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Dive Review of Lembeh Resort in

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Rick Cavanaugh, MD, United States
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3645
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 30    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minutes or so....not really enforced too much  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
5 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
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Excellent subject matter for macro.  Excellent camera room.  Surface
interval at resort so the boats need no rinse tank.  Shore has large rinse
tanks.  Dive sites 10-15 minutes from resort.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 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    
Normally you arrive via van from Manado Airport.  The trip takes about 1
hour.  We arrived via boat from Gangga Island via Gangga Islands dive

Lembeh Resort is a very pretty resort on a VERY hilly area of Lembeh. 
Expect lots of stairs.  If you have problem with stairs, you may want to
avoid this resort or at least request rooms 5-8.  Rooms 10-12 have many
stairs to climb every day. Room 7 is the closest to the Kitchen and you
will hear them every morning, but it is also one of the shortest walks.

The rooms are large and clean but they are trying to be a 4 star resort so
the rooms could use a little more attention to cleaning to achieve this. 
Lembeh is a black sand area and it is more of a jungle type of environment.
 It is therefore harder to keep clean.

The food is a combination of authentic Indonesian food which is spicy
noodles and currays. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style.  Dinner
was ordered at lunch time off of a menu.  Food overall was excellent. 
Drinks such as beer, wine, mixed drinks, sodas etc, were extra.  Lembeh
Resort is isolated so there are no other restaurants and thus no exploring
local foods.

The diving was done from their Indonesian style wooden boats (all resorts
in this area use the same style boats). The boats are not the most
comfortable but in this area of the world you have no choice.  Entries are
via a giant stride or a back roll and a ladder to return.  There were no
camera rinse tanks on the boats, but none are really needed as the boat
returns to sore for the surface interval.  There were very large rinse
tanks on shore dedicated for cameras.  All gear was brought onto the boat
and care for by the staff.  

There is no dock for the dive boats, so entries and exits from the boat are
wet.  They have one dock used when you arrive.  There are shore showers,
rest rooms and a dive locker dress area within 50 feet of the boats.  Your 
 gear is stored here.  Everyone gets suited up BEFORE boarding the boat. 
Most dive sites are 10 to 15 minutes away.

Lembeh is world famous for its muck dives.  However, they do have reefs
too.  Most of the people come to Lembeh for the muck diving and thus very
few dives are done on the reefs.  

Most of the Lembeh muck dives were black sandy slopes that varied from 10
feet to 80 feet.  There was a fair amount of trash,  bottles, cans, wood,
burlap sacks and such.  There were small coral areas.  However, the
critters were incredible.  I have never seen so many frog fish, scorpion
fish, and pipe fish in my life.  After a few days frog fish were boring and
you start looking for better things.  It does get better.  The amount of
unique and strange critters that are in such a small area is amazing.  Many
of the fish life looks like it was made for a Star Wars Movie.

Diving was fairly easy with the dive guides being excellent.  They were
excited about the sea life and were very good at finding it.  They were
very respectful of the sea life and I never saw them rough handle anything.
The only problem was a video diver who beat the hell out of the reef trying
to video the Rhinopias.  I saw this guy break more coral with his fins on
one dive then I have seen in 300 dives.  He even knocked over a 2 foot tall
sponge!  I complained to the dive staff and they pulled him aside and
counseled him about this.  The remaining dives with him, the dive guide
spent the time to assure he would do no more damage.

Things we saw: Rhinopias, Giant Frog Fish, baby Frog fish, clown frog fish,
pygmy sea horses, sea horses, Ornate ghost pipe fish, banded pipe fish,
leaf fish, crocodile fish, at least 20 different nudibranch, ribbon eels,
sea wasps, flying gurnards, sweet lips, cockatoo wasp fish plus much more. 
What we did not see (but we wanted to) but other divers saw: wonderpus,
mimic octopus star gazer.

All dive guides have slates that they write the names of the critters they
find.  Our dive guide would even write in Japanese for the Japanese

The house reef is worth diving.  It is an easy dive to about 60 feet and
has a fair amount of life.  Lembeh divers allow one free shore dive for
every 2 boat dives.  The first one is guided.

Overall, I give Lembeh Resort the highest ranking for their great dive
operation.  It was one of the best operations I have seen yet.  I still
don't know how many days of muck diving is too much.  After 4 or 5 days I
think I would be ready to see a health coral reef with no garbage.
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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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