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Dive Review of Kungkungan Bay Resort in
Indonesia/Northeast Sulawesi

Kungkungan Bay Resort, Apr, 2010,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 34 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 5453.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We flew on Singapore Airlines from LAX and at check-in discovered that only 7 kilo=15 lbs is allowed for your carry on, so I had to check both bags. (Free). We had an 8 hour layover in Singapore and stayed in the Ambassador Transit Hotel in the secured area of the airport. They sell 6-hour blocks of time ($76 Singapore). If possible try to stay in Terminal 3ís Transit Hotel. It is much nicer than 1 or 2.
Silk Air took us from Singapore to Manado in NE Sulawesi. It took about one hour to obtain the visitorís visa and clear immigrations and customs. Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) picked us and several others up and took our bags in a separate vehicle. It is 1 ½ hours to the resort in Bitung, Indonesia.
KBR is a nice resort at Lembeh Strait with extremely friendly staff. Upon arrival we were taken to the restaurant right on the water and were given an orientation and ordered lunch. Our bags were delivered to our room. We were in unit 4B, the eastern most duplex; this is a one bedroom unit with a nice living room, the bathroom was quite large and very nice, large dresser and lots of shelves for your clothes etc. Try for 1A thru 3B for much better view of Lembeh Strait. Or try for the western side of the resort for units with TV if that is important. Bring an alarm since there is no clock or phone in the room. Breakfast starts at 6 AM. They tell you at orientation you can get something to eat 24/7, but 6 AM was early enough for us. You order off a menu that had enough variety for us, some American some Indonesian/Asian. Juice, sodas, and alcohol are all extra, everything else is included. The most expensive meal on the menu was 65,000 Rupia or $5.91US. We have never been treated so incredibly nice throughout our stay. The spa is inexpensive by US prices. The serenade by the staff when youíre leaving is very special. There is a no tipping policy at this resort. They do add 10% service charge and that is shared among all employees at the end of each month in addition to their wages.
When we planned the trip Eco Divers was the onsite dive operation; when we arrived Eco Divers had parted ways with the owner of KBR and there was a different group of dive masters and guides. We were a bit uneasy about the change but ended up being quite pleased with the knowledge and skill sets of the young men who took care of us on all our dives. We dove three a day and one mandarin dive, all of which offered something new and interesting. I did not see any life preservers, and there was no oxygen on the boat because they feel they are close to the oxygen kept in the dive shop, but there was a radio on the boat. The boat has two 90 hp outboards. The boat has a shade over it. Community cups are available for water pumped from a jug and the same cups are used for hot chocolate. Warm towels are passed out after every dive and fruit and cookies with coffee and tea is available at the surface interval at the dive shop. Two tanks are available for rinsing equipment and there are two hot or cold showers on shore to rinse yourself. Everything is kept for you except your skin or wet suit that you hang up near the dive shop. Many divers were wearing 5 mil wet suits, but we never felt cold with just skins. There is no dive equipment to buy. Rental gear is available. The dive sites are all within 10 minutes and always close to land. The boats are small but we had 7 divers 3 divemasters and a captain without being crowded. Divemasters are limited to 4 divers, so if there are five divers there are two divemasters. Entry is by back roll and a ladder is used to climb back on after handing up weights fins and BC if you want. Manado has a chamber.
We saw many unusual creatures - wonderpus, flamboyant mantis shrimp, banded snake eel, frog fish of all sizes and colors, blue ribbon eel, seahorses, cockatoo wasp fish, spiney leaf fish, cuttlefish, little dragon fish, tiny shrimps and crabs, and too many nudibranches to name. Sure the visibility is low, about 20 to 30 feet, but the things you see are incredible. Carol is definitely a mucker now! The driving force in traveling to Indonesia was to see Mandarin Fish. In Palau we could only snorkel over them. This dive started at dusk and we hovered over dead coral until they came out, we were not disappointed.
We took the morning tour to Bitung Commercial Fish Market and Farmers Market early on our last day and it was pretty incredible. It makes you wonder just how many fish are in the ocean. A tremendous number are processed here every day for points throughout the world. Chicken, pig, beef and dog meats are available in the farmers market along with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, clothing, etc. Everyone will want you to take their picture with their wares so bring your digital with fresh batteries because they will want to see the picture.
This is the first trip we have taken to the Northeastern part of Sulawesi. The locals are very proud that their community is one of the only ones in Sulawesi where four major religions all live in harmony. In fact the Muslimís and Christianís share each otherís Holy Days and celebrate with each other. It is our guess that it is one of the few places in the world that people actually live the lessons they are taught within their places of worship.
We stayed four nights at KBR before moving on to Kimo Bajo Resort for five nights.
Websites Kungkungan Bay Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Micronesia, Central America, Eastern and Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, & Caribbean.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-30 Ft/ 6-9 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with the divemaster and limited to 60-feet for open water certification and 130-feet for advanced and above. Given the poor vis it is best to stay with the guide.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 2 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 5 stars
UW Photo Comments There is no camera bucket on the boat. Cameras are placed in a plastic crate and carried to the boat and back to shore by staff and placed in tanks on shore. Given the size of the camera equipment some divers had you would need a horse trough to put them all in with just 7 divers. There is a well set up camera room with numerous 110 and 240 volt outlets at the dive shop.
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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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