Travel Practicalities and North Sulawesi FAQ’s
Visiting North Sulawesi in Indonesia is an exciting and unforgettable experience – the trip of a lifetime with phenomenal diving, stunning scenery, spectacular wildlife and smiling friendly people wherever you go.
To help to prepare for your stay at Murex Dive Resorts we have put together a list of questions which we are frequently asked – if there is anything we have not included, just let us know!
Our local airport is Manado International Airport / MDC (Also known as Sam Ratulangi Airport). It is serviced by international flights from Singapore with Silk Air (the regional carrier of Singapore Airlines) 4 times a week. Domestic flights from major Indonesian cities including Bali and Jakarta are available with local airlines.
It is around 1 hour by car from the airport to Murex Manado or 1 hour by car followed by a 20 minute boat ride to Murex Bangka.
If you are flying domestically before or after your stay, most airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kgs plus your carry-on bag. Some airlines allow an additional bag for dive gear. Excess baggage charges vary from airline to airline – check at the time of booking.
North Sulawesi has two seasons –one dry and one bringing more rain. The driest period is from the end of March until the end of November. The rain lowers the air temperature so this is a good time to visit for those who prefer cooler temperatures.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah – IDR. Here at Murex we can accept payment in IDR, USD, Euro and other major currencies. We also accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Union Pay and JCB) please note there is a % fee for credit card payments in Indonesia.
There are also ATM’s at Manado Airport and in Manado Town.
If you are planning to bring duty free into Indonesia with you, the current limits apply:
Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco.
Alcohol: 1 litre of spirits or wine
Perfume: A reasonable quantity
Indonesia operates on a system of 220v/50Hz electrical outlets for 2 pin plugs. Electricity is 24 hours a day at Murex Manado. At Murex Bangka power is 24 hours a day in the Deluxe Hillside Cottages (reduced to one socket and fan during day time hours and full power from 5pm – 7am). Power at Bangka operates in the Oceanfront Rooms from 5pm – 7am and also in the restaurant and camera room during lunchtime hours.
We can cater for a wide range of special dietary requirements –please let us know in advance so we can be prepared on your arrival day.
Both Murex Manado and Murex Bangka have small shops, which sell basic toiletries (shampoo and shower gel is also provided in your room), snacks, souvenirs and some dive accessories.
We offer free Wi-Fi at both resorts but please be aware that, especially at Murex Bangka, it can be slow and unreliable. It’s a good excuse to leave your work at home!
The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesian with most areas having a local dialect. Here in North Sulawesi, the dialect is “Manadonese”. Murex Staff speak English and Indonesian. We also have German and Dutch speaking team members.
If you are taking any prescribed medication make sure you pack enough to last the duration of your trip. If you are taking a dive course and are taking medication you will need a doctor to confirm in writing that you are “Fit For Diving”.
Here is a list of items that we recommend packing for your trip to Murex Dive Resorts:
Sunscreen, factor 50 plus – available in our gift shop
Clothing – lightweight and light-colored long pants and sleeves for evenings
Insect repellant – available in our gift shop
Any snacks or treats that you can’t survive without
Rechargeable batteries and charger
Batteries (please take dead batteries home with you)
Dive certifications and Logbook
After sun lotion
We have a small library selection of books in each resort – but you may want to bring something of your choosing
2 pin plug adaptor – available in our gift shop
Manado has a recompression chamber for divers.
In North Sulawesi, the majority religion is Christian which is evidenced by churches on almost every street. Christianity in Indonesia is defined as being either Catholic or Protestant.
Souvenirs and Shopping
Our gift shops at Murex Manado and Murex Bangka have a small selection of locally crafted souvenirs including sarongs, jewelry and handicrafts. If you are taking a land tour during your stay there may be opportunities to make purchases and our guides will help with the bargaining! Manado Town has several large, modern shopping malls (with fixed prices) for those who enjoy shopping.
The international dialing code for Indonesia is +62 (without the first 0 of the phone number you are dialing). Phone signal is usually good at Murex Manado from most areas of the resort. At Murex Bangka phone reception varies, the best place is on the beach!
North Sulawesi is located in the Indonesian Central Time zone which is GMT+8 and known as WITA.
While a tip is not expected, if you’d like to leave a gratuity for our staff we will provide you with an envelope which will be placed in the resort tip box. Tips are divided across all employees – because they all contribute to your stay in different ways. We ask that you refrain from tipping individual members of the team to avoid compromising them.
Murex Resort is located close to the equator in the tropics. It is generally humid and there are mosquitoes. There are cases of malaria and dengue fever in North Sulawesi, so we do recommend you bring plenty of repellent and appropriate clothing and that you consult with your doctor before your trip for the most up-to-date advice on anti-malarial drugs, as well as other recommended vaccinations.
Visas and Passports
Over 90 countries are eligible for a 30-day tourist visa on arrival – check with your embassy if your country is included. When you enter Indonesia, make sure that you have at least one clean page in your passport and your passport must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on it. You may also be required to show your ticket for onward travel leaving Indonesia.
Tap water in Indonesia is not drinkable – we provide unlimited drinking water and encourage you to drink plenty on a daily basis to avoid becoming dehydrated. This is especially important for divers.
Here in North Sulawesi we enjoy 28 to 30 degrees Celsius (82 to 86 degree Fahrenheit) year-round and a 3mm wetsuit is sufficient for most divers. There are occasional cooler thermoclines around October to December.
If you have any questions which we haven’t covered, please feel free to email one of our friendly team on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this was useful information and look forward to welcoming you to Murex Dive Resorts in North Sulawesi soon.