I stayed at Mataking for about a week and had a fantastic time there. Living in Shanghai can drive you a bit nuts sometimes and being in the exact opposite environment was quite literally a breath of fresh air: fresh air, nature, good service, and people who care. As a Shanghai dweller and part-time dive instructor, I’m not just picky about service but also very keen on seeing a smooth and responsible dive operation. Mataking did a great job in any of these areas.
From the moment of arrival till the moment of departure there was not a moment I needed to worry about much. Whenever needed, staff was there, whenever quiet was desired they were invisible. My dive gear was taken care of fast and professionally, dive staff was always on call and did a great job at making me feel comfortable and at home. They were just the right amount of accommodating, eager to show things, but not willing to disturb the marine environment too much just for a photo op.
Having a resident marine biologist made it possible to go a bit in-depth on some subjects and made the diving even more enjoyable. She seemed to know a lot about the local turtle population and it was great however to experience the hatching and release of baby turtles.
Except for the turtle hatcheries, Mataking also tries actively to combat dynamite fishing, rebuild the reefs, and educate the local population on the importance on environmental conservation. All very important and noble initiatives, not undertaken by any average dive resort. All in all a very pleasant and refreshing stay thanks to the local staff and marine biologist.