Friday, June 21, 2013

Manado, Indonesia

Manado is located at the tip of Sulawesi, just a flight away from Singapore. Most diving are in Bunaken National Park, it consists of  five islands of Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. There are more than a dozen dive sites around those islands.

Tasik Ria bay
We stayed at Tasik Ria Dive Resort, just 45 mins from the airport. It has a world class dive center that provided us superb dive service from the time we step out of the airport. Upon settling into our rooms, we were given a dive briefing, rules and regulation and our schedule over the few days we were there. We only need to put on our swimsuits and sun block and setup our cameras. The rest are taken care off. Just sit back and relax. You will be spoil after a trip here. :-) The only downside at Tasik Ria was the restaurant, when we were there in 2003 the food wasn't up to the mark but in 2005 during my 3rd visit, they have improved tremendously. The pool view room are a bit tight but the seaview cottages are really nice with a lot more privacy and a view of the jetty and sunset. 

Dive boat
Tasik Ria DC has a very comfortable dive boat, big dive deck, dry area to nap, log dives and have lunch, decent toilet, upper deck for sun tan, big tub and racks for camera equipment. There wasn't any problem spending the entire day out on this comfortable boat. If they have bed, I won't mind going on an over night trip further up north.
Vir phillippinesis
The diving in Bunaken are mostly wall dive and drift dive. Visibility is usually good- average 20m and above. Perfect for wide angle shots. There is a no gloves and no touch policy to keep the coral reef healthy. Tasik Ria DC takes this policy seriously. If you need to hang on to something be it the DM. :-) Sometime shooting on a wall is not easy especially macro subjects, the DM will be there to assist. They are really that good! I love the wall dives in Bunaken, especially when there is current, you just need to sit back and watch the colorful and healthy coral pass by, oh I meant the coral watch us pass by :) Really smoothing for the eyes and with a good DM he just keep us busy along the way. Same with many other Indonesia dive sites, there are however not much fishes. Sighting of dolphins and pilot whales from the surface is quite common, they just make everyone smile and scream on board. :-)

Chelidonura varians

I always look forward for the house reef dive. There are lots of critter to shoot, with a calm condition, it is the best place to practice and improve your photography skill. I have learnt many new creatures from Manado, many nudibranches of all kind, sea horses, frogfish, leaf fishes, all kind of shrimps and crabs. It is a perfect place for beginner divers.

Travel date :  28 Dec 2002-4 Jan 2003 , 30 Aug 2003 - 6 Sep 2003
Travel route : Singapore -F-> Manado
Accommodation : Tasik Ria Dive Resort (
Dive Center : Tasik Ria Dive Resort
Type of diving : Muck, Wall
Water temperature : 28-30°C year round
Best time to dive : Diveable all year round

-F-> Flight -B-> Boat

Photos of the trip
Leaf pipefish
Leaf scorpion fish
Hinge beak shrimp
Spanish dancer
Baby squid
Clown frogfish

Periclimenes imperator
Star gazor

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