Why Bintan Island should be in your weekend getaway planSunday, January 29, 2017
Why Bintan Island should be in your weekend getaway plan?
Bintan Island is a haven of peace and a favorite of many tourists. This is especially because it is very accessible — all you have to do is catch the ferry from Singapore to Bintan. The island has a lot to offer, from picturesque scenery to tasty dishes to even a rich history and culture.
What are the main attractions in Bintan?
Bintan is famous for it pristine, white sand beaches. People love to laze around the beaches and enjoy the warm sun. Some of the most popular beaches include the quiet and peaceful Trikora beach and the numerous beaches that surround the Sebung village. Additionally, the island, which is the largest of the 3200 islands that make up the Riau Archipelago, has a rich and intriguing history. There is a lot to learn about its hey days in the 16th century when it was a main trading center in South East Asia. There are interesting tales of war and power struggles to be told by the locals who live in the island. You will also get to learn a lot about the native’s culture, which is both entertaining and educative.
What can you do in Bintan?
Although the island may be small, and far from civilization, there are plenty of activities that you can indulge in here. Since it is an island, you can participate in any number of water sports, especially scuba diving which is a favorite of many tourists. Additionally, the island boasts of a number of world class golf courses, which have between nine and eighteen holes. Some of the very famous courses include Laguna Golf Club, Ria Bintan Golf Club and Bintan Lagoon Golf Club.
Also, if you fancy hiking or trekking, you can do so to your heart’s content on the island. Try mountain biking if you feel like it, or go island trekking. If you wish to, cruise through the island in an all-terrain vehicle, and relish the adrenaline rush that driving an ATV brings with it. Should you wish to get pampered, visit any of the numerous spas on the island. You could even indulge in paint balling if that is what sparks your interest. There is simply so much to do on the island that it is impossible to get bored.
What can you eat on the island?
When it comes to food, there is a wide variety to choose from on the island. There are myriad local dishes that will keep you asking for more. Some of the more popular ones include an Indonesian vegetable salad known as gado gado, a local layered cake known as kueh lapis and local prawn and fish crackers known as keropok. You will also get to enjoy a number of sea foods, fresh from the sea. And if you do not fancy eating local dishes, there are numerous eateries that prepare international dishes, so you do not have to worry about any dietary restrictions.
Where to stay on the island?
There are numerous hotels and resorts on the islands. You will find luxury five star hotels, and those that will fit your budget if you have one to stick to. There are hotels in the town, the most popular of which is the Tanjung Pinang Hotel. Tourists like these hotels because of convenience and the fact that they are close to many amenities. However, if you wish to stay nearer the coast, you will find hotels that are surrounded by tranquility.
Where to shop on the island?
One has to admit that there are not many huge shopping spots on the island, but that by no means that you will lack for anything. There is a market at the Bintan Ferry Terminal from where you can purchase basics like clothes and electronics. Also, you could buy more clothes and souvenirs at the Tanjung Pinang Arcade and at the Real Bandung Factory outlet. In any case, the lack of large malls on the island is a welcome break for those who want to enjoy the tranquil environment of the island.
Bintan might not have a booming nightlife, but there are a few joints where you can dance the night away. There are a number of nightclubs and bars especially in the resorts. Try the Silk Club in the Bintan Lagoon Resort which is rather famous, and you will certainly not regret it.
All in all, Bintan is a hidden gem that has lots to offer. The place now commands equal attention as the famed Bali but what makes them so different will be the accessibility to the island. Taking ferry from Singapore to Bintan is never easier when the booking is instant and the ride is just 45 to 55 minutes away.