The hospitality and friendliness of the Anambas islands of Indonesia makes this place a joy to visit
Anambas has a lot to offer. The pristine Anambas islands are a true tropical paradise, still largely undiscovered. Here you can step back in time, swim in warm blue seas or azure lagoons and view underwater scenery unparalleled in Asia. Cruising through the Anambas, you’ll come across the occasional island village. The few inhabitants warmly welcome visitors with smiling faces and kindness.
Explorers who are curious to visit this paradise region do not have to travel to the end of the world. An easy starting place is the cosmopolitan travel hub of Singapore. From there, travel on (about 140 nautical miles) by yacht to best experience this hidden gem in the South China Sea.
Below is an itinerary for the charter yacht BLAZE II, a 62-foot (18.89m) sailing catamaran. BLAZE II combines spacious accommodations, abundant exterior areas and extremely comfortable onboard conditions with excellent seaworthiness.
DAY 1 Singapore to South China Sea
Depart in the morning from ONE°15 Marina in Singapore. Customs and immigration clearance out of Singapore is a quick and efficient on-water process just a few minutes from the marina. After clearance, sit back and enjoy a two-hour sail across the Singapore Straits to Nongsa Point Marina.
Upon arrival to Nongsa Point, the captain will arrange for clearance into Indonesia. During this time, you may go ashore to walk and have a look around the marina. After completion of formalities, BLAZE II sets sail for the Anambas islands.
DAY 2 Pulau Bawah
As the sun rises, awaken to clear blue skies and the first of the Anambas islands coming into view as you arrive at Pulau Bawah. The gorgeous lagoon is surrounded by pristine white-sand beaches and coral reefs. Swim and snorkel and in between enjoy delicious meals on board.
DAY 3 Exploring Pulau Bawah
There’s no way anyone could get bored in this amazing anchorage! Spend the day swimming, snorkeling or paddle boarding. Rendezvous diving can be arranged, or go on one of the island’s several hiking trails for a vigorous jungle trek.
The island is home to an exclusive resort project “Bawah Private Island.” Soon to open, this extreme-eco resort has safari tented and water villas that afford unbelievable sunrises and sunsets. Even before opening, the resort has received Indonesian and international accolades.
DAY 4 Pulau Airabu
A pleasant three-hour sail brings you to Pulau Airabu, another equally stunning, azure-colored lagoon. With a little luck, you may receive an escort from a playful pod of dolphins. With a little more luck, you might catch a fish for a delicious seafood dinner. The local fishermen know how to conserve their resources and no trawling nets are allowed; just the simple line and hook are used. Local delicacies include Tongkol (little tuna), Kerisi and Kerapu (grouper).
At Airabu is home to beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs to explore in every direction; it’s very likely there will not be another yacht in sight.
DAY 5 Lubang Tamban
Enjoy an early morning sail with the northeast wind to your next destination: the island group of Lubang Tamban. The island group is largely uninhabited and surrounded by the clearest water you’ve ever seen. Walk on the white-sand beach, snorkel among beautiful corals or get coconuts straight from the trees and feel like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe.
DAY 6 Tarempa, Siantan Island
Tarempa is in the heart of the Anambas; it is the capital as well as the administrative center. There are many small shops, a bakery and a market offering a wide range of goods. Walking through this clean, friendly town is accompanied by waves and hellos. You’ll be met with an openness and generosity that is humbling. If you’re up for a ride around the town, rent a moped or “ojek,” as they're called in Anambas.
Dine on board or enjoy a local dinner with delicious fresh seafood at one of the lively restaurants in town. It’s highly recommended to try local delicacies, such as nasi dagang, roti rendang, smokey tongkol, or the popular mie Tarempa (spicy fried noodles with fish and egg). Now and then you might catch a local cultural event such as a dance, kite-flying or a local wedding.
DAY 7 & 8 Jemaja Island Group
This group of islands again is largely uninhabited and has numerous, wonderfully sheltered bays and coves. You'll want to spend at least one night at Pulau Ayam — a true gem with fine white-sand beaches and the remains of a simple resort on shore. The following day you'll cruise to Padang Melang, which has the longest white-sand beach in the Anambas. Explore a small, colorful village and venture beyond to shimmering rice fields and waterfalls.
DAY 9 Departure for Nongsa Point Marina
After breakfast, you will set course to return to Nongsa Point Marina. Along the way, help take the helm and trim the sails or lounge in the spacious cockpit or curl up with a book and relax in the stillness without interruptions. Then again, excitement might implore with a tuna striking the fishing lines or dolphins surfing on the bow waves.
DAY 10 Return to Singapore
After checking into Nongsa Point Marina, depart for Sisters Islands, Singapore, for inward immigration clearance. After a farewell breakfast, disembark at ONE°15 Marina Club in Sentosa around noon.
The Anambas islands are an amazing, authentic place with kind and generous people living at a blissfully unhurried pace. If you like to go off the beaten track, prefer active holidays and idyllic, secluded lagoons, then Anambas is the place for you!
Charter yacht BLAZE II, is a Sunreef catamaran that sails to the Anambas May through October. She has four spacious double cabins with private bathrooms and accommodates up to eight guests. Captain Ekachai and his two crew provide outstanding service and have received nothing but praise from previous charter guests.