Life on Bunaken Island

We stayed over at Daniel's Home Stay.

my room
My room, mosquito net over my bed

Which was pretty cozy. No aircond, no electricity most of the time, no fresh water, bland food day in and out.

welcome to daniels home stay

But the place was pretty decent to live in if you don't fuss too much about the facilities, or lack of.

daniel home stay garden

Every morning, we would put on our wetsuit, and walked down to the beach and get ready to dive.

daniel home stay

Sometimes we board the boat to go out to sea, sometimes we just do reef dive at the coast (aka, walking straight into the sea from your room).

bunaken view into the ocean

But the best part is, after a whole day of divings, you come back up, rinse yourself under semi fresh water (no point showering really), get out of your wetsuit, and walked to the dining hall to have your tea/lunch/early dinner.

Just before the sunset, you put on your wetsuit again, and walked back out to sea. It's night diving time.

me going night diving
Taken from my room. I like this photo, it scares people.

I found my way out to sea and onto the boat carefully in the semi darkness.

night diving

The great thing about heading out to sea at night was the anticipation of not knowing where you're going. It's all in the hands of the boatmen.

me and my night torch
My and my dive torch

Now everyone, I want to introduce to you my awesomeness dive leader throughout my entire stay there - Andrios. Andrios is young, very young, like 21 years old when I met him last year, get this. He's only an advance diver.

dive leader and me

Now everyone knows that in order to lead a dive, you have to be at least a Master Diver (a level after Advance Open Water in PADI).

But I am not exaggerating when I say Andrios was more experienced than any instructor/dive leader who have ever taught or guided me before.

He's dived more than 2000 times at his age, and the reason he was still an Advanced Open Water was because he couldn't afford the license of a Master Diver. You know how little they are paid in countries like this.

The brighter side though, the last time I spoke to him, he's saving up as much as he could just so he could take up his Master license and be a legal dive leader. He'll go far in life. :D

gerald and I
Gerald and me

The most enchanting thing after a night dive was the view of the stars when you emerge from underneath. It was really beautiful, so romantic that Gerald and I just lied on the deck the whole journey back and looked at the endless sparkles.

One thing you have to know about diving in Bunaken was that you need to buy a permit to do so.

The permit cost 50,000 rupiah (I think) and it's valid for one year.

There will be permit guard on speed boat going around the sea selling permits and scouting for illegal divers. You won't want to get fined. Was it a 300k rupiah fine?

bunaken guard

I think I still have the permit badge... somewhere. Ermm...

Each dive in Bunaken cost around 20-25 euro per dive, depending on how many dives you have during your stay. The more you dive the less they charge.


We dived so much that we eventually have to whipped out AUD 50 to cover the rest of the expenses. (They don't have credit card system here)

Then it came the day of our departure.

Leaving the island was like refugees escaping enemy's enclosure.

bunaken islanders

You have to lull your luggage over your shoulder and walked into the sea.

Of days of high tide, this can be really annoying if you're wearing good jeans.

view from daniel's homestay

And with heavy hearts (what a clique), we packed our bags to get ready to go back to mainland.

And because we were such spend drift divers, the manager of Daniel Home Stay gave us a free ride back to mainland. :D


So till then, bye bye Bunaken.

daniel homestay

I think I'm going back there this August.
Anyone wanna come along? :D


16 kissed Nicole

  1. me!! but i dont have diving kit

  2. You are such a fortunate girl to see all these beautiful places. Your blog potentially will be my second "lonely planet"!
    Btw, any plan for europe?

  3. Must've been a paradise experience...
    Btw that walking in the water to get to the boat reminds me of Bako National Park in Kuching...

  4. hey are u on discovery channel?amazing..u seem to be on the road all da time!keep up the good work!

  5. My bf really like you, and want to sleep with you.

    If u are ok, please visit my blog @

  6. I want to...!!! But... aaih... u know the reason why I can't go... sigh... I'll be with u anywhere in M'sia... ;)

  7. Hi there Nicole. Love your blog! Gosh you travel loads! Lucky thing u!

  8. don't really have to be a Dive Master to lead dive. Dive Guide can lead dive, meaning someone like your friend who is experience enough, can lead dive :)


  9. rishganesh10/5/09 7:49 PM

    Hey, I have seen the scary picture of you somewhere!!! Is it from the movie 'Coming Soon'??!!

    To be mad, Nicole,...just joking-lah..

  10. high tight? or tide? :P

    great blog, keep those posts coming

  11. HI Nicole, thanks for this post because I'll be heading to Bunaken in July. Can't wait!

  12. i'll be going to Manado early august.. besides Diving..wat else to do??
    sorry i dun dive :( sad
    besides island hoppings..
    wat else i can do there??

  13. Manado is pretty boring tbh. Standard city stuff.

    Besides going over to Bunaken, there isn't all that much to do.

    Maybe go to Tangkoko for the tarsiers and don't miss out on the seafood restaurant by the habour though- Warong Rica Rica.

  14. Manado is pretty boring tbh. Standard city stuff.

    Besides going over to Bunaken, there isn't all that much to do.

    Maybe go to Tangkoko for the tarsiers and don't miss out on the seafood restaurant by the habour though- Warong Rica Rica.

  15. I want..
    Add ma FaCEB00k,so we cAn talK m0re..
    BuT i d0nt have dive kit t00..

  16. Here is ma Fb.,