Whilst it's safe to say that the exotic Anambas islands are positively blessed with natural beauty of a calibre you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world, there are five places in Anambas that are either so unique or so breathtakingly stunning (or both) that you absolutely must stop by and see these during your Anambas travels.
Let's list these five little gems in order of awesomeness.
5. Pulau Busung
Pulau Busung is an island with a difference. For starters, it's not really an island; the reason for this is that to be classified as an island, the part of the earth protruding through the surface of the sea must remain protruded for a full day, even at the low tide period of the 24-hour cycle. And this is where Busung differs from almost all other islands. Busing is basically a sand bank that spends part of every single one of its days as an island. And not only that, it's also got the odd habit of changing location. Busung actually "wanders" along the seabed!
By the way, the reason I've included Busung in this must-see list is not just for rare and quirky traits, but also because Busung is surrounded by a crystal-clear turquoise-colored sea and drop-dead gorgeous coral reefs.
4. Pulau Renggek Pulau Renggek is special in more ways than one as well. The moment you step onto the island, you'll be amazed by its sheer idyllic beauty and its raw ruggedness. In fact, Renggek is a bit like you've somehow landed on the set of the movie "The Lost World".
Not only will you see rock formations that seem almost other-worldly, but you'll also come across a tree with a hollow trunk so cavernous that you can actually sit inside it with several people at once. Believe it or not, from the inside, this tree resembles a cave!
But there's more in Renggek, because if you're lucky you may well see resident monitor lizard couple, Fred and Shirley. Now, don't worry, because even though Fred and Shirley resemble a pair of dinosaurs, they're only a fraction of the size. they're actually completely harmless, not to mention quite shy.
3. Pulau Penjalin
Pulau Penjalin is the quintessential Robinson Crusoe island if ever there was one. It's remote, uninhabited and has the bluest sea water, with lots and lots of pristine fields of brightly-colored coral that start growing mere meters from the beach. In addition, Penjalin has a long white, sandy beach that's peppered with coconut trees, whilst also boasting a lush tropical jungle, a bit further inland, that positively hums with life.
If you're looking for the ideal tropical backdrop for your perfect Facebook selfie, Penjalin has it - in spades!
2. Pulau Durai
It has been estimated that of all the Anambas islands, Pulau Durai is the one with the highest number of annual turtles nesting sites. In fact, witnessing more than three turtles coming ashore, i.e. in a single night, to lay their eggs is by no means an exception.
If you want to experience this part of the maternal turtles' lifecycle, this epic journey that has been hard-coded into their DNA for millions of years, then your odds of being there when it happens are best at Pulau Durai. A unique experience.
1. Pulau Bawah
Pulau Durai has everything a paradise island should offer: Gin-clear azure-hued lagoons, powdery white sandy beaches, a rich coral ecosystem full of thriving flora and fauna, as well as several hills covered by dense emerald vegetation that's as good as untouched. Best of all, Pulau Bawah is sheltered from the elements pretty much year-round by virtue of its strategically located sister islands.
When CNN's Eoghan Macguire awarded Anambas a Top 5 spot in the Asian Top Tropical Island Paradise list, he was undoubtedly at least partially inspired by Pulau Bawah. Pulau Bawah should not be missed.
Incidentally, there is one other must-see in Anambas. However, the reason it's not included in this list outright is because it's very elusive indeed. I'm referring to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia. This flower can reach over one meter in diameter when in bloom and, astonishingly, can attain a weight of 10 kilograms. Rafflesia has been spotted inside the Anambas jungle on a number of occasions.
However, in spite of its considerable size when in bloom, Rafflesia isn't always easy to spot. But when it does bloom, itself a rare event, it is an absolute sight to behold. Consider yourself very lucky when you get to see a blooming Rafflesia. I've actually seen it twice. Exciting stuff.
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