Location : Labuan Cermin, Desa Labuan Kelambu, Kecamatan Biduk-biduk, Kabupaten Berau, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
The 25min flight from Tarakan to Berau was delayed by 2 hrs, departing at 4pm. Nur our tour agent was waiting at the Berau airport with his Avanza. We bypassed the town of Tanjung Redeb with the sun setting very quickly. By 5.30 it was getting dark. With 6.5hrs to Biduk Bidukthere was obviously much urgency in his driving. The road condition was no better than the last time we passed through 2 years ago. The ride in the dark was uncomfortable and at times stressful. Dinner was available only after more than 3hrs at the halfway point but luckily we had snacks ready in our bags. By the time we arrived at our homestay in Biduk Biduk it was midnight.
30min from the Berau airport was this beautiful view but it was already getting dark.
The next day’s program started off with the main destination of Labuan Cermin which had to be accessed by car and boat. Basically, Labuan Cermin is a unique shallow lagoon with the phenomenon of salt water at the bottom and fresh water supplied by the nearby hills and rainforest on the top. When the sun moved directly over it, it shone like a mirror with the deflection from the white limestone rock at its bottom. Viewed from afar it was like a brilliant emerald.
Danau Labuan Cermin
Crystal clear water
With our new friends
Although October was not the best month to visit we did savour some brief moments of its brilliance when we arrived that morning. Boats, tubes and goggles were available for rent. Labuan Cerminis also a spawning ground for the saltwater fish and millions of fries could be seen around the shallow edges of the lake.
Plentiful of fish fries around the edge of the pool
A note of caution- do not walk bare footed around the shallow edges of the lake as there are many small spiny black shells stuck to the rocks.
This spiny shell hiding in the water can hurt your bare feet real bad.
Most part of the day it was cloudy. Blue skies were pretty rare during our trip but the good part was the sea was in its calmest mood of the year. A good couple of hours was enough at this emerald pool before we left for the drive to Telok Sulaiman for our next agenda, the boat ride to Kanuingan Kecil on the south east.
The coconut trees here look skinny and tall
They called it the Philippine house as they believe it was swept across the Suluwesi Sea to here by some typhoon