2 weeks in Indonesia, split between 4 bases - Bunaken island, Lembah (Suluwesi),
Ubud (Bali) and Nusa Lembongon island.

Population: 275m (UK = 60m)
745,000sq km (UK = 245,000)
Famous for:
Hmm. The Bali bombs of 2002 and 2005?
Cost of a can of Coke in a restaurant (the new standard!): 60p
Weather in June:
"Warm & wet " 30'C day, 26'C night .
Local food: Curry with noodles and rice, followed by lots of pineapple.
Flight cost: £659 to Bali + £195 to Suluwesi


Days 1, 2 & 3 - Getting to Bunaken Island

We could probably have got to the south pole in about the same time.

4 flights, 3 cars, 1 hotel, 1 boat, not much sleep.



Days 3-8 - Diving at Bunaken. Coral reefs and strong currents

Fat monsterfish


Leaf scorpionfish (in pink mating regalia - very rare!)

Nudibranch (sea slugs)

Black tip reef shark

Rhino beetle


Days 8-12: Diving at Lembeh strait

No reef here, but instead an amazing collection of the world's most excellent sea creatures.

It's called 'muck diving' but that does not do it justice. perhaps 'critter diving' would be better?


Manderin fish - only come out at night

Longhorn cowfish

Ribbon eel
Various nudibranchs (sea slugs)

Robust pipe fish

Snake eel (5ft)



Leaf scorpionfish

Mimic octopus

Moray eel

Harlequin shrimp

Clown anenome fish

Baby cardinal fish

Thorny seahorse (10cm)

Pygmy seahorse (10mm)

Ornate ghost pipefish

Banded pipefish!

Ambon scorpionfish (nice hairy eyebrows!)

Another nudibranch

Tree snake (on our balcony!)



Flamboyant cuttlefish


Days 12-13: Tangkoko National park

An area set aside for nature to carry on without stupid humans chopping down all the trees and eating all the wildlife.

It's one of the last few places in the world where tarsiers (very small monkeys) still live.

They are about the size of a toilet roll (I can't think of a more sensible comparison!), only come out at night and are indescribably cute.


Also in the forest are black macaques and hornbills. However seeing them required:

  1. Staying in a homestay with no bedding or hot water (it was however only £7 a night including 3 meals!)
  2. Getting up at 5am
  3. Personally feeding every biting insect in the forest (or was it something in the bed...?)


Days 13 - 15: Ubud (Bali)

A pretty place in the middle of Bali where there are rice terraces and a monkey sanctuary where they roam free and cause havoc!

Grey haired long tailed balinese macaques. Not even slightly endangered. There are hundreds of them, all waiting to ambush innocent tourists.
He appears so cute...
...but if you don't have bananas...
...you get bitten...

...and hope he doesn't have rabies!


Days 15-17: Nusa Lembongan Island.

15 miles off the south coast of Bali is a quiet, relatively unspoilt island. Diving and exploring on a moped are the only things on offer. (What more could you want?!)


Sea snake (super poisonous, but not aggressive)

Pocaris are small rodents, a bit like the South American lacuna. Their sweat is a highly prized delicacy. Apparantly it tastes a bit like chicken sweat...


Days 17-18: Home via Kuta beach

Bali is famous for surfing. Surfing is famous for being generally unpleasant.


Oooo... that's a big one...


Epic fail.