3 – 30 meters
Palung Palung is located just beyond Tulamben’s popular Drop Off dive site. Because it is a bit farther from shore, it tends to be out of reach for divers who visit the Drop Off on a single tank. Rather, getting to Palung Palung requires a quick ride from Tulamben Bay in a traditional jukung boat. As a result, this dive site remains mostly untouched.
In Indonesian, the word “palung” means trough. The dive gets its name because it begins where the sandy sea floor forms a gully, or trough-like shape. Proceeding over the side of this gully, divers will find a gradual slope that boasts an astounding variety of corals. From boldly patterned brain and honeycomb corals to rose-colored branching corals to domelike mushroom corals, each patch of the reef offers something a little different. Purple tube sponges protrude from fields of briar corals and you’ll often see blue sea stars or their plump, granulated brethren clinging to the reef.
Palung Palung’s vibrant corals provide an ideal habitat for marine creatures of different shapes and sizes. Hundreds of tiny fish swim around the coral bommies, while butterflyfish, yellow chromis, sergeant majors, and other species hover around the slope. Now and then a lone pufferfish or long, slender cornetfish will make an appearance. Looking closely, you might spot a scorpionfish camouflaged amongst the reef. If you are lucky, a turtle or reef shark might even stop by. Some of the other fish species that are commonly seen at Palung Palung include batfish, tangs, moorish idols, and clownfish.