Shore diving and local culture advice

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Divingswede

Registered
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
# of dives
50 - 99
Hello.

My wife and I put our diving on hold when kids came along. Our kids are now getting their Open Water certifications and we are excitedly looking at potential family trips to both see the wonderful cultures of the world and do some diving, when restriction allow. I’m looking for advice for locations in Indonesia that preferably provide the following:
- Off the beaten path, non-touristy opportunity to experience local culture and nature.
- Avoiding resorts.
- Access to shore diving on our own.
- Reputable dive shop to rent gear from.
- Beautiful beaches are a bonus.

Thanks very much for the help! We’re excited to get back into it.

Good diving,
Henrik
 

Indah

Contributor
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
778
Location
Weda, Lembeh and Rao Morotai
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Dear Henrik, at the moment the whole of Indonesia is Off the beaten path, because already one year tourists are not allowed to enter. Probably it will take some years, if not longer, to become a busy tourism destination again.
"Resort" in Indonesia is not always the big complex you might expect. But often they do not have more than 8 cottages or rooms. But more and more there are also local homestays where you be very welcome. Of course nobody can predict which will be able to open again and in which condition they will be when the borders open again. This crisis is very hard on both the very large hotels and the small homestays.
It is by law not allowed to dive without a certified Indonesian dive guide. You will not find dive shops which are willing to risk to lose their permits by renting out gear to you. Please do not try any shore diving on your own. In most of the places you need a boat standby as a back up. Weather and currents can change within minutes. Some beaches look pristine but have many sandflies or the corals in front are very shallow and do not allow you to swim there. Some beaches are great during one season, but dangerous places in the other season. What do you expect from local culture? In tourist areas such as Jogjakarta and Bali you can attend traditional music and performances, mostly with other tourists. The daily culture in Indonesia is mostly selfies and Facebook, and very loud music. In case you would plan your holiday for the period May - October 2022, our Magic Bay Rao, probably would fit most of your wishes. Only two houses with 700 meters in between. A 2 km long beautiful clean beach with very accessible clear sea and dive sites in front. Our own rule is that we do not take divers younger than 15 years however. The villagers on the island more or less still live their lives as when my wife was a child. She is born and raised on the Island Rao. www.magicbayrao.com , Regards, Rob Sinke
 

AlMitch

Contributor
Messages
904
Reaction score
449
Location
Singapore
# of dives
200 - 499
Completely agree with Indah....
I would like to echo some of his points.
I hate crowds and have always gravitated to small dive resorts. The ones I have stayed at have all been typically amazing. Feel free to read through the plethora of trip reports on this board.
ALWAYS dive with a local guide!! Seriously ALWAYS!!! There are so many reasons why, 1) you will NEVER get the most out of the dives by yourselves, these guys know their reefs intimately 2) employment for the locals (desperately needed) 3) the guides are your connection to the "culture" you are looking for, they are great to hang out with and get to know. 4) safety (as per Indah's comments) etc etc.....

Other than a few tourist traps in Bali (think Kuta/ Nusa Dua etc) the rest of Indo really is "off the beaten track".

Indo is a treasure trove of adventure!! I can not wait to get back!! And I hope you get to experience it in the not so distant future.
 

BLACKCRUSADER

Contributor
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
1,530
Location
Taiwan
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
It is by law not allowed to dive without a certified Indonesian dive guide.

Really? Dive centers I contacted will rent tanks to divers for shore dives who are not accompanied by a guide. Liberty Wreck several of the dive centers said you can have a guide and dive to 75 mins or 40 bar which ever comes first, or do the shore dive with your dive buddy without a guide.

This FAQ even mentions diving from a live aboard without the need for a guide.

Indonesia Scuba Diving Trips - Frequently Asked Questions
 

chillyinCanada

ScubaBoard Supporter
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
36,908
Reaction score
25,058
Location
Canada
Really? Dive centers I contacted will rent tanks to divers for shore dives who are not accompanied by a guide. Liberty Wreck several of the dive centers said you can have a guide and dive to 75 mins or 40 bar which ever comes first, or do the shore dive with your dive buddy without a guide.

This FAQ even mentions diving from a live aboard without the need for a guide.

Indonesia Scuba Diving Trips - Frequently Asked Questions

You do realize that this is not the official word, right?

I have been on a dive off of a liveaboard in Indonesia without a guide . . .once, only once and it was a very benign site.

There's not been any other times that we've been put in the water without a guide and that suits me just fine! The guides don't have us tethered to them by any stretch of the imagination so one doesn't feel like one's being herded.

I haven't been to Indah's resort yet but shore diving with or without a guide, depending upon review of your skills, may be had at Murex Bangka.
 

BLACKCRUSADER

Contributor
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
1,530
Location
Taiwan
# of dives
I'm a Fish!
You do realize that this is not the official word, right?
I have been on a dive off of a liveaboard in Indonesia without a guide . . .once, only once and it was very benign.
There not been any other times that we've been put in the water without a guide and that suits me just fine! The guides don't have us tethered to them by any stretch of the imagination so one doesn't feel like one's being herded.
I haven't been to Indah's resort yet but shore diving with or without a guide, depending upon review of your skills, may be had at Murex Bangka.

I'm fine with having a guide I just do not know of any law in Indonesia that says a diver cannot dive without a local licensed guide. I prefer to dive with guides at sites I am not familiar with anyway or with another diver who dives the area locally.
 

boletus1973

Contributor
Messages
156
Reaction score
60
Location
italy
Dear Henrik, at the moment the whole of Indonesia is Off the beaten path, because already one year tourists are not allowed to enter. Probably it will take some years, if not longer, to become a busy tourism destination again.

Don't underestimate the divers, we can't wait to go back to indonesia !!! :)
 

boletus1973

Contributor
Messages
156
Reaction score
60
Location
italy
I haven't been to Indah's resort yet but shore diving with or without a guide, depending upon review of your skills, may be had at Murex Bangka.

wow... in front of murex bangka you can find really strong currents.... o_O
 

Luko

Contributor
Messages
2,218
Reaction score
1,798
Location
Paris, France
# of dives
1000 - 2499
I’m looking for advice for locations in Indonesia that preferably provide the following:
- Off the beaten path, non-touristy opportunity to experience local culture and nature.
- Avoiding resorts.
- Access to shore diving on our own.
- Reputable dive shop to rent gear from.
- Beautiful beaches are a bonus.
Alor Divers checks everything if you ask me, including "shore diving on your own" (the house reef is one of the most beautiful I've seen) and "beautiful beach". That said some of the dives are quite demanding not really for kids.
I've been diving Murex Bangka for 6 times, they have a lovely beach and I think you can do the house reef as you wish.
You can rent tanks in Tulamben/Bali, but no real sand beach not really off the beaten path either. I haven't heard anyone saying dives are limited to 75 minutes in my 10+ stays in Tulamben, I've also been more than once surfacing with less than 10 bars on every trip after more than 90 minutes. Since many interersting shore dives are a few kms away, you'll need someone to drive and bring your tanls too.
That said I would always favor diving with a local dive guide, there's so much to see, hence so much to miss without a local!
 
OP
D

Divingswede

Registered
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
# of dives
50 - 99
Thanks all for the replies, information, and discussion! A special thanks to Indah for the details.

I’ve got some great starting points for research and dreaming until we can safely visit.

To be clear, we have always done our first shore dives at a new location with a guide. Fully appreciate the value.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

Top Bottom