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Dive Review of Kungkungan Bay Resort in
Indonesia/Northeast Sulawesi

April, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Henry O Ziller, CO, US
Sr. Contributor   (23 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5453
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Micronesia, Central America, Eastern and Western Pacific, Indian Ocean,
& Caribbean.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 30    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with the divemaster and limited to 60-feet for open water
certification and 130-feet for advanced and above. Given the poor vis it is
best to stay with the guide.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
There is no camera bucket on the boat. Cameras are placed in a plastic
crate and carried to the boat and back to shore by staff and placed in
tanks on shore. Given the size of the camera equipment some divers had you
would need a horse trough to put them all in with just 7 divers. There is a
well set up camera room with numerous 110 and 240 volt outlets at the dive
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
 We flew on Singapore Airlines from LAX and at check-in discovered that
only 7 kilo=15 lbs is allowed for your carry on, so I had to check both
bags. (Free).  We had an 8 hour layover in Singapore and stayed in the
Ambassador Transit Hotel in the secured area of the airport. They sell
6-hour blocks of time ($76 Singapore). If possible try to stay in Terminal
3s Transit Hotel. It is much nicer than 1 or 2.    
 Silk Air took us from Singapore to Manado in NE Sulawesi. It took about
one hour to obtain the visitors visa and clear immigrations and customs. 
Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) picked us and several others up and took our
bags in a separate vehicle. It is 1 ½ hours to the resort in Bitung,
 KBR is a nice resort at Lembeh Strait with extremely friendly staff. Upon
arrival we were taken to the restaurant right on the water and were given
an orientation and ordered lunch. Our bags were delivered to our room. We
were in unit 4B, the eastern most duplex; this is a one bedroom unit with a
nice living room, the bathroom was quite large and very nice, large dresser
and lots of shelves for your clothes etc. Try for 1A thru 3B for much
better view of Lembeh Strait. Or try for the western side of the resort for
units with TV if that is important. Bring an alarm since there is no clock
or phone in the room. Breakfast starts at 6 AM.  They tell you at
orientation you can get something to eat 24/7, but 6 AM was early enough
for us. You order off a menu that had enough variety for us, some American
some Indonesian/Asian. Juice, sodas, and alcohol are all extra, everything
else is included. The most expensive meal on the menu was 65,000 Rupia or
$5.91US. We have never been treated so incredibly nice throughout our stay.
The spa is inexpensive by US prices. The serenade by the staff when youre
leaving is very special. There is a no tipping policy at this resort. They
do add 10% service charge and that is shared among all employees at the end
of each month in addition to their wages.
 When we planned the trip Eco Divers was the onsite dive operation; when we
arrived Eco Divers had parted ways with the owner of KBR and there was a
different group of dive masters and guides. We were a bit uneasy about the
change but ended up being quite pleased with the knowledge and skill sets
of the young men who took care of us on all our dives.  We dove three a day
and one mandarin dive, all of which offered something new and interesting.
I did not see any life preservers, and there was no oxygen on the boat
because they feel they are close to the oxygen kept in the dive shop, but
there was a radio on the boat. The boat has two 90 hp outboards.  The boat
has a shade over it. Community cups are available for water pumped from a
jug and the same cups are used for hot chocolate. Warm towels are passed
out after every dive and fruit and cookies with coffee and tea is available
at the surface interval at the dive shop. Two tanks are available for
rinsing equipment and there are two hot or cold showers on shore to rinse
yourself. Everything is kept for you except your skin or wet suit that you
hang up near the dive shop. Many divers were wearing 5 mil wet suits, but
we never felt cold with just skins. There is no dive equipment to buy.
Rental gear is available. The dive sites are all within 10 minutes and
always close to land. The boats are small but we had 7 divers 3 divemasters
and a captain without being crowded. Divemasters are limited to 4 divers,
so if there are five divers there are two divemasters. Entry is by back
roll and a ladder is used to climb back on after handing up weights fins
and BC if you want.  Manado has a chamber. 
 We saw many unusual creatures - wonderpus, flamboyant mantis shrimp,
banded snake eel, frog fish of all sizes and colors, blue ribbon eel,
seahorses, cockatoo wasp fish, spiney leaf fish, cuttlefish, little dragon
fish, tiny shrimps and crabs, and too many nudibranches to name. Sure the
visibility is low, about 20 to 30 feet, but the things you see are
incredible. Carol is definitely a mucker now!   The driving force in
traveling to Indonesia was to see Mandarin Fish. In Palau we could only
snorkel over them.  This dive started at dusk and we hovered over dead
coral until they came out, we were not disappointed. 
 We took the morning tour to Bitung Commercial Fish Market and Farmers
Market early on our last day and it was pretty incredible. It makes you
wonder just how many fish are in the ocean. A tremendous number are
processed here every day for points throughout the world. Chicken, pig,
beef and dog meats are available in the farmers market along with all kinds
of fruits, vegetables, clothing, etc. Everyone will want you to take their
picture with their wares so bring your digital with fresh batteries because
they will want to see the picture.
 This is the first trip we have taken to the Northeastern part of Sulawesi.
The locals are very proud that their community is one of the only ones in
Sulawesi where four major religions all live in harmony. In fact the
Muslims and Christians share each others Holy Days and celebrate with
each other. It is our guess that it is one of the few places in the world
that people actually live the lessons they are taught within their places
of worship. 
 We stayed four nights at KBR before moving on to Kimo Bajo Resort for five
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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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