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