Bawah (“under” in Bahasa Indonesia) is located in the lowest part of the 255-island Anambas archipelago, which is approximately 280km northeast of Singapore. It is a four-hour skip away, from a chauffeured ride from your Singapore home or hotel to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to a scenic 80-minute flight on an amphibious seaplane from Batam’s Hang Nadim International Airport.
As lush, foliage-clad islands surrounded by shades of blue loomed into view, there were spontaneous gasps of awe. The moment we stepped off the plane onto the boardwalk, chronological time fades, and the days are marked by daily spa treatments, meals with feet in the sand, wanderings in 100 hectares of untouched forest — all included in the daily room rate.
On our first night, we had a magical beach dinner, lit up by the closest, biggest, and brightest Super Blue Moon of 2023. There were no bad meals, really, as we slurped up Indonesian soto ayam at breakfast and dug into sizzling barbecued meats with sambal for dinner. Private beaches aplenty — 13 spots to be exact — meant no lack of picnic spots to tuck into of tasty roast pork sandwiches, satisfyingly crunchy zucchini noodles, healthy grain bowls and protein bars in bamboo tiffin. Placid turquoise waters made kayaking around the islands a tranquil treat.