“With its virgin environs, pristine beaches that sparkle with white natural sands and emerald tropical forests, the Anambas and the Natuna Islands exudes more than the Maldives,” said Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Resources Rizal Ramli after a limited cabinet meeting at the Merdeka State Palace, Jakarta on Thursday June 29 2016. Progress is underway to set up a master plan for the development of the sun-kissed small archipelagos situated right on the doorstep of the South China Sea.
Anambas a group of 238 islands with 212 islands uninhabited in the Indonesian archipelago swanks with Asia’s most spectacular coastal spots. The saltwater tenders the best snorkel adventure and unsurpassed scuba experience. Ideally located, only 150 nautical miles northeast of Singapore, the small archipelago is the right spot to explore the blue marine, to take pleasure of the colourful reefs, to discover the typical coral species of the tropics and lingers in a day trip to the tropical forest and its huge Terubun Waterfall.
One of the Anambas’ islands with good tourism potential in particular is Pulau Bawah, a cluster of one major island surrounded by four islets. Each of the three lagoons that connected the rustic isles exudes with specific feature for snorkelling amidst a mind-boggling array of marine species, for scuba diving and for beach activities. The shipwrecks of Seven Skies and Igara are another added value of the characteristic marine life that put forward a captivating diving encounter. Geographically part of the Tudjuh Archipelago, the regency within the Riau Islands Province is easy to reach as it is ideally positioned on a busy international sea lane.
Northeast of Anambas is Natuna the 272-island archipelago of Indonesia that dotted the Natuna Sea. 305 nautical miles from Singapore and perching on the northernmost boundaries of Indonesia on the southern part of the South China Sea, the islands in between the Malay Peninsula to the west and Kalimantan to the east exudes a picturesque and idyllic ecology. The Natuna archipelago is home to a remarkable avifauna of 71 species of bird, including the near-threatened lesser fish-eagle, the Natuna serpent-eagle and the rare silvery pigeon. Other endangered species include the green iora, the brown fulvetta or the green broadbill. The Natuna banded leaf monkey, Presbytis natunae, is among the 25 most endangered primates on Earth.
The blue waters in the vicinity of Natuna feature colourful coral reefs while hundreds of unspoiled and uninhabited isles offered a perfect hideout for beach lovers, metropolitans and urbanites who wanted to escape from all the bustles of modern life. The pristine beach, silvery white sands, swaying palm trees, tropical forests rich with its avifauna and primates and the 500 metres high volcanic peaks that looms afar creates a scenic postcard view ideal to accentuate a travelogue. The idyllic serendipity is undoubtedly a perfect setting for tourists to orchestrate thousands of momentous selfies.
The Anambas Islands and Natuna Islands are connected to Jakarta and Singapore. There are daily flights to Matak, the airport of Anambas from Halim Perdanakusuma airport of Jakarta. From Ranai the airport of Natuna there are flights to neighbouring Batam and Tanjung Pinang, to Jakarta and Singapore as well.