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Looking for travel advice for Indonesia, PNG, Thailand, Philippines
Scubagerl - 4/27/2013 8:31 PM
Category: Travel
Replies: 7

I am planning an exotic dive trip for 2014 and figured I better start early. I’m interested in macro this time and I think PNG is top on my list. Any advice, tips, experience on any of your favourite macro destinations (not Caribbean) is hugely appreciated. Also if you know of any groups organized to go let me know as I am a solo traveller so definitely into joining a group if possible and right mixture.
Scuba-Smurf - 4/28/2013 7:57 AM
Hi there, I’m off to Indonesia in a few days so can let you know when I’m back how it was... We are going Bali-Gilli Islands-Lombok-Komodo so will be covering some major dive areas in Indonesia. Will let you know how it goes :)
Scubagerl - 4/28/2013 7:59 AM
Thanks Scuba-Smurf. That sounds perfect. It’s a long ways for me to get there (W.Canada) so want to pick the right place.
Agojo - 4/28/2013 11:15 PM
Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Philippines (2 hour drive/bus/van ride and 1.5 hours walk on ferry from Manila) is the best for the variety of what is within 5-15 minutes boat ride from the resorts. Resorts are very competitive in pricing are some will negotiate on rooms and or diving. Big Apple Resort has a very good on site restaurant and still allows food and drink brought in with no corkage or additional charges. Dive times 0900, 1100, 1400 plus night around 1800 as an option. Things to see, flamboyant cuddlefish, cuddlefish, seahorses, pipefish, more than 40 varieties/colors of nudibranchs, peacock mantis shrimp, cleaner shrimp, pygmy shrimp, sea snakes, eels, hundreds of large and small fish varieties, mandarin fish (night dive), peacock flounder, turtles, crinoids, sponges, soft and hard corals. schools of bat fish and shrimp file fish (razor fish), colonial sea pens, helmut grunards. All this and more in 7 days (21 dives). DISCLAIMER: I took my wife to keep me safe from the sharks in the resort swimming pool. Wife also arranged food garlic stir fried prawns/veggies/rice delivered to our room almost every night from a salesgirl in the market for about $8 USD each.
Sprinkle - 5/02/2013 8:38 AM
there, I have been diving PNG some years back, both from the boat and the
Walindi Plantation Resort. With the boat we were around Milne bay, where we did
our first muck dives, and it was just great. There has been reefs as well,
healthy, colourful ... Walindi diving was also great, especially with the great
guide. She was hunting the really really small stuff with her magnifying glass
:-) Indonesia also provides good macro places, there are some when your tour
around Raja Ampat, Komodo as well. The best for macro in Indonesia we found so
far was a tour we did from Alor to Flores. I think we have been really lucky
with the critters. Last year we have been to the Philippines and Anilao turned
out to be a great muck / makro diving slot. Another area in the Philippines for
the small stuff is around Dumangute and Dauin almost all central Visayas.
I can provide details if there is more interest on the boats and hotels.
Another area in the Philippines for the small stuff is around Dumangute and
iamdean - 5/03/2013 6:14 PM
I had a week (5 days / 15 dives) of diving in Phuket Thailand at the start of April. I used All 4 Diving for my day trips. I find them very accommodating, knowledgeable and fun to dive with. The boat is roomy and comfortable. 3 tank dives are normal.

I did most of the areas around Phuket. My next trip will be a live aboard to the Similan Island area.

Phi Phi Island is nice, Racha Noi and Racha Yai are pretty barren coral wise. Some fish and marine life to see.

King Cruiser wreck is a very busy dive site, I thought it was too crowded and did not get to see too much.

Shark Point is good, there is plenty of marine life to see, some nice corals and perhaps some Leopard Sharks.

Koh Doc Mai is a nice wall dive, plenty of macro life to see.

Anenome Reef is nice and again there is plenty of marine life.

There are a few places around Phi Phi Island where you may get to see some Black Tip Reef sharks.

Hope this helps
summerscubacamp - 5/26/2013 9:49 AM
IF you are thinking about the Philippines don’t forget Apo Island. Stay on the island at Liberty’s and dive with them. Ship all the diving on the Dumaguette side, everything was trashed earlier this year with the big storm. Most of Apo survived.
DiverCarlos - 6/11/2013 4:42 AM
Hi Scubagerl,
I just got back from a 17 day trip to the Philippines that included Anilao, Puerto Galera and Sabang Beach, Dumaguete, Apo Island, Verde Island, Siquijor Island, and a snorkel trip with the Whale Sharks at Oslob in Cebu. AWESOME trip and awesome diving whether you like reefs, walls, drop offs, sand, or muck the Philippines had it all and I highly recommend you put it at the top of your list.
I have a group going back for 5 days land at Dumaguete followed by 8 days on the Azores liveaboard between November 18 and November 30, 2013. Send me a note if you want some details.
I also have a group of friends going in mid march 2014 to Cebu-Malapascua and Donsol. I can send you info on that trip to.

I also dove Bali and Komodo last November and it too was awesome. Had a great trip on the Mermaid II liveaboard. Great crew and lots of camera help for true professionals.