alone! I was nervous and excited!
Out of about 26 dive sites around Bunaken Island, I could only do two dives because I didn’t have much time to spend before going back to Manado. They were Lekuan 2 and Fukui.
The first dive was at Lekuan 2, which is part of the three Lekuan spots. It’s a wall diving, for which diving at Bunaken is famous for. The walls stretch as far as the eyes can see and is said to be about 200 meters deep. The wall at Lekuan 2 is rich with corals that shelter various creatures. A few Napoleon Wrasses, turtles, an orangutan crab (my favorite! It’s so tiny, hairy and simply weird-looking!), a coral shrimp and colorful nudibranches were among what I saw, spotted mostly by my dive guide. Of course, I was still concentrating on keeping my buoyancy.
The dive at Fukui was as amazing as Lekuan 2 for me. It’s mostly a slope dive with various kinds of creatures and corals, visible so clearly even when I was just descending. Batfish, angelfish, oriental sweetlips, turtles, you name it. I even saw a moray eel and a giant clam in the sea floor (though I didn’t realize what it was until the guide told me when we were on the boat afterwards). This time, I think I managed my buoyancy a little bit better, though I had to be pulled down at one point because the current was throwing me here and there. Yeah, that’s one thing you gotta be aware of when diving in Bunaken: currents.
Two Fish Divers is one of so many resorts established on Bunaken Island. It’s been there for about 15 years, hosting for mostly divers from all over the world. Upon my one-night stay, there were groups of divers from England and other countries of Europe, and I might’ve heard some American accent, too.
Though I was only there for less than 24 hours, I could feel the “island life” ambiance. Sands beneath my feet, hammocks by the beach, coconut trees abundant, and tanned skins in sight.
The guests were dispersed in bungalows and rows of rooms in a two-storey building. The swimming pool area was being renovated, located in the bungalows area, sometimes used for a dive course before entering the sea. My room was the Budget Single Room with shared bathroom. It usually has two single beds but one was used in another room. The amenities included a fan, a bedside table, a shelf and several electricity outlets. I liked how the window was facing the garden and sunrise.
Two Fish Divers is managed (if not also owned) by a British couple. The staff are mostly Indonesian, locals from the villages of Bunaken Island. They were all friendly, helpful and working professionally. There was a little misinformation on the gear and boat rates prior to my arrival, but it was no biggie. Just make sure you ask detailed information, like the additional rates for non-regular boat transfer schedule, rental fees for each and every dive gear including short and long wetsuits, etc.
The phone signal was pretty bad in the resort (maybe in the rest of the island as well?), but they a pretty good wifi at the common area. Millenials, relax! You can enjoy island life while still keeping your timeline alive!
Two Fish Divers resort is located on Bunaken Island, about half an hour boat ride from Manado’s Marina port. My boat transfer was inclusive in the dive package that I took.
You could also take the public boat between Manado and Bunaken, which transports all sorts of passengers. I heard that the boat leaves from Manado’s market port every afternoon.
Two Fish Divers’ boat transfer, that’s inclusive in their package, is only at about 4 p.m. from Manado to Bunaken, and about 9 a.m. from Bunaken to Manado. Other than that, you’d be charged an extra fee.
As you know that prices in our life vary depending on time, season and political conditions. To give you some ideas, these are the prices I had to pay upon my visit in April 2014:
Diving 2x : 70 euro (incl. snack, coffee and tea on the boat)
Dive equipment rental fee: 17 euro / day
Budget single room: 30 euro / night (incl. 3 meals and boat transfer on fixed schedule)
Postcards: 3.5 euro / piece
Mosquito repellent lotion: IDR 16,000 / bottle.
Extra boat transfer: 10 euro / way
There you go, my brief stay at one of the most popular dive resorts on Bunaken Island. If I had more time, I would go for more dives and take a walk to the nearby villages just to see what the Bunaken island life is actually like.
Two Fish Divers has only opened a branch in Lembeh, east to Manado, focusing more on muck diving. More about it, wait for Mumun’s story on her one-night stay there.
Address: Jalan Samratulangi XIX No 12a, Manado 95113, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Email: embedded in their Contact page.
Phone: Nona +62 813 5687 0384 or Ola (in Indonesian) +62 813 5652 6470
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