A long time ago when I was young, there were two places in Indonesia that I really wanted to go. The first was the city of Solo and the second was the island of Bintan. I went to Solo city for the first time when I was attending college in Jogjakarta (Solo is a city near Jogjakarta), while I have just visited Bintan Island after nearly two years living in its neighbor island which is Pulau Batam (sometimes I do a lot of proscrastination :p)
If you guys open the map it will be seen that the island of Bintan is located next to the island of Batam. Bintan Island also has its own airport and can be directly accessed from several cities in Indonesia. Bintan Island also has several ports that connect Batam and Bintan, Bintan and its surrounding islands, even connecting Bintan with Singapore and Malaysia.
Bintan Island has an area of more than 60,000 KM which makes Bintan become the largest island in the Riau Archipelago. Its capital city is Tanjung Pinang and there is a wide range of very attractive tourist destination in this island
I visited Bintan along with some of my friends and decided to rent a car to get around this beautiful island as I only had two days and one night on the island. The first area that we went after landing on the island of Bintan is Tanjung Pinang. As I mentioned above, Tanjung Pinang is the capital city of Bintan. Tanjung Pinang is also the administrative center of Riau Islands province, but even though Tanjung Pinang has many government offices such as Governor’s head Office and other offices, Tanjung Pinang relatively quite and less crowded compared to its neighbor island, Batam.
After touring Tanjung Pinang, we headed to Lagoi. Lagoi is located in the northern part of Bintan Island, with approximately 1.5 hours drive from Tanjung Pinang. Lagoi is famous for a place where variety of well-known resorts located. It is also one of the favorite destinations of Singaporean and Malaysian to spend holidays. In this area, there are also very pretty beaches, golf area, and Treasure Bay.
To be able to enter Lagoi, visitors are required to pay the entrance fee. After entering the gate, we will be presented with shady trees on the right and left of the road up to the resort areas or other tourist attractions in it. We steered the car to Lagoi Beach area for resting and having lunch. Arriving at the beach, white sand and calm sea greeted us beautifully. The beach atmosphere was very, no wonder foreign investors are eager to build a world-class resort.
After having lunch, taking some photographs and playing in the sand, we went to Treasure Bay. Touted as the largest swimming pool in South East Asia, Treasure Bay has an area of approximately 6 hectares and a water play area integrating with the resort. The pool area is referred to as Crystal Lagoon and it is made like a real beach, with its white sands and salty water. To get into the Treasure Bay we are required to pay the entrance fee of Rp. 100,000 including in it the amount of money that can be redeemed to buy foods and drinks at the Treasure Bay area. Treasure Bay also offers many water games which tickets can be purchased separately from the admission, such as kayak, water tricycle, Waterboat, etc.
Once we satisfied playing at Treasure Bay, we continued our trip to Trikora Beach. Its shoreline is surrounded by large granite stones, making this beach a little more similar to the beach on the island of Belitung. The beach also has white and fine sand and the waves are likely to be subdued. There are some hotels around the beach, and if you have plenty of time, you can rent a boat to cross to Beralas Pasir Island, that located right in front of Trikora Beach, for snorkeling.
Actually there are many other tourist attractions on the island of Bintan, for example Penyengat Island that is known for its Masjid Raya Sultan Riau, Mangrove Forest, Vihara Avalokitesvara, the Blue Lake and many more. However, because of the limited time, I was just able to visit three places mentioned. Anyway, I finally went to Bintan and I would definitely visit it again someday. If you guys have not been to Bintan, lets come to Bintan, as some people say “Bintan is the new Bali”