A tropical island paradise and also a melting pot of civilizations, Bintan Island provides visitors a lot more to do than just sit on the beach. Over two hours from Singapore and Jakarta, Bintan Island is a convenient getaway from hectic city life. The stunning destination is home to lavish, avant-garde attractions, a fascinating character, and fascinating local culture. From hiking adventures to sumptuous feasts, find the top five things to do on Bintan Island, Indonesia.
Visit Panglong Village
This village is home to the native Bintan dwellers, the Orang Laut (Sea Gypsies). They were nomadic fishermen before settling down on the beaches of Panglong, building houses from woods and making a living in the shore aside from fishing. Travelers can observe the beauty of Panglong’s old buildings, such as the legendary ‘brick igloos’ that the natives once utilized to make charcoal.
Chill and drama at Crystal Lagoon
In 60 hectares in diameter, this translucent lagoon can quickly feel like a crystal-clear, impossibly calm sea. Hover around on a unicorn float for hours, lounge on the powder-white sand or register for one of the own water sports activities. Jetovator, a jetpack-like mechanism that can send you flying over the water, is very popular among daredevils.
Stop by the Thousand Face Temple
Known as the ‘thousand face’ temple, Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is an unusual, picture-perfect and culturally rich attraction. This majestic Buddhist site of worship has some 500 life-size Lohan statues in its backyard, all lined up with various expressions and faces. The temple gate and shrines are so grand and authentic; it seems like a bit of China on a tropical island.
Feast on food and drink
Home to many fishing areas, Bintan is never short of delicious, fresh seafood. Kelong Seafood Restaurant serves a number of the island’s most excellent grilled fish, enjoyed with a stunning backdrop of the sunset in the idyllic Lagoi Bay. After dinnertime, the youthful island energy is transported to the nighttime by hip bars dotting the beach. Lagoi Bay includes some great waterfront bars such as The Terrace Sports Bar and Calypso Floating Bar.
Senggarang is a charming fishing hamlet and home to Bintan’s Chinese people. This village seems like a modest version of Venice, together with canals dividing wooden houses that float above the water. As the first Chinese settlement on the island, Senggarang houses many temples and shrines, easily recognizable for their festive and vibrant colors — in contrast with simple, earthy homes in the neighborhood. Do not forget to try the regional unique shark fillet (shua he pia) or shrimp porridge (he moi).