Blue waters of Bali, Indonesia

On April 1, April, Stine and I board Airasia  for a 3 day dive trip in Bali. I got the flight for SGD307.  The whole flight took 2 hours and we arrived there almost at midnight. Our hotel driver was waiting for us for quite some time as there was a delay in the immigration.

We then head to our hotel, Hotel La Taverna  in Sanur area. The package was USD180 for 3 nights per person, not bad. The hotel was recreated a native hut bungalows village with warm wooden floors and interior. The bed had 4 poster stand and a mosquito net which added to the homeyness of it.  The area is convenient as it was near the market, massage parlor, food places and airport. We had problems with checking out though, as they insist that the money must come from a local money exchange store. They tried to kick us out and even the manager came to explain their rationale. Thank goodness everything was settled. It was not our fault why they come up with such unreasonable request when the US dollar we had were legit and there was no prior notification that there was such condition before we checked in. Aside from that episode, the stay there was quite nice. Pity but I wont be recommending it but if anyone is interested, you can click on the link and see the pictures below.

At this time, USD conversion was: 1 USD = 1.27 SGD. Most stores accept US dollars as payment but you may need bring loose change when buying items in street markets. The Indonesian money is called rupiah and 1,000 RP was equivalent to 0.000015 SGD at that time

Breakfast next day was all out American, with me ordering pancakes, bacon and egg with orange juice to top it off. Our pick up van arrive afterwards to drop us on the dive shop, Atlantis BaliWe took a package that has 5 dives in 2 famous dive sites at USD212. The 1st dive is Tulamben with 3 dives: US Liberty Wreck, Drop Off and the Coral Garden. The 2nd dive spot was Manta Point with 2 dives: one at the cove and other one doing drift dive.



Tulamben

The ride to the Tulamben was around 3 hours and we had to walk across the rocky shore for the shore entrance. Must remember to buy my own equipment since rented ones doesn’t not fit well. The wreck dive was amazing. The wreck was not far off from the shore. I was busy admiring the bright blue fishes that passed by that I didn’t notice the looming shape of the ruins until it’s shadow blocked the light. There are variety of fishes and corals growing on the wreck. We found the resident barracuda who looked at us with its mean eyes and sharp teeth. The Drop off and Coral garden had even more marine life with the huge wall teeming with interesting corals and fishes. We saw a huge school of fishes, and 1 school were really huge fishes. The 3 dives took the whole day and by the time we were on board the van heading home, we were exhausted but pleased with how the day turned out. We had our dinner at a nearby western place and knocked out for the night.

Next morning, we head to Manta Point by boat. We were luck enough that it was in peak season and didn’t had to look far to see more than 10 manta rays coming to the surface for feeding. The waves though were a bit rough and I was slammed to the boat when climbing up. The mask was thrown overboard and couldn’t find it. I had to pay around $150 since it was a special mask with prescription (more reason to buy my own to avoid paying what I didn’t own). Lesson learned to place it at the neck when climbing up. The final dive was the drift version where the current will take you from point A to B. The experience was wonderful as you can feel yourself gliding effortless from corals to corals. Our dear friend however was not paying attention to the current and was swept away from us. Luckily, she managed to find her way back to the boat but not with us who were worriedly searching for her down below. It’s not easy especially when the current was strong. Some of the divers spotted Mola Mola but we missed it while we were on a search mission. Regardless, it was a nice experience with few lessons learned.

With the dives completed, we explored a bit of the places near our hotel. There was a small local market that sells clothes and accessories and a couple of massage places. We bought a couple of things and had a nice massage. We felt like having a special dinner so we were recommended to try the Maximo Italian resto that was a couple of km from where we stayed. They had good Italian pasta and antipasti top with yummy gelato. Great way to end the trip. I can’t wait to visit again to explore the land of Bali.

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