Why now is the time to dive the unsullied reefs of Menjangan
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Destinations, September 1998
A Bali High at a Low, Low Price
If the usual tropical-isle inducements of orchid-scented breezes and palm wine on the beach remain insufficient to get you to Bali, we have two more: an almost historically high exchange rate (15,000 rupiah to the dollar), and the diving at little-known Menjangan Island, about a mile and a half off the northwest coast. Beneath uninhabited
Afterward, pull yourself onto the sand and tear into a box lunch of sticky rice with noodles and tempeh while watching wild deer browse the brush. September is a prime season for fish viewing but the tail end of the tourist rush. On the afternoon we dived and dozed at Menjangan, the beach was empty save for a tiny Balinese girl who ran past with a plastic bag full of parrot
To dive off Menjangan, call Spice Dive (011-62-362-41305), located on Bali’s north shore, which offers basic PADI-certification ($285) as well as dive-boat trips for $50, including equipment and a guide. Camping is forbidden on the island, since it’s part of the Bali Barat National Park, but staying on Bali is not exactly a hardship. The most convenient Balinese village is