Just back from Indonesia

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drrich2

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(He went and asked to manager, if there were any poisonous spiders and was told "no", so he kindly opted not to tell his sister that the spider was in their room somewhere🙃.
Gonna be a little pedantic here. From what I recall, all spiders are venomous; some don't have good capability to penetrate human skin with their fangs (though I wouldn't assume that about a big one in particular), and many have venom that wouldn't be considered 'medically significant' (as in severe pain or substantial risk for other serious complications) - thus a bite might be on par with a bee or wasp sting? But pain varies.

Many years ago I encountered someone who got bitten by what was probably a wolf spider (southern U.S.A.) and developed cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin) which was then treated with antibiotics.

Richard.
 

Catito

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Hi

I thought I would share our recent experience traveling to and within Indonesia.

We arrived in Bali end of June 2022- was just asked for vaccination certificate (fully vaccinated with booster), nothing about the PL app, insurance or hotel stay. Luggage took forever.

We spend 3 days in Kuta and 5 in Padang Bai. Loved PB - so laid back and slow/easy - we stayed at lovely Puri Rai hotel and did 5 dives in total - 3 local and 2 in Gili Mimpang and Gili Tepekong - with Widana dive service. Ok diving (we did not do the jetty, as Widana said the small critters are mostly gone:-() Our favourite was Gili Tepekong.

On July 8th we flew from DPS-KOE (Kupang), we were supposed to only have 1 h layover, but the late flight to Alor (our final destination) was cancelled, so I had to reschedule and fly 1 day earlier to avoid missing out on days in Alor. We were not asked for any vaccination certificates or anything else at check in, flight was ok and on time (Lion air). July 9th we continued the journy to Alor (wings, but since our first leg was with Lion, we did not have to pay extra for the luggage - we also did not pick up the luggage in Kupang, just had our carry on)

From July 9th to 16 we were in paradise at Alor Eco Divers. Seriously one of the best places we have ever stayed - diving was fantastic and the resort .... as I said: paradise - except for the mosquitoes. Just the way we were greeted at arrival, the huts, food, staff, sun beds, everything really (but you need to accept a bit of "wild life" in your hut as they're semi open, so if you have a fear of spiders maybe get some therapy before you go;-))

July 16th we flew from Alor to LBJ - via Kupang. In Alor they would not let us into the terminal, before we showed our vaccine certificates (even though the new regulations for domestic travel should not come info force before 17th).

Flight was 45 min delayed and we feared for our connecting flight, since we only had 20 min layover. So after landing we ran to the terminal, went through security and hurried to the boarding gate. It opened 1 min after we arrived, we showed our boarding passes, then boarded the exact same airplane we just left - on the exact same seats.

Arrived in LBJ late, luggage took forever.

In Komodo I booked a private LOB - the name of the boat is Mimic and the company is called Wunderpus. The boat is basic - no ac, sleeping on mattresses on upper deck, sharing 1 bathroom, but crew is great and chef is amazing (the best food we ever had on a LOB), so we had a fab time - totally recommend! The cruise director (Dolin) knew all the good spots (of course), he also expertly picked the best times to dive for light and current. Since our daughter does not dive, they sent a snorkle guide just for her, so while we dived she could snorkle with Leri and she saw everything she wanted and more: manta rays, white/black tips, tuna, Nemo, Dory, lots of turtles and more. It was the first time we had a guide separately for our daughter and it just made everything so much easier, since she was also occupied and saw some of the same stuff as us, and we could talk about it after the dive.
We also got lucky and saw mantas (including the biggest one I ever saw), lots of black/white tips, dolphins (under water, one of my biggest wishes), sand tiger shark (we had to google this one to find out, what type of shark it was, since none of us had seen it before) of course there was lots of beautiful corals and millions of fish as well.

Even so, we found the diving in Alor better for diversity and "special" things - viz was also much better in Alor. Our favourite dive site in Komodo was Cauldron/Shot Gun - did it 2 times, just because it was fun.

After Komodo we travelled back to Bali - to enter the airport in LBJ we again was asked to show our vaccination certificates. Check in was slow - Batik air - and flight was 1 hour late, but finally we made it back to Bali and spend 3 days in Ubud.

Departing Bali was easy: just show up at the airport 2,5 hours before flight, check in (we had to show vaccination certificates - flying Singapore Airlines to Copenhagen) and wait. There's not a lot of places to eat inside the airport (they're renovating and found it better to prioritise selling alcohol and cigarettes over food and toilets)

All in all this has been one of our best trips ever - Alor being the highlight - Komodo a close second, if you're traveling with non divers I really would recommend Mimic, it made a huge difference for us.
Thanks. Interesting. The LOB sounds a little rough…no ac, 1 bath, number of people?
 
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diveUAE

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Gonna be a little pedantic here. From what I recall, all spiders are venomous; some don't have good capability to penetrate human skin with their fangs (though I wouldn't assume that about a big one in particular), and many have venom that wouldn't be considered 'medically significant' (as in severe pain or substantial risk for other serious complications) - thus a bite might be on par with a bee or wasp sting? But pain varies.

Many years ago I encountered someone who got bitten by what was probably a wolf spider (southern U.S.A.) and developed cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin) which was then treated with antibiotics.

Richard.
Thanks:) I didn't know. I'll use that as an excuse next time my husband complains about me killing spiders;-) (I really do not like spiders at all, so if it was me who saw a big spider in our room, I would not rest, until it was dead)
Thanks. Interesting. The LOB sounds a little rough…no ac, 1 bath, number of people?
It was a private LOB - just the 4 of us (maximum is 6 pax) and 6 crew members (I never saw the crew members use the toilet, and it was always clean).
We loved the boat, to us it was a real luxury to have to whole boat to ourselves and not having ac/constant noise was very nice, some of our best memories from this part of the trip is lying on the front deck and looking at the stars feeling small together - wonderful way to be quiet together.

I was hesitant while booking and all the way until we got on the boat, it's also why I mention it here as an alternative to the big LOB - especially, if you travel with non divers they'll have a blast too.
 

jjmochi

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In PB I dived Bias Tungel - many big turtles, Nick turtle point - ok and Tanjung Sati - a little bit better than the 2 others, but all are fine. Tepekong was our favourite - so much fun playing in the current. We didn't go to CB/MP/Penida, as it was too early for molas and we've already been to Nusa Lembongan and dived all the places. Water temps according to my dive computer: 27,1-28,9 C. Will be colder in August - I remember MP being really cold, when we went beginning of August 2017.

Wifi at Puri Rai was strong and fast, both in room and outside (although not as strong in the restaurant), we had 2 family rooms and I'm trying to remember the number, might be 320+? Interconnecting - when you walk in the resort there's a pool to the right and our rooms were at the end of that pool (there are other pools as well)
I emailed Geko several times, never got a reply, that's why we dove with Widana.

I did not see any spiders at Alor - my son saw 2 big ones: one outside he made a video of it crawling over his foot (I think it was maybe 8-10 cm) and 1 was in their room and he (20 years old, 2,04 cm tall, not afraid of spiders), did not want to come near it with a shoe, so he choose a towel and it crawled away. (He went and asked to manager, if there were any poisonous spiders and was told "no", so he kindly opted not to tell his sister that the spider was in their room somewhere🙃.
Wifi was slow to non existing ... our Danish mobile supplier is called 3 - we can use our phones for free in many countries - including Singapore and Indonesia. Worked perfect in Bali and Kupang, but not at all in Alor and Komodo. We were told (by locals/managers), you have to buy a local sim card and upgrade it to 4G connection, then it works fine (the managers at Alor were kind enough to share internet with us, and there was also 4G sharing set up in the common area, but it didn't work - they might have sorted that out by now) Shower had hot water ... sometimes too hot, then cold - pressure was ok and the shampoo/conditioner they provide were so good my daughter wanted to know what it was, so we could buy some and bring it home. Food was fantastic.

Water temps in Alor pr my computer: 26,7-28,3 C - I was fine in my rash and 3 mm shortie - on the dive, where they said it would be cold I added my 2,5 mm hood.
In Komodo we did not go south as the cruise director said his friends said the water was green/murky/bad viz and cold (what did your friend say about the color/viz - it seems like our director was right about it being cold) also the weather was a bit rough in the south, we were on a smallish boat and our daughter get sea sick easily (But did not have any problems during our trip) Our coldest dive I've noted 25,4 C at our night dive at Soloria and warmest 27,9 C at Gililawa Laue - again diving in rash+shortie and wish I'd taken the hood for the night dive;-)

Generally I dive in my trusted old 3 mm and rash for anything above 26 C, add the hood down to 23 C, for colder water I have a (not often used) 7 mm 2 piece hooded suit - often I just use the upper part paired with the rash, as I can cope with my legs being a bit cold and I wear booties with my fins, so it's only a small part of my legs exposed. Don't have a dry suit as I don't like cold dives, but I took my advance certificate in Norway in October (water was 3-6 C) and did a dry suit speciality in Denmark in June/July (10-12 C) and dived Iceland in 2020, when we couldn't go anywhere warm to dive (water temp 2-4 C)

We want to go to Galapagos, but prices and cold water is putting me off, so currently looking at Tubbataha in April, but might not happen, since the only boat we can get on does not really go well with our possible travel dates, so might have to postpone to 2024 or 25.
Thx for the detailed responses!
10cm spider is a big nope for me lol. Temps are not bad actually I was expecting along the lines of what Cali wrote ~18C. Alor is next on my shortlist for next year after Komodo & Raja this year, but I'm debating vs Kalimantan which I can do on liveaboard.
I'm tempted to go back to the Galapagos now that I have drysuit. The 3 days at Wolf & Darwin (25C) were some of the best dives I've done but the rest I just couldn't enjoy because of the cold (16-20C) - all I could think of was 'omg so cold is the dive over yet?'
Tubbataha I've heard you need to go smack dab in the middle of the season, late Apr-mid May. I went at the very beginning of Apr this year and missed out on whale sharks and a lot of the big stuff. Siren is a great boat if you do.
 

jjmochi

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My personal recommendation :
If only two days your selection is quite good except that I would go for Toyapakeh in Nusa Penida which is a BEAUTIFUL site, Crystal bay is overrated IMO and Mola mola are better seen in Tepekong or Mimpang.
If you have 3 days, I'd check out Jetty as a morning dive and speak before with Cedric, Kanox or Made to check what is going on currently critterwise (I am in Tulamben currently : the number of Rhinopias they find is incredible like 3 on one site, they should be back in PB as well).

Puri Rai is a good choice if you take the family rooms, the garden and the pools are really nice and it's perfectly located.


There are some site like "Anemone city" which can be very cold, I've already had 21C on this site while in the afternoon it was 28C in the northern Pantar sites.
btw you can have very cold temps in Tepekong, Mimpang or Crystal bay when Mola mola show up... like 20C and even below!

I wouldn't suggest any of these local sites. Deep Jepun, Secret jepun and Jetty would have been a better choice IMO.

I am taking a 5mm + a sharskin underneath and a hood, I survived Mola molas in PB like this.
I'm doing their mola mola package as I'll be solo for the Bali leg and have to go where their schedule dictates. Think it's Biaha + Tepekong day 1, Manta Point + Penida Drift day 2, and Crystal Bay + Toyapakeh day 3. I'm hoping to do Jetty and your other recs as a night dive - their website says it's best done in the morning and afternoon can be very choppy so I left out the afternoon dives. I will ask and play by ear once there! On my macro list I've still yet to see harlequin shrimp and the donut nudi.
 
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diveUAE

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Judge for yourself.
Very quiet compressor?
I don’t think any compressor is quiet … nor do I think I mentioned a quiet compressor. Since there were only 4 divers on the boat and they bring plenty of tanks the compressor ran only maybe 30 min a day? They may have also filled tanks while we were diving.
When we were near other boats with ac you could hear the generator going all the time, and we did not have that on Mimic - pure bliss:)

Thx for the detailed responses!
10cm spider is a big nope for me lol. Temps are not bad actually I was expecting along the lines of what Cali wrote ~18C. Alor is next on my shortlist for next year after Komodo & Raja this year, but I'm debating vs Kalimantan which I can do on liveaboard.
I'm tempted to go back to the Galapagos now that I have drysuit. The 3 days at Wolf & Darwin (25C) were some of the best dives I've done but the rest I just couldn't enjoy because of the cold (16-20C) - all I could think of was 'omg so cold is the dive over yet?'
Tubbataha I've heard you need to go smack dab in the middle of the season, late Apr-mid May. I went at the very beginning of Apr this year and missed out on whale sharks and a lot of the big stuff. Siren is a great boat if you do.
Don’t let the spiders put you off. I hate spiders, but the resort is so wonderful I’d go back without hesitation. AFAIK the owners of Alor eco also owns Alami divers - and there’s ac in the room, but if we we’re going back (hope to do that one day) I would stick with Eco.
 

Luko

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On my macro list I've still yet to see harlequin shrimp and the donut nudi.
Donut doto is only in Tulamben : Kuanji, Agung and Melasti dive sites.
 

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