Diving at Bunaken, Manado with Two Fish Divers
Bunaken, an island off Manado (the capital city of North Sulawesi province of Indonesia) is what Sentosa is to Singapore. An attraction that bring people from all around the world to the island. Bunaken has a high diversity of corals, marine life and sea critters; plus a huge number of dive sites to explore. You wouldn’t be bored except that almost all dives were wall dives, and that could be Bunaken’s only drawback.
We saw some pilot whales during surface time (WOOT!) sea turtles, sharks hanging out in a shark cave, white tip ones, anemone crabs, cleaning shrimps, porcupine fishes, loaches, lots of box pufferfish, clown trigger fish, gobi and lobsters and hermit crabs, lion fish and napoleon wrasse, octopus and ponthi pygmy seahorse!, razorfish and schools of red tooth trigger fish (that are blue), robust ghost pipefish, a fleet of squid (they look 2d), an eagle ray (that swam like a bat would fly), a blue spotted ray hidden in the walls, a dancing oran utan crab, some adorable dog face pufferfish, fancy nudi-branches, garden and moray eels that, like stoop kid, wouldn’t leave their caves. And my favourite, the ever camouflaging LEAF SCORPION FISH. To be able to spot one is an achievement unlocked.
The corals at Bunaken were majestic as well. If you look at it long enough, it resembles a colossal octopus tentacle gracefully strangling the corals. And corals that take the shape of a dragon’s face. At one particular dive site, Alvmg Banua, there lay a mini coral cave which we could swim through. It was beautiful.
On the island, we stayed at Two Fish Divers Resort.
The entrance to Two Fish is surrounded by a mangrove.
We stayed in a quaint wooden hut that had a hammock out front and a really good toilet.
There was a beautiful pool where we got our tan on.
Right where we leave for dives is the Blue Parrot Bar where the boatmen, dive guides and instructors hang out and jam after diving hours.
Its been a pleasure, spending a week there with all these lovely people from all around the world in a cosy place full of love and laughter.
I took Garuda Airlines from Singapore and transferred at Jakarta, domestic flight to Manado Airport. We opted for the chartered ride from Two Fish to pick us at the airport and a chartered boat ride to the resort for 50eur per person(to and fro (pretty steep)) because there was only 1 public boat that leaves the jetty at 2pm daily and we arrived at 325pm. It would be cheaper if you got a taxi (choose bluebird) at the airport and asked the driver to take you to the jetty to catch the 2pm boat which the locals take (see link) (there is a ticket with tourist price)
Airport to Marine Jetty: 1/2 hour. Marine Jetty to Bunaken Island: 1/2 hour.