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 kilometers. With relatively shallow waters –around 15 to 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.
Abang Island is inhabited by approximately 400 people in 100 families. Combined with its neighbouring islands, the total number of inhabitants can reach 1.200 persons in 300 households. The settlements at the western part of the island are denser compared to the north. Most of their houses are located around the beach and constructed following the coastline. 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.