Odds are you've never heard of Anambas; very few people have, actually. What's even odder is the fact that this sun-kissed island chain, located about 200 km east off Peninsula Malaysia, ranks up there with the likes of Maldives, Seychelles and Belize when it comes to clear turquoise seas, multi-hued coral reef gardens and white sandy beaches.
In fact, so eye-pleasingly stunning are the mostly uninhabited Anambas islands that the region has been dubbed Southeast Asia's very own Maldives.
Anambas comprises over 200 islands, a handful of which permanently, albeit sparsely, inhabited.
Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out
The majority of the islands are so idyllic (Tip: Pulau Bawah) they'd effortlessly serve as backdrop for Daniel Defoe's book Robinson Crusoe: a gin-clear sea lapping up onto powder-sugar sandy beaches, fringed with coconut trees, waving gently for good measure.
To complete the castaway scene, most islands' interior consists of a dense verdant jungle, positively humming with life.
All that being said, given this enormous holiday island escape potential, how come so few people have even heard of Anambas? Surely, if the islands really are as blissful as they sound, the area would have been a throbbing tourism magnet, dotted with hotels and resorts.
In actual fact, this very scenario is unfolding as we speak.
A complete and utter backwater pre-2014, Anambas has since been discovered by international tourism. Several resorts have been completed and infrastructure is improving by leaps and bounds.
The Anambas region is abuzz with anticipation of the imminent inflection point, the moment Anambas goes from being the subject of gradual increasing exploration by international tourism players to red-hot recipient of full-on exponential tourism development. Ultimately to evolve into the renown island paradise destination it's destined to turn out to become.
Untouched castaway islands
Meanwhile, those who appreciate a gorgeous as yet practically untouched tropical outpost archipelago for what it is, a gorgeous glance into secluded island fishing village life as it was 50 years or so ago, languid, rustic and carefree, had better start planning their Anambas getaway trip.
These days, you can catch a plane or ferry to Anambas, though in all likelihood, you'll probably need to change transport mode a couple of times before reaching your island of choice. However, once you're there, the journey will be ever so worth it.
Island-hopping, snorkeling, turtle-watching, along with fishing, kayaking, as well as scubadiving can be had in Anambas, once you know where to go of course. Need some assistance? No worries, Amazing Anambas will see you right.