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Dive Review of Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Island, North Sulawesi

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by James Jenkins, CA, United States
Report Number 3085
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, California, Cocos, Galapagos, Hawaii, Fiji, Truk, Palau,
Solomons, PNG, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
75   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No gloves.  Lembeh provides a guide for each group of up to four divers. 
While you dont have to stay right with the guide, youll want to as they
are expert at finding stuff and know where the permanent residents are!    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
There is a huge camera room next to the dive lockers.  I dont think it
would have been crowded if two-thirds of the guests had cameras.  220 and
110 volts are available; clean towels are supplied. There are computers
with USB ports and CD writers.

On the boats there was a large shelf area for cameras  again, enough room
for 6 or more outfits for 8 divers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 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 was one of our best diving trips, land or liveaboard!  Perhaps, like
Stan Waterman, we are getting older and enjoying the macro stuff more and
this location and resort delivered.  

We had been hearing about Indonesia and Lembeh Straight in particular for
years.  KBR and Lembeh Resort were getting rave reviews for critter diving
so we finally had to try it and are we glad we did!  BTW, there is coral
and wall diving further north up the straight worth the trip if you need a
change from black sand.

Imagine Dinas Beach (Milne Bay, PNG) on steroids with a guide to show you
critter after critter.  Heres a partial list from just my first day (3
dives):  electric scallop, winged pipefish, Pegasus sea moth, xeno crab,
cockatoo wasp fish, leaf scorpion fish, mantis shrimp, Randalls goby,
various cardinal fish, razor fish, dragonets, flying gurnards, painted frog
fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, blue ribbon eels in all phases (black, blue,
yellow), rhinopius (one pink, one green), two giant frog fish, coconut
octopus, false stone fish, tons of nudibranchs, lion fish, and scorpion
fish.  (Dont expect large fish, sharks, or rays.)

There is a dusk dive on the house reef that delivers mandarin fish and also
a decent night dive.  Night dives are offered every night with a minimum of
two divers.  All were good to excellent --  some highlights:  Bobbitt
worms, coconut octopus out hunting, cuttle fish, free-swimming snake eel,
pluerobranchs, hairy frog fish, devil scorpion fish, stargazers.  Ask for
Nudi Falls.  

Generally, the water was calm but we had strong (20  25 knot) winds which
created chop and also added to heat loss traveling to and from dive sites
(given wet wetsuits).  Visibility ranged from 25 to 50 on most muck sites
and improved to 80+ on the sites further north up the straight.

The diving is not challenging and currents, when present, are mild. 
Beginners (50  100 dives) can do these dives, but should work hard on
buoyancy before going and learn to keep legs up and bent when kicking near
the bottom.  I.e., while a beginner can do most of the dives, he is likely
to ruin much of the diving for other guests by stirring up the bottom,

All diving is from large boats which generally took up to 8 divers (two
groups of 4 with guides).  Entry is via a back roll and return is up a
ladder; they will hoist your weights and tank if you wish.
Water temperatures ranged from 75° to 79° F and there were some
thermoclines and currents with even colder water.  (My only complaint for
the whole experience was that I was not prepared for the cold.)  Keep in
mind that you will not be very active on most dives and take the proper

The resort is beautifully laid out.  The dining room has views of the
straight and jungle.  There is a small media room with two computers with
Internet access.  The older rooms are a comfortable walk and climb from the
main area; the new accommodations have great views and breezes but are
quite a hike!  (While we returned to our room several times a day, we did
take dry bathing suits down to avoid the hike between morning dives.)

Many of us used the pool for a rinse and sunning between dives.  There are
padded chaise lounges and beach towels.

We principally dove with Ronald.  He was terrific!  On occasion we dove
with other guides and they were all attentive, great at spotting critters,
and very helpful. Everything from transfers from/to the airport in Manado
to room cleanliness was as good as any resort weve been to.

We'll definitely return.

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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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