When we say ‘the best tropical island in Indonesia’, what pops up in your mind? Turquoise water, colorful sea creatures, white sand, and island with green hills are just a few visions of paradise that you’re likely to imagine. And then you’ll imagine sunbathing while sipping on fresh coconut water on the beach, exploring the woods, surfing, diving or snorkeling in the ocean.

You would think that Raja Ampat in West Papua is probably the place that lives upto the title ‘the best tropical island in Indonesia’. But wait, on the western part of Indonesia are the Anambas Islands which are so beautiful that words fall short.

CNN stated that Anambas, especially the Bawah Island cluster is one of the best tropical islands in Southeast Asia, just like Koh Chang in Thailand, Langkawi in Malaysia, and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Kabupaten Kepulauan Anambas or Anambas Islands Regency is a part of Riau province. It is located in the center of South China Sea. Its capital, Tarempa, is located in Siantan Island and can be accessed by boat from Tanjung Pinang.

Admire the many lagoons here, especially on the islands of Pantai Selat Rangsang, Bawah Island, Rongkat Island, and Penjalin, where islands emerge from the sea as out of nowhere. At low tide the islets grow together by the connecting sands, creating an inland sea and an outer sea beyond, with lagoons that are paved with white sand and colorful corals here and there.

All of the islands in the Anambas have five white beaches which become even more beautiful as the lagoons fill with aquamarine water.

Getting there

If you wish to visit Anambas Islands, you have to make sure that you have plenty of time at your disposal since it is located quite away from most of the other Indonesian islands.

To reach Anambas by air you must fly to Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Riau on the island of Bintan. Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air operate daily flights to Tanjung Pinang from Jakarta.

From Tanjung Pinang, Nusantara Air Charter flies to Matak Airport in the sub-district of Palmatak. The 48-seat aircraft flies daily. From Matak airport you must take a speedboat to Tarempa.

Alternatively, you also can take a ferry from Tanjung Pinang. The MV VOC Batavia and MV Seven Star Island serve Tanjung Pinang – Letung – Tarempa route. They leave every Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with return journey from Tarempa on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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