Labuan Cermin: Two Layers Lake in Indonesia

    Slowly breathing in and out through my snorkel gear. I heard my own breathing sound inside the water that was crystal clear seen from the top. To the left and to the right I swam over, expecting to see something beneath but found nothing. I felt like I was in the swimming pool but I was not.

    ” Where am I?

    • • •

    A few hours earlier, before the sun has fully risen in the east, there were at least 16 people already on the boat wearing safety jacket, with hope to get a chance to swim with the whale shark or at least to see them swimming near to us like the dolphins on the other day. Unfortunately, the unfriendly wave when we were cutting through the sea to reach the whale shark point, Talisayan, was a hint that they wouldn’t be coming near to sea surface that day.

    Our Tour Leader, Rizky (@rizkyariyanto) from Piknik Nusantara, came into the back of the boat and gave us a sudden announcement about the situation. None of us voicing out comments or questions. To our disbelief, yeah, we thought this bubbly guy was only joking. We only reacted after the boat was leaving the whale shark point. Probably, the silence in me that I had at that moment was a form of my disappointment or probably simply because I was still half-awake. Till I see you, fella, a date with you will still be in my wish list.

    Labuan Cermin. Where Fresh Meets Salt.

    “Depends on the water debit, bring along an empty container with you when you dive in about 3 metres deep and fill the container with the water at that depth. Taste it when you come out and you will find the water is not fresh but salty.” A guy that seems to be very familiar with the place explained to me. I wish I could try it myself but since I haven’t overcome my fear of swimming freely in nature without my life jacket yet, I gave that idea a miss.

    “When we are about to reach that salty part, we could see there is a fine layer that separates between that fresh and saltwater,” my friend said. I could only showed my curious face wandering and imagining how it looks like in real.

    If we look at a glance, we won’t see something special about this lake beside its beautiful turquoise colour. Some people say good things don’t come easily, and likewise to the good things about this lake. If we stay longer there, when the sun shines over the lake, that’s when the ‘magic’ happens. The water seems to slowly turn into translucent and crystal clear!

    Labuan Cermin means ‘Mirror Harbour’. The name has actually said it all. And now if you are wondering where is this place located at, it is at Biduk Biduk, Berau Regency, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. There are many ways to get here, either by land or by sea. Usually, people will stop over here after from Derawan Islands. Besides Labuan Cermin, there are other places to explore as well in Biduk Biduk.

    The water is as fresh as it looks and swimming in the lake has somehow cured my heartache for not being able to meet the whale sharks earlier. Aah…Just saying. 😉
    So, will you come with me next time? 🙂


    1. Wow, that water looks absolutely beautiful!!! I’m certified and would loooove to go do that! And thats a huge bummer about the whale sharks 🙁 Maybe next time!


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