Forty-eight hours is hardly enough time to experience all the adventures Bintan Island has to offer. But two days spent on a small island with both raw idyllic beaches and facilities of upscale resorts are still better than any other typical day, right? Here’s what you can do with 48 hours on Bintan Island, Indonesia.
07.00: ATV ride along the beach
Start the day getting acquainted with the amazing landscape of Bintan on an ATV. Most resorts offer an ATV adventure service even for non-staying guests, but some of the favourites are the ones from Nirwana Gardens and Bintan Lagoon Resort. With this adrenaline-pumping activity, you’re off to a good start, as the brilliant coastlines and lush hills are all just a ride away. Not feeling as adventurous to go it alone? You can take an instructor with you and who knows, maybe you’ll return home with a cool new skill!
10.00: Swimming and water sports at Treasure Bay
At 60 hectares, this translucent artificial lagoon can easily fool you into thinking you are swimming in a crystal-clear, unbelievably clean and quiet sea. Crystal Lagoon at Treasure Bay is Southeast Asia’s first seawater lagoon, where you can laze around for hours without worrying about strong current or stray garbage. One can peacefully enjoy the view and atmosphere of an exotic beach with smooth, powder-white sand. Various water sports are also available, like the popular jetovator, a jet pack-like mechanism that can send you flying above the waters. (P.S. It’s not as hard as it looks).
14.00: Ride a Seaplane
From one daredevil vehicle to another, riding an open cockpit seaplane is an adventure not to be missed. Air Adventure Flying Club Bintan lets you fly, touch the clouds, and see the brilliant island from up high — or in short, have the time of your life. The experienced pilot will tour you around the island for a view that will leave your hands in the air and mouth hanging open in amazement. The entire adventure can’t be recorded on your smartphone, but you can get your flight video and documentation to take home and look back on any day.
16.00 Sunset at Lagoi Beach
One of Bintan’s most prized spots, Lagoi Beach has everything from scenery, adventures, activities, and luxury. Waiting for the sunset will be a blast, whether you choose to stroll down the beach, get a rush of adrenaline, or chill at one of the beachside cafés or restaurants lining up the coastline. Try Kelong Seafood Restaurant for fresh grilled seafood or Calypso Floating Bar at Nirwana Gardens for a more romantic Caribbean-style ambiance.
19.00: Lagoi Bay Lantern Park
Even after the sun goes down, the lively ambiance in Lagoi does not dim. At the lantern park, colourful lights take the fascinating shapes of marine creatures, an orangutan, a Sumatran tiger, a komodo, and other protected animals. For families travelling with kids, the park offers a fun and educational tour introducing various animals and their characteristics. Couples or groups, on the other hand, can enjoy the romantic and cheerful ambiance the place offers.
05.30: Sunrise (and more) at Trikora Beach
The famed Trikora Beach is even more beautiful at the start of the day. Catch an early glimpse of daylight at the beach, as the sun rises higher and gives the vast sea its turquoise shade and the sand its powdery white. This beach is also perfect for snorkelling and chilling at one of the cabanas, while sipping coconut ice and munching on traditional snacks. Also, tourists can explore the nearby villages and observe the fascinating traditional boat-making process.
09.00: Pulau Beralas Pasir
Just off the coast of Trikora Beach lies an impossibly beautiful and unspoiled small island, less than half an hour away from Teluk Bakau, Bintan. Also known as the pretty self-explanatory name of White Sands Islands, this island has lush vegetation, wonderful marine biodiversity, and facilities for various fun activities like beach volleyball, fishing, and snorkelling. You won’t even notice the hours passing by as you get lost at the sight of such blue, serene waters and the laid-back remote island atmosphere.
Long before the coasts of Bintan were occupied by resorts and tourists, the blissful island was already home to 18th-century Chinese immigrants, probably due to its strategic location as a passageway to enter the archipelago. The Senggarang Village in capital Tanjung Pinang is waiting to be explored with its ornate oriental homes and shrines. Numerous temples – such as the grand Vihara Avalokitesvara that features a 16.8-meter statue of the Chinese goddess Guan Yin plated in gold – is also located near the town. Another temple, Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, has a stunning open-air garden inhabited by at least 500 bodhisattva statues, each with different expressions. They certainly entice more tourists to come, worshippers and the curious alike.
18.00: Infinite dinner courses (and desserts) at a local market
A melting pot of different cultures and communities, Bintan has a wide array of scrumptious traditional food to try – from the famed Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice) to Chinese food, and skewers to fried dumplings. All one needs to do is walk through the markets and let the aroma wafting from food stalls, watering the mouth point you in the right direction.
Pasar Tradisional Bintan Center, Tanjung Pinang City, Riau Islands, Indonesia