Located in the west of Singapore and Batam, the Karimun Islands stand guard south of the busy shipping lane that is the Straits of Malacca. Together with Batam and Bintan, Karimun forms part of the Batam-Bintan-Karimun Free Trade Zone, which is being developed into an industrial and tourism region. Tanjung Balai is a busy medium town largely built on stilts, with a significant Chinese Peranakan population. Here are found a number of Chinese temples, oldest of which is the Vihara Cetiya Vidya Sagara, built in 1926.
For holiday makers, the islands of Karimun offer long stretches of white beaches, snorkeling opportunities, and of course the tempting seafood all freshly caught from the sea. The nearby Terkulai and Soreh are popular holiday islands, while Palawan Beach and Pongkar Beach are ideal for watersports and relaxation under the palm trees. The island of Telunas in Karimun has also been developed into a holiday resort, a favorite with Singapore expatriates and students. Frequent ferries connect Singapore, Johor in Malaysia, Batam and Bintan with Tanjung Balai Karimun. And with more people visiting the islands for trade, investment and tourism, Karimun now has also a number of good hotels.
From Singapore, Penguin and Indofalcon ferry operate from Singapore’s Harbour Front Centre to Tanjung Balai. The journey takes one and a half hours. Since both companies code-share, Singapore ticket holders can board any ferry between the two on your return leg from Tanjung Balai to Singapore.
But if you have bought your ticket in Tanjung Balai, this will be valid only on the ferry of the company from which you bought the ticket. For details and booking, visit http://www.penguin.com.sg/, http://www.indofalcon.com.sg/.
From Malaysia, ferries to Karimun leave from Kukup in Johor. There is now a new ferry service from Batu Pahat, Johor to Tanjung Balai Karimun. There are also regular ferry services from Batam and Bintan islands.