Bangka Murex Resort
Overview: Bangka Island Resort is part of the Murex Dive Resort group: Murex Manado and critters@lembeh. The house reef here is the best of all three places. A reef full of corals and in places some break the surface at low tides, this is ideal for snorkelling. Plenty of marine life and photographic subjects. A great place to practice with the camera. And good for night diving. This was the end of the dry season and considered peak visiting time. 3 dives a day and night diving. Excellent pre-dive briefings. Stunning diving!
Fish Life: There is a lot of fish life in this whole area: Cuttlefish, leaf fish, pipefish, various clownfish, nudibranches, sea pens, eels, crocodile fish and yellow striped snappers. Mantis shrimps. The house reef has fish everywhere in the shallow and deeper water.
Reef Health: The reefs here are in excellent condition. Lots of pristine hard corals and an abundance of coloured soft corals, especially orange which is not common. Crinoids of various colours on most reefs. Beautiful large pink gorgonias.
Highlights: The varieties of Pygmy Seahorses. I saw 3 in all, Bargibanti, Severns and Pontohi. They are the cutest creatures l have ever seen and present on the house reef where diving is free.
Dive Centre/Boat Service: I dived with Randy and Oce both were excellent spotters, very patient and professional! The boat crews were always very helpful and gear is carried and washed for you at the end of the day. Nitrox is on offer. The food is buffet style and they cater for vegetarians quite well, it got a bit boring after a few days with limited choice. I gather they are under-going a refurbishment plan in 2015.
First Time/Return: First time and would love to come back here.
Current/Vis: There are 1-2 knot currents from time to time but they never dive against them. And currents provide rich nutrients for the corals. Vis was usually 60-90 feet.
Favourite dive site: Sahaung 1 was my favourite its a wonderful reef dive plus it has Pygmy Seahorses! But l also recommend: Batu Gosoh, Tiga Batu, Sampiri, Peters’ Sponge.
Marine Park: YES – http://murexdive.com/resorts/murex-bangka/
Other: This resort is quite small with only a handful of villas all very near the beach. It is built using local materials all brought in by boat so there is no road traffic at all. Almost a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ type of place. Not luxurious but the perfect ‘get away from it all’ I would recommend staying here for 4-6 days.