RIAU ISLANDS, TROPICAL PARADISE
Riau Province is a province of Indonesia, consisting of Riau Archipelago, Natuna Islands, Anambas and Lingga Islands. The territory of this rich province includes a sizeable slice of the eastern Sumatran coast and more than 3,000 islands of all sizes. The smallest islands of the Riau Archipelago are no more than rocky reefs, about one hectare. The larger Bintan, Lingga and Singkep islands are about 1,000 hectares in size.
Riau Islands were originally part of Riau Province but were split off as a separate province in July 2004 with Tanjung Pinang, located in the south of Bintan Island, as its capital.
Riau Islands sit astride the Strait of Malacca and comprise more than 3,000 islands of various shapes and sizes. The more well known of these islands are Bintan, Batam and Kaimun. Bintan is the largest island, full of upscale accommodation, while Batam has an international airport. To the west of Batam, Karimun is famous for its beautiful beaches and granite mine. Other well-known islands include Kundur, Moro, Natuna and Anambas.
Sun worshippers and lovers of adventure and culture will find Riau Island an interesting place to explore. Beautiful white sandy beaches are found on almost every one of the islands, making them perfect for water sports, diving, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
A group of islands lying to the east of Sumatra in Indonesia.
The dry season is from May to October and is the best time to visit.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO
The largest of the Riau Islands it is a popular resort island. Trikorad, a beautiful beach with clear blue waters is popular among beach combers. Good night entertainment with numerous beach bars and discos throughout the island, which operate till the wee hours of the morning. A must-visit attraction is the Buddhist temple. Accommodation for visitors ranges from deluxe beach hotels to budget accommodation and beach huts.
Batam has many scenic beaches. The most popular beach is Nongsa and from here one can see the Singapore skyline. The island has exciting night entertainment with many bars, clubs and discos. Like Bintan it is also known for its seafood with many restaurants serving some of the best seafood in the region. It is also popular for its granite mine. Accommodation for visitors ranges from deluxe beach hotels to budget accommodation and beach huts.
Located six kilometers from Tanjung Pinang the island is just a 15-minute journey away by sampan boats. Its illustrious past is still visible in the ruins, abandoned for almost 70 years, but which were recently restored. Among the legacies left by the Riau sultanate are the old rulers’ palace and royal tombs. The old vice-royal mosque, Masjid Raya (Mosque), is still in use. There is also a newly built cultural centre for stage performances of Malay music and dances.
Capital of Bintan, Tanjung Pinang is the cultural centre for stage performances of Malay music and dances. A large section of the old part of the town was built in traditional local fashion, on stilts over the water. The town has a museum located on Jl. Katamso. It is also known for its seafood and the town has many seafood restaurants. It is only a two-hour boat ride away from Singapore.