Bintan Island: The Perfect Sports and Beach Getaway

Situated just a ferry ride away from Singapore or Johor Bahru in Malaysia, as well as its neighboring Batam Island, Bintan is the largest island in the Riau Islands province and one that offers the perfect getaway with its high-end resorts, world-class golf courses, and refreshing coastal atmosphere.

Tanjung Pinang at the south western coast of the island is the capital city of the Riau Islands Province. Aside from the center of activities of the local population, Tanjung Pinang also feature a number of historical heritage sites. This include Senggarang, the unique village on stilts and a large Buddhist temple near the airport known as the Maritria temple or Vihara Avalokitesvara. Just off the coast of the city, Penyengat Island was once the seat of the Johor-Riau kingdom and in the 19thcentury became the cultural capital of the Malay world. The restored Sultan’s palace here is an interesting blend of Javanese and Dutch architecture. Here one can also find the royal family’s’ tombs, fort, and the grand mosque of Mesjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat.

Bintan’s chief tourist attraction today, however, is Bintan Resorts, a spectacular beach holiday destination in the north of the island, covering 23,000 hectares along the entire sandy white coast facing the South China Sea. Bintan has now become a world class Sport-Tourism destination attracting thousands around the world to compete in its marathons, triathlons, extreme sports and golf challenges.  

There are currently ten independently beach resorts, four designer golf courses, as well as a range of recreational facilities and attractions located within the fully integrated Bintan Resorts.

Lately, to attract even more visitors, a huge mand-made lagoon has been added at Lagoi surrounded by  new four-star  and other luxury hotels . In Bintan Resorts  are: Bintan Lagoon Resort, Lagoi Bay Villas, Angsana Bintan, Banyan Tree Bintan, The Canopi, The Sanchaya,  Swiss-Bel Hotel, Ria Golf Lodge, Nirwana Gardens, and more.

Photo by Luke Marlin, featuring Jackson Groves

Located south west of the extensive Bintan Resorts tourism area, just at its very border, are pristine mangrove forests bisected by the meandering, clear river of Sungei Sebung. Visitors can take a boat ride almost right to the source of the river, and experience a thrilling trip into the world of tropical mangroves: watch monkeys, kingfishers, otters, tree snakes and even thousands of fireflies create glowing lights at night, sparkling up the bushes like Christmas trees. At the same time visitors assist in preserving this precious pristine environment from destruction.  

Whereas, east of the island, is a long stretch of white beach, scattered with picturesque huge boulders, called Trikora Beach. This is the popular seaside playground for locals but also for those coming from Singapore and Malaysia. A little more to the south is an island called Nikoi, where an upmarket, secluded boutique eco-resort has been developed for those who love to dwell among pristine nature,  - Robinson Crusoe-like,  - but with a dash of comfort and luxury. Here is also a cave dedicated to the Virgin Mary with a small chapel and the Stations of the Cross, constructed by Vietnamese refugees, but is still very much visited today.

Get There

Considering its proximity to Singapore and Malaysia, most visitors enter Bintan through by sea. From Singapore, there are three operators (Penguin, Indo Falcon, and Berlian / Webmaster) that offer frequent services from Tanah Merah Terminal in Singapore to Sri Bintan Pura Terminal at Tanjung Pinang and Bandar Bentan Telani Terminal at Bintan Resorts. From Johor Baru Malaysia, 5 ferries serve the daily schedule between Johor Bahru Ferry Terminal to Sri Bintan Pura Terminal, Tanjung Pinang.

Furthermore, following the abolishment of the Clearance and Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT) policy, foreign yachts may now  enter Indonesian waters by simply registering online via which enables Bintan to become the perfect hub for international yachts to explore the splendors of Riau Islands  and beyond in the Indonesian Archipelago.

From the capital city of Jakarta there are also daily flights to  the Raja Haji Fisabililah Airport in Bintan Island , that is served by Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air. For more information on the Airport and the flight schedule, log on to:

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