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Dive Review of KBR in
Indonesia/Lembeh Straight

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Pat Hudgens, WA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4834
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Curaceo, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minutes but occasionally additional 10 - 15 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
We had four professional photographers during our stay.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
We arrived at Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) after staying one week at Two
Fish Divers in Banaken.  Two Fish delivered us to the Manado airport where
we were met by a KBR representative.  It was a 1 ½ hour drive to KBR
taking us through the Sulwesi countryside and Bitung.   We were greeted at
KBR and all bags and dive equipment was delivered to our cottage.

We reserved a cottage suite with an all inclusive package for seven nights.
  This included 6 days of diving with 3 dives per day.   The cottage was
roomy with adequate storage for clothing and personal items.   The bedroom
had two beds and was air conditioned.   The foyer and bath were not air
conditioned.   The bath was large with western style toilet and a hot water
shower.   The foyer had a seating, a desk and small refrigerator.   The
cottage was older but seemed to be in good condition.  Maid service was
daily with fresh towels and an evening turndown.

Food was served in the restaurant overlooking Lembeh Straight.  The
restaurant was not air conditioned but normally had adequate breezes off
the water.   Food was selected off the menu and offered a variety of
western and Indonesian items.   We mostly stayed with the Indonesian menu
and enjoyed the food.  The soups were very good.   Portions were abundant
and one could easily overeat.   Beer and soda was available for reasonable

KBR recently opened a new Spa.   My wife enjoyed a couple of massages and a
facial.   Prices were not cheap by Indonesian standards but certainly less
than US.

Diving is what Lembeh Straight is all about.  The morning dive started with
a briefing at the dive shop at 8:15.   During our stay we saw a wide
variety of amazing critters including manta shrimp, porcelain crab, frog
fish including a hairy, cuttlefish including flamboyant, wonderpus,
seahorses including pygmy, ornate ghost fish, many varieties of scorpion
fish, catfish, finger dragonet,  longarm octopus, snake ell, orangutan
crab, leaf wasp fish, and sea moth.   Almost every dive, we saw flying
gurnard, flounder, banded pipefish, and bat fish.  Other groups saw a blue
ringed and a mimic octopus.   Dives were normally multi profile with 70
depth with little or no current.  Times were officially limited to one hour
but would often go 10 -15 minutes longer.   Dive sites were only 5  10
minutes away and morning intervals were spent at the resort with snacks and
hot drinks.  Lunch was served before the afternoon and last morning dive.  
KBR requested that divers come to lunch with dry clothes.

Boats were small fiberglass skiffs and held up to eight divers.  Dive
guides were assigned to four divers.   About half of our dives were full
boats and very crowded.   We had a different guide every day.  All guides
were competent but, as always,  some seemed more competent and personable
than others.  After each dive, we were given clean, dry towels and fresh
fruit.  Water was available but you usually had to get it yourself on the
ride back to the resort.

The management team at KBR is fairly new.  The head of diving operations
had been there only three weeks.  As a result, some items could go more
smoothly.   For example, we ended having to carry all our dive equipment to
the dive shop the first day.   We visited the same dive sites multiple
times.   During our stay, our dive equipment stayed on the boat and not
rinsed.   After our final dive, our dive guide rinsed our equipment from a
fresh water hose.   The facilities include a very nice photography set up
room with 110 and 220volt outlets.   There were about 12 spots.  During our
stay, there was not enough room for me to set up my camera.  I ended up
doing camera set up in our room.   Photography equipment is handled very
well on the boat.   There is a fresh water rinse tank at the dive shop for
photography equipment only.   You put your camera equipment in a basket in
the rinse tank and the boat captain loads it on the boat.   The first dive
my camera did not make the boat.   After that I checked more closely and
never had a problem.

Lembeh Straight is all about diving and seeing the unusual marine life.  
We were able to see much of what was there.   The dive guides were
knowledgeable and knew where to find the critters.    KBR staff was very
friendly and helpful.   However, we feel the extra money (about $1000) for
KBR over places like Two Fish Lembeh was not worth it.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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