Labuan Cermin Lake, Hidden Gem in East Kalimantan

There are lots of interesting attractions in Indonesia—be it natural or artificial, the country does not seem to be able to list down its incredible tourism spots. One great example of it is Labuan Cermin which is situated in Derawan Archipelago. If the name of the archipelago itself is nothing but an alien for you, well, fasten your seat belt, and let’s get to know one of the most famous tourist spots there: Labuan Cermin.

Labuan Cermin Derawan: a Tosca Hidden Lake Amidst Borneo’s Lush

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Talking about the spot may make you wonder: what exactly is Labuan Cermin? To be explained shortly, this place is a lake. Most people know this place as a lake with Tosca clear water and a boat floating on it. While the shot is incredibly scenic, the place still has a few people visiting. Why so? It is because the place is quite remote.

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Where the place is

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The lake is situated in Derawan Archipelago. The archipelago itself is a part of Biduk-Biduk Sub-district, which is administratively under the government of Berau Regency.

Some of you may not be aware of where on earth Berau Regency is. Well, it is reasonable since Berau is not even a big name as an Indonesian city, unlike Malang, Balikpapan, Palangkaraya, or even Jakarta.

Berau takes around 6-7 hours to travel from one of the biggest cities in the province—Samarinda. While from Balikpapan, the hours spent doubled, which is why many people would take another connecting flight to Berau.

To lead you to Biduk-Biduk District, it is advisable to take a tour instead of going by yourself. This will ensure you safety since Labuan Cermin Berau is quite remote. Locals are not fluent in English as well. Hence, you may stumble upon these difficulties to find this remote place.

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The Tropical Heaven’s Attractions

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There are lots of attractions in this spot. Not only the clear water will attract you, but the surrounding is too amazing to skip.

  • The ‘duality’
    Labuan Cermin Derawan is basically a lagoon. It has a direct link to the nearby sea after a restricted pass. Interestingly, this makes the water has two distinguishable tastes. The upper part of the lagoon is freshwater, while the rest of the bottom has consisted of seawater. The difference in density makes the seawater placed below the lighter water.
  • Snorkel or dive, come in!
    Whatever your favorite is snorkeling or diving, Labuan Cermin serves you with a cool playground to dive or snorkel. However, you need to bring your gears yourself since the spot doesn’t offer any rented stuff, at least as far as we know.
  • Get the chance to witness the two colors
    If you love blue, you will never get bored seeing the shades. If you manage to get there on a bright day, you will see that Labuan Cermin is covered with Tosca. But if the weather condition is not that good, the color of the lagoon slightly darkens.
  • Despite the color ‘turmoil’, Labuan Cermin’s visibility is excellent. It is also clean and looks so enticing to have a dip. As you dive your head to see the beneath, you will see nothing but a barren lakebed. Therefore, you should not expect the undersea to be sea-like (with corals and other sea-bed creatures).
  • Prepare your camera
    Be it as simple as a selfie, group photo, landscape shots, or an aerial photo—all you can do it here. Just make sure that your memory is enough to save all the interesting shots. The lake is also known as a perfect place to have your Instagram post drafts piled up. That said, make sure to prepare your best pose before coming here.

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How to Get There

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The first thing to do on this trip is reached Berau. If you are coming from Jakarta, then take a flight to Balikpapan before taking another connecting flight to Berau (Kalimarau Airport).

Then, you need to take another transportation mode to get to the archipelago. Mind you that the lake is placed in the Derawan Archipelago. Hence, from Berau you need to go there either by sea or by land. The former option is much preferable since it saves much time.

If you opt to go to the archipelago by sea, you should rent a speedboat to reach the spot right away. if you previously booked a tour, most likely you will get to join an open trip to see whale sharks. To reach Labuan Cermin this way, you will spend 3-4 hours, lesser by 4-5 hours compared to the land trip.

However, if you prefer taking a long time for the adventure, well—the land trip is your best bet. Make sure to rent a driver if you know nothing about the area. Maps can still rely on–but since you are crossing forest areas, it’s better to let the experienced folk drive your car. You know, the internet may not be available in the area.

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