Where to Go (and when)

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Peter Bomberg

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I know this is a very broad question and that it's personal preference but we are starting to plan for a trip in 2023, we are thinking 3-5 weeks and at least 1 liveaboard (we are leaning towards the Arenui) but we need opinions and recommendations, so please give me your thoughts
 

Indah

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By the time Indonesia will be fully open again it will be different than it was in 2019. Some old resorts and boats will be out of business and, maybe, some new will start. Places which have been often too crowded, will be very quiet for the first years. Very few businesses have been able to keep all their employees. Many of them found another way of making a living. This means that many resorts and live a boards will have to recruit and train new staff.
Indonesia is a very large country. West to East 5.000 kilometers with 17.000 islands, rain forest and many mountains and volcanoes. If one part of the country is going through the wettest time of the year, other parts hardly get any rain. Maybe you first have to make a list what type of diving you like most, how important is great viz for you, are the photos you can make more important than the total experience? Which standard of accommodation you are willing to stay in (a/c room in 5 star resort, or homestay with water bucket as a shower).
 

Centrals

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Bali, Gali Islands and Lembongan
Banka, Bunaken and Lembeh in Northern Sulawesi
Derawan(Kakaban, Maratua and Sangalaki), Sipadan in Malaysia is not very far.
Komodo(LoB).
Raja Ampat(Lob) or island hopping and staying at Home Stay.

There are a lot more.
 
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Peter Bomberg

Peter Bomberg

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Thanks, I have friends in Bunaken so that is on the list, love Lembeh so that was also on my list, did not find the diving that amazing in Bali so will stay there to visit friends and relax but might be land based, will leave Malaysia for another trip.

Komodo for sure for the land aspect, but how is the diving and heard great things about
Raja Ampat , but how does it compare with Alor or Bangka or Belitung or Togian or Banda.

To answer relaxed diving with lots of interesting marine life and mid range to lower luxury is our ideal, but open to most anything.
 

Luko

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You don't say which period of the year, that is essential planning when selecting where to dive in Indonesia.
Diving Bali was not amazing (where did you dive?) although you mention Belitung and Togians ?... oh well...
 
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Peter Bomberg

Peter Bomberg

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We are open to the time of the year, so that is why I ask. 3-4 trips to Indonesia and Lovina was nice.

I am asking if you could go anywhere to dive when and where (and with whom).
 

Luko

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Lovina was nice.
Ok I understand why you state diving Bali was not amazing. (20+ trips to Indonesia, not counting anymore , more than half of them going through and diving Bali)

So in a nutshell :
October to April will be better suited for easternmost Indonesia : Raja Ampat, Ambon, Maluku/Banda
April to almost November is time for Bali & Nusa Tenggara (from Bali to Alor, incl Komodo, Kalimaya, ...), Kalimantan, North Sulawesi (Manado, Bangka, Bunaken, Lembeh) as well as Weh.

Personal favorites : Raja Ampat (best feb-april), Alor, Komodo (best september-november), Ambon & Maluku (best feb-april), Bangka & Lembeh (best April-May), Bali (best End of august-October).
 

Indah

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Ok I understand why you state diving Bali was not amazing. (20+ trips to Indonesia, not counting anymore , more than half of them going through and diving Bali)

So in a nutshell :
October to April will be better suited for easternmost Indonesia : Raja Ampat, Ambon, Maluku/Banda
April to almost November is time for Bali & Nusa Tenggara (from Bali to Alor, incl Komodo, Kalimaya, ...), Kalimantan, North Sulawesi (Manado, Bangka, Bunaken, Lembeh) as well as Weh.

Personal favorites : Raja Ampat (best feb-april), Alor, Komodo (best september-november), Ambon & Maluku (best feb-april), Bangka & Lembeh (best April-May), Bali (best End of august-October).
Lembeh is good the whole year. But if you pick April-May, you should also mention October - November.
 

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