Bintan, along with Batam, is famous for being a weekend getaway for those dwelling in Singapore and the region. It’s of those places where you’re more than taken care during your stay within the confines of Bintan Resorts’ well-manicured ecosystem…which might make it more difficult to leave your comfortable lounger to go exploring. After personally discovering what Bintan has hidden up her sleeve, here’s our top eight recommendations for a more memorable holiday:
Chill Cove at Treasure Bay
Part of Treasure Bay Bintan, Chill Cove offers a range of water and land activities. From driving ATVs through the forest to gliding on transparent kayaks across crystal lagoon – Southeast Asia’s largest man-made seawater lagoon – there’s something for every thrill seeker. Chill Cove Cafe also offers a range of less thrilling yet just as exciting activities, like an Airsoft Gun Range and a chance to cruise in your very own scooter around the Cove’s activity centre. With a basic entrance fee of IDR 100,000, each activity is purchased a la carte in the location itself for additional costs.
Chill Cove is located at Treasure Bay Bintan, Jln. Raja Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi, Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152 Indonesia. Open daily from 9am – 6pm. Entrance fee for adults cost IDR 100,000.
Day and Night Mangrove Tour
Get up close and personal with nature in Bintan Mangrove Tours, which takes you down Sebong River either during the day to see the various wildlife – including crocodiles and snakes – or in the cooler evening to see the mangroves bathed in moonlight. They also conduct firefly tours at night, where you’ll be surrounded by the ephemeral glow of these fairy-like insects.
Bintan Mangrove Tours is located at Pertokoan Pujasera Lagoi, Sebong Lagoi, Tlk. Sebong, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia. Departure times for tours: 9am, 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm, and 7.30pm. Adult tickets cost IDR 380,000 per person, with a minimum of two persons per purchase.
Pizza Casa Italia at Trikora Beach
Pizza on the beach – what more can you ask for? Have the best of both worlds at Pizza Casa Italia, with their rustic, bohemian set-up on the coast of the beautiful and windy Trikora Beach.
Their thin crust pizza, which comes in flavours like chicken, cheese, and Hawaiian, is baked in a traditional, wood-fired oven and only costs IDR 6,000 for an entire pie. A lot of self-control is needed to not order them all, but hey, you’re on a holiday.
Plus while you wait, you can dip your toes in the sand, and if you get there during the low tide, you can even walk to the opposite island to see coastal wild life, like small crabs.
Pizza Casa Italia is located at Malang Rapat, Gunung Kijang, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia. Open Tue-Sun 10am – 6pm. Closed on Mondays.
Safari Lagoi and Eco Farm
What started out as an eco farm intended to grow tropical crops like peanuts, papayas, cocoa, and dragon fruit eventually developed into a Safari that houses endangered animals rescued from illegal trade and exotic meat markets. The safari has dedicated their resources towards wildlife and environmental conservation to ensure quality care is provided for both animals and plants. Here, you can pet their friendly elephants or pick some fresh mulberries to eat on the spot. At the end of your adventure, indulge in a pot of their spicy ginger tea with ‘rojak’ made from ingredients freshly harvested from the farm.
Safari Lagoi and Eco Farm is located at Baru City, Teluk Sebong, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands 29152, Indonesia. Open daily from 8am – 4pm. Tickets cost IDR 100,000 per adult.
Gurun Pasir Busung and Telaga Biru
Admittedly, the mesmerising plains of Gurun Pasir Busung and enchanting blue waters of Telaga Biru might be touristy, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting this incredibly picturesque area. The various photo opp setups and props are also entertaining in of itself, despite being obvious tourist traps. Its unique aesthetics – reminiscent of bohemian music festivals – eventually grow on you and in the end, you can’t help but snap a pic or two for the ‘gram.
Gurun Pasir Busung & Telaga Biru is located at Jl. Raya Busung, Busung, Seri Kuala Lobam, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia. Entrance fee is IDR 10,000 per person.
Teluk Bakau Bay View Seafood Restaurant
Probably one of the best street-eats in Bintan, Teluk Bakau Bay View Seafood Restaurant sells a surprisingly fresh array of Steamed Fish, Black Pepper Crab, and Gong Gongs (pro-tip: use a toothpick to slide these snail-like delicacies out of their shells and eat with the amazing chilli dip). Apart from their selection of seriously crispy and fluffy fried calamari and fried prawns, they also offer fresh coconuts to drink, sliced open right in front of you.
Teluk Bakau Bay View Seafood Restaurant is locate at Jalan Wisata Bahari, Tlk. Bakau, Gn. Kijang, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29151, Indonesia. Open daily 8am – 9pm.
If you still need your dose of urbanscape, Plaza Lagoi is the place for you. It’s easily accessible with shuttle buses travelling to-and-from the various properties of Bintan Resorts from 10am to 10pm daily. There’s an optical illusive experience at Rumah Imaji or walk through Lagoi Bay Lantern Park. For your grumbling stomachs, head over to Warung Yeah! for Indonesian favourites with an ocean view of Lagoi Beach, or to the whimsically decorated Food ★gram, for a greater variety of food stalls ranging from Japanese Bentos to Nasi Ayam.
Tanjung Pinang Traditional Market
Markets are the best places to get a real slice of local life. As for what’s available to buy, scrounge around for antique ceramics, colourful apparel, handicrafts, and other souvenirs. What we highly recommend is Murni Baru, a shop that sells a nostalgic range of dried foodstuffs, like Keropok Gonggong (sea snail crackers) or dried fish maw and anchovies, which you can select in a ‘pick and mix’ style.
Tanjung Pinang Traditional Market is located along Jl. Merdeka No.13, Tanjungpinang Kota, Kota Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau 29111, Indonesia.
Special Mention: Dine at Nelayan Restaurant
While Nelayan Restaurant is located within Bintan Lagoon Resort, it’s destination dining at its best on the island. With its outdoor seating right by the sea, you can enjoy a romantic dinner with the acoustics of the waves serenading you in the background or a summery lunch with friends before dipping your toes in the sand. Nelayan Restaurant offers creative, locally inspired dishes, and the staff are nothing short of hospitable.
Nelayan Restaurant is located at Bintan Lagoon Resort, Jalan Indera Segara Site A12, Lagoi, Teluk Sebong, Bintan, Kepri, Indonesia. 29155, p.+62 770 691 388 (Indonesia); +65 6223 3223 (Singapore), e: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily for lunch from 12pm – 3pm and dinner from 6pm – 10.30pm.
Can’t wait for your very own Bintan experience? Look no further, Bintan Resorts has launched its Bintan Memories Campaign where you and a friend can win a 3D2N trip to Bintan. From 21 January 2019 to 18 February 2019, all you need to do to enter the contest is follow Bintan Resorts’ Official Facebook and Instagram page, and post or comment your favourite memory of Bintan using the hashtag #BintanMemories on Facebook and/or Instagram. The grand prize of a 3D2N stay in a resort at Bintan Resorts also includes roundtrip ferry tickets and a full board experience of activities for two persons.
Top Image: Get up close and personal with elephants at Safari Lagoi