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Dive Review of Kungkungan Bary Resort in
Indonesia

Kungkungan Bary Resort, Nov, 2006,

by Galen Clifford, ca, USA . Report 3106.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Palau, Truk, Solomon Islands, Galapagos Islands, Coco Island, Coral Sea, Red Sea, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Maldives, Fiji Islands, and Cozumel.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dive Guides presented a dive plan for each dive, and we were allowed to vary our profile with them. Max. depth was 100' but most sea life was within 15-75'.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments The Resort has a camera room near the dive briefing area with fresh water rinse tanks, both 110 and 220 volt power for recharging batteries. They also have 24 hour security around the Resort to ensure the safety of their guests.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments A Dive Trip to Paradise at Kungkungan Bay Resort:

I have just returned from Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) at Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. We spent (10) days doing (3) dives per day and I cant say enough about how great the resort and the diving were. Indonesia is a country of thousands of islands and the North Sulawesi Province is far removed from the political unrest of Jakarta and Bali. This Province is about 85% Christian, 5-10% Buddhist, and 5-10% Muslim and the local population live in harmony. Visitors should not be concerned about acts of hostility as North Sulawesi is very peaceful and the locals are friendly.

Flying there takes some time and we flew from Los Angeles International Airport to Narita Airport, Japan (11 hours). After a (2) hour layover, we flew to Changi International Airport, Singapore, (8 hours) and had a (12) hour layover so we got day rooms to get a shower and nap. We then had a (3) hour flight to the Airport in Manado, N. Sulawesi and a 1 ½ hour drive to KBR in Lembeh Strait. While the traveling requirements might seem somewhat difficult flying Northwest and Singapore Airlines was relatively simple and we checked our bags through from LAX to Manado. I suggest you confirm baggage weight requirements as coach and business/first class are different.

As for KBR, the resort is in a beautiful very well maintained setting about 4-5 miles from the Port of Bitung. Steve and Miranda Coverdale are the managers of KBR with Steve from Eco Divers running the dive operations and Miranda operating the Resort. Both of them are extremely hospitable and spent time with us each morning prior to the first dive. The typical (3) dive daily routine was a thorough dive briefing five minutes before each dive. KBR has (4) 26 dive boats that leave at 8:15 AM, 11:15 AM and 2:45 PM each day with each dive lasting about one hour. Night dives are also offered every day in place of the 2:45 PM dive, you need only a minimum of (2) dive guests for the boat to go out. Tank fills were to about 3,000 lbs. and Nitrox is also available. Each boat typically takes 2-3 dive guides and usually six divers. The dive guides know all 35 dive sites extremely well and can point out various indigenous creatures like: scorpion fish, wasp fish, frog fish, dragonets, devil fish, a variety of ghost pipe fish, pigmy sea horses, blue ring octopus, sea snakes, snake eels, cuttle fish and at times a wonder puss. There is also a huge variety of nudibranchs, bristle worms, and hard coral (check out any reference book on the Lembeh Strait, the variety is amazing). At the conclusion of each dive, the boat returned to the Resort (rides took about 5-10 minutes at the most). On the ride back, we were served fresh fruit and water. The main island offers muck diving at depths up to 100 but most of the unusual and indigenous underwater life can be found from 15-50. The smaller islands across from the main island offer beautiful hard corals similar to diving in the Cayman Islands with much of the same sea life. Water temperature while we were diving Nov. 4-14 was a consistent 84 F but at times cold currents would show up so we used three mil wetsuits and were warm. Daytime weather was typically in the mid 80s and most afternoons a rain shower would come through. Evenings would cool down to the mid 70s.

Our deluxe cottages were air conditioned, had a king size bed with an overhead fan, refrigerator/bar, TV, full sized bathtub as well as a shower and plenty of hot water. One caution, dont drink the tap water, drink the bottled water that is provided in each room and at each meal. Although I took malaria preventative while I was there I was told this area did not experience any cases malaria. Each Sunday afternoon, while divers are out, the Resort does spray under each cottage and around the common grounds as part of an insect abatement program, which I found to be very effective.

The Resort has a main dining area and the meals were very well prepared. A buffet was usually available as well as a full menu that contained not only local dishes but also offered dishes you would see in the southern states and Mexico. KBR also offered room service and would prepare a meal 24/7 for its guests and they would fulfill special meal requests as well.

KBR offered several day trips and I did visit the local markets one morning before the first dive. Beary, my market guide took me to the public fish market, then to a local open market, a Buddhist temple, and a visit to a high school. The next time I am there I am going to do the Highlands Tour.

In summary:
The dive guides are all exceptionally knowledgeable of the dive sites. My personal thanks to Ben, Liberty, Jeffrey, Robert, Ade and Johan for their friendly and accommodating nature; you made our diving incredible.

To the resort staff, especially Merlyn, Beary, Ita, Rusna, Grace, Patricia, and Hadriak, thank you, you were all so friendly and hospitable.

To Steve and Miranda Coverdale, KBR is a great place, not only to dive, but also to relax. How well it is managed is a statement of your ideals. Thanks for a terrific trip, see you again the end of February 2007!!!!!
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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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