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Amazing Anambas

Pulau Misteri

Pulau Misteri

Pulau Misteri

In 2019, just before the pandemic hit, I visited a rocky outcropping that, I was told by some of my fisherman friends, juts out from the sea abruptly. I really wanted to visit this site after hearing of it; it sounded rather photogenic, almost like a kind of Asian Stonehenge in the middle of the sea. I was fascinated by the extraordinary way this collection of monoliths must have come into being, pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.

Whilst we were headed there, we island-hopped along the way, like we tend to do when we're exploring the Anambas archipelago. After all, with over 200 sun-kissed Bounty atolls scattered throughout the territory, it's hard not to get tempted in by at least a few of these whilst cruising to our destination.

As it happens, in so doing, I've visited a good number of such veritable castaway islands over the years, one seemingly more pristine than the next. It never ceases to amaze me how this Indonesian-owned cluster of drop-dead gorgeous islands is just sitting there, as good as unknown to the rest of the world.

Anyway, so too on this day we decided to swing by this little dot on the map whilst en route to our boulder stack destination. As we side-tracked to this particular atoll, it became quite clear that it was rather special. For starters, the somewhat circular way this verdant hilly isle was shaped ensured a good-sized area of almost 360 degree sheltered water. A true natural lagoon.

What's more, as our boat inched onwards, we were met with the clearest water imaginable, its depth rarely exceeding 2 meters. It was like we were afloat on liquid glass, the colour of which seamlessly transitioning from almost fluorescent turquoise to marine blue in the several somewhat deeper parts we spotted. All told, we counted 3 such bodies of navy-blue slightly deeper water, effectively, lagoons within a lagoon.

Meanwhile, multi-hued coral thrived everywhere.

Quite frankly, the sense of perfect natural purity was palpable. This tranquil little island was nothing short of a slice of heaven, a tiny, secluded and untouched tract of sheer peace and quiet that was just stunning, a real sight for sore eyes. The potential for spending a day of utter bliss here struck us as truly awesome.

But what's even more astonishing is the fact that this breathtaking little gem never gets a mention anywhere. In all my years of traveling around Anambas, I'd never heard about it. In addition, as it's a mere speck in an expanse of blue, it's gone unnamed on Google Maps! Mind-boggling. In fact, if we hadn't decided to take a little detour on that fateful day, I probably still wouldn't know of this little paradise.

We decided to call our hidden little island Pulau Misteri.


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