Named Asia’s Best Tropical Island by CNN.com in 2013, Anambas Islands is indeed a tropical paradise. Located in the South China Sea, Anambas are among Indonesia’s northern-most border archipelagos. Facing the wide open ocean, Anambas Islands provide a panoramic view of blue seas and green islands dotted with azure lagoons. Here are excellent dive spots where divers will be amazed at the colorful underwater life, while on land rows of coconut trees protect the soft white sand beaches, where turtles have made the shores of the islands of Keramut and Mangkal their habitat.

Anambas Islands are administratively an autonomous district, part of the province of the Riau Archipelago, and covers an area of 46,667 sq.kms where its outer seas are nearly 90 percent crossed by foreign vessels. It has only recently become a separate district apart from the neighboring Natuna Islands. In all, there are 255 islands in the Anambas Islands cluster where only 26 are inhabited. The district has only some 45,500 population. 97 percent of its territory is sea where the largest islands are Siantan, Palmatak and Jemaja. Capital of the district of Anambas is called Tarempa and lies on the island of Siantan.

Admire the many lagoons here, especially on the islands of Pantai Selat Rangsang, Pulau Bawah, Pulau Rongkat and Pantai Pulau Penjalin, where islands emerge from the sea as out of nowhere. At low tide the islets grow together by the connecting sands, creating an inland sea and an outer sea beyond, with lagoons that are paved with white sand and here and there colorful corals. All of the islands in the Anambas Islands have fine white beaches which glisten and become even more beautiful as the lagoons fill with aquamarine water through which one can see strange corals and schools of fish darting in the clear water.

Photo credit: Ikhsan

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