Bintan Island Indonesia Beach

6 Reasons to Visit Bintan Island, Indonesia

The queue at the Tanah Merah terminal can be an ordeal on weekends if you’re going to Bintan. It’s as if every sweaty body in Singapore was keen on escaping to Bintan Island, Indonesia, lured by the promise of an immaculate suntan, as well as hours of lounging by the pool in peace, with a cocktail in hand.

Sun-loving tourists can barely contain the excitement; it’s written all over their faces as the line inched forward. How could they, when the waves lapping the beams of the terminal bridge keep teasing them with its jewel-like, aquamarine hue.

Bintan Lagoon Resort pool
One of the pools at Bintan Lagoon Resort. The author traveled to Bintan in 2011. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

This writer, of course, is no exception. Thinking of escaping to Bintan? These six things to do in Bintan Island, Indonesia may just convince you to ditch the city for the weekend:

It’s conveniently located.

Bintan is one of the largest islands of the Riau archipelago in Indonesia. Depending on where you’re going to in Bintan, the journey would likely take between 45 minutes to two hours. Meanwhile, the trip is about an hour when you are headed for the Bintan Lagoon Resort complex, which is situated in the northern coast of the island.

Customs and immigration terminal at Bintan Island, Indonesia
The immigration terminal at Bintan Island, Indonesia. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

It feels like home (if you live in a tropical country).

Bintan Island looks just like the Philippines. The weather is no different so it is the perfect place to get your tan on. The towns and villages also resemble those in the Philippines.

The cultural emblem is also somewhat of a close relative. A monument of a Garuda eagle welcomes tourists at the exit of the ferry terminal in Bintan. The eagle (Garuda Pancasila) is a symbol that the country had adopted from its rich Indian heritage. 

Coastline and coconut trees
View of the coast from the resort grounds. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

The waves are excellent for surfing.

Surfing enthusiasts would love Bintan as there’s no shortage of surf spots there. Life guards offer free surfing or body-boarding lessons for guests at resorts. 

Bintan coast waves
Bintan is a surfing destination in Indonesia. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

Experience life in rural Indonesia.

Well-manicured golf lawns provide a backdrop to the highway as tourist shuttles course through the main highway. Bintan combines rustic sceneries and modern facilities and it was only recently that Bintan was developed into a resort town.

According to a local, it was only a decade ago that communities and fishing villages had electricity. They used to experience blackouts on rotation, a few hours daily.

Golf course in Bintan
A golf course along the main road in Bintan. PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDY MIGUEL.

Party from sunset to sunrise.

Partying until dawn is among the de rigeurs in Bintan. Popular party spots include nightclub Silk Club in Bintan Lagoon resort, the outdoor La Luna Beach Bar at Nirwana Beach, and the Club Med and Banyan Tree resorts.

Visit Bintan points of interest.

Bintan is not all about sand and surf as most tourists would probably assume. Bintan is home to historical landmarks, such as the Grotto Santa Maria, and natural wonders, like the Danau Biru lake. It is also the site of a mesmerizing desert called Gurun Pasir Busung and the recently built 500 Lohan Temple

These are just some of the easy ways that tourists can explore Bintan Island, Indonesia. Seafood restaurants in town are also a hit among tourists, and so are the spas. If you have tried other things in the beach destination, share them with our readers in the comments’ section below.

Featured Image by Sandy Miguel

Sandy Miguel


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