The author delivers the book with a true passion for the area, and also a good level of technical expertise. There is a nice introduction into the geography of the immensity of Indonesia and its bio-geography.
The book is designed to give an overview of some of the main diving destinations in Indonesia, certainly not all of them though, the author has chosen resorts and facilities that she personally believes are environmentally friendly and sustainable within the industry and area, and those who also safety conscious.
There is a really handy table that shows some general information about the areas, specifically the information contained discusses region, water temperature, the best time to visit the area and what you will possibly see amongst other useful facts.
One of the things I loved was the amount of visual stimulus in the book. There are hundreds of quality pictures to whet the appetite, I’m sure there is enough for a photography book in its own right! There is also a good use of maps all of the way through, the complexity of the area needs to be broken down to understand it. There is an excellent use of these two particular resources mixed with the written descriptions.
The travel planner sections give some great information about specific areas, alongside follow through information like websites, operators, e-mails, liveaboards and accommodation ideas. Each area also has a marine life feature, such as green turtles or Hammerhead sharks, these are all worth a read. They are splashed around the book, but fit nicely into the standard structure and add to its appeal.
There are seven chapters designated to discussing different areas and their specific dive sites. They are very well written, the questions you have are generally answered, a lot of thought has been put into writing this book. The authors has added her views on difficulty of the dive site, highlights about them and logistics considerations. Information like re-compression chamber access, nearest airport and civilization, mention of important things to look out for and a host of other extremely important ‘local’ information has been added for each destination. There are many e-mail contacts and websites added for the reader to gain additional information prior to booking your trip, or to help arrange your itinerary
At the back there is a neat little section highlighting a few key useful words, phrases and numbers for those not fluent in the language. There is also a condensed travel practicality section mentioning some useful bits of information like cultural bargaining etiquette, tipping, currency, electric supply types and similar useful information.
One thing to note is that the excellent recommendations for schools and liveaboards may date quickly after the book is published, although in fairness this is true of any travel guide. Readers using this as a research book should take this into consideration as they should for any travel guide.
I believe the book is worthy of any good travelers library, and any diver considering the area. It has convinced me to dive some of the destinations in the book it is that well written and I now feel confident to book my next hot water holiday there.