A serene and pristine island in the province of Riau Islands is Bintan Islands. Stretching out over to about 2402.28 sq.kms is this spectacular island, Bintan. And it encompasses the city of Tanjung Pinang. It is nestled in the Strait of Malacca and it has a unique name- Pirate Islands as it was the main loot destination for the Maya pirates back in the days. The climate is usually tropical and it wears a heavy humidity level especially during the wet seasons. The place has a seemingly calm and peaceful countenance about it and this is in a way very inviting to visitors and the calmness rubs off on anyone visiting Bintan. People like to relax and unwind here as they are away from the regular hustle and bustle. Though itís a small and quaint island in Indonesia, there are a lot of historic and monumental sites to visit and explore. Bintan also takes pride in their titillating underwater life that can be experienced in the form of scuba diving, and snorkelling. And one can go boating or kayaking to
Things to Do
Scuba Diving at Trikora in Bintan Island
Located in the Trikora area of Bintan, is the Tasik Diving centre. The area is known for their thriving and healthy coral reefs, octopi, turtles, several colourful fishes and the centre provides you with a guided scuba diving experience after taking you to a diving site which is sure to leave you in awe of the underwater world of Bintan! This is a chance to experience and it lasts only while you're here but you carry its memories for a lifetime!
Santa Maria Cave in Bintan Island
Amidst a lot of greenery, is the entrance that leads to the Stations of Cross. After a short walk, you will reach the Grotto Santa Maria Cave. There is a beautiful little chapel besides the cave that one can pay a visit to. The place has life-size sculptures that look like marble but are in reality made of limestone. It?s a peaceful place to just breathe and capture some memorable photographs.
Avalokitesvara Graha Temple in Bintan Island
It is also locally called as the Guan Yin Temple and is located after a short drive through rubber and pineapple plantations. The temple is situated on top of a hill and is densely surrounded by fresh dragon fruit plantations. That itself is quite a sight! Guan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy, according to Buddhism and is the largest sitting Guan Yin in all of South East Asia and it is made of brass and coated in 22 carat gold.
500 Lohan Temple in Bintan Island
In Tg Pinang, lies the 500 Lohan Temple. After a brief climb, you are welcomed by an ancient sculpture of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. The place is spectacular and one-of-a-kind as it comprises of 400 Arahats, sculptures that are life-sized and intricately carved that are sure to have you in absolute awe. There is a vihara situated in this place which needs to be found with some effort, but it is worth every bit of the exploration!
Penyengat Island near Bintan Island
Situated 10 minutes away from the Bintan Islands is the Penyengat Island. It is accessible via the Tanjung Pinang Jetty. Mainly famous for their historical Mosques, there are quite a few on this island; Masjid Raya Sultan being on the main ones and it stands apart from the rest as it is famous for its egg-white, lime and clay mixture usage on the structure. One can also take a walk through the small yet colourful village of Kampong and visit the tomb of a King of the Malay Imperium. And the best is the fact that, you can indulge in simple yet delicious local cuisine available at great prices on the island.