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Bali vs Thailand(Similans) vs Red Sea

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by rexman24, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    If you could spend some time and dive at one of the three which would it be?

    I like Pelagics, schools, interesting creatures, fish, macro, and muck.

    I am experienced and my favorite places so far are Philippines, Cozumel, Roatan, and Jupiter FL.

    We also like above water islands, beaches, mountains, culture, etc.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,126
    1,670
    113
    Red Sea is ok for pelagics and corals, macro sucks. Topside, unless you take a few days to visit Luxor or Cairo not much to do you'll be inside your resort...
    Similan islands are dived from Khao Lak, it's a long way, used to be nice corals, some fish, sometimes manta rays, blue water, but not as much variety as Bali
    Bali has it all, Manta rays almost guaranteed, Mola mola in season, some coral dives, great great macro/black sand diving and topside you couldn't have more packed on one island. Bali is like the Philippines but with more cultural and topside interest.
     
    Mike Veitch likes this.
  3. Grm

    Grm Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    15
    32
    13
    Second Luko for Bali, meets all your requirements and I usually do a twin centre based on Nusa Lembongan (fish and big stuff) and Tulamben or Pemuteran for Macro though we tend to end up more at Pemuteran due to the easy access to the marine park at Menjangan which can be very good for corals and fish life
     
  4. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    Yes Bali was the original plan, I can only do this once, so trying to find the best experience I can afford. It fits well with our plan of being on the way to retirement in the Philippines. We maybe able to be in Indonesia for a month or two. Maybe a side trip to Komodo.
    Right now I am thinking of spending a couple weeks in each place-Permuteran, Amed, Padang bai and one of the Nusas.

    Does anyone think I should also try to get to the Gilis/Lombok? would it be worth the extra travel?

    Is the diving in Permuteran boat or shore diving? I like boat diving much better (limited mobility)

    Anyone with any recent experience with Dive Concepts?
     
  5. AlMitch

    AlMitch Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    883
    437
    63
    If you are after great macro then Tulamben is a must and is much better than Amed. And I would then suggest diving with Scuba Seraya while you are in Tulamben, given that they dive from boats rather than the crazy stumble down the rocky beach shore dives that is the norm for the area. If you can afford it Villa Markisa (right next door to Scuba Seraya) looks amazing and also uses boats, but is nearly double the price. You can read my previous trip reports for more info.
     
  6. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    Thanks Mitch-yes definately planning to dive Tulamben, it just looks like we could stay cheaper in Amed. Yes I have read lots of horror stories about the entry/exit for the dives in Tula. A boat sounds much better! I have heard they just use local fishing boats. So is it just a boat entry and then shore exit? Or does Scuba Seraya have a real dive boat?
     
    chillyinCanada and Tippytoes12 like this.
  7. AlMitch

    AlMitch Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    883
    437
    63
    Scuba Seraya has two dive boats, one larger one with roof to keep you shaded and it fits approx 8 divers and a smaller one that fits 4. See link below for a pic from Trip Advisor that I found. The bigger one is obviously more comfortable, but most of the good muck sites are only 5-10 min from SS (heck Seraya Secrets is their house reef) so the smaller one is perfectly fine.

    Dive boats - Picture of Scuba Seraya Resort, Tulamben - Tripadvisor

    I would not suggest you stay in Amed and dive Tulamben, it is a good 20-30min drive along a narrow road. Just find a place in Tulamben and enjoy the relaxing time.
     
  8. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,088
    510
    113
    There are horror stories about getting into the water at the wreck but don’t worry. Your guide will help you and will take your gear into the water for you to put on and you can remove it before you get out if you ask.

    This is very common and I added extra to my guides tip at LDR last year. At the wreck this doesn’t seem to happen as often as on the other sites. More mature divers do the other sites, many of whom have cameras, and this is almost routine there. The properties you mentioned do boat dives but are more expensive. We stayed at another more upmarket property twice in Tulamben and were happy with what we saw.Then last year I went to LDR and wow, saw so so so much more. I would request experienced Indonesian guides wherever you go. We have had excellent expat guides in Asia, but there are many who are useless spotters, run out of air before you do, don’t help with anything.

    The Gilis are very easy to get to from Eastern Bali , we love Gili Air.

    Enjoy every minute of this wonderful trip. Xxxx
     
  9. kkshxt

    kkshxt Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taiwan
    28
    42
    13
    Similan offers very nice food lol
    as for Pelagics and schools, it's hit and miss...
    I didn't see mantas or whale sharks there but I did encounter schooling cudas.
    some of my friends did encounter whalesharks and mantas last season, so it worth a shot.
    I have been to Bali several times, it's great for macro.
    what month are you going to do this trip?
     
  10. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,126
    1,670
    113
    Add Komodo to your trip instead of the Gilis, you could as well insert Kalimaya in (Bima airport), midway between Bali and Komodo.
    The Gilis are mainly backpacker or sandy beach islands, diving comes only second (or third).
    My take on Bali is that Nusa Penida (dived for corals and pelagics from Nusa Lembongan or from Padang Bai) and Tulamben (for outstanding macro) are really worth diving. Northwest Pemuteran is disappointing and nnot worth the bother, Amed is full of backpackers and has few only interesting dive sites.

    Dive Concept is a low budget no frills dive center, don't expect to be pampered there. Diving Bali is worth better dive conditions with private dive guides in Tulamben who will lead you to some spots only a few operation go diving.
     

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