From Bali to Bintan | Complete Guide to Visit Riau Archipelago

From Bali to Bintan | Complete Guide to Visit Riau Archipelago

From Bali to Bintan

There is no direct flight from Bali to Bintan Island. The fastest and not a direct flight with Citilink takes 5 hours 40 minutes, including transit in Jakarta Airport (CGK). Other way from Bali to Bintan is flying from Bali Airport (DPS) to Batam Hang Nadim Airport (BTH) takes 5 hours flight and for Hang Nadim Airport take ferry from Telaga Punggur Ferry Terminal to Sri Bintan Pura Ferry Terminal (it takes 1 hour).

A small paradise island ideally located in the Singapore Strait, Bintan is a land apart among the 13,466 islands and islets that make up Indonesia. A maritime crossroads on the ancient spice and silk route, the island has long served as a haven for Orang Laut pirates, drawn to its tranquil waters and prime location.

Due to its proximity to Singapore, Bintan Island is a popular vacation spot for Singaporeans who can get there either directly in two hours by boat, or via the neighboring island of Batam.

On the program: water sports, golf courses, idleness and luxurious hotels on notes of white sand and turquoise water. If you are looking for a lazy vacation, where you stay at the hotel, eat non-stop at the hotel, and settle for a few adventures outside of it, this is the ideal place. But if you are looking for Indonesian authenticity, we are far from it.

With its thousands of islands, the Riau archipelago abounds in beaches and diving spots, including Trikora on Bintan, about fifty kilometers south of Tanjung Pinang, in the east of the island. There are also beaches on the islands of Terkulai and Soreh, about an hour by boat from Tanjung Pinang. One of the most popular beaches is Nongsa on Batam, from where you can see the skyscrapers of Singapore. Sea gardens are found on the islands of Mapor, Abang, Pompong, Balang and Tanjung Berkait.

The island of Bintan is separated in two


To the north are all the large luxurious resorts, protected by a “border” monitored by guards. The short cut and fluorescent green grass quickly makes you understand the level of luxury of this part of the island.


The rest of the island, and the extreme south in particular, offers a more typically Indonesian landscape, with villages on stilts that are worth visiting and pretty Buddhist and Hindu temples! The prices on the island are also far from the usual Indonesian prices.

We imagine that the proximity to Singapore makes the prices extremely high compared to the rest of the country. The hotels are not given at all for the region, and drinking a glass of alcohol or a beer costs almost as much as the night in a hotel (we are hardly exaggerating).

Read also: International Direct Flights to Bali

Senggarang Village
Village on Senggarang Island, Bintan, Indonesia. Anton Leddin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Activities to see and do in Bintan

Explore the mysterious Gurun Pasir Busung sand dunes

The diversity of Indonesian landscapes is truly extraordinary. In the middle of all the tropical forests and white sand beaches, you can also find a large expanse of desert, with magnificent dunes. This picturesque point of view is almost reminiscent of the Sahara desert, it is really impressive. It is easy to find since it is located just off Jalan Raya Busung road, but there is no public transport to get there.

Address: Busung, Seri Kuala Lobam, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia

Bintan Desert and Blue Lake Tour

Be transported into a dreamy insta-worthy photo spot with picturesque sand dunes at Gurun Pasir Busung. A “desert” might look out of place on this tropical Indonesian island. When sand extraction was prohibited on Bintan Island, the untouched area transformed into a charming desert sandscape under the magical hands of nature.

The Blue Lake at Danau Biru Kijang

Discover a surreal lagoon with bright blue waters and surrounded by white sand: Danau Biru, Kawal.

Although Bintan is surrounded by a clear blue ocean on all sides, these picturesque shores may well pale in comparison to the mesmerizing hues of blue you will discover at Danau Biru… The lagoon and its surreal blue water, surrounded by dunes of white sand is breathtaking. This lake is not a well-known tourist attraction, you can expect a peaceful visit with a stunningly beautiful landscape.

Bintan Sand Dunes and Blue Lakes Half-Day Tour with Lunch

Bintan Sand Dunes and Blue Lakes Half-Day Tour with Lunch By Bintan Taxi (民丹岛出租车服务) 4.0/5 5 Viator reviews More information about reviews Free cancellation available Features Free cancellation available 5h Mobile voucher Instant confirmation Selective hotel pickup Multiple languages Overview Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Bintan Desert, Jl.

Sunbathe on a pristine white sand beach at Trikora Beach

Are you looking to get away from the city to sunbathe by the sea on a heavenly beach? Look no further and head to Trikora Beach, Bintan’s true natural treasure.

This stretch of white sand on the northeast coast of the island is where bathers flocked to before the emergence of the island’s large beach resorts.

Coconut Tree and The Blue-Green Sea, Pantai Trikora, Kabupaten Bintan, Provinasi Kepri
Trikora Beach in Bintan. Andrian Vernandes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Trikora Beach is actually a chain of four beaches, named from 1 to 4 in Indonesian running from south to north – giving Satu, Dua, Tiga, Empat.

During the dry season, you can enjoy the white sand and crystal clear waters perfect for snorkelling!

Address: Kawal Trikora, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29151

Trikora Beach
Trikora Beach, Bintan Island. Adamina, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Treasure Bay, fun artificial pool

For example you can go to “Treasure Bay”, a large artificial pool where you can do a lot of water activities. A great idea from the organizing team! If you are traveling with children or teenagers, this is really a place that they might like, there are really a lot of things to do in terms of water activities! The place was very quiet in the morning so quite pleasant, but in the afternoon huge groups arrive and it gets crowded quite quickly. So we really recommend that you start in the morning!

Kawasan Pariwisata, Jl. Raja Haji KM 01, Teluk Sebong, Lagoi, Sebong Lagoi,
Tlk. Sebong, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia
From €9/pp

Treasure Bay Bintan: Jam Buka, Harga Tiket, Wahana, dan Penginapan Terdekat – Treasure Bay Bintan di Provinsi Kepulauan Riau merupakan salah satu tempat wisata yang wajib dikunjungi. Berada di Pulau Bintan yang menjadi pulau terbesar di Provinsi Kepulauan Riau membuat akses ke Treasure Bay Bintan menjadi sangat mudah.

Take a tour through the mangroves to see dragonflies at night

You can also take a tour through the mangroves to see dragonflies at night. We admit it’s pretty scary to go boating in complete darkness in the middle of these trees (and when the guide says not to turn on a flash because it could wake up the snakes and incite them to attack, it doesn’t not really helping haha). There is no crazy interest in doing this excursion at night, I would have preferred to do it during the day to really see the mangroves and the fauna that hides there.

Read also: From Bali to Komodo | Complete guide to visit the Komodo Islands in Flores, Indonesia

During the day you can indeed see gigantic ant nests, lizards, snakes… Dragonflies are pretty but there aren’t that many and the guide has to “wake them up” so that they illuminate what somewhat breaks the myth.

500 Lohan Temple (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Vihara)

Diversity is the key word in Indonesia: you can find mosques, churches and temples that coexist happily, and this is also the case in Bintan.

One of the island’s most fascinating shrines is Lohan Temple, a Buddhist shrine that houses a fascinating sculpture park. As you might have guessed, the park is home to around 500 human-sized statues that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled into an ancient shrine in China. All all different statues are 500 arhat, or 500 Buddhas ready to cross the last level of wisdom. Take the time to wander through the maze of sculptures, as each of the life-size statues is unique. You can check the name of each statue on the carvings at their feet.

If you are in the area for a lazy and non-cultural holiday, try to take a trip to this one, it is really worth seeing!

Batu 13, East Tanjungpinang, Tanjung Pinang City, Riau Archipelago 29125, Indonesia
Phone: +Phone: 6281364537222
Open from 9am to 5pm
Input at 30K/pp

In the south of the island, is the main town of Bintan: Tanjung Pinang. We have not been there, but it is home to many other Buddhist and Hindu temples as well as a large mosque.

Escape to a private beach paradise: White Sands Island

White Sands Island is not a tourist island visited by crowds of tourists, but a real private island where one can enjoy a paradise experience in a breathtaking tropical setting. You can snorkel in the crystal clear waters, kayak around the island or camp under the stars. There is also a bar to sip a cocktail at sunset. In short, it is the ideal island for couples or honeymoons.

The white sand island also participates in the preservation of turtles by participating in the breeding and rescue of the latter on the island. The turtles’ eggs are harvested to be raised safely away from predators, and once they have reached their “adolescent” size and are therefore strong enough to face the dangers of the sea, they are released. You can participate in this activity and release turtles also during your visit to the island! This activity is not touristic at all and is very supervised by the locals.

The activity that we preferred to do on the island of Bintan is the visit of the island of white sand!!

It’s heavenly place in Bintan, with white sand, turquoise water like I had never seen, a peace from which it is difficult to recover. On site, there is a small hotel that offers bungalows with a view of the sea (I would have loved to sleep there, it must be a great experience, you are totally cut off from the world), a bar and a restaurant.

How to get there: From Tanjung Pinang, take a taxi or scooter and drive 45 minutes to the port at Trikora. White Sands Islands is a 15 minute boat ride from the port.
Price to access the island: from IDR 200,000.

WHITE SANDS ISLAND (Tanjung Pinang): Ce qu’il faut savoir

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Tanjung Pinang

Its capital, Tanjung Pinang, is a lively little town. It has a Jalan Katamso with “Indonesian Plantation Museum”. Much of the old town is still built in the traditional style, that is, on stilts. Bintan is a good starting point for the other islands in the region.

Koleksi Museum Perkebunan Indonesia
The inside view and collections of The Plantation Museum of Indonesia. Harditaher, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Indonesian Plantation Museum (Museum Perkebunan Indonesia)

The Indonesian Plantation Museum is a museum established as a center for information and education about plantations in Indonesia. This museum is located at Jalan Brigjen Katamso No. 53 Medan City, North Sumatra. This museum is located in a building that is part of APA (Algemeene Proefstation der AVROS / Algemeene Vereniging voor Rubberplanters ter Oostkust van Sumatra) or the Association of Rubber Plantation Entrepreneurs on the East Coast of Sumatra. The museum building is integrated with the residence, cafe and cocoa house belonging to the Palm Oil Research Center (PPKS: Pusat Penelitian Kelapa Sawit).

Museum Perkebunan Indonesia
The Plantation Museum of Indonesia (Museum Perkebunan Indonesia). Harditaher, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Penyengat island

The small island of Penyengat, located six kilometers from Tanjung Pinang, is reached in fifteen minutes by motor sampan. Seat of powerful Bugis viceroys in the 18th century, Penyengat still bears traces of its illustrious past. Ruins, abandoned for nearly 70 years, have recently been restored.

The old palace and princely tombs, including that of the respected Sultan Haji, author of the first modern grammar of the Malay language, are among these vestiges of the sultanate of Riau. The old viceregal mosque, the Mesjid Raya, is still in use. A new cultural center features Malay music and dance performances.

Pulau Penyengat
Penyengat Island near Tanjung Pinang. Masgatotkaca at the Indonesian language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Where to eat in Bintan

We didn’t have the opportunity to do many restaurants but here are the ones we did.

Warung yeah: € (not expensive at all)

Warung is a small eatery type of restaurant. An affordable Indonesian restaurant facing the beachfront of Lagoi Bay.

This warung is incredibly good! You can eat some kind of traditional noodles with meat, grilled rice in banana leaf, chicken satay, Gado-Gado (Indonesian salad with peanut sauce) and it was really delicious!

The place is also super cozy and cute in terms of decoration.

Sebong Lagoi, Teluk Sebong, Sebong Lagoi, Teluk Sebong, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia
Open from 10am to 10pm

Kelong Awi Seafood: €€-€€€

Dinner in the mangroves at Kelong Awi Seafood: the mangroves we told you about a little earlier are a fairly touristy place on the island so there are a lot of restaurants and they are all very “canteen”. The one we were in was much smaller and typical and the food was really good! We recommend you to go to this one if you want to do the mangrove activity at night. We were also got treated to a magnificent sunset on the boat trip to the restaurant, it was magical.

The Kelong Seafood Restaurant

Located at the Western Coast of Nirwana Gardens, The Kelong Seafood Restaurant is the only place to go where you can tuck into the richest and freshest seafood, while enjoying the balmy sea breeze and a panoramic view of the South China Sea.


Jln. Hang Lekir | Nongsa, Riau Islands Province 29465, Indonesia

Calypso Floating Bar, Bintan

To spend a moment at the end of the afternoon enjoying a well-prepared and correctly dosed cocktail, you have to go there.

At sunset you find yourself IN the postcard!
The pinnacle, the sunset over this bar on stilts at the end of a long pontoon.
The place is magical. The prices are a bit high (€ 15 per cocktail) but it’s worth the detour.

Calypso Floating Bar

There is no other place like the Calypso Floating Bar – easily to be one’s favourite spot at Nirwana Gardens. Located right beside The Kelong Seafood Restaurant, the Calypso Floating Bar is a Caribbean-style bar with a Rastafarian influence; immerse yourself in the soft reggae and calypso music while sipping on a cool drink and adoring the beautiful sunset from here.

Photo credit (main picture): The Travel Manuel from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sumatra Travel Guide: Discover the Top Must-Visit Places and Unforgettable Experiences

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