Indonesia - SCUBA Diving and Touring Bali
In September of 2009, we went on a SCUBA diving vacation to Wakatobi, Indonesia. Wakatobi is a group of islands off the southeast coast of Sulawesi. The Indonesian name is Tukangbesi. The name Wakatobi is an acronym made up using the first two letters of four of the islands' names.
As Kathy likes to mention, it took 5 plane flights and a boat ride to get to the resort. Our first flight was from Austin to Houston. There we met friends for lunch and saw the Terra Cotta Warriors from China at the museum. Then we resumed our flying with a leg from Houston to Moscow (12 hours), then Moscow to Singapore (12 hours), then Singapore to Bali (3+ hours). We spent the night at a hotel in Bali. The next day we took a charter flight from Bali to Tomea (the "TO" in Wakatobi). This last flight was just 2 1/2 hours. Then we took a small boat to the smaller island where the resort is located.
Here are pictures of the island as we approached it and got our first glance at the resort. The long pier has a bar at the end where we enjoyed happy hour and sunsets every night. We were taken to our cabin where we unpacked and got ready for 10 days of diving.
The links in the menu on the left will take you to pictures that will give you a good idea of the wide variety of marine life that we encountered. We saw more species of marine life here than any other place we've been. Kathy says that the diving was the best she has experienced yet.
After 10 days of diving, we flew back to Bali for 5 days of touring. Sightseeing in Bali is amazing - rice fields, temples, flowers, wood carvings, the central market in Ubud, and much, much more. Here are pictures of our rooms and verandah in the Alam Jiwa boutique hotel outside Ubud. Every day we walked from the hotel along Monkey Forest road into downtown Ubud. There were rice fields across the creek that we could see from our verandah.
We toured the island one day. Along the way we stopped to see the traditional Barong Dance. One night at a restaurant we saw the Monkey Dance. On the tour we also stopped at a wood carving workshop and a gong manufacturer (we bought a gong). A day ot two later, we went back to the wood carver's shop and bought a statue of the rice goddess (about 7 feet tall).
Two of the things that we remember as being typically Balinese are the temples and the open market in Ubud. We walked to the market on several days. We also remember the beautiful flowers on the hotel grounds and of course the terraced rice fields. The picture below is one of my favorites.
|C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
|updated January 11, 2010|