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Dive Trip to Battuta Resort

In August Heiko Sacher visited our lab from California. We decided to take a weekend trip to do some scuba diving. I researched some options for a mini-trip (from Saturday morning to Sunday night) and settled for Battuta Resort in Indonesia. This resort is located on Mapur island, in the Riau achipelago east of the big island Bintan, and is managed by Ponggol Marina in Singapore.

The trip starts with a ferry to Batam at 8 in the morning. After a quick ride to Batam we transfered to what looked like a pretty home built boat with three very impressive 200hp outboard engines. This boat really flies! We zoomed along Batam and the lower end of Bintan before reaching over some pretty choppy seas to Mapur.

The resort turned out to be a real little paradise. Not to big and built in a very 'kelong' style architecture. This weekend we were only about ten guest, but this might have been because the week before 20 people where chopped up with machetes in neighbour Batam.

We went out with the local dive guide as the only divers to check out some spots. Unfortunately the visibility was extremely poor, so we only ended up doing two dives. Even though you couldn't see much, the coral seemed pretty impressive. This area has been set aside as a marine park, so hopefully the reefs can flourish. We could see a lot of nets though, one of whcih we spent a fair time removing from a huge coral head.

Since diving wasn't so great we killed off some time walking around on the little paradise island. There's a fishing village just next to the resort. It was well worth visiting with it's old fashioned houses equipped with tv sets of course...

All in all it was a really enjoyable and affordable weekend. Might go back to this place some weekend.

I've found some useful Indonesia links under Travel at Regional Directory Indenesia.

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A view from the porch of our little cabin.
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Heiko inspecting what appered to be a quick way to get your morning dip.
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A dawn view of the cabins.
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A view of the next door fishing village.
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Taking a walk through the coconut plantation.
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Some sort of Chinese religious building. About five meter high half sphere made up of bricks with only a very small entrance. We tried to ask the locals what it was, but they vaguely refered to Chinese... but no Chinese here any more. We didn't dwell to far into it, considering the recent race clashes.