Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

Three years later my first trip to SulawesiHere I am back in this part of Indonesia that made such a strong impression on me. First step of this new journey: the small island of Bangka, in the north of Sulawesi.

Murex Bangka Beach

I just spent a week at Bangka Island. A week to dive and forget the rest of the world.

How can you not let go, in such a beautiful place?

The beach at Murex Resort in Bangka when I arrived ... Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.

This is the beach of Murex Bangka Resort, the day of my arrival (not to be confused with their other resort on Sulawesi itself).

When I saw the color of the water and the cute beach, I said to myself that I had chosen very well my drop-off point, for a soft acclimatization...


There are a handful of simple wooden bungalows (with air-conditioning, provided that the generator deigns to start), a small diving center that houses the equipment, a compressor to fill the tanks, a large room that serves as a restaurant and, at the back, the barracks where the staff lives.

My bungalow at Murex Bangka Resort. Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.

Calm and voluptuousness

There are only two other customers when I arrive, two very nice young Dutch people.

The staff is very attentive, they carry my big bag to the bungalow I was assigned, I just have to settle down and enjoy. Blissfully.

The small white sand beach of Murex Bangka Resort. Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.

Everything was very easy to get to this point. I had organized things in advance, by exchanging e-mails with Murex.

A guy was there as expected waiting for me at the airport in Manado, with the inevitable little sign with my name on it. He put me in a pick-up truck for about an hour drive to Surabaya Beach, a black sand beach on the northern tip of Sulawesi.

The time still to load the supplies for the resort on the boat, to get me in, a half-hour crossing, and here ...

I'm glad I opted for MurexI was very happy with this trip, after various opinions gleaned here and there on divers' and travelers' forums. The dive sites around Bangka are really top (sub pictures will come in a next post), the welcome was great. And it is one of the few dive-centers of the corner (the only one?) held exclusively by Indonesians.

On Bangka itself, there are only two other resorts for the moment, to my knowledge: the Blue Bay Divers (German management) and the Mimpi Indah (where I plan to spend a week at the end of my stay, run by an Indo-Dutch couple).

We are really far from everything. The cell phone passes, but there is no internet.

In terms of entertainment and distractions, there is just one lousy TV for those who want to follow the World Cup matches. Magazines and books in Dutch, English, German in the small library. And the staff that turns into an orchestra in the evening!


In the evening, the staff of Murex Bangka Resort turns into an orchestra! Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.

I would not recommend this place for more than a few days to non-divers, who would quickly turn around on this lovely but tiny beach. There is nothing to do except diving, eating, sleeping...

In short, the perfect place to let go. I loved it!


  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2010

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Memories... It is true that the arrival on Bangka is almost paradisiac: the color of the water, the coconut trees, and the disconnection from the modern world...
    I liked this island and this diving center, but I would have liked it even more if I could have met other divers!

    I am now looking forward to your next post about diving!

  2. Your story of letting go makes me drool with envy... I too want to cut myself off from the rest of the world at the other end of my world... Soon, soon...
    Anyway, reading you is stimulating 😉

  3. @Malene: There were few divers during my stay, but a few anyway... Two Dutchmen at the beginning; then Indonesians, including the owner's son; then a family of Americans living in London; and finally an older Dutch couple. I had a great time with the dives. My new post with small sub pictures is online !

    @Luna: Patience... It's well known that Augusters are the ones who end up making Julyers jealous, once the big summer rush is over.

    @David: It's even better in person!!!

    @Greg: Oh yes ! I enjoy…

    @Lydie: That way you travel a little with me ...

    @Manta: Thank you! If these few Indonesian news can help you to come back smoothly, so much the better!!!

  4. I've been to Sulawesi before, but your story made me want to go to Bangka. Have you been to the Mimpi Indah resort?

  5. @Thierry: Yes, I then went back to Bangka at the Mimpi Indah Resort... But I didn't take the time to make a post on the way back. I'll have to do one, one of these days. Very nice too!!! 🙂

  6. Exactly one month ago, I landed there on this beach, accompanied by my two non-divers... And it's a long way-in-in-innnnn!!! 😥

    Everyone loved it, including the chicks who didn't want to relax, I've rarely seen a place so optimized despite its rustic means.
    For the form, we will grumble about the food, not super-great and a little dubious sometimes 😕 , but whether it is the beach or diving: raaaaahhhh... 😮

    And then on your group picture, I have the pleasure to see my buddy Aswar, my personal guide. If I could, I would carry him in my luggage all over Indonesia: a good one! 8)

    Regarding the customers and my neighbors of boat, bin:

    - I met a nice and appropriately silver Japanese couple, who gave me an idea about my next purchase, "O-Jya, the King of BC.", The Zen-style stripped stab should not be 2kgs and dries instantly upon exiting the water, no textiles. The traveler's dream 😀
    1.300€ anyway : "Japanese quality!", my prosperous Japanese friend told me... 😯

    ...and then there was a dreadful family of Italians, whose nippy, vulgar mamma wallowed her Nimar box over the Pontohi pygmies. The most atrocious English accent ever heard: "Gou-dé Af-tairé-nou-né!" she greeted 😡 . The others didn't breathe a word about the stay.

  7. @ Ludovic / Wet & Sea: I too loved Murex in Bangka. 8)
    Aswar is one of the best guides I had in Indonesia and as I said in another comment on, he is well known in the area, among other Indonesian divers. I just had to show a picture of him (underwater, with his mask) to the guys I dived with afterwards at Mimpi Indah, so that they immediately recognized him: "Oh, but it's Aswar!!!"

    I'm glad your non-divers also enjoyed the stay on the cute beach. I laughed a lot when I read your summary. A very good plan, in my opinion, the Murex resort in Bangka. After that, of course, you have to manage to escape the big-breasted Italian girls wallowing on the coral... 😕 😆