We don’t normally hear of Anambas and Natuna islands in the travel media. Being off the beaten track they’re also off mainstream travelers itineraries. We believe there’s untapped tourism potential in these islands.
We talked about the Anambas and Natuna islands in a recent post “Asia’s ‘Golden Triangle’ for emerging coastal resort development?”
These two groups of islands form one of the apex of this imaginary triangle. The other two points of the triangle are at Palawan / Sabah and South Vietnam / Cambodia.
The Jakarta Post mentioned these islands recently and will be publishing more focused reports on them which we will follow-up here as well.
Natuna and Anambas are two clusters of islands located 1,300 kilometers north of Jakarta. Nestled in the South China Sea, the islands are mere dots in the vast expanse of the blue ocean.
Enormous stone constellations amid emerald green hills make tranquil stops for divers, who come there for marine life marvels. Beneath the seabed, the waters are prominent oil and gas fields that serve the country’s exports.
The archipelagos — registered as regencies under Riau Islands province — separate Indonesia with neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. Most of the islands are uninhabited while the populated ones are mostly home to Malay Muslims.
Transportation is the main barrier to the regions’ development. The islands are a one-and-a-half hour flight from Tanjung Pinang, the province’s capital, or an overnight trip by ferry. Despite the abundant natural treasures, most of the residents are modest fishermen.
The Jakarta Post unravels the light and shade of the islands in a series of focused reports coming next week.