Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Warning: If you are anti touristy attractions, you may not care about what I’m writing in this post. It’s solely about my Marine Walk experience with my family, in which we had a lot of fun outdoor.
I had been wanting to try the Marine Walk but never managed to get a friend to do it with me. Doing it alone? C’mon. Happiness is only real when shared. So the chance came when I was in Bali with my family in a September. Yay!
Marine Walk is basically walking on the floor of the sea. You can still breathe as usual by wearing a ‘helmet’ to which water couldn’t get through. You don’t even have to swim because you’ll step down a ladder from the boat to the base of the sea. The helmet is tied to a long air hose, which always connects you to the boat. The weight belt and the helmet itself will help you stay ‘sinking’.
The Marine Walk operator had secured a certain area near the Nusa Lembongan Island (well, nusa means island, d’oh) for this activity. They’ve installed sort of a metal bar to help you balance when walking and taking pictures. No picture means hoax, right?
To make sure marine walkers have a great time down in the sea, which means being surrounded by a lot of fishes, the guide will hand you fish food in a plastic bottle. You squirt the food from the bottle, fishes will gather around you and make pretty framing for your pictures. We had doubt in doing this because we thought that you’re not supposed to feed animals in their natural habitat. But we fed the fish a teeny bit anyway :-/ To our defense, even if you didn’t do it, the guide would.
The whole walk only lasted for about 15 minutes. If you’ve snorkeled and dived a lot, marine walking is easy peasy, you got nothing to worry about. If you watched America’s Next Top Model cycle 20 religiously, you might’ve seen the 12th episode where the models did a photo shoot at Bali’s own Marine Walk!
A photographer in scuba diver gears was standing by the whole time, taking pictures of you and your group. Each marine walker is entitled of a printed photo and a CD of all of your photo files for, I think, IDR 100,000.
When you sign up for marine walk, you’re automatically entitled of a few other activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, banana boat ride and cycling on Nusa Lembongan. We could only choose three, but cycling wasn’t available at that time, so we didn’t actually need to choose. Too bad, because I was really looking forward to cycle on Nusa Lembongan.
We had fun kayaking, though. I’ve always loved kayaking, for fun, of course. We kayaked about 20 minutes before going on the marine walk. This time I kayaked with Diyan, my sister with her husband. We debated on how to paddle and I ended up just lying on the canoe while he paddled. Oh, the joy of being a small female. *sunnies on*
Snorkeling came after the marine walk. The underwater scene was alright, nothing spectacular. We were given about 15 minutes time to snorkel around the boat. I forgot what happened then but we decided to cancel the banana boat ride, and the whole group (there were about 15 more tourists in the group) went back to Nusa Lembongan for lunch, which was also in the package.
I got an okay deal for the Marine Walk tickets at a travel fair in Jakarta, about a month prior to our trip. If I’m not mistaken, the lady at the booth told me that the original price for the package was IDR 650,000 and the offer was IDR 500,000 per package*. Not bad.
However, she also told me that I could do all the activities mentioned above. Turns out, cycling was out of the choices. I don’t know how they mis-coordinated, but I was really not in the mood to make a scene by demanding my right as a customer. I imagined it would be a hassle to try to prove what the lady at the booth promised me and I didn’t even remember her name anyway.
The moral of the story is, make sure you know what you’re getting in the package, discount or not. If you bought it from a third party, better confirm to the operator in charge in Bali.
* the price for 2013
The Marine Walk operator that we went to was in Sanur, not so far from where we stayed, the Oasis Lagoon Hotel. A car picked us up in the morning and got us back again at 3 or 4 pm. I think they can pick you up from other places in Bali as well.
The office is located near Bali Beach Hotel. That’s where we waited for our turn to get on the boat and head to Nusa Lembongan. The port is just a short walk away from there.
– swimming suit or anything comfortable for you in the water
– snorkels, masks and fins are provided, but you’re free to use your own
– a set of dry clothes to change to, unless you don’t mind getting back wet
– beach apparels such as sun lotion, sunglasses, hat, etc
Bali Marine Walk Website: bali-marinewalk.com Phone: +62 361 282654 / +62 361 8080282 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org address: Jl. Bay Pass Ngurah Rai No 204, Sanur, Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia, 80227