Under wraps: These undeveloped south Asian islands can rival the Maldives
IT’S no secret that Asia-Pacific is home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands. But what remains secret are some of the region’s undeveloped archipelagos and islands that could rival the Maldives and the Pacific Islands.
While many of them are uninhabited, the ones that aren’t could greatly benefit from the development of tourism, particularly for the progression of local communities.
These are just three islands in the Asia-Pacific region that are blessed with good looks, but not given the boost they deserve.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
These islands make up a cluster of land at the crossover between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman sea. While tourists are slowly pouring into the island, only a dozen or so out of 300 islands are accessible.
Havelock Island – the most popular of them – is known for its powdery white sand and turquoise shorelines, and many tourists stay here for the entirety of their trip to the Andaman Islands.
The capital of Port Blair is also a gem where tourists choose to snorkel, scuba dive, partake in sea cruises, and learn about the history of the region.
The islands are also home to self-sufficient “Negrito” and “Mongoloid” tribes, and they’re largely dependent on the land and resources available on the islands.
While tourism development in these islands would benefit India and bring to light a “hidden paradise”, priority must be placed on keeping the land safe and secure for indigenous tribes.
Just like the Andaman & Nicobar islands were slated for development in 2010, the Lakshadweep archipelago will receive similar treatment from the Indian Ministry of Tourism.
Situated in the northernmost part of an undersea ridge in the Indian Ocean that also makes up the Maldives and the Chagos Islands, five islands in this region have been earmarked for development.
According to the government, development plans include the establishment of facilities such as eco-resorts, scuba diving centers, as well as supporting infrastructure. The development will be funded by both private and public investment channels.
The Independent reported that the Lakshadweep islands are part of the same vast marine mountain range as the Maldives, but unlike on their southerly neighbours, which are being developed almost to saturation point, the natural side of Lakshadweep remains intact.
Off the western coast of Hokkaido, Teuri Island is criminally underdeveloped what with its natural formations of rugged sea cliffs looking out to a vast blanket of blue.
These magnificent cliffs – among them Akaishi Rock, Byobu Rock and Cape Kannon – are reminiscent to those you might come across at South Korea’s Jeju Island, an institution in its own right.
As a bonus, the island is a breeding ground for close to a million seabirds, especially common murres, currently facing the threat of extinction, the rare spectacled guillemot, the rhinoceros auklet, and the black-tailed gull.
Aerial views of Teuri create postcard-worthy portraits of the birds swooping in and around the towering cliffs, and for that alone, this lesser-known island could do with a significant boost.