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Bintan is an island located in Indonesia and home to fishing villages, resorts and electronic factories. In the 12th century, the Bintan Island in the Strait of Malacca was known as the "Pirate Island" since the Malay pirates used to invade the ships and after that, the island has become the trading post between China and India. It was then controlled by the Chinese, British and declared as a part of the Dutch East Indies through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 by the Dutch. One of the towns of Bintan, Tanjung Pinang used to be a popular place for gambling and prostitution activities. Now, the local authorization has turned the town into a historical city with mosques, ancient markets and many more. In Bintan, Bahasa Indonesia is used as communication language and also Malay language especially in Riau on the Sumatra. Visitors from Malaysia will find the Malay spoken here very similar to Bahasa Malaysia and also can be understood by most visitors from Singapore. Besides that, English is also used here but mostly at the hotels such as Bintan and Trikora resorts which makes a perfect accommodation for vacation. In addition, Mandarin is spoken throughout by the Indonesian Chinese. Most of them communicate using Chinese's dialect Teochew.
Travellers from Singapore can reach Bintan by boat and ferry. There are three main companies that cater the destination from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang, Bintan. Overall, the companies operate six ferries on weekdays and increase to nine during weekends and public holidays where there are many visitors. The ticket for return cost around SGD 50-59 and SGD 40 for one way excluding Indonesia port tax and the journey usually takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Besides the main ferries companies, there is a new ferry service called Majestic Fast Ferry which is faster than the main ones. The booking can be made by walk-in or call outlet located at the terminal and payment can be done one hour before departure. Visitors from Malaysia also can reach Bintan from ferry services at Johor Bahru. The other ferry terminals besides Tanjung Pinang are at Tanjung Uban, Kijang and Teluk Sebung which serves the Bintan Resorts area on the northern part of the island.
Situated in North Bintan, Lagoi Beach offers magnificent natural beauty with coconut trees, white sandy beach and the rolling waves. The distance between Lagoi Beach and Singapore is 45 kilometres which makes Singaporean visitors come here often. At this beach, tourists can enjoy the outdoor activities like sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving or just walking along the beach. Besides that, there are various resorts with international standard that you can stay for a few nights and pamper your days during vacation. On top of that, the facilities provided include spa, golf or swimming at pool. Visitors also do not have to worry about food as there are many restaurants and traditional stalls offering traditional Indonesian foods from Bintan or local food.
Gurun Pasir Busung
Gurun Pasir Busung is one of the hidden gems at Bintan and resembles an Arabian desert. This artificial desert is located about 50 kilometres from the city of Tanjung Pinang and around 15-minute drive from Tanjung Uban. The amazing view of white sand hills overlooking a blue oasis, Telaga Biru. Visitors are required to take a private transport such as renting a car or motorcycle.
Nirwana Gardens is the only animal centre in Bintan and offers the famous show called Nirwana Garden’s Elephant and Culture Show. The show is a 40- minute long and features well-trained magnificent Sumatran elephants that perform all sorts of tricks and can even interact with visitors. Visitors also can feed the elephants with the food provided. Besides the elephants, there are also reptiles, exotic birds and deer. The Nirwana Gardens also provides dining options such as Japanese and Thai restaurants and the coffee shop serves Indonesian and International popular dishes. For relaxation after an exhausting day, you can indulge in a soothing body massage at the Andindya Spa.
Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva temple
One of the main attractions in Bintan is Vihara ksitigarbha bodhisattva Temple. Visitors are welcomed with a giant statue of Buddha at the front of Vihara and lead visitors to the main garden. There are 500 life-size sculptures of arahats stand in rows on each of the steps. The names of each arahat appear at the base of their sculpture and each displays different characteristics, facial features and postures. There are also another three great bodhisattvas which are Wen Shu Bodhisattva sitting on a lion, Puxian Bodhisattva sitting on an elephant and Guan Yin holding a willow.
Nasi Uduk is defined as mixed rice in Betawi dialect and can be found at food stalls, restaurants and hotels. Nasi Uduk is more complex than normal rice and it is made up of coconut milk rice, clove, cassia bark, lemongrass and pandan leaves to add aroma and fragrance. The coconut milk and spices gives an oily and rich taste to the rice. Before serving, fried shallots are sprinkled on top of the rice and Nasi Uduk is usually served with wide array of side dishes. Among the side dishes are empal fried beef, semur jengkol and krechek, egg, tempeh, sambal, bihun goreng, and keropok. These side dishes are usually chosen by customers according to preferences. This dish can be enjoyed with family and friends.
Otak- otak is one of the most widely known dish or snack especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Otak means "brains" in Indonesian and Malay, and the name of the dish that resembles brains of being whitish grey and soft. It is a grilled fish cake made up of a mixture of fish meat, tapioca starch and spices. Otak- otak is comprised of fish paste of ikan tenggiri and starch seasoned with garlic, shallot, coconut milk, pepper, salt and sugar. The mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf that has been softened by steaming, then grilled or steamed. There are other types of fish that can be used such as mackerel, bandeng and featherback fish. It is traditionally served fresh, wrapped inside a banana leaf and can be eaten as snack or side dish.
Soto is a traditional Indonesian soup made up of meat, vegetables and broth. The meats that are commonly used are chicken and beef, but there are also other meats such as mutton, water buffalo meat and pork that usually used as meat in Soto in Bali where the majority population is Hindu. Besides that, mung bean sprouts, scallion and spices include shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginger, coriander, salt, candlenut, and pepper are added to make the broth rich and aromatic. The soup is usually accompanied by rice or compressed rice cakes like lontong or ketupat and also rice vermicelli.
Masjid Raya Sultan Riau
This mosque is a combination of Javanese and Dutch architecture and according to folks, the large part of mosque was made up of eggs which were the gifts from the Sultan’s loyal subjects on the occasion of his wedding. The egg-white proved to be a strong bonding agent. Besides the main prayer place, there are tombs and crypts, and a restored fort. The beautifully preserved handwritten and illustrated Quran are also restored after over 150 years old.
Trikora Beach is a beach where you will see fishing villages, rows of fish traps and houses on boats. It is a popular seaside playground for locals and tourists from Singapore and Malaysia. The white sandy beach is popular for its annual event of 3-months long Sail Indonesia Yacht Rally across the Indonesian seas. Besides that, there is also Trikora Beach Club and Resort offering top- class accommodation, private beach, free breakfast and various facilities and services.
Penyengat Island is a historical island when it was established as a fort as part of the Sultanate of Johor-Riau by the Bugis back in 18th century. Penyengat island and Penyengat Island palace complex has been nominated to UNESCO to be one of the World Heritage Site. The island comprised of the tomb of Raja Ali Haji, a 19th-century Islamic historian and scholar. This island covers an area of 35 kilometres and can be reached by using a boat or better known by pompong boat. It is also a perfect weekend getaways for family and friends because there are many water sport activities and hotels.
You can visit Bintan more easily and cheaper with the flight and ticket package available at Traveloka Singapore. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer, and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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