Three Stories from Derawan Islands

Disclaimer : Due to my personal files in this post, all the pictures below is allowed to shared on your personal account, download it as wallpaper, or even a journal. Not for commercial brochure, advertisement and contest.

Ask if me you want a bigger one. Wait, I mean the pictures size.


Diving at Sangalaki Island waters.

“I don’t see anything but sands.”

“Try to dive five meters under your position right now.”

“Where is my weight belt? Oh.. I see! I SEE THOSE BEAUTIFUL CORALS!!!”

“I told you.”

*burb burb burb*


“Oh, wait…”


“Did you see those beautiful creatures every single day?”

“Sure. Why?”

“Do you know their names? Specifically.”

“Not really. Indonesia has plenty of sea animals and stuff. Why do you asking me like that?”

“I wonder that you go back and forth and roll at the same place yet didn’t know what’s passed.”

*burp burp burp*

Montipora, Acropora, Anemone.

“OK, do you see small orange white strips fish hidden in anemone? That is Nemo!”

“Actually it has pretty name. Amphiprioninae, or Clown Fish.”


“Fun fact, Derawan Islands took the second place in Indonesia, after Raja Ampat Islands which has amazing biodiversity.”

“Smart ass.”

“Does anybody know, Derawan Islands has more than 20 large and small islands that spread in between North and East Borneo?”

“What else?”

“Find it yourself. By knowing your place, you can proud and  tell to everyone who don’t. But if you can’t make it, the people you should have to tell, will find out and already steal what you have. Acknowledge is much expensive than experience, lately. Get used to it.”

*burb burb burp*



Kehe Daing

“DO NOT, EVER, CALL THIS PLACE WITH… LAGOON!” An old men scolded to a trip group, couple months ago.

“IT’S KEHE DAING!” He continued.

His name is Mr. Jurji. The owner of that place. Kehe Daing.

Kehe Daing

Kehe Daing means Fish Hole in Bajo Language. You will see the hole when you get there when low tide is coming.

Kehe Daing

I realize that some part of the Kakaban Island was owned by local people. If one-third of Kakaban Lake is owned by Mr. Barimpung and his brothers, Kehe Daing that located on the other side of Kakaban Island, owned by Mr. Jurji.

The question is: Who are they?

Unknown bird

If lucky, you will find them both. Mr Barimpung has a small shop, selling drinks and snacks right next to arrival gate to Kakaban Lake. And Mr. Jurji can be found at his home nearby main Derawan Island sea port, or are driving his boat.

Both of them had remarkable story. Floating in the ocean for days and survived through different weathers, and how to keep alive with no food, no drink, until the big ship saved them.




There are Nicholas and Amber. They both have lived in Bali for years and another to come. Nicholas, or Nick was came from Capetown, South Africa , while Amber is a British. Nick is an editor, and Amber is a travel photographer. They are couple.

In fact, once it was usual trip, before they both told interesting things and makes me stunned.

Haji Mangku Cave

Minutes before Amber girl plung into Gua Haji Mangku water, she told me that her ears was hurt because the previous trip in Thailand. She also never asked to be photographed. She’s tired of dealing every day with camera. Then I asked her:

“What kinda camera suits you when working?”

“I use Canon, for fashion. Beside, I also have Hasselblad. So don’t bother to take any picture of me. I enjoyed myself in here.”



When we came to Kakaban Lake, I was so glad to tell them about phenomenon of Jellyfishes that lose their ability to sting. They said:

“You might need go to Exuma, Bahama, and see group of Piggies swim. They lived on sandbank or shallow sea and catch fishes while swimming. They did it 24/7.”


“Yeah… All we need is just steps and sees more. If you had a chance.”

Nicholas On The Boat!

On another occasion, Amber told me about her experience visiting Yemen, and humiliated there. Se was called a whore, prostitute, even slut , by the local people. Though she has covered her body using the hijab and long coat. One day, they had a photo shoot in Sahara desert and must stood of sandstorm attack for hours.

While they were explaining about their journeys, I hope one day, my steps is much longer than before. I admire them both.




Every trip we’ve been through, every step we’d took, it should teach us some things. That there should be parts that not to be overlooked. How to respect nature, how to increase knowledge, how to keep humble, down to earth, and far away from judgemental person. It works.




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