One of our recent guests was kind enough to write the following trip report.
“My holiday to Tasik Ria Manado Indonesia,
I knew my holiday was going to be good even before I got there, having
heard so much about the place and comments I had read from others, both plus
and negative about their experience of staying at Tasik.
Just to set the scene, I am a relative newbie to diving, only recently
having passed my BSAC sports. The diving around the islands can be pretty
challenging given the currents but, I was also travelling with my dive buddy
who is vastly experienced and has dived these waters many times.
We were collected from the airport by a small but very nice and tidy
mini-bus, the transfer was about an hour depending on traffic (enjoy the ride,
a tad white knuckle as the driving standards over there are not the best, but
your driver will be more than a match, so you will be perfectly safe).
Arriving at the hotel we were greeted by a very warm and friendly staff
along with a welcome drink. We were taken to our rooms and nice they were too
very comfortable, clean and spacious with a fridge well stocked with beer and
I went for a look round the hotel grounds to get my bearings and to
check in at the dive centre to sort out kit and weights for the diving next
day. The grounds are spectacular, just like living in the jungle with a lake,
waterfall and coconut trees.
The restaurant is large and very nice, appealing to the eye with good
views of the grounds, lake and waterfall.
The food….Now I am a tad fussy with my food but will try almost
anything to give it a chance, there are a lot of local dishes on the menu which
are very good but for me, the menu could be a tad more European friendly, don’t
get me wrong the food is good, well produced and presented, but a little narrow
on selection, but don’t let this put you off, even I didn’t starve I was well
After all I have to remember I was in Indonesia, yes there are take
always like KFC, McD`s, Pizza Hut and Burger King, but they are in the city of
Manado a 1/2 hour drive away.
The local beer is Bintang and pretty good too, and the fruit juices are
great, I ordered a pineapple juice from the bar only for the barman to trot off
and crush a full pineapple for me to drink, wow it was good, try the coconut as
well, mango and papaya. Top rated for the drinks.
Now the diving, simply spectacular what can I say, most dives are centered
around Bunaken national park with loads of different dive sites (mostly wall
dives up to 30m)
There are muck dives to do as well at the house reef or at Lembeh and
Banka island which are not my cup of tea but for macro divers its a must.
The boats are well equipped, large with plenty of room, with fresh water
and drinks available on request or serve yourself. The food on the boats is
good but basic and again for the faddy eater they will provide pretty much what
you want within reason.
The dive guides are brilliant, simply amazing, very knowledgeable about
the diving areas and what you may see.
They have a very professional approach and do not waver from that, but
still manage to have a laugh with the guests.
For those new divers like me with very few dives behind them, they keep
a special eye on you, (so don’t be afraid to tell them you’re inexperienced its
in your interests) always there checking all is ok and this gives you an
advantage over the others as they will spot the critters well before any of the
more experienced divers so you tend to get the first peek.
I have to say that given the attention they gave me without being
claustrophobic, enabled me to relax and after the first day was under my belt,
my nerves were gone.
A special thanks to them and the crew for an amazing diving experience
in one of the most beautiful parts of the world you could ever wish to dive.
Besides the diving the resort offers day trips and for me that’s good,
as 3 dives a day for 14 days is too much and besides, having come all this way
I wished to see a little more of this great country besides the bubbles and
The trip to the Volcano is a must, spectacular even, and yes it’s
active!!!! not to worry though, just a faint whiff of sulphur, not blown up for
The climb to the top is not for the faint hearted (2 hours walk to the
top) and can be hard through thick jungle but, the views on the way up are
special and once at the top, will blow your mind. (do not forget your camera)
Alternatively you can see the waterfalls, this trip too requires a walk
in the jungle (about a mile) but, this
walk is easy, again with fantastic views and great photo opportunities.
The resort offers a trip to the jungle and I mean jungle…there you
will see the tarsiers, the world’s smallest monkey and how cute are they, also
you may see the black macaques, birds and other creatures of the jungle like pythons
The trip is well worth it ands don’t forget two changes of clothes as it
is very very humid, you will need long sleeves and trousers, plenty of bug
spray a torch and a very good camera, that is especially good at night time
shooting, its dark very very black no lights nothing, except the noise of the
The spa at the resort is a must after a rigorous diving schedule and
tours, the masseuses are top draw and very very good, for 13 quid it’s a no
The pool area and bar is very relaxing, with stools in the pool,
allowing you to sit at the bar with a chilled beer and a great snacks menu too.
Laundry service is great and a must I found, although you can wash your
I have to say that the resort is a must to visit, the staff are always
there and willing to assist you, and the management team too muck in, they are
not just there for show.
Given I was so far from home the helpfulness of the management and staff
made it feel as if I had been there before and that they really valued my
custom, which to me is what its all about, they could not do enough.
That’s it I think, covered it all, like I said at the beginning I have
now experienced the resort and taking everything into consideration the resort
is more than 3 star to me.
Those that chose to criticise are simply nit picking, I could have done
that too, but given I was some 13 thousand miles from home in a country not as
advanced as us and having a different culture altogether, it would be unfair
for me to do so, basically if you want the comforts of home, stay there.
Thank you all at Tasik Ria for making my 2 week holiday the best
experience ever, I will return to the resort at some point and understand that
you are shortly to open a new resort in Derawan, so best of luck with that.
Cheers Andy! We’re glad you enjoyed yourself & look forward to seeing you again. 🙂