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Jakarta Post

Pearls of the North

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Sun, February 16, 2014   /  12:16 pm
Pearls of the North

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.  

Residential areas in Anambas Islands.

Children from Antang Village, Anambas Islands.

An Islamic cultural parade in the Natuna Islands.

Locals sell octopus along a road on Natuna Islands.

A boy plays in a fishing village in Tarempa, the capital of Anambas Islands.

A resort that stands on a constellation of large stones in the Natuna Islands.

'€” Text and photos by Wendra Ajistyatama

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