Hints, Tips & Facts

STRAIGHT TALK

In Ambon you can experience some of the most extraordinary diving in the world. In particular underwater video- and photographers will relish the opportunity to observe the behaviour and capture extraordinary pictures and movies of rare creatures, virtually alone at dive sites with dive time only limited by their air.

However, it is a pity to see the rubbish which detracts from the natural beauty of the area. This is an issue across Indonesia, as most parts of the country lack efficient rubbish collection and recycling systems, and Ambon is no different. Actually, this is not a disadvantage for muck diving; but those who are used to western standards may have to adjust to the reality of the situation. Locals are beginning to realize that this is a problematic issue and finding solutions.


INSURANCE


We highly recommend to have a good level of travel and diving insurance while travelling through Indonesia. (ex. D.A.N or Aqua Med)

LANGUAGE / COMMUNICATION

Some Ambonese, particularly in the tourist industry, speak limited English. However, you have an advantage if you know some easy-to-learn bits of Indonesian. You can find apps or dictionaries (eg Kamusku) for your Smartphone.

ACCOMMODATION

The homestays in Laha are simple, acceptable and clean. The lack of western standards will be more than balanced by the friendly atmosphere. Indonesians like it colorful and you might find a somewhat unusual choice of colors. Hotels in town provide a higher comfort.

TRANSPORT

Angkots (local mini busses) cost 5,000 IDR per trip anywhere within Ambon city, irrespective of distance.

Ojeks (motorbikes who take pillion passengers) cost between 5,000 and 10,000 IDR for short distances.

Taksi (car with driver) costs around 200,000 IDR per hour or 500,000 IDR per day.

INTERNET & TELEPHONE

Travellers with smartphone or USB 'dongle' modem for their laptop, can buy cheap internet simcards across Indonesia (from 100, 000 IDR one month). Ambon has 3G phone signal. Prepaid Simcards for mobile phones are cheap and easily available. Top up credit is called 'pulsa'. We recommend Simpati Cards from Telkomsel.  


Cheap international calls can be made by dialing  01017 before the foreign country code and phone number (minus the initial zero from the foreign phone number)

CREDIT CARDS & CHANGING MONEY

Some ATM machines at Ambon airport accept Visa and Mastercard.

Caution: a maximum of 1,500,000 IDR (approx $US150) can be withdrawn at a time. Due to this low maximum, your foreign bank's transaction fees can quickly add up. Banks in Ambon give bad exchange rates for foreign cash. You are better to change money in larger centres, such as Jakarta or Bali.

BATTERIES

To avoid adding to the local garbage problem, please use rechargeable batteries for your electronic devices. Recharge can be done at the Dive Centre

DRESSCODE / CLOTHES

Laha is a small community and we respect the local culture. Bare shoulders and knees, or low-cut tops should be avoided. It is a no-go to walk about in swimwear (but wearing pyjamas all day long is perfectly ok!) It is best to wear loosely fitting clothes made from breathable fabric. It is especially important to have a well-groomed appearance for occasions such a visit to local authorities.

SMOKING & ALCOHOL

Cigarettes are very cheap all over Indonesia. It is best to bring rolling tobacco and papers yourself , eg from Duty Free Shops if you have a stopover. Liquors with more than 22% vol. are very expensive and only available in some shops. Alcohol below 22% vol. such as local beer, are more reasonably priced. A 0.6L bottle of beer is around 22,000 IDR (around 1.80 € / $USD2.50). Homemade palm schnapps (sopi) is widespread but best avoided. It is often of very bad quality, and can cause serious damage to eyes. We want you to see our Bobtail squids! Indonesia is extremely strict about drug use and this should be never be risked.

NIGHTLIFE

We are planning to build a cozy bar next to the Bluemotion Dive Centre, where we can gather in the evenings and chat about 'the fish of the day' while enjoying snacks, drinks and music. There is practically no nightlife or clubbing in Ambon apart from some Karaoke and Hotel bars.

TOILETRIES

Most toiletries for daily use are easily available and cheap in Indonesia. Caution: In Asia skin lotions often contain whiteners. You can rarely get tampons and you should bring your own condoms to make sure they are suitable for you.




We hope we gave you some useful information here so you know better what to expect travelling in Indonesia. We would like to improve this section and are happy to hear your comments and critique. What information is missing? Is something described wrongly?

If you still have questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact us: info@dive-bluemotion.com

CONTACT

E: ambon@dive-bluemotion.com
T: +62 81 238719813

 

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LATEST NEWS

Apr, 2017: Come dive in paradise!

Get a taste of what diving with Bluemotion Banda is like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaSOBqmauIU

Feb, 2017: Free NITROX!

Bluemotion Banda now offers Nitrox FREE OF CHARGE for divers with EAN32 certification or higher. If you are not certified for Nitrox yet, you can take a quick course with us -very easy, only 1-2 hours :) Please check our course rates here.

Feb, 2017: Fast ferry has resumed operation.

The fast ferry is operating normally again -except in case of really bad weather. The schedule will be as last year: Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9 am from Tulehu (Ambon) to Banda and Wednesdays and Sundays at 9 am from Banda to Tulehu. Please check all the info here

Feb 2017: EcoDiver Courses & Marine Research Internships available

Our partner Sea Ventures offers a new range of marine research and conservation programmes at Banda. Visit their website at sea-ventures.co

Oct 9th, 2016: Old laptops needed for children's computer lab on Banda

We have supported the re-opening of a computer lab on Banda. The lab was setup more than a year ago supported by a social fund but had to close a few months ago as the operational costs couldn't be covered. It was now revived thanks to our volunteer teacher Masha. Children come there every afternoon to learn about computers, Mathematics and English. The interest and feedback has been very positive but, unfortunately, only 3 computers are functioning and available for more than 30 children. If you are going to visit us for diving and have an old laptop you don't need anymore, we would be very thankful if you could donate it to the lab.