Wow

This place was amazing. It’s truly hard to describe the beauty of this place, and what they went through to make it available to the (discerning) masses. Everything was perfect, from the check-in, to the food, to the rooms, to the scuba-diving / snorkeling. I couldn’t dive due to a lung issue, but trust me, I saw and experienced just as much. Even got to see some manta rays at the top of an underwater mountain. Calvin, who headed up the diving / snorkeling trips / PADI courses, and has a marine biology degree... very helpful and great instructor, with the added benefit that he’s an actual scientist. Even gave a preso on his work with the manta rays. And I’d like to give a shout-out to my snorkeling guide (Nelson i.e. “Son”) as well. He’s a local, and used to live on a pearl farm... he dove down seemingly without effort 20-30 feet deep to search out cool things to see. I’m not even sure the guy needs scuba equipment. And the reefs in their 1000 km square “no take” zone were in amazing health (which is surprising given all the press about the decline of reefs in other parts of the world right now) – we saw tons of stuff. My favorites were the nudibranches – I saw about 5 or 6 kinds. We also saw a herd of “bumpheads” that apparently National Geographic was trying to get pics / videos of a few weeks before but couldn’t find. The amount of biodiversity is truly astounding... the fish stocks and schools were absolutely amazing. Corals too. I also liked the “eco” theme of the resort – they really take it to heart. Our room had air conditioning, but it was only within the mosquito netting above our bed – I thought this was a clever and very energy efficient way to do it, because you really only want it at night when you’re sleeping anyway. Also, they’re trying to figure out how to do solar, just working through the details right now. One piece of advice: Just bring adequate cash to tip with (preferably IDR, but they can exchange USD or Australian $$ pretty easily) – and not because they expect tips (they don’t) but you’ll want to tip everyone when you’re done, just because of how well they treat you.