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Sail away: 5 islands near Singapore to take your yacht to

Owning a yacht in Singapore gives you more ground to cover during the weekends, as you get to explore islands such as Lazarus, St John and Kusu. However, sailing to the same few places every weekend can get quite repetitive.

An alternative? The Anambas archipelago, a cluster of remote islands located 150 nautical miles East of Batam. On our recent visit to Bawah Island, we discovered this hidden gem located in the Riau Islands Province. The untouched region boasts some of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular coastal spots perfect for yachting, scuba diving, snorkelling, water sports, and even jungle trekking.

With over 255 islands (where only 26 are inhabited) to choose from, you may not know where to start. The first step to entering unchartered territory is always the most intimidating, after all.

To help you decide, we caught up with Edi Sutrisno, a Batam-based photojournalist who has been exploring and documenting the Anambas archipelago since 2012. We picked his brains for 5 of his favourite islands in the region — especially the ones yacht owners in Singapore can easily sail to.

“Boaters can sail to Nongsa Point Marina to get an entry permit before continuing the journey to Anambas. The closest island to Singapore is Bawah Island, which takes about 10 hours,” said Sutrisno. “The rest will take more time — but it’s definitely worth it.”

1
Durai Island

What sets Durai Island apart is its white sand beaches that make the perfect habitat for leatherback turtles, earning its reputation as a spot for turtle conservation. That’s not all. The island’s waters are also home to coral reefs, reef fish and marine life, making it great for diving, snorkelling and swimming.

 

2
Penjalin Island

The brother island of Bintan, Penjalin is a naturally beautiful locale with powdery white sand beaches that stretch along the coast and clear turquoise waters. While we can’t help but wonder why it’s not as popular as Bintan, we’re not complaining as it’s certainly less crowded.

 

3
Selat Ransang Beach

Selat Ransang Beach is a hidden beach flanked by several small islands — namely Getah IslandPenjaul IslandPenggending Island and Luyung Island. If you want to get away from the crowds at Sentosa beaches, Selat Ransang boasts uninterrupted serenity filled with coconut trees and lush greenery. 

 

 

4
Pulau Ayam

Pulau Ayam boasts crystal-clear waters all year round and extensive untouched coral reefs — making it a haven for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. Additionally, due to its proximity and beautiful beach with gazebos, Pulau Ayam is ideal for picnics and barbecues with family or friends.

 

5
Pulau Busung

Dubbed the “hide and seek” island, Pulau Busung has a unique characteristic — it is only an island at low tide. When the tide is high, though, the elusive island disappears under the waves and can’t be seen from the sea. Busung, which means ‘sand bank’ in Bahasa, is actually a gradually sloping mount of sand that sits atop a coral patch. It’s definitely a phenomenon one should witness once in a lifetime.

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.