From un-glam cluster of barely-there islands, at best suitable to serve as a fisherman's shelter, to exclusive paradise island getaway for the jet-setting rich and famous, Pulau Bawah has come a long way in the past half-decade.
Comprising 5 vegetation-covered specks, collectively containing no fewer then 3 picture-perfect lagoons, courtesy of fortuitous geological forces aeons ago, Pulau Bawah, from its serendipitous inception, was destined for aristocracy. Undoubtedly, the fact that it's located at a mere stone's throw from Singapore will hasten its road to royalty.
But its sheer physical beauty and relative accessibility will invariably pay handsome dividends too, once the awesomeness of its Maldives-like features makes its way, through TripAdvisor and good old-fashioned word of mouth, onto the tourism radars of countries like China and Japan, well-endowed as they are with social media-breathing HNWIs, eager to convert some of their wealth to selfie-likes.
And let's be frank, Pulau Bawah's natural beauty is truly selfie-worthy. In fact, some visitors have described Pulau Bawah's natural wealth as being breathtakingly stunning, unrivalled even.
Even Pulau Bawah's coral, traditionally the unequivocal domain of sites like Belize, Great Barrier Reef and atolls in Maldives, is second to none, given the reefs' rich diversity, kaleidoscope-like colours and apparent resilience to bleaching, the worldwide environmental phenomenon affecting coral gardens everywhere.
If you're looking for a little slice of paradise that's not only the epitome of tranquillity, a sight for sore eyes, but additionally, so secluded as to be considered off the grid as well, then the place to go is Pulau Bawah.
Not to mention the beneficial health effects this blissfully remote little sanctuary will surely have on mind, body and spirit.
Pulau Bawah is situated at the southern margin of Anambas, the Indonesia-owned archipelago, itself set just east of Pulau Tioman. You can travel there by plane or ferry. Typically, either is followed by a ride in a local sampan, either a speedboat or a "popmpong", a more traditional vessel.
Whichever way you opt for to get to Pulau Bawah, one thing is for certain, you will come back as if reborn.