4D3N Manado Trip: The Beautiful Bunaken Islands

So, Noona woke up in the middle of the night to pee and after that, she lie awake on my bed, unable to get back to sleep so quickly. She suspect it is partly because of the tea, and partly because of my potentially swollen gum due to the hidden wisdom tooth. No idea which is which but one thing remains, Noona could not sleep. Zzz.
In times like this, Noona decided to embrace her writing desire since her Mum has sent her some of the pictures she managed to save in her phone while the rest are...inside Noona's laptop with no means to extract them out since her laptop got issues. The pictures which she sent relate to our family trip last year to the beautiful Bunaken Islands in Manado, Indonesia. These islands are favourite amongst both local and international tourists as famous snorkeling spot. In order to do snorkeling in Bunaken Island, you have to first, book your boat ticket to bring you to one of the islands.

4D3N Manado Trip: The Beautiful Bunaken Islands

The boat trip to the snorkeling spot is not that far, probably around 15 - 20 minutes. The boat operator will bring you to the main island to sign up with the snorkeling tour operator. A usual tour package will include snorkeling gears (the googles + the fins + the snorkel), the guide, the photographer (if you want to get underwater shot, yes I mean it), and lunch. It seems that price differs based on the extensive of the amenities provided (some even provided towel). 

Boat Trip to Bunaken Islands Manado

Looking at those beautiful hues of water, one cannot resist the temptation of swimming and snorkeling inside the clear blue water. Oh right, Noona forgot to mention about the price. The rental of the snorkeling gears can go to 150,000 Rupiah per person (around hmm, 15 SGD). The most expensive fee you need to churn out here will be for the photographer (+200 pictures) which can go up to near 1 million Rupiah (around 100 SGD) however, you can share this 200 pictures with the rest of the tour group as taking pictures underwater is not really that easy after a few shots. Shower room is available nearby so you can take a shower to rinse yourself of the sea water after the snorkeling activity (need to pay 10,000 Rupiah ~ 1 SGD to use the shower room though, never mind, let's support local business).

Clear Blue Water of Bunaken Islands

You will be given a life vest too so no need to worry so much if you are a weak swimmer or a non-swimmer. Yes, the water is that clear up to the point, you probably don't really need the googles if you happen to swim around the shallow water.

Snorkeling Trip in Bunaken Islands

Right, so what is the trick of taking picture underwater with the fishes? First, you would need to purchase the bait for the fishes. Before you say yucks, the bait is not like what you imagine (i.e. worm and the likes of it). Apparently, the fishes living in this area loves to eat biscuit. But they will not be able to eat the whole thing, so you would have to crush the biscuit until it becomes crumbs and the fishes will surely come and swim around you. The challenge here, in order to take picture underwater, you have to dive deep down (which is very hard to do in the open ocean, no kidding). This is where the guide will give his helping hands to dunk you down. Once you are deep inside, you have to quickly grab the nearest coral (grab, don't destroy) to hang in your position until (a) the fishes come and (b) the photographer takes your picture.

Feeding fish underwater in Bunaken Islands

After a few shots, you would be very very tired. So it is really best to share that 200 pictures with the whole group cause there is no way for one person to take that many pictures under the sea. Unless we are half mermaid. XD

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