The dive resorts didn’t have maps indicating their location nor did the homestays.
I needed more certainty than that so I had to look for another option.
The email communication was a bit choppy so I could tell it was not a foreign run operation but I had little else to go on. Amazing corals, huge sea fans and an incredible amount and diversity of fish.
If you had a checklist of things you wanted to see diving, I am pretty sure you could checked off 4/5th of them over 10 days in Raja Ampat. (this pigmy seahorse was so big I almost got a good shot of him, LOL) I did 9 dives and should have done more, but I had just done 20 dives in Lembeh and was a bit under the weather.
On top of that I was the only foreigner at the resort and I felt a bit isolated.
Around 2002 a study was conducted in the area and more species of fish and coral were recorded on single dives than had been previously recorded anywhere else in the world.
On top of that the reefs were considered pristine (those things kind of go hand in hand though don’t they).
The other reason Raja Ampat is a holy grail is because it’s difficult to get to and compared to any other place in SE Asia it’s FUCKING EXPENSIVE AS SHIT to dive there.
Liveaboards are in the 00 range for a 10 day trip. Some divers have told me that 00 is a great price for a liveaboard. On a liveaboard you typically do three dives a day.
At a pop that comes out to around 00 which means the room and board portion of the liveaboard is roughly 0 per day. These boats are nice but they aren’t some Egyptian pharaoh’s pleasure barge or anything.
—————— A cursory search of the dive resorts in the area put a room at €90-150 with dives running €35.