Bintan Island (Indonesia) Hotels
Bintan, within the archipelago province of Riau in Indonesia, is a lush island destination. With sandy white coastlines, interior hills and tropical forests, Bintan is a wild, exotic place.
With over 150,000 inhabitants, the capital city of Tanjung Pinang accounts for a good chunk of the population. A foremost seaport hub in the Riau Province, Tanjung Pinang offers ferry and speedboat transportation to a plethora of proximate island destinations in and around Indonesia. The city contains several reminders of Bintan's place as a political power base, first and foremost the deposed Sultanate of Malacca in the 16th century. Although the Dutch thwarted further commercial development on the island in the 18th century, Bintan flourished as a capital of Malay culture.
Bintan's north coast is by far the most popular area for tourism, with a healthy concentration of resorts and hotels on beautiful beachfront. The east coast, while less full with posh creature comforts, is in relatively pristine shape by comparison.
Attractions in Tanjung Pinang include the Buddhist Temple, with beautiful sculpture garden and park. Proximate Penyengat Island has the grand Masjid Raya, a former royal mosque with important monuments throughout.
Senggarang is a village with traditional stilt-huts within close distance from Tanjung Pinang. The small community also has a fabulous temple complex, with roots in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
Raja Haji Fisabillah Monument honours the most important hero on Bintan, the Malayan king who fought against the Dutch in 1784 in the Battle of Malacca.
The Snake River Buddhist Temple, also known as Sungai Ular, is a worthwhile spiritual site accessible by boat from Tanjung Pinang.
Riau Sultanate tombs and relics are just some of the inherent attractions on tap at the ancient palace complex in the capital city.
Tanjung Pinang is replete with antique shops, with bargain treasures available, as well as great local cuisine. For the most authentic culinary experience, head to a Padang-style restaurant for spicy, affordable eats.
A good way to experience Bintan and the capital of Tanjung Pinang is to rent a guide boat to tour the harbour and proximate areas. Nearby native villages offer overnight stays for a fair price, with the chance to participate in traditional ways of life.
The Tanjung Pinang Cultural Centre offers Malay dance and music performances throughout the year, in addition to special events and festivals.
The Lagoi resort area on the north shore of Bintan is a veritable colony of Singapore. Wealthy residents of the city-state to the north head here for vacation and as such, Lagoi has a surfeit of options available. For golf, nightlife, scuba, spas and typical resort-style beach life, Lagoi is the best bet on the island.
The Trikora white sand beach area to the east of Bintan is popular for short island hops around the archipelago, jungle treks and water sports.
Bintan Island has a typical equatorial climate, with temperatures between 21°C and 33°C throughout the year. The monsoon season endures from October to March, with cooler weather and more rainfall than the rest of the year. Spring and late summer are peak tourist periods.