Dazzling Derawan (2): The Islands

I found two interesting facts in Derawan: First, almost every boat in the island to usher the guests was modern fiberglass speedboat. There were a lot of 14-seater speedboats and several 4-seater smaller speedboats. Second, the cottage had a fire extinguisher in front of every room. It was quite pleasant to see a place in the middle of nowhere had a high standard for hospitality and safety.

On the second day in Derawan, it was time to do a good-ol’ island hopping, we would do some serious cruising. The targets were Maratua, Kakaban, and Sangalaki. It was time to prove what people have said about Derawan Islands: A must-see place you need to visit before you die or very old that you become senile and cannot leave home without crapping your pants.

Maratua Island

Maratua is a hidden paradise surrounded by clear turquoise water. There’s actually a resort called Maratua Paradise Resort, I think it’s the only resort in this island, making it the most exclusive place in Maratua. There was no way I could avoid the temptation to swim, plunging myself into the clear turquoise water. After took some photographs around the boat, I finally put down my cameras, wore my snorkel gears and fins, and then swam freely without my orange life vest. I considered swimming with a vest in this paradise was a mortal sin.

Kakaban Island

It’s the home of the cute, small non-stinging jellyfish. I arrived at the most inconvenient time,  the crowds were swarming the lake like some hungry piranhas ready to skin a lost clueless cow. It was a mess, the pier on the lake was very small to contain a large group of people. With so many people, the mud on the bottom of the lake began to rise and polluted the water, making it harder to see the cute jellyfish.

I prefer walking around the island and took some photographs while the others were plunging to the lake, disturbing and taking photographs of the jellyfish until the tiny yellow creatures were scared shitless (I presume).

Sangalaki Island

“If you want to do some snorkeling, beware of the manta, the tail is deadly venomous” was the sentence from my guide that erased any underwater activity on every person’s mind on the boat when we approached Sangalaki Island.

Sangalaki was also a sea turtle conservation place, so when the snorkeling option had been called off, we could see the cute baby turtle aged 1-3 days. Like vultures preying the carcass’ meat, a lot of people took the baby turtles on their hands, put them on the sand, and photographed them while they were running towards the sea. And they did it with great intention it was uncanny just to look at, so I walked away from those “possessed” guys, looking for another interesting spot.

After a 500-meter walk, I found an abandoned pier. It was a perfect place to get perfect landscape photographs, I felt like a little child who just discovered a hidden treasure cave in the middle of nowhere. Later, a private collector bought the photograph I took at the abandoned pier. Not bad.

I spent one hour there before departed from the island. I wished I had more time in this island, but it was getting late, the boat was prepared to sail back, to Derawan.


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