Labuan Cermin : The phenomenon of two flavors lake in a stretch of East Borneo

October 24, 2015


This place is something new but need to visit it because there’s something wonderful, wonderful of view, wonderful of natural creation. His name is Labuan Cermin,  situated in the Berau regency in East Borneo which  is the largest regency in Kalimantan. Berau have so many interesting places. The Labuan Cermin Lake located in the far interior of East Kalimantan, surrounded by forests and there are towering cliffs High temperatures in that area. 


Recently, Labuan Cermin entered as a finalist Copyright Award 2012, organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia. According to Co-leader of Biduk-Biduk, Mr. Saharuddin to the media, Labuan cermin set as a finalist nature group run by NGOs or community groups. Attraction, which is now a mainstay on the south coast of Berau, it is said Saharuddin, it continued effort to maintain authenticity. Local people have even set this area should not be disturbed by any activity. Because Labuan Cermin is a karst rock formations that if disturbed, it will be broken. “Through the agencies in the community, with district officials and village, we have always pursued the development and maintenance of the region”, he said.


But, the charm of the beauty that lies in Labuan Cermin now starting disturbed when logging operations around the lake assessed begin to disrupt the lives of ecosystems and water quality at the site. The headman of Biduk-Biduk Village, Mudassir said that the current water conditions in that lake now is very different than when he still child. When the water in the lake is very clear and shiny. But at this time, the lake’s condition change, although it did not really affect the natural beauty of the lake, however, if this condition is allowed to continue he is afraid that the condition of Labuan Cermin will become increasingly severe, and the place was no longer as a favourite destination for tourists.

The most important thing from this place is Dua Rasa (two layers) lake. Labuan Cermin located in Biduk-biduk sub district near with Batu Putih village. It called wonderfull because you can find something surprising. There are other things that make Labuan Cermin lake is different from other lakes. This lake has two types of water, freshwater and salt water. Indeed, you will find both different waters in one area. Not only that, but both types of organisms also live in the water of this Lake. Labuan Cermin is a lake that has beautiful natural scenery and unspoiled, Freshwater fish living on the surface of the Lake while salt water fish live in the bottom of the Lake.


Surprisingly, both types of water are not mixed. It can be seen that the sea water and fresh water are separated by layers like clouds. The white muddy layer in the lake is allegedly the result of decomposition basic harbor organisms that trapped and can not go. The thickness of the layer of freshwater and saltwater can be changed in accordance with tidal sea water. This is a natural wonder because there’s none did any research in this lake to find out the mystery of how this phenomenon occurs.


Mudassir as the headman of Biduk-Biduk Village sayed every weekend there’s many people come to visit this place. Sometimes, they have to wait their turn to board the ship towards to the lake. “We only have 3 boats to serve visitors to the lake. All boats are belongings the local community, not facilities from the government. We have asked the government for development in the area, but until now no response”, explained the man nicknamed Dassir. Here, there’s no other facilities to serve or for rent to the tourist. Tourist need to bring their own equipment if they want to snorkeling, diving or others. “The local community here do not provide any tools/equipment beside a boat. People who plan to stay here overnight, there’s no hotel or something similar like that except resident housing”, told Dassir.


This lake is so clear blue, shiny like a mirror, no wonder it’s called Mirror Lake because someone can reflect on it. The water was quite cold and soothing the skin, sometimes it feels a spring bubbles, and even at some point feels warm. If you are swimming there, be careful with the water flows, because in some places the flows are quite strong and easy to drag people who couldn’t swim.

Lekmalamin, the first and the only one of Non Governmental Organization/NGO in Labuan Cermin are the people who take care of this lake and its natural richness, built a simple wooden pier, and maintain the area very carefully. They told me that Labuan Cermin area now is not as beautiful as it used to be because there’s so many visitors. Sometimes, there’s people care the environment, sometimes they just littering this area, destroying forests and other. “We were always remind them to care about this area, we have been providing bins in every corner, but they are still littering the area. Sometimes, we need 1-2 days to clean up the area after every weekend”, explained Fazhri, one of the organization’s.


This place can be reached within three hours trip from the north of Derawan Island. Or peoples can rent a car from Berau city center. It takes 6 hours to get there. After arrive in Biduk-biduk village, to reach the lake, you have to ride the canoe fishing trip and passed for 15 minutes, through mangroves and scrub forest. Because the distance is quite far from the city, rarely or hardly any tourists visit this lake. This place is only known by local people from the surrounding area of East Borneo. Well, with all the authenticity and naturalness of this lake, Labuan Cermin Lake should be one of the sights you must visit soon.


Written by Mira Ayu Pratiwi

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