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Teluk Sulaiman & Pulau Kaniungan Kecil, Biduk-Biduk Kalimantan Timur

Location : Kecamatan Biduk-biduk, Kabupaten Berau, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.

There are many tour operators in BalikPapan, Samarinda and Tarakan who tie in their Labuan Cermin packages with other attractions like Derawan, Maratua, Sangkalaki and Kakaban islands (which we have already done in 2014). We preferred Nur’s package as he was specialized in just Labuan Cermin plus side trips to Kaniungan Islands. But for our trip, without prior information and negotiation, he offered us only Pulau Kaniungan Kecil, the smaller of the two islands which was uninhabited. Had Nur informed us earlier we would have considered Kaniungan Besar plus snorkeling and be happily paying for the extra charges. We learned.

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We drove from Labuan Cermin along a freshly tarred road for about 15 minutes before arriving at Teluk Sulaiman to take the boat to the calm and waiting sea.  It seemed that way the whole day! Not a single wave.

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Teluk Sulaiman

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The sea is not a trash bin, says the sign on the left

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We had to pass by Kaniungan Besar island first and we noticed lots of nice corals under the shallow water. We anchored at Kaniungan Kecil soon after and had lunch. Strolled along the white sandy beach and found some beautiful shells before taking a dip.

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Kaniungan Kecil island

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Lunch time in Kaniungan Kecil

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Nicely packed lunch

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Vegetation on the island

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Dead fish on the beach as we strolled round the island.

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We noticed this phenomenon several times where a lot of egrets would be diving into the water to feed on smaller fish under attack by bigger fish. Poor little fish caught in between bigger fish and the aerial egrets.

Next, we rode back (saw quite a number of turtles) to the mainland to visit an almost completed Kenyah family’s holiday chalet called Lamin Guntur. Perfect for family type tourists. Possible to drive here from Biduk Biduk but long hours along a very bad road.

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A beautiful Kenyah house in the middle of nowhere.

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Nice combo of ‘pondok santai’ and a chalet. Brilliant

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Cave near Lamin Guntur

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Lots of bats in the cave

On the way back, we took a slightly different route, entering a shallow lagoon and saw more turtles. We entered a river as we moved further towards Teluk Sulaiman and noticed scary silver leaf monkeys and lots of proboscis monkeys, all as promised by Nur if we were lucky. We were. We could not snap the silver leaf as they disappeared very quickly but the proboscis were very obliging even at close range.

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Just enough light for us to catch sight of the proboscis monkeys calling it a day

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Finally we arrived back at Teluk Sulaiman and getting dark. Bought a souvenir T-shirt before we said goodbye to our boatman. What a long and adventurous day.

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