5 Must-see places in Anambas
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 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 BusungPulau 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 part 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" around!
The reason I've included Busung in this must-see list is not just for this rare and quirky trait, but also because Busung is surrounded by both drop-dead gorgeous coral reefs and a crystal-clear turquoise-colored sea.
4. Pulau RenggekPulau Renggek is special in more ways than one. 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 being on the set of the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Not only will you see rock formations that seem to have come from another planet, but you'll also come across a tree with a trunk so wide that you can actually sit inside it with several people at once. This unbelievable tree is like a cave on the inside.
But there's more in Renggek, because if you're lucky you'll see the resident monitor lizard couple, Fred and Shirley. Now, there's nothing to worry about, because even though Shirley, and especially Fred, resemble dinosaurs, they're actually completely harmless and quite shy to boot.
3. Pulau PenjalinPulau 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 patches of coral that start mere meters from the water line. Penjalin has a long white, sandy beach that's peppered with coconut trees, whilst also boasting a lush tropical jungle further inland that positively hums with life.
If you're looking for the perfect tropical backdrop for that perfect Facebook picture, Penjalin has it - in spades.
2. Pulau DuraiAmazingly, it has been estimated that of all the Anambas and Natunas islands that are located in the South China Sea, Pulau Durai in Anambas is the one with the highest number of turtles nesting every year. In fact, witnessing more than three turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs in a single night is by no means an exception.
If you want to experience this part of the turtles' lifecycle, an epic journey that has been part of the turtles DNA for 100's of millions of years, then your chances of being there when it happens are best at Pulau Durai. A unique experience.
1. Pulau BawahPulau Durai has everything a paradise island should offer: Gin-clear azure-hued lagoons, powdery white sandy beaches, a rich coral reef ecosystem full of thriving flora and fauna and several hills covered by a dense emerald forest 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 named Anambas one of Asia's top tropical island paradise, he was undoubtedly inspired by Pulau Bawah. Pulau Bawah should not be missed.
Bonus must-see.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 can attain a weight of 10 kilograms. Rafflesia has been spotted in Anambas in a number of locations inside its jungle.
However, in spite of its considerable size when in bloom, Rafflesia isn't always easy to spot. That being said, when it does bloom, it is an absolute sight to behold. Consider yourself blessed when you get to see a blooming Rafflesia. I've actually seen it a few times, in various states of bloom. Exciting stuff. Selfie anyone?
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