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Dive Review of Easy Diving/Thalatta in
Philippines/Negros Oriental (Dumaguete)

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Carl Scott, TX, USA
Contributor   (16 reports)
Report Number 4155
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia (Bali, Bunaken, Lembeh), Philippines, Thailand, Palau, Costa Rica
(Pacific), Colombia, Cozumel, Little Cayman, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Panama
(Pacific), Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None.  Just come back to the boat alive.  However, guides typically stayed
above 80 ft.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 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  
Subject matter is phenomenal.  Nudibranchs on every dive, some rare, lots
of juvenile tropicals on reefs, along with some large fish, as well.  Shore
facilities were as good as one could ask for, separate rinse tank for every
category of equipment.  Boat facilities limited to a small bucket, but I
never consider anything but shade and protection from accidents to be
important to me.  In that regard, the large boat is fine, but the 20' boat
used for local dives provides nothing.  Nevertheless, these dives are
within 2-5 minutes, so shore facilities suffice.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Thallata is quiet, new, and very nice.  Only 10 guest rooms, soon to be 12,
which will be it.  Restaurant has a moderate-sized menu; the food is very
well prepared and mostly American style food.  Staff is very friendly and
helpful.  Rooms are comfortable,, all have sea view from the veranda, built
as duplex units.  Bathrooms have good plumbing fixtures, even good showers.
 A/C works well, beds typical of Asian accommodations.  Swimming pool is
saltwater.  As of my visit, breakfast was included, but limited to a
certain amount (in pesos) daily per person, so there may be a small charge,
if you want to pig out on something other than the small buffet of fruits
and cold cereal.  However, the cost to have something extra is minimal, and
you can get some choices without exceeding their budget.  The resort may be
considering changing this policy somewhat, based upon guest feedback.

Diving operation is incorporated into the resort, though owned by a
different person, it appears.  Staff there is also very friendly and
helpful.  On important note:  Though the resort's web site didn't mention
it, and neither did they when I was there, trips to nearby Apo Island and
Ducomi Pier require an extra fee (I think they were around $15 and $10,
respectively), but it's well worth the extra charge, especially given the
relatively cheap price of dives, to begin with.  Dive times are very
relaxed, and 80-90 minute dives were common for the more seasoned and fit
divers.  Briefings usually included the statement, "dive time is 60-80
minutes, depending on air".  Very easy diving, indeed!

As for diving, it is some of the best I've ever experienced.  Apo Island is
worth 1-2 visits, because the reefs are extremely healthy, and it takes 2
days to see the majority of the sites, 3 to see them all.  There is
considerable variety, and your head will be spinning with the abundant
marine life.  Ducomi pier is, as one might suspect, rife with unsual marine
life - frogfish are guaranteed, as are pipefish and many other interesting
creatures.  You could do half a dozen dives here before you (think you) saw
it all.  Local dives are typically a wonderful combination of muck diving
and sometimes very vibrant reefs, depending on the site.  Expect to find
nurseries with lots of juvenile tropicals.  Nudibranches were abundant and
diverse during my visit, but this could vary from season to season.  Not a
lot of large animals (didn't see a single shark or manta), but an
occasional large mackerel, or, in Apo, bumphead parrotfish or Napoleon
wrasse is possible, with large sweetlips and trevally also common.  You may
think that skimming the top of sea grass beds at 15 feet deep is boring,
but some of the most precious nudibranchs and juveniles were found there,
not to mention an occasional anemone with panda anemonefish.  Speaking of
anemonefish, expect to see thousands, of at least 5 different species. 
Shore diving gets a 4 only because the only short dive done here lacks a
natural reef and may be boring to some.

Regarding transportation to Dumaguete, the closest city, I do NOT recommend
Air Philippines.  Their flights are chronically 2+ hours late.  Local
transportation is available by taxi (20 minutes from the resort to
Dumaguete, 30 minutes by Jeepney, which is dirt cheap at about USD $1 round
trip, but not available after 10PM.  If you like to mix with the friendly
locals, I recommend taking a Jeepney to town one afternoon for the fun of
it.  I've read from many visitors to this area that the Wednesday Malatapai
market is a must-see.  I can only figure that the've never been on a farm
or to a livestock auction before.  You might pick up something interesting
here, but, aside from some fresh fruit and roasted pig, I doubt that the
average tourist would buy anything there.  It might be fun, if you are
alert enough to catch some interesting cultural snapshots, however.

This area (and this resort) is on my list of places to visit again, and I
highly recommend it to all conscientious divers.
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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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