If you're thinking of spending some time in the Indonesian paradise that is Anambas but you're not sure how you'll be getting around or whether there's any reliable public transport system at all, then get the skinny below.
You may already know that Anambas is a collection of over 200 islands, an archipelago. Water-logged regions that comprise many separate islands are never going to be easy to navigate from one end to the other, unless you own a boat of course. So how do people get around in Anambas? Is there any public transport?
Many thanks for helping out. I feel so much more confident now and can look forward to our trip. Many thanks for your excellent personal service.
-- Magnus, UK --
Well, the first thing to note is that generally, few people here really need to go from one end to the other of the Anambas. Most locals just go from A to B within the island they live on. In the majority of cases, they own a moped, locally known as "ojek" to get them around.
When inter-island travel is required, for example for commuters going to work or for kids going to school, a government-provided vessel is typically available. This is the most common form of public transport on Anambas. For travelers visiting Anambas, there are other means to get around, i.e. other forms of public transport.
If you need to go somewhere on the island you're on, or you want to really explore that particular island's every nook and cranny, then you can find an ojek owner willing to drive you around. These ojek taxis can be found in Jemaja and Tarempa for instance.
Just agree on a price with the owner before you start your trip. If you need the ojek for a longer time, say several days, then just come to a daily rate agreement. Oh, and always wear a helmet when riding an ojek. Better to be safe than sorry.
Ojek riders are usually strategically positioned around their island's ferry terminal, so look for them there if and when you need a tumpang.
You can also rent an ojek outright. Cost varies, but it's quite a cheap transport option. Don't forget that you need to top up the petrol every so often. Most ojek riders buy petrol from road-side pasar malam shops that provide fuel in recycled 1.5L water bottles. So just follow their style. If you're not sure how to fill up the moped, then just have the shop attendant do it for you, no worries.