Introducing Bawah and the Anambas
Guests might wonder about the name of our resort: Bawah is a word in Bahasa Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, and it means below. The moniker refers to our position at the bottom of the Anambas Islands archipelago, a regency administratively part of Riau Islands Province (a province that also includes the islands of Batam and Bintan right by Singapore).
The Anambas are located between peninsular Malaysia to the west and the island of Borneo to the east, and comprise approximately 250 islands with less than 50,000 inhabitants (only about 10 percent of the islands are inhabited), and an administrative capital of Terempa, a few hours boat ride northeast of Bawah. Unsurprisingly the majority of the archipelago’s area is sea and despite the potential for coastal tourism the Anambas has been slow to develop this sector, most of its population getting by through fishing and limited agriculture.
Historically the archipelago has never experienced the kind of deep exploration as other parts of the Indonesia or Asia, and little has been written about its islands. In the 1820s, Hyacinthe Yves Philippe Poetentien, baron de Bougainville, a naval officer and son of the legendary French admiral and explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, was the first European to explore the Anambas. His logbook, recounted in the Greatest Works of Jules Verne, described an area lacking fresh water, a place where the cultivable soil was not very deep, where mountains were separated by ravines making agriculture challenging, a region that lay on the shipping route of vessels trading with China.
Even today the Anambas islands feel like remote outposts, rarely visited by tourists, and its beautiful, verdant mountainous isles surrounded by clear waters and vibrant reefs remain untouched. Bawah is the first luxury resort on the islands, and now the ideal base to explore the unknown, the undiscovered, below, above, and beyond.