indonesia part 1: the northern part of north sulawesi (bunaken, tomohon)

let’s see if i can get those photos from our trip to indonesia online within a reasonable amount of time…

crystal clear water part one is about the first of just over 5 weeks (roughly 4 weeks on sulawesi and 1 week in lombok), in which we visited the island of bunaken and the cities of manado and tomohon.
as we found out, bunaken is one of the top diving spots in the world – and there’s a reason for it: we enjoyed some splendid reefscapes (both diving and snorkelling) and incredible drop-off walls up to 50+ meters deep. the corals were some of the most beautiful i’ve ever seen (which isn’t really to say that i’ve seen that many). apart from nudibranches, which always enthuse me, we saw a wide variety of wildlife, including green turtles (chelonia mydas, pictures) and the undescribable mandarinfish (synchiropus splendidus, pictures).

back on the main island (sulawesi), another must-see place was the market in tomohon. the local minahasan people are said to eat “everything with 4 legs, escept for the tables and chairs”, and what we found at the market was gross at the least (you may want to skip some photos at the end if you’re feeling sensitive).

regarding accommodation, we stayed both at the worst hotel that i’ve ever, EVER seen, and at one of the nicest ones of our entire trip:


  • hotel new angkasa: seriously terrible. it was dirty, even the fresh water smelled really bad, and there was a big rat living in the space leading to all the rooms. the owner didn’t seemed very happy to be left alone. we only stayed there because we arrived late at night.
  • rex hotel: – better, cleaner, and with friendly staff. however, the rooms facing the street, so don’t expect to sleep very sound.
  • hotel angkasa indah: the best of the three. it’s a very good idea to bring plenty of insect repellent!

pulau bunaken:

  • bunaken kuskus resort: they’re not the cheapest, but it’s a great value stay. staff were extremely friendly, the food was good and plenty. there were only 4 cottages, so it’s a quiet place. there are a maximum of 3 divers per guide.


warning: there are some very graphic images depicting dead animals near the end of the gallery!

a gallery with german descriptions is available here.

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