Arguably the best known chain of coral-flanked islands is Maldives. And rightfully so, given the many gorgeous castaway atoll islands the area is endowed with.
With that said, Maldives have been drawing in tourists from around the world for many decades now, the result of which beginning to show in the state of the erstwhile pristine castaway islands.
Many of the coral gardens surrounding the atolls are now looking the worse for wear from the countless bathers and snorkellers that revelled in the shallows. The environmental pressure has also taken its toll in the local marine flora and fauna.
If you've been dreaming of going completely off-grid, to a remote bounty island paradise the likes of which you only see in a Daniel Defoe novel, then consider Pulau Bawah.
Paradoxically, Pulau Bawah, whilst utterly secluded in the south china sea, is a mere few hours away from the bustling metropolis of Singapore.
Pulau Bawah comprises an isolated standalone cluster of tiny islands separated by the clearest aquamarine lagoons you'll see. In fact, the cluster is blessed with no fewer that 3 lagoons, each containing thriving coral ecosystems, countless tropical fish, as well as arthropods and bivolves. Pelagic turtles and dolphins make an appearance too every so often.
The whole makes for a veritable exotic little slice of paradise the calibre of Maldives. But without the environmental damage and the tired-looking scenery.
On the contrary, Pulau Bawah, indeed the whole of the Anambas Archipelago of which Pulau Bawah is part, has remained, until today, as good as undiscovered, certainly by tourism at large.
Pulau Bawah and Anambas are still as good as untouched, certainly as good as unexplored.
Fun and Games at Pulau Bawah
Apart from lounging and immersing in the sheer bliss of the islands, fun activities include SUP, kayaking and of course snorkeling. Better still, if you can bring the gear, scuba diving around the islands is nothing short of a world-class experience.
Then again, nothing beats the simplistic joy of a beach picnic or a seafood BBQ, or a trek though the breathtaking vistas of this tiny piece of earth that seems to defy time.
Getting to Pulau Bawah
It's easier than you may imagine. You first need to catch a ferry from Singapore to Batam, whence you can take a flight to Anambas, the island of Matak to be precise. From Matak, you can catch a speedboat to Pulau Bawah. It's not quite a straight line but travelling to Anambas is half the fun.
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