15 June 2014

Bunaken

Bunaken island
Divers paradise, one more in Indonesia. But one more that really is a paradise. Bunaken island is one of many islands that you can reach through Manado airport, but for divers it is the most interesting one, as it is best equipped and developed for their passion. There are many different resorts on the islands for all budgets.







We spent four days on Bunaken, in the Cicak Senang Resort, that provided us with airport transport (car and speed boat for 30 EUR), a cute cottage including three basic local meals per day (22 EUR) and snorkeling equipment (snorkel, goggles and fins for 5 EUR/d). The owner couple is Dutch/Indonesian, who lives in the resort. A lovely family who likes to talk to their guests, and provides boardgames and books for entertainment in the evening. Europeans who want to get a feeling for simple life in Indonesia, who want to taste authentic Indonesian food and spend some time in a relaxed setting are in the right place here.

Corals around Bunaken
Cicak Senang provides diving tours and full equipment, just as probably every resort does. Fabian payed 50 EUR for two dives from a boat, Florian who was there with us and Lisa payed 5 EUR each to join the boat for snorkeling. As a surprise, after the first dive we drove back to the resort to pick up four Chinese divers and two guides, the boat was suddenly full. But the crew took care of all of us, picked up the divers and the snorkelers after they were done. Tea and crackers were provided on the boat during the break.

Boat ride to Bunaken
If you would like to travel to Bunaken on an even lower budget, you can reach the island by public ferries that go early in the morning and stay in a cheap homestay that you can organize locally. But the ferries will just bring you to the main village of Bunaken, from where you will have to take an ojek to the homestay, which will cost you some additional money. The neighboring Palau Siladen we heard has some upmarket resorts with expensive diving, but you can find also some homestays there. We did not check that out further, so we can hardly provide you with information about that. But if you're interested, our local friends might have some additional information.

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