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Dive Review of Kungkungan Bay Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Strait, N Sulawesi

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Fred Turoff, PA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 1778
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Sea of Cortez, Costa Rica, Red Sea, Coco
Island, Yap, Belau, Sipadan, Papua New Guinea, Komodo
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
76   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Watch for divemasters as they find lots of stuff; keep dives to around 60
minutes (liberal with this)  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Camera room near dive center was well set-up for still & video
photographers. Cameras were transported in plastic bins and well-cared for.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
This excellent resort and dive operation will fulfill the critter dreams of
most divers. The rooms are spacious and well-kept. The grounds are cared
for daily, the staff friendly and helpful. A short walk is all one needs to
get to the restaurant, main building or dive center. A beautiful pool
beckoned, but diving and photography occupied so much of my time that I
didnt get to use it during my eight-night, nine-day visit. The food was
wonderful, with buffet service for both breakfast and lunch, while dinner
was an order-your-meal service with an ample menu. If you did a night dive,
someone met the boat to take your order so that the food would be ready
once you had taken care of all post-dive activities. The only problem that
occurred was due to our proximity to the jungle and something the resort
may not be able to avoid  for three days there was a small termite swarm
that invaded my room and left 2-foot-diameter rings of droppings and wings
in an area of my room, several times around my washroom sink. They
resembled circles of pepper grounds, and were only a nuisance.

The water temperature varied between 76-80 degrees, with visibility varying
between 20-60 feet. Since there was lots of stuff in the water, wide-angle
photography was limited, but macro photography opportunities were available
on each dive. In fact, Lembeh Strait is a macro heaven. If you want to see
something, it is probably there. The dive masters often ask what you want
to see and make a list that gets checked off as your visit progresses. I
did 24 dives and shot 105mm Macro on 22 of them. I saw at least one
frogfish and seahorse on most, if not each, dive. There were no sharks,
angelfish, large schools of fish or bigger creatures. However, I did see
the following: squid, cuttlefish, flamboyant cuttlefish and octopus;
numerous shrimp species, including several colorful peacock mantis shrimp,
many crinoid and anemone shrimp; tiny crinoid and pink fairy lobsters ;
ornate ghost pipefish and Halimeda ghost pipefish; over 30 nudibranch
species; numerous moray species; blue ribbon eels (with juveniles which are
black); mandarinfish (a dusk dive to watch them mate); pink and yellow
pygmy seahorses; numerous crab species including large decorator crabs that
look like a pile of detritus moving across the seafloor, zebra, xeno,
porcelain, orangutan and spider; hairy, warty and other frogfish; thorny,
smooth, estuary and common seahorses, seaspider, seamoths, juvenile
batfish; scorpionfish and lionfish; waspfish; various flatworms. The dive
guides know where many creatures live, so they were quite helpful finding
most everything we saw. Some creatures I wanted to see but didnt are:
mimic octopus, wonderpus and stonefish. Of course, the afternoon dive I sat
out on my last full day there (as I would fly within 24 hours) yielded a
mimic octopus. One funny situation occurred when a crinoid lobster decided
it would rather live in a divemasters BC, so it swam from the crinoid into
his jacket. The DM opened his BC and it took me a short while to locate the
crinoid lobster and return it to the crinoid. We probably looked quite

Diving so far from my home in Philadelphia allowed me to meet people from
England, Scotland, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan (plus other US folks). The
dive center featured a room dedicated to photographers/videographers. It
had tables along opposite walls with one side 220-volt and the other
110-volt outlets. Outside of this room, cameras were kept in plastic bins
in several large fresh-water baths. The cameras were transported to and
from the boats in these bins. Dive groups numbered 3-6 per boat, with 1-2
divemasters each. The longest boat ride was no more than 15 minutes, with
most shorter. Dive depths maxed, for me, at 88 feet, with most shallower to
start and finished often in 10-15 feet. Most dives lasted an hour or more.
Being thin, my two layers of wetsuits  a fleecy 3mm vest with hood and a
fleecy full-body 3mm kept me warm enough for much of the dives but I did
get chilled by the end of each, so next time Ill bring thicker suits and a
thicker hood. Topside weather was quite pleasant, and rain was minimal,
although the week previous had rain each day, I was told.
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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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