Blogs from Derawan, Kalimantan, Indonesia, Asia

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Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan June 2nd 2018

Nunukan was one of the anchors of my trip, because it was essentially a deserted island with a huge house reef and lagoon, located near a top site for manta rays and a jelly fish lake (aka lake full of jellies that have been isolated from predators for so long that they don't sting any more). We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful. Perfect. Tropical paradise. And that afternoon was the last we saw of the paradise weather - thunderstorms, rain, more rain, clouds, wind, etc. set in for the rest of the week. It was still really pretty...but that first afternoon was so amazing! The manta rays were no shows (although I can't complain at all after the bonanza at Komodo). The jellyfish were interesting - there were four different kinds...it was ... read more
Nunukan!
My beach cabin
Looking across the lagoon to the neighbor island, Virgin Cocoa

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan August 26th 2012

Hey hey. Sorry about the lack of updates, connies forgot to publish the last one so it has been sitting saved for ages. We have spent 10 nights in Derawan which can only be described as paradise. We spent every day snorkelling in the morning and afternoon and the evenings playing cards with various people on piers over the ocean. The snorkelling was fantastic with crocodile fish, stone fish and scorpion fish being regular sightings and we have now swum with over 100 turtles. One slight problem was that it was really remote so there was no ATM on the island so connie and i lived off 6p packet of noodles for about 5 nights straight but on the last night a spanish family took us out for dinner to give us some proper food. While ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan August 11th 2012

from samarinda we flew to berau and then by boat we reached the island of derawan where we stayed a week. we visited the other island of the archipelago - kakaban with its incredible lake and jellyfish, maratua. everyday we went snorkelling on the reef and swam with dozen of green turtles which were grazing a metre from our bungalow on stilt. at night we and the park guard released babies turtles in the ocean... read more
the village
derawan homestay
the village

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan July 31st 2012

Off the beaten path in Borneo Our journey to Derawan was interesting and frustrating in the same time. We must admit that it was very exciting to be faced with all the struggles on the way that you don’t encounter often in South East Asia i.e. huge language barriers, lack of local transport, lack of budget accommodation etc. We left Sandakan knowing that it would take us many days to reach our final destination but we were absolutely fine with it. The bus to the border town of Tawau took long 9h instead of 4 because we had engine problem, then breaks problem and then tire problem. In the end we had to be transferred to another bus to be ... read more
so close to us
view of Derawan from the sandbar
Tomek and green turtle

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan October 4th 2010

Everything about Pulau Derawan is a dream. The palm fringed island glows with tropical colour. Stilted homes hover over the crystalline waters below that literally teem with marine life. Turtles peruse the islands' seabed whilst sharks and manta rays patrol it's outer reefs. Locals gleam with the luck of their island life and tourists are few and far between. The only nightmare is trying to get there. We had travelled from Malaysian Borneo the day before and it was once again a case of 'what a difference a border makes'. The Indonesian side of Borneo had less infrastructure, the roads were pot holed, it was rougher around the edges and people spoke no English. All this when just a ferry ride away in Malaysia, English is the second language. However it just so happens we liked ... read more
Sari Cottages
A man doing the splits over his boat
Reading and watching turtles was our daily routine

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan October 4th 2009

This blog is about a beautiful island towards the top of Kalimantan where the sand is pure white, the sea is crystal clear, turtles play around in the surf every single day, the coral is pristine and if this isn't enough you can venture out to visit jellyfish lagoons and manta rays gangs in neighbouring islands.. and best of all you have it all to yourself as there are no other tourists there to take away your pleasure.. pure bliss! From our scariest bus ride in our previous blog we will now announce our new top worst bus ride leader.. even beating the Worlds 2nd Most Dangerous Road bus ride in Bolivia... The bus ride from Sangatta to Berau is a killer and definitely one that would have put a stop to all other bus rides ... read more
Baby turtle
Derawan locals
Sophie on Kakaban beach

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan December 4th 2008

To look into the eyes of ‘Princess’ - a rescued and rehabilitated Orang Utan in her home environment was a spine tingling, magical experience. She is one of over 200 Orang Utans that have been returned to their natural habitat by rangers working at Camp Leakey deep in the rain forest of Borneo. Truth be told ‘Princess’ has not been fully rehabilitated - she had too much contact with humans in her early days of rehabilitation and now tends to hang around the camp. She was once part of an experiment to see how much language Orang Utans can master - she has a vocabulary of over 140 words in signing. She is mother to a baby of 6 months, which still clings to her, and a juvenile of 6 years who still stays with her ... read more
2-Son of Princess
3- Tom Sulking
4- Feeding Platform where Tom should be sitting

Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Derawan April 30th 2007

Derawan Island group off Berau Kalimantan Paradise how long. We arrived at Derawan, the main island in the group and went first to stay at Lestari losmen, As others have commented the best rooms are over the sea on stilts, rooms up the back not so nice and pretty stuffy. There was a long walk to the toilet at the back which didn’t go down to well in the middle of the night. Main problem for us was that there was a Polish Dive operation staying there next door to us, they were nice people and we became friendly with them they run tours from Poland at budget prices both to Derawan and Papua. Staying 3 months in each and moving all there kit in the middle of the season. The problem was that there room ... read more
Stuck turtle
Sandbars to die for
Samama Island




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