Daily Life, Wanderlust
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Derawan & My First Dive

Last week I stumbled upon Yufa, one of the most active and sociable girls in my office, before afternoon prayer. She asked me what was my plan for the long weekend. The plan was no plan, I answered. Then she offered me to join her diving in Derawan Islands, “You can go snorkeling.” She continued, “You can try diving though; taking diving certification.” I impulsively said yes. Yes for going to Derawan. Yes for trying diving.

It isn’t hard to tell that I have a great crush on sea.  I’ve actually fallen in love with the beauty underneath of it since my very first time snorkeling, more than twelve years ago. However, diving; categorized as ‘extreme underwater sport’ is a whole new thing for an indoor type of person like me.


(Photos taken by Mas Aji)

So I went to Derawan Islands and had my diving lessons. Theory (with all ‘knowledge reviews’ and even a paper-based test), basic practical stuff, and a discovery dive. How was my first dive? Eyegasmic. Supervised by my instructor, I dove below a jetty around 10-11 meters deep. It was breathtaking, with colorful corals, dancing anemones, troops of bright colored fishes and even a big turtle. The subsurface jetty framework itself felt like a portal to another world. At that moment, I had the (slightest) idea why some people are crazy about diving and travel around Indonesia like there’s no tomorrow.

By the way, yes, if you are a diver, there is no reason not to travel around Indonesia.

Beside diving, we also went to the lake in Kakaban Island (around 20 mins from Derawan Island) with stingless jellyfishes (one of only a few spots in the world having such cute harmless creatures). The lake was pretty quiet due to the rain so the jellyfishes came up near the surface. It felt really magical when I swam among hundreds of them.


(Photos taken by Mbak Cici)

Apparently learning to dive is one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken impulsively. You know you only live once, but if you live it right then once is enough. Take PADI motto as a good advice; “Go Places, Meet People, Do Things.” 


Here are some photos from the surface;

Hello Derawan

Danakan Dive Center

Sangalaki Beach


Soreeee :3

Some more photos are here.

Filed under: Daily Life, Wanderlust


Puty Puar. F/28. Indonesian. Working at home mom, blogger, illustrator, book author & enthusiast. Also a small business owner. Contact her through puti [dot] karina [dot] puar [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. Hi, there!
    I was looking for information about Derawan Island and I came across your blog. My friend and I are planning to go there sometimes in february next year, and we will be flying from Tawau to Tarakan.

    Do you have any idea how can we go to Derawan from Tarakan Airport? Do you know and transport company operating airport transfer service?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Actually I went to Derawan from Berau. From what I heard, you can reach Derawan from Tarakan by boat for about 3-4 hours. If you go from Berau, then you need to go by land transport first for about 2 hours to Tanjung Batu then continue with boat around 30 minutes. I think after you land in Tarakan, there will be people who offer you boat transport to Derawan. Just ask :)

  2. Hello, that’s nice and encouraging post. Myself and my boyfriend wanted to try diving, and it turnes out wecwill be in East Kilamantan, so it looks like this would be perfect opportunity. Can u tell me what was the cost of your first diving experience, with the theory and of course the best underwater part. Much appreciated.

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