If you love island trip, consider visiting East Borneo province in Indonesia. This province is famous for its Derawan Island; an area consists of several smaller islands with beautiful beaches. The island has become very famous since the 90’s as a great place to do diving, snorkeling, watching sea turtles and golden jellyfish, and basically just enjoying beautiful nature of East Borneo. You require hours of trip from the international airport of Sepinggan in Balikpapan, but it is really worth the trip.
About Derawan Island Location
Derawan Island is a part of administrative area of Berau Regency, about 30 minutes of plane trip from Balikpapan City. However, once you arrive in Berau, you still have to use car to the Port of Tanjung Batu, before using boat to reach Derawan Island. It takes about 3 hours from Balikpapan to Derawan (not to mention extra time you must spend in other trips before reaching Balikpapan), but there are many transportation means that can take you there because of the popularity of this island.
Derawan Island itself consists of 4 main islands; Sangalaki, Derawan, Kakaban and Maratua. You can visit each of this island area by using boat rented from the island next to it. For full travel around all islands in one day, you can rent a boat that costs around $150 per day. This is a practical way to visit all islands at once in a day. You can save much more money if you order travel package.
What to Do in Derawan Island
There are many interesting things you can do in Derawan. For starter, this island has really beautiful beaches, and they are relatively quiet despite many tourists that come. Therefore, they make perfect spots for swimming and snorkeling, and of course diving in some beach points. You can also rent floaters, being photographed underwater by the guide, or watching sea turtles in their natural habitats.
You may also want to visit Kakaban Island to swim in the famous Kakaban Lake, which is full of non venomous golden jellyfish; this is one of two lakes in the world that are full of non venomous jellyfish (the other one is in Philippine). You can swim and do snorkeling here, with rented snorkeling equipment. If you visit with tour guide, you can also get photographed underwater while playing with golden jellyfish.
Going with the travel group also has its own benefits; you can join unforgettable seafood barbeque dinner on the beachside.
What Not to Do in Derawan Island
There are a couple of rules you must remember when visiting Derawan Island. You are forbidden to throw garbage from the boat or to the beach in the island. Since you may not always find the trash can in the island, you are advised to bring special plastic bag to keep the trash, and throw it away once you find trash can. Also, in Kakaban Island, you are forbidden to enter the jellyfish lake by jumping, since it will disturb and even kill the jellyfish.
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