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Bunaken and Manado versus Lombok + other questions

by kosmo95 Online Now Mar 12, 2007 at 2:29 AM

I have been thinking of going to the Manado area for diving and some simple beach quiet time. Recently a friend who has been travelling in Indo for several montsh recommended I should just go to Lombok, that Bunaken is not worth the travel hassle (from Bali). Any opinions?

I was really keen on Manado area as it seems less touristy, the diving is better, the beaches quieter, the prices more affordable.

Also rumor has it that Murex has closed. Anybody aware of that?

Finally another question: from reading forums, it seems that the beaches on Bunaken are not that nice, but that they are much better on Bangka, Gangga and Siladen. Nicer in terms of more swimming depth and nicer clean sand. Can anyone give any precision on this?


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  • RE: Bunaken and Manado versus Lombok + other questions

    by pangtidor Online Now Mar 13, 2007 at 11:54 PM

    Most of the things you have read in the forum and have heard from your friends are true. Lombok is a good one too but it will be more crowded than Manado`s beaches. Lombok has more organized diving centers as it has many tourists and more publications.Try to compare them in these websites. I am not an expert in diving, I could just give you some useful website to surf to :
    Try to email,,
    Happy planning

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    RE: Bunaken and Manado versus Lombok + other questions

    by Astene Online Now Mar 19, 2007 at 9:54 PM

    Hi! From Bali it is of course closer, more convenient and cheaper to go to Lombok. If you only have 2-3 days, then Lombok would be the sensible choice. If you have longer time to spare, I think Manado would be worth your while. Your friend may be right in saying that it is a hassle to go to Manado from Bali. Only Garuda Airlines and Lion Air fly from Bali to Manado once daily and the flight may take about 6 hours (including one hour transit in Makassar) and the airfare may cost around rupiah 1-1.5 million (around US$110-165) with Garuda; Lion Air may be cheaper.

    However in terms of diving, Lombok has no match to the variety of marine life you can see in Manado. Also, the coral reef in Lombok is in a poor condition as these had been badly damaged by the El Nino in the past years. In Lombok, the best time to dive would be from late April to August (the visibility during March-April is okay) and you will see big fishes like reef shark, tuna, barracuda. The best time to dive in Manado would be around May to October (although one time i dived in Bunaken in late May and there was suddenly a typhoon!).

    It’s not true that Murex has closed – they only changed phone numbers and moved out of their former office in Jl Sudirman (if you call the old number the person who answer would say that Murex moved to Kalasei where Murex's resort is located). Here are the new contact details of Murex:
    Phone No: +62-431 838 774; 0431-839-013 and 0431-330-6779. Or you may contact Pak Yosi at +62-818-705145
    Address: Jalan Trans Sulawesi, Desa Kalasei I, Manado 95361

    It’s true that Bangka, Gangga and Siladen have nicer beaches compared to Bunaken cos they have white sand beaches. From Manado to Siladen the travel time is about 1 hour by boat. To Bangka about 1.5 hrs by car and then another 20 minutes by boat. To Gangga, it takes about the same time – 1 hour 20 minutes by car then 20 minutes by boat.

    Hope the info is of help.

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