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Dive Review of Mimpi Indah Resort in
Indonesia/north Sulawesi

Mimpi Indah Resort, Jun, 2012,

by Jill Rain, WA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 6606.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, St Lucia, Pacific NW, California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Ascend by 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Mimpi Indah Resort is the place to go for lots of great diving and a relaxed comfortable stay in a beautiful setting.

Facility & People:
The resort is situated on remote Bangka island off the northern tip of Sulawesi, an hour's drive and half hour boat trip from Manado International Airport. Transfer from the airport was provided by MIR. The resort was built 6 years ago on an old coconut plantation by owners Owen (Dutch) and Ulva (Indonesian) Tap, who live there with their children. Their dream has been to create a dedicated dive resort both respectful of nature and exceptionally comfortable...our experience testifies to their success in that. The operation is very well-run, logistics and operations efficiently managed, which is especially remarkable considering its remoteness. Any problems are dealt with immediately.  MIR has 4 well-spaced guest bungalows, private and quiet, constructed mostly of bamboo, thatch and other natural materials, in the graceful Toraja traditional style, tucked just inside the jungle a few feet from the beach. The bungalows are well-ventilated, screened; no AC but with a ceiling fan. I brought a handheld battery-powered fan for hot nights, otherwise it was cool enough with the breeze. Large bathroom with a hot shower (gas on-demand heated), western toilet, European fixtures. Veranda in front with a soft bench big enough to lie down on, where we relaxed in the afternoon enjoying the view out to sea and the mountains of mainland Sulawesi in the distance. Electricity by generator and battery. Ample water from well, made potable for drinking. No digestive problems during our 2 weeks. Intermittent free wifi internet access (via Owen's router and cell phone connection) at the "internet gazebo". A few mosquitoes, especially on calm days, although fewer than I expected, considering the natural setting. Lots of bats, geckos, birds, even saw a tarsier one night at dinner in the thatch roof. Beautiful golden sand beach out front except at highest tides. Meals family-style in open-air restaurant, tasty and ample, mostly Indonesian dishes for lunch and dinner; breakfast: eggs, cereal, bread, juice, as you like. Owen, Ulva, and their delightful daughters (Ocean and Sky) often joined us for meals and conversation. Excellent strong Toraja coffee anytime or tea. Staff brought a tray to our bungalow each day with afternoon tea/coffee/treat after our last dive. Indonesian art and cultural features throughout the resort, including the well maintained grounds. Guests mostly European (so far). As it happened we were the only guests for a week of our stay. Even with full occupancy, the resort is wonderfully quiet and low key...if you want parties and disco go elsewhere; this place is for diving and relaxing.

Diving:
As many dives as you want, typically 2 morning boat dives, an afternoon boat dive or shore dive, night dives on request. Dive boat could accommodate as many as 8 but during our 2 week stay there were 5 divers at most, and for 9 days we were the only two. Most dive sites close by, 5-20 min on traditional style flat-bottomed dedicated dive boat with two 90hp outboards. You can go to Lembeh or Bunaken for an additional fee, but we saw no reason to travel that far with diving as good or better right there at Bangka. Neighboring Gangga Island Resort drives a long distance over to do most of its diving around Bangka (we saw their boats frequently). Dive boat crew: dive master, captain, deckhand, all experienced, competent, helpful and friendly. This was true of all the resorts staff. Except for the divemaster, most speak little English, but we found this wasnt a problem. Crew sets up gear, switches tanks, rinses all gear every day, dries it thoroughly on your last day. Divemaster Obin gives you a good briefing, and then runs a relaxing conservative profile, finding and pointing out special things, so you have ambient light and plenty of time to watch the creatures behaviors (unless the current picks up...then you have a ride). We appreciated this style of diving since we dived several dives a day for 2 weeks straight. Backroll in, side ladder up, staff takes gear out of water for you. Dives at least an hour. Mostly drift dives except at calm sites. Viz varies with the weather, from 80 - 15, usually in the 60 range (note: everyone there speaks in meters, bars and degrees C...not feet, psi and degrees F, so be ready to translate if need be). Photographers provided a rinse tank. Water and hot tea or coffee plus fresh fruit at morning surface interval, spent moored in a quiet spot for an hour. Sites vary: coral slopes, walls, pinnacles, sandy bottoms. Current can be ripping, and shift during a dive. Sites chosen each day for safety and what's best to see in given tide/weather conditions. On rough days, muck dives in sheltered bay. Garbage very rare, either floating or on the bottom. House reef is being restored from dynamite fishing damage (legacy of Chinese exploitation in the 90s). Resorts dive equipment modern and well maintained, including tanks and compressor. Nitrox available. Owner is a PADI instructor and runs classes/referrals on request. Divemaster records sites and other particulars each day; you get a printout of all your dives when you leave. Last but not least: what did we see! LOTS of life. Many colorful hard and soft coral species, sponges, tunicates, hydroids, anemones, sea lilies, and living amongst them many many kinds of common & rare reef fish, crabs, shrimp, giant clams, snails, new nudibranchs every day, several species of seahorses, eels and pipefish, rays, juv. reef sharks, turtles, octopus, cuttlefish (including the flamboyant). Few large animals - a herd of 5 bumphead parrotfish were the biggest we saw. The abundance and density of life were staggering - schools of thousands of triggerfish, damselfish, anthias, etc. I spent a lot of time just gazing at gorgeous coral knobs with creatures going about their work. Western Pacific diversity at its best.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Renee Ross in OR, US at Jul 11, 2012 13:13 EST  
Nice Report. Mimpi Indah Resort is one we considered for April 2012, but ended up at Gangga Island Resort instead. We loved Gangga but you are correct, we dove almost every day around Bangka Island. We will return someday and try Mimpi Indah. Thanks for the update on their resort.
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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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