Diving and More on Lembongan, Bali

Diving. An eye opening exploration of the magical underwater world. It’s breathtaking.

If you ever get a chance to go, take it. Worth every penny.

I completed my PADI open water certification at World Diving Lembongan with a friendly instructor from this island. It’s a great dive centre with quality teaching and equipment. Throughout the 4 days of diving, I felt comfortable, safe and relaxed. I would recommend this place to anyone.

Becoming PADI open water certified involves a number of different elements:

5 pool skills sections from replacing your breathing regulator if it falls out to clearing water from your mask. The skills are explained and then demonstrated underwater. They are easy to pick up.

Then there is the boring part. Theory. You have to watch some PADI videos, complete multiple choice questionnaires and even a final exam. All are easy just a little tedious. Saftey first though.

Finally the best bit. 4 open water dives. Breathing underwater for the first time is a strange and exciting experience. But actually going beneath the sea is unreal. You enter an alien world full of life and colour. It is one of the few places on earth that humans have yet to conquer or even fully explore and understand. This only adds to the cool factor.

I dived three different locations around the islands. The first was the House Reef, an easy dive location out in the bay. Our first two dives were here. Although it was an easy dive location it didn’t make it any less full of life. From a lion fish to huge yellow fin tuna. The reef was alive with all manner of sea creatures.

Our final day diving was the best. Two open water dives off the coast of Nusa Penida. A larger, untamed island next to Lembongan with a beautifully rugged coastline. It has some of the best dive sites in Bali. Or so I was told.

Manta Bay was the first dive of the day. We were lucky enough to see half a dozen Manta’s feeding and swimming in the waters. These huge, graceful creatures move through the waters with ease. An impressive sight. One that I won’t forget in a hurry.

Picture from Marine Megafauna Foundation: SE Asia

For our second dive we went to Crystal Bay. Another site near Nusa Penida, renowned for possible Mola Mola sightings. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any. The water here is crystal clear as the name suggests. The coral here looked incredible. All different shapes, colours and sizes. A palace in the underwater world. Even without the fish, this dive site would have been gorgeous. But there were fish. Lots of them. From yellow and white unicorn fish to camouflaged fish hugging the ocean floor. We even saw a cuttlefish. This place was bustling and beautiful.

Picture from Marine Megafauna Foundation: SE Asia

Diving opened my eyes to the world that I knew existed but never fully appreciated.

It was one of the best things I have ever done.

Exploring Lembongan

Lembongan and Ceningan are a lovely pair of islands connected by a bridge. Together they have an interesting variety of scenery which made them stand of from the other places I have visted. Beautiful beaches, dense jungle and even a mangrove forest. I explored all the sights by bicycle one day after diving. A tiring but rewarding experience. Most people rent scooters but where is the fun in that.

My trusty bike — the only one!

By biking all of the two islands, and by all I mean virtually every path, I could take in the sights at my leisure. The locals were full of smiles and nods and the beer at the end of my journey tasted that much better.

It was hard, sweaty work. The whole trip took me 5 hours, maybe 3 hours of biking, half an hour pushing my bike up hills and the rest chilling out.

Very sweaty

It was worth it.

I saw the view from the top of Ceningan cliffs.

View of Penida

The huge rolling waves at bottom of Cenningan point.

Beasty

The blue lagoon.

I even visited the secret beach. Probably a mistake considering it meant biking down a big hill just to come back up. But I was on an adventure and this sign drew me in.

Biking back in the dark without lights wasn’t ideal but overall I had a cracking day.

Me, my bike and some tunes. Cruising.

Most evenings I was too tired to do much. Usually, my plan was food, a beer then bed. Diving is an early start and it’s hard work.

Relaxing

My only problem with the island is that it isn’t particularly solo traveller friendly. It has no shared accommodation. No hostels. So that made it rather pricey and not the easiest to meet people. Needed Katherine really.

Lembongan is a destination I would love to come back. Hopefully, catch a glimpse of a Mola mola. Also, I would want to explore some of Penida. I imagine this island has a lot of secrets to be discovered.

Now I’m back relaxing in the cafes of Ubud.