Where Barracuda goes to school

Kakaban Island

Kakaban Island at a Glance

Swim Together - Kakaban Lake

The island that I called celebrity because, HEI! There is not much lake which has stingless jellyfish! Located only around 15 minutes from Maratua, this is also an island of lakes because the majority of the area is consisting of lake & lake. Yup because 2 lakes are available here for your nice visit.

 

A single visit will cost you about 20k IDR which is more than worth for the unique experiences that it provides. The jellyfishes are really everywhere & it becomes much more wonderful especially when the visibility is good. The other lake, which people call it as fish lake, is also an outstanding destination. The colours & its clarity is simply amazing. The lake is also shallower than the jellyfish’s one hence it is more safe & certainly, it is more fun.

Jellyfish Lake

Diving?

Kakaban is not all about the lakes. Just enter the region & you can witness a beautiful spread of corals on below. Kakaban wall is well known for its pigmy seahorses - apart from the various colour of its underwater park. Reach for south area and you can find a dive spot that can provide you with a high chance to meet barracuda schooling. Everything is seems like well set here in Kakaban either you want to go for diving or just a snorekling.

I heard they call it Fish Lake because there is Fish inside the lake. Wow! That's an inspiring name!

There is another lake available on Kakaban just on the backside of jellyfish lake. I am not sure why but some people called it Fish Lake. Some also said that it is a Kei Daeng. Whatever names you want to call it, visit this place while you are in Kakaban will not hurt your time at all. There is no stingless jellyfish here I believe, however the scene and the lake clarity is awesomely amazing. The lake is also shallow - I think it's only about 1.5m deep - so I didn’t bother to use my life-vest on while swimming here. See, I prove you that I am not a coward!

I heard that last time you can only visit this lake limited during the low tide window. This is because the only available passage to go to this lake is by getting through inside a small cave. Certainly the cave will be filled with water as soon as the tide height increasing. You will also require a knowledge-able boatman that can detect this hidden entry point. If you never been there before, I believe you won’t be able to recognise that concealed passage. But be prepared for a good news because thing has changed now. Someone - and thanks for him - has erected a wooden stairs through the top of small shore cliff so you can access this lake at anytime.

The entry cave. You can see how the water has filled out all the cave access. The current is also very strong so you can't simply swim against it.

By going in & out via the stairs, you are now not dependent anymore for the cave’s passage. Meaning as well that you will have a longer window inside since you don’t need to worry again if the tide is increasing so it will close the access via the cave. There is also a shelter built just after the stairs so you can have your ‘rest-in-peace’ moment. My advice will be: try to get to the cave passage while the water is coming in from the sea. It shapes a flow channel from the outside and creates an enormous current. Swimming there is like running at cardio machine in fitness centre - swim as fast as you can but you will never move against it.

Looking for Teddy

at Kakaban Fish Lake

I heard they call it Jellyfish Lake because there is Jellyfish inside the lake. Wow! That's a brilliant name!

Kakaban Lake - Yes, it's a huge lake. But when I'm not so busy, I can easily swim it from one corner to another corner. However, I'm so busy lately.

The main attraction of Kakaban and sometimes constitute a main reason why people visit Derawan Archipelago. Just like in Palau (I've never been there actually), the lake in Kakaban was isolated from the ocean long ago & it significantly affect the creatures within. Perhaps due to the lost connection with the ‘outer’ world, the jellyfish predators begun to decline & this gives impact for the jellyfish capability to sting. Well, it is basically only my assumption and I don’t know (and don’t really care, perhaps) whether it is correct or not. Wikipedia surely has a better explanation for this and I am to lazy to copy + paste it here (What a Blog!!). What I do care is, it’s damn cool to swim with maybe thousands of jellyfish without being afraid to get stung. The sensation to touch the soft jellyfish is soo.. how to explain it, is so.. Awww

When she touched it, she said "Awwww". That's what I mean.

Actually, this kind of jellyfish lake is not the only one in Indonesia. I’ve heard some info that there is another jellyfish lake available nearby, in Maratua. It was such a pity for me because I couldn’t make it to visit there since the road access through that lake were temporarily closed during my time there - due to the airport construction works.

 

I also noticed that there is another tiny pond inside a small sand island in Komodo National Park which also have some jellyfishes species inside. Just like the above environment, the pond was isolated from the sea and causing the jellyfish to lost their ability to sting. I was there during my visit in 2015 but unfortunately I didn’t swim inside. Why? Because the ship crews just gave me the info about those stingless jellyfish existence only after we set sail to leave the island. WTF! They were just smiling and said sorry since they forgot to tell me about this earlier. Okay, No problem mate… No problem at all (Now give me back my money!!)

Let’s get back to business in Kakaban. Upon arriving in this jellyfish lake, there is a rule which strictly forbid you to use a swimming fin while having snorekeling inside. This is quite make sense actually because your fin can simply slap the unfortunate jellyfish that swim behind you (C'mon dude, get slapped by the fins does hurt I believe. Try to cheat your girlfriend while she's carrying a fin). Your fins - if it reach the seabed - or at least if it is swayed against the seabed - could worsen the visibility since almost all the seabed is consisting of soft loose sand.

 

I am not a good swimmer so initially, I expect that I could use my dive gears on & had a lovely dive with those jellyfishes. However, it just remains a hope for me since diving on that lake is not allowed - at least for now. Then it ended up for me to see all of those jellyfishes only from the surface, because I didn’t dare to open my life-vest during snorekeling. Hei, I’m not a coward you know.. I just had an unpleasant memory for almost getting drowned during snorekeling (Still, you are a coward!!).

I'd try to avoid rainy season if I want to go here. Because when the visibility is bad, means that you can't see anything.

So, What's special in Kakaban?

Touch the Jellyfishes !!

High chance to meet Pigmy Seahorse & Barracuda Schooling during diving

Crystal clear Fish Lake

Cuttle Fish