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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
    Luko-got it. Yes I am looking at Liberty and I will check out Utama. I have found having a great local guide is of the most import. It is easy for us to swim right by things (esp macro) and not even know they are there. I can think of a number of times a guide as been pointing at something for a number of minutes until I was able to see it.

    The name of the dive shop in Alor is Alor Dive. They have an odd looking homemade boat and I think the owner is German.They are right in the main city there.
    I think I remember that Ptite Kipa is more isolated and maybe they have no AC accoms? That is a minimum for us to have AC. I will check again. We had a horrible experience in Roatan with a no AC place, never again!.

    I will also check dragon dive and uber scuba in Komodo.

    Rechno-I said we will be on our way to retirement in the Philippines when we do our dive trip. My wife is Filipino, so that is pretty much set. The Red sea looks awesome for a liveaboard. However, with the logistics and expenses involved, I am pretty sure at this point we will go to Indonesia.
     
  2. Dutch Mermaid

    Dutch Mermaid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Netherlands
    30
    30
    18
    Hey there!

    I dove all 3(4) of the destinations you mentioned and if I had to order them by personal opinion:

    1. Bali: Nusa Lembongan
    Simply because of the amazing Mola Mola and Manta's that swim around in the right season (make sure to check). I'm a sucker for the bigger fish and Lembongan does not disappoint!

    2. Egypt: Red Sea

    Being from The Netherlands, I'm so happy I can reach Egypt in a couple hours. I've done all 3 big liveaboard routes by now (North, BDE and South) and have done quite some day diving from Safaga. My favorite? BDE because that's where I photographed hammerheads, lol. But literally every route has a story to tell. Wrecks in the North, bigger pelagic in the middle and beautiful colours, lights and tunnels in the South. For Egypt I'm working on a YouTube series atm focussing around the routes and Safaga. Also has some technical diving if you're into that.

    3. Bali: Amed
    Amed is a mix of muck diving, mild drift and the Liberty wreck. Great diversity. The Liberty wreck is quite famous and especially muck divers enjoy finding little critters in the sand. Thats why for me it's on the 3rd spot. Too small :p

    4. Thailand: Similans
    The higher you get in the Similans towards the Myanmar border, the better it will get. The first few dive spots nearer to Khao Lak/Phuket will be very disappointed as there's still dynamite fishing going on in the "closed season". Keep in mind the similans is only open certain times a year, so that might make your choice easier as well. The higher you get tho, especially at Richelieu rock, the diving is excellent and if you're lucky anything from whale sharks and mantas can happen! Also nothing can happen :p
     
  3. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,140
    1,701
    113
    Ouch... I think you have a different idea of what an indonesian "city" in the east Nusa Tenggara looks like, more of an outpost. No one stays in Kalabahi, don't expect Manhattan skyline :confused:.. more over it's a bit far from the spots where you start the diving which are into the Strait between Pantar and Alor..
    Kalabahi is set at the deep end of a bay and the bay is veeeery long, it will take you about 30 minutes on full throttle to come out of the bay, and from what I heard/read flexibility is not the owner's forte. Well some divers in black speedoes seem to like that but they're mainly germans, for me it's more like "auf wiedersehen".
    That said no miradors and no german shepherds on board, though. :D

    If you REALLY need AC then i suggest you check Alami resort.
     
  4. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    DM-thank you for the input. It is nice to hear from someone who has done all three.

    Luko-OK city might not have been exactly the correct term. I will take your thoughts about Alor Dive into consideration. I don't know where he keeps his boat. The reviews I have seen for them are pretty good.

    If you were me would you try to do Komodo or Alor?
     
  5. matts1w

    matts1w Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Jakarta, Indonesia & Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
    1,575
    645
    113
    For sure Komodo. Why? I think everyone here agrees (in general) Komodo and Raja Ampat, although becoming very pressured, are the best Indonesia has to offer. If you do one trip to Indonesia, hitting one of these should be a priority.

    There are those on this board who swear by Alor, and those who have been underwhelmed. Luko LOVES it. Me not so much. I do plan to return in the near future and try it again through his lens... someday.

    Komodo consistently gets rave reviews. I think this is your first trip to Indonesia? If so play the odds and book a boat in Komodo.
     
  6. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,026
    2,426
    113
    +1 for Komodo.

    or Home Stay at Raja Ampat.
     
  7. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,140
    1,701
    113
    I'll let you read all the reviews about Alor operations.
    If you prefer a destination with very few divers and a more balanced mix between corals and macro then it's Alor but it's a longer way than Komodo, you'll have a more local village life feel in Alor while Labuan Bajo is more of a backpacker city at night, the daytrips to Komodo dive spots can be veeeeery long, I have read Batu Bolong one of the best sites is now on a limited access due to a restricted permit policy (I don't know whether it is actually applied currently).
     
  8. Dutch Mermaid

    Dutch Mermaid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Netherlands
    30
    30
    18
    Alor is on my wishlist. Have heard many great things about it!
     
  9. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    636
    524
    93
    Never been in Egypt, but Thailand (Similans) was very dissapointing in 2011 when I was there. It seems to be much better now, we were there too soon after the tsunami. Saw photos from last year and was better than in 2011.

    Booked now Bali, so will see if we can spot some bigger fish (I am also not fan of the very small critters, and that is were Bali is famous for).Liberty seems to be very nice and not boring if you do more dives on the wreck. Also the Japanese wreck looks nice and is on my list. And Manta Point of course. I booked unlimited diving on the 5 sites in Tulamben where solo also is allowed. And some day excursions to other sites like Amed with of course also diving included. Manta point is extremely expensive, but it seems to be worth to do. So I think I will book this extra. Crystal bay can have a lot of current, and I am not afraid of current, but will then say do another dive at manta point as the dives are expensive and I want to take my camera.

    Will follow this topic for some advices about Bali.
    Very important on divetrips is the possiblity to do 4 dives or more on a day. And diving without guides. That is for sure possible on the Similans as we did, I also did some solodives.
     
  10. Mike1967

    Mike1967 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    1,139
    532
    113
    We have very different definitions of extremely and expensive :)
     

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