It’s pretty hard to believe, but I just spent 10 days on a dive vacation in North Sulawesi. I had a wonderful time and the best thing about it - everything seemed normal at the resort, we just didn’t shake hands or get close to each other. But we went diving, laughed and had meals or drinks with other guests at the same table, as if nothing had happened. So far, Indonesia is not hit as hard by Corona as other countries, but they may just not really know…
I was very curious to check out another dive resort and see how they run their business. I hear from our guests that Raja4Divers is a unique and wonderful place, like no other. And I strongly believe this is true. But I was never able to compare us to other places since I started here, so I was very much looking forward to this vacation.
The biggest difference is that the island the resort is located on is not very far from Manado and the mainland. And there are other resorts and a village on the same island. So, it doesn’t feel like you are at the end of the world as it does on Pef. We are in the middle of the jungle, there is only us on the Pef. This has its disadvantages, but it also has its charm. We are one with nature, and I really like that.
The resort I stayed at is very nice, about double the size of ours and features more luxury than Raja4Divers (A/C and sweet water showers in all the bungalows, a big swimming pool and a beautiful spa). The dive center is bigger too, very well run and their dive guides speak good English and have a very good knowledge of their marine life. And their staff as well as their management are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make you have a wonderful time.
But – I still prefer Raja4Divers! OK, you may say I have to because I work for them. Of course, I do, you’re right. But it’s also a very personal feeling. After only a few days, I started missing Pef: its nature, its birds, its wilderness, the sound of the waves at night and its people! The bungalows of the resort I stayed at have brick walls, so you don’t hear any sounds from nature during the night. There are also no birds which was surprising to me, as we have so many on Pef.
Although the diving was very good – lots of turtles, beautiful walls and interesting muck dives - Raja Ampat is just a whole different league in my opinion. The abundance of corals and fish we have here is simply spectacular. I’m not sure you can find this anywhere else in the world, but then again, I haven’t dived in that many places yet.
I still take home some ideas that I think are worth looking into, because there’s always room for improvement. It’s little details sometimes that give you this wonderful all-round experience and if we could add some to the many we already offer, this could only be a good thing. I’m glad, I got to experience a different resort, because I don’t consider them and us competitors. They are different and so are we. And both are great places to spend your vacation.
But I’m also very happy to go back to Pef tomorrow – back home to «my» island in Raja Ampat, our paradise at the other end of this currently very crazy world.
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…