What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘Traveling to Bintan’, and why? I think most of you will say the word ‘expensive’, because of the paradigm of Bintan as one of the most exclusive tourist destinations in Indonesia. Before you read this article, some of you maybe think that Bintan is only made for international tourists –mainly Singaporean, and the rest of you maybe still do not know where Bintan is.
Located in The Natuna Sea, Bintan is the largest island among more or less 3.000 that are scattered in Riau Islands Province, Indonesia. Geographically, Bintan is sharing its border with Singapore, with only 45 minutes trip using ferry boat across The Singapore Strait from Bintan Resorts Area in the northwest of the island. Hence, many Singaporeans are considering Bintan as their easiest and closest holiday island destination, comparing to others like Maldives, Hawaii, or maybe Bora-Bora.
Bintan for Singaporean, is like Pulau Seribu for Jakartan.
Based on the fact that Bintan is the prime holiday destination for Singaporean, many people believe that traveling to Bintan is expensive, yes including me at the first, but maybe you have to know that…
Bintan is Not Only The Resort
The resort is only the part of Bintan, but, it is the most prestigious and the top tourist destination in Bintan. If you do not have the plan to visit the resort, you can enjoy your time in Tanjung Pinang, the largest city in Bintan, also the capital of Riau Islands Province.
Here, I suggest you to explore the city, a city that somehow reminds me of Penang or Medan with its Chinese heritage ambience. If you have the time, you can go to Penyengat Island, just 2 kilometers boat ride from the harbor. There is a saying in the island that if you drink the water that is originated there, you will be given chances to comeback again and again to Bintan. Too bad, I did not have enough time to explore Penyengat Island at that time.