Abang Island, Fascinating Underwater Garden in Sumatra
Beautiful underwater gardens featuring fascinating coral reefs decorated with various shapes, sizes, and colors of many sea creatures, that is the view that awaits snorkelers and divers under the crystal clear waters of Abang Island, south of Batam in the province of the Riau Archipelago. Abang Island is surrounded by many other small islands, most of which are conservation areas for coral reefs, while the main island of Abang only measures around 10 square km.
With relatively shallow waters (around 15-18 meters deep), this fascinating underwater wonder is a perfect spot for both diving and snorkeling. Its beauty is often compared to that of the waters around Komodo Island National Park, Bunaken and Raja Ampat, since COREMAP (Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Programs) itself has also designated the area as site for a special underwater coral reef observation center.
Above the surface, the landscape of Abang Island is still pristine with hills dominated by granite rocks. Most of the shores are still decorated with beautiful mangrove forests. The most fascinating feature of the waters of Abang Island is the existence of a rare species of coral known as Blue Coral which only lives in clear waters with excellent water quality. Among some of the fish species that find shelter under its calm waves are selar, lencing, red snapper, red sand fish, blow fish, pinang, and many others.
Over the years, the people of Abang Island have constantly been taught awareness of the importance to preserve the coral reefs both as tourism assets as well as their significance for the global environment. In turn, they can also benefit from tourism activities next to their daily activity as fishermen or traders. This has ultimately led to the well maintained beauty of Abang Island.
Abang Island is located south from Batam or about 50 km from Muka-Kuning, Batam Island. To reach the island, it takes approximately 1.5 hours drive from Batam to the Barelang Bridge. From there, the journey continues by boat along the River Burdus until you reach Abang Island which is about 12 km away using motorized boats, which the locals call Bot Pompong.