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Bintan Island | © Nicolas Lannuzel/Flickr
Bintan Island | © Nicolas Lannuzel/Flickr
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This Up-and-Coming Island Has Been Dubbed 'the Next Bali’

Picture of Edira Putri
Updated: 7 October 2017
For decades, locals have known Bintan Island as an exclusive tropical paradise lined with lavish resorts. But there are many other things tourists should learn about this island and why it’s earning a reputation as ‘the next Bali’.

Bintan Island has been more popular with jet-setters from neighboring Singapore than to the average traveler. Clouded by the image of endless five-star resorts occupying the gorgeous coastline, many tourists opt for the more popular and down-to-earth destinations, such as Bali, Lombok, Komodo, and the other lesser Sunda Islands. Other tourists are not even aware of this island getaway, just half-an-hour’s ferry ride away from Singapore and 1.5 hours of flight away from the capital Jakarta.

An initiative from the Indonesian government is aimed at changing such impressions. While maintaining the island’s luxurious beat, Bintan Island will also be promoted for its tropical natural charm, adventures, and other fun activities to do.

Beachfront resort at Bintan Island
Beachfront resort at Bintan Island | © René Modery/Flickr

The tourism development will also be supported by opening an international airport next year. Accommodation and activity options will also be widened for every budget with new resorts and hotels opening in the next few years, luring all kinds of travelers to the magnificent island.

Things to See and Do in Bintan Island

Whether you’re seeking adventure or culture, discover the best things to see and do in Bintan Islands, other than lazing at the white sand tropical beach or at a luxe resort’s pool.

Visit the iconic Rumah Arang

These iconic, igloo-like domes were once essential to the daily lives of the indigenous tribe. The “brick igloo” once served as a kitchen stove to make charcoal. The buildings cease to function but the cultural and aesthetic charms only increase with time.

Kuala Sempang, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia

Visit the Thousand Faces Temple

This majestic Buddhist temple has just been opened to the public and has quickly gained admiration as a picture-perfect and culturally rich destination to explore. The oriental-style temple has at least 500 Lohan statues inside its enormous, ornate gate. None of the statues have the same face or expression, making each figure interesting and unique to observe.

Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, East Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands, Indonesia

Ride an open-cockpit seaplane

Boarding a flight on a seaplane with an open cockpit through the clouds over the land, jungles, and seas is not an adventure for the faint of heart. Daredevils and adventurers, on the other hand, shouldn’t miss this adrenaline-rush experience of flying fast and high where you can actually touch the clouds and feel the open air.

Air Adventures Flying Bintan, Sebong Lagoi, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia

Hike the Bintan Hills

Walking further from the idyllic beaches and up the hills of Bintan Besar Mountain will grant tourists an unrestricted view of not only the beaches, but also the whole island — jungles, rivers, and villages. The hike itself is an unmissable experience of enjoying the cool air, spotting tropical birds, admiring wild orchids, and stopping by the Bintan Bekapur waterfall.

Gunung Bintan Besar, Bintan Buyu, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia

Dip into Southeast Asia’s first artificial seawater lagoon

It’s no secret that Bintan Island has some of the most stunning beaches in Indonesia. But what about a bluer, clearer lagoon to enjoy the tropical sunshine, with even whiter and cleaner smooth sands to dip your toes into? Crystal Lagoons offers a convenient way to immerse yourself into the fabulous island life — hovering the translucent blue water on a unicorn float or swimming about without worrying about strong currents or stray garbage.

Crystal Lagoon, Treasure Bay Bintan, Sebong Lagoi, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands, Indonesia

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