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Dive Review of Kungkungan Bay Resort in

Kungkungan Bay Resort: "Engaging dives, kind staff, excellent for vegetarians!", May, 2018,

by Angela Richards Dona, HI, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 10406 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Our stay at Kungkungan was most enjoyable. This was our first stop on a two week holiday to North Sulawesi with Bunaken to follow. While I generally prefer a liveaboard holiday, this resort and the dive operation were excellent in many ways. The wonderful staff, from the servers to the dive guides and boat helpers, were helpful, pleasant, and competent. The muck diving was also more engaging than I expected since I generally like to see healthy coral reefs when I pay to dive. The food was quite good and the waitstaff not only allowed special vegetarian food orders, they encouraged us to order what we liked.

As a strict vegetarian, Iím used to getting the short end of the stick on diving holidays and itís getting old. There is no vegetarian discount although we are definitely not treated the same. Iím so very tired of watching meat-eaters get a choice of several food items while I have to eat the poorly planned vegetable plate or crappy pasta or whatever food torture the generally unaccomplished chef gives me. I had never gotten a choice of vegetarian food itemsÖuntil Kungkungan. Everyone orders from a menu and there are many items that can be made vegetarian. You can order an appetizer, a main and dessert. After a couple of days, I went off-menu and that was when we got the really interesting, local-flavor stuff. The waitstaff seemed to really enjoy making us a dish we loved: tahu tempeh goreng sauce. The order for lunch was placed after breakfast before we left for our diving and after we returned, the waitstaff greeted us on the dock with snacks and hot coffee, black or ginger tea, or hot chocolate. After returning from our third dive we ordered our dinner. Several times the staff suggested off the menu items for us to try. How nice! One night there was a party with Indonesian costumes and traditional singing where all the staff got to dance and sing and have a good time. They made a special buffet with numerous delicious vegetarian dishes. It was wonderful. Food was plentiful, tasty, and always served with a smile and great courtesy.

The room was nice. We shared a two bedroom between three of us with a common living space, a shared bathroom, and a nice veranda where we spent a lot of time. We asked for a third chair so we could all hang together outside and it was immediately delivered. The beds were comfortable and the room service included a general tidying up and turn down in the evening. For us, this is unnecessary but nice to have. The shared bathroom was spacious with enough space for all of us to leave our toiletries about.

The diving in Lembeh was a good deal of fun. I did not expect to enjoy it so much. Despite all of the garbage (and there is a LOT) we found each dive interesting and fun. We were often deeper than I imagined was necessary (generally to 25m) and we stayed there for most of the dive. But thatís where the weird and wonderful stuff is. We saw myriad critters: coconut octopus (several), mimic octopus (2), wunderpus (4), too many nudis to remember, several types and sizes of frogfish from about a centimeter long to a giant footlong dude. We saw weirdissimo shrimp and crabs, sea snakes, scorpion fish, devil fish, and so much more. Every dive was a critter hunt. Visibility was generally quite poor, but you get used to that and just need to keep your buddies (and/or guide) within eyeshot. The coral that was there was in poor condition and served mostly as a repository for discarded cigarette packages, snack bags, and whatever other plastic garbage had been thoughtlessly tossed away. Critters did hide in the staghorn and other branching coral, but it was just a sad reminder of what the coral used to be. The seascape was rarely more than a sandy slope with flotsam floating about. Nevertheless, this was fun diving.

The dive guides were excellent, if a bit harassing. Itís their place so I just went with it. We witnessed a few octopus inkings, which was a bit sad, but we learned not to linger too long at a subject so our guides didnít feel obligated to entertain us by messing with the critters too much. They have an amazing knack for finding the impossibly small stuff. They worked really hard above water, too. They carried everything to the boats, set up our kits (after we analyzed our Nitrox), and were super helpful in every way we needed. Post-dive warm towels, water, and fruit were offered to all.

Dive briefings were mostly always the same but each site had a good map, and the area to set up and get ready was roomy enough for an entire boat of 8. More could fit easily but would have been crowded. We donned our wetsuits here and just had to check our tank set up and get ready to dive once aboard. It is a very nice setup for a land-based dive operation. One detail that was not so great was the distance between steps on the boat and dock ladders. It was quite hard getting out of the water! Especially hard was the dock ladder, which we had the occasion to use every evening after our house reef dives. One night we planned a night dive by ourselves but several guides showed up to do it with us. That was very nice and we were not charged for it. The house reef, by the way, was pretty nice. Although there is garbage here and there, the coral looks decent and there is loads of it!

I can wholeheartedly recommend Kungkungan Bay Resort. It was a truly excellent experience.
Websites Kungkungan Bay Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia: Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Philippines: Tubbataha, Southern Visayas and Honda Bay, Micronesia, Fiji, Egyptian Red Sea, Hawaii, Bonaire, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Cozumel, etc.
Closest Airport Manado Getting There Honolulu to Tokyo to Jakarta to Manado. Long but easy.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 24-28°C / 75-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 2-10 M / 7-33 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Viz was almost always a challenge so diving close to guide was imperative.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Large room for gear set up, basic bucket on boat. Staff was helpful when needed.
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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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