Bintan Island, Indonesia
Bintan Island is the most popular & biggest island in the Riau Archipelago. There are a whopping 3,000 islands (!!) that makes the Riau Archipelago with some famous ones located just across Malaysia and Singapore making it a frequent getaway for Malaysians, especially Johorians and the neighboring Singaporeans.
No matter where you are coming from, the point of entry to the island are ports known as Sri Bintan Pura @Tanjung Pinang (the most common entry point) and the Bandar Bentan Telani Terminal @Lagoi. You can also enter Bintan from Batam as there are frequent ferries from Batam to Lagoi, as well as between Batam and Tanjung Pinang. For those flying in, there is a small airport in Tg. Pinang but (as at the time of writing this) only Sriwijaya Air from Jakarta flies here directly. Please check with the air operator to be sure.
Tanjung Pinang is the capital of the province & lies on the South Western shore of the island. Unlike Bintan Island’s less popular sister island, Batam Island, Bintan has plenty of mid-range to luxury resorts. You would be spoilt for choices & perhaps this could help you settle on your choice for accommodation for your trip.
So, what exactly can you do here?
I didn’t visit Bintan as a usual tourist or traveler & did not do the usual touristy things to do. I went with my incredibly talented photography enthusiast group of friends from Singapore on a photo-expedition trip. Our main objective & agenda was to visit the floating villages, the market, the beaches & as important as it is for any photographers, to capture the beauty of Bintan during the magic blue hour or the twilight 🙂
But, from my trip, from what I experienced and from what I have heard & read on Bintan, here are some quick insights on what you can do in Bintan. Just like any other island getaway you have had, this island will not disappoint in terms of what it has to offer & the activities you can do. From being a complete beach bum to being a ‘pro golfer’, the island has plenty of amazing resorts & world class international golf courses. The seafood spread will blow your mind away. The local delicacies & street food especially from the stalls that springs up at night around Tg. Pinang will provide enough satisfaction to please your taste buds. The stunning beaches and hot weather is just as what some beach lovers would love added with the usual beach & water-sport activities to thrill yourself with. Island-hopping is another great activity for island & beach lovers. There are also some decent places for sightseeing like the ‘town’ area at Tg. Pinang, Tg. Uban, the temples and the painfully beautiful floating fishing villages. You will understand why I say painful when you see some of the pictures I took. Here are some reading you can do to know more about what you can do in Bintan.
SO, let’s start my collection of memorable photos from my eye-opening & challenging Bintan photo-expedition:
1) The ‘Pelantar’ or boardwalk
2) The local delicacies, street food & seafood we ate
3) The Floating Village
Look at the smile of the kids despite everything! Their happiness just made me realize what you think you are lacking is all in your head. Happiness comes from inside, with whatever you have. Amazing happy positive place is what you have in your head and these kids showed me that on that remarkable day.
The daily life of a fisherman, who is also a father & a husband. Salute.
4) The Market Experience
5) The ‘Kelong’ or stilt house experience
6) The beaches – Trikora Beach
The beach just after sunrise… Morning magic hour 🙂
7) The twilight zone moments (my fave)
8) Some shots from around the island
Bintan is a cheap & quick getaway for Johorians and Singaporeans and also if you happen to be at the nearby Indonesian Riau Archipelago islands. It has enough to offer & keep you happy and occupied. The variety of food, the international golf courses, the beautiful luxury resorts and some beautiful beaches are some of the highlights of this island.
Till we meet again, keep traveling & travel safe!