It's been more than 3 months since my last dive trip, and it's always feels better to finally go home and immediately plunge yourself in the vast ocean. This time I went back to Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The trip was scheduled from May 13th to May 17th, 2015. We chose to stay again in Manado Tateli Beach Resort, and dive with Minanga Divers (previously known as Minahasa Divers). Our dive plan was to dive in Bangka Island, Bunaken Island, and around Manado Bay.
Dive Bangka Island
Since our resort is located around Manado Bay, we need to depart early from the resort (around 7AM) and took almost a 3-4 hours boat ride to reach Bangka Island. Did 3 dives there and then head back straight to the resort (another 3-4 hours boat ride). If you want to dive only in Bangka Island, it's better to stay with several resorts operating in Bangka Island to cut down the traveling time. Another option, which is closer, is to stay in Lembeh and do a day trip to Bangka Island.
Dive highlights: most of the dive are a mix of sandy bottoms, coral reefs and pinnacles. Each sites may be good for both macro and wide angle. We encountered mantis shrimp, orangutan crab, and some other critters as well. A lot of yellow tail fish were also spotted in one of our dive.
Dive Bunaken Island
This island has been a highlight of North Sulawesi, and is one of the marine national park in Indonesia. There are other islands around Bunaken, i.e., Manado Tua, Siladen. Most of the dives around Bunaken Island are wall dives. Occasional sighting of group of dolphins while on the surface. The boat ride from the resort will take approximately less than an hour. You will have lunch on the boat and return to the resort by evening.
Dive highlights: You will see lots of small fish schooling, blue trigger fish, corals, and frequent sighting of hawksbill turtles. You may also find several baby white tip reef sharks hiding in caves and overhang.
Dive Manado Bay
This has been my favorite place so far, since I was not diving in Lembeh this time. The Manado Bay also offers a world class muck dive, side by side to Lembeh. The sites around Manado Bay are very close in proximity, ranging from 15 mins - 30 mins boat ride.
For further pleasure of viewing, please checkout the videos I have attached, Manado Magic, and Manado Macro.
Hope you like it, and dive safe :)