When I'd first heard of Anambas, I mistook it for the Andaman Islands, located north of Sumatra. I mean, I'd heard of Andaman, but I'd never heard of Anambas. And neither did most of my friends.
When, after a quick Google, I found out that there actually is a place called Anambas, I was surprised, not only at the territory's eye-popping beauty, but perhaps even more at the fact that this seemingly hidden Land of Enchantment is located a mere 200 kilometers from Singapore.
How can a veritable little paradise like Anambas, at only one hour's flight out of a metropolis like Singapore be still so completely unknown? It blew my mind.
Little did I know of the surprises that lay ahead.
The first time I laid my eyes on Anambas was when my ferry arrived in Letung, on the island of Jemaja. Now, I've been to some of the finer locations in the Caribbean, I've scuba-dived Mauritius, Maldives and snorkeled Tioman Island and Thailand too. All gorgeous places, all endowed with plenty of coral reefs.
But as I gazed across the ferry's bow, at first glance, it appeared Anambas wasn't so much as endowed with coral reefs as all coral. As far as the eye could see, I spotted coral patches. And as I spent the next several weeks exploring Anambas, it seemed no matter where you go, there's coral all around.
Anambas surely has to have some of the most expansive coral gardens. In fact, according to recent marine biology surveys, Anambas has some of the densest coral ecosystems in the world.
If you're going to visit Anambas, I thoroughly recommend renting a boat, any kind of boat, and heading out on an exploration. It's the best way to really take in the stunning vistas all around. And actually, an exploration it is, because Anambas is so thinly populated and still so hidden from tourism, that around some of the islands, you'll be forgiven to think you're the first one to ever set foot there. They areally are that secluded (read: pristine).
Boat rental in Anambas is offered from two more or less built-up areas in Anambas: Letung and Tarempa. If you're on a tight budget, you can rent a traditional pompong, a wooden, diesel-operated displacement vessel.