Blogs from Bintan, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan November 16th 2019

As I sat on my veranda at Lake Maninjau, watching two iguana’s play in the waters, I contemplated Minang culture and the influence of Islam on it. Minang culture is matrilineal, meaning the women are in charge. But Minang culture is also Islamic. The matrilineal aspect dates from pre-Islamic times, and the introduction of Islam didn’t change that. In a sense it is a strange mix, since Islam, like nearly all religions, is patriarchal. How can those two opposites be reconciled I wondered. How did it work? Just by looking at the people, one would not guess the matrilineal nature of the Minang. It is not as if the men are slaving away in the fields, while the woman sit smoking a cigarette in the shade, chatting to friends. No quite the opposite, as elsewhere in ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan September 26th 2015

3rd time into Bintan but this trip left the deepest impressions. We chanced upon a treasure which stands atop the open clear waters. url= Laguna Resort and Restaurant is less of a resort than one you would imagine to be. It is more of a 'Kelong', a Malay word describing a form of offshore platform built predominantly with wood, and can easily pass off as a fishing platform similar to some others off Trikora beach. The stay was surprisingly pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable, considering the lack of amenities there: No wifi, no gadgets (TV, electronic games, etc.), no heater. We just soaked in the atmosphere, took in the cooling sea breeze, gazed out at the endless horizon and feasted on the fresh seafo... read more
Simple. Beautiful.
Totally enjoying it!

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan July 11th 2012

Day 1 The Nikoi Island Resort is a small private island off of Bintan in Indonesia. We first took the ferry to Bintan which took 45 minutes. Then we rode a van that took us to the Nikoi island jetty. The ride there was roughly 60 minutes, we drove for 15 minutes and we reached the police post that separates the free trade zone and the zone where most of the people live. We drove through a town and then we drove through a rainforest. After 25 minutes, we entered a hilly area where they grew palm oil trees, but there was not as many palm oil trees as in Malaysia. We drove through this hilly and curvy area for roughly 30 minutes and then we saw the sea. We took a boat from the jetty ... read more
Upstairs bedroom of bungalow
rock climbing

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan March 9th 2011

Bintan Island ( is just about 1 hour away from Singapore by a ferry ride. It seems like the island belongs to Singapore and doesn’t reflect the typical Indonesia culture. But it can be a good destination to escape from the hustle and bustle of the neighbor island country. We took Mangrove Discovery Tour. It was quote interesting to us, because that kind of activity is almost impossible to have in Japan nor in Singapore (might be possible though, but I believe it’s better in Bintan). Totally unexperienced thing to us. We took a morning tour starting at 7:00. It was awesome with little heat wave and much breeze. Their night tours are good as well. They told us you can see tons of lightning beetles shining in the grove. They are like natural Christmas trees ... read more
Mangrove Discovery Tour
Mangrove Discovery Tour
Mangrove Discovery Tour

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan June 12th 2010

East Bintan Experiential Learning/Community Engagement June 2010 - Malang Rapat/Trikora Coast Cabana Beach Resort - looking east Kelong Fishing Platform Mangroves - lost... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan April 26th 2010

With the event of the Icelandic Volcano cocking things up for Europeans worldwide, my mum was stuck in Singapore with me. Shame. So she decided, for the weekend, it was a good bet to travel with me to Indonesia. First stop was a beautiful little island called Bintan, a short ferry ride from Singapore. Of course she wasn’t thrilled at my plans for economy class and budget weekend, so we rocked up onto the business class seats in the most comfortably seated ferry I have ever experienced (showing Michael Jacksons ‘History tour’ DVD on the 42” widescreen no less!) After a short coach ride (air-con no less) we arrived at the 5* Bintan Lagoon Resort to the locals playing their wooden instruments and dancing in their traditional dress. The hotel was gorgeous and I eagerly ran ... read more
Sunrise at Borobudur
Mount Bromo

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan November 18th 2009

I feel a bit light headed with all this country hopping , it will be a busy week for me three countries in as many days!!! I flew into Singapore on Monday afternoon and the rain followed me. With less than 24hrs so the best thing to do was to book a tour for the evening . That was excellent fun , there were about 16 of us from a range of hotels and various age groups. we were taken for a brief ride to see some of the highlights , then a meal in a seafood restaurant on one of the trendy quays which was really good. We visited a huge bustling market which really needed more time, as it was I was the last back on the bus! Finally to the very famous Raffles ... read more
night views of quay
Views of the river
wheel at night

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan November 14th 2009

Saturday, 14th November 2009 The Bintan trip was never part of our travel forecast for 2009. Ideas flew by during one of the nights in Halong Bay. Since none of us had left our footprints on the island, we decided to give it a go. 1 month later, we were on the island. Slight changes were made to the travel line up as SS was seconded to Shanghai for her business trip and Mapletree was simply caught up with her commitments at work. 4 of us arrived at the relatively "Ulu" Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on the afternoon of 14th November 2009 while waiting for our 12.10pm ferry to set sail to the Riau Archipalego. Within the next 80 minutes, we managed to check in our room at the Nirwana Resort. The room was spacious and ... read more
The resort's free-forming pool overlooking the sea
The great lengths we took to take decent group pictures
Coconut Paradise

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan January 26th 2009

I really don't have slightest idea how I'm going to be able to describe these previous days in Bintan Island, so overwhelming experience that was. We were looking for a true getaway, and that's what we got, indeed. Bintan Island is part of the Riau Islands province of Indonesia and is located less than 40 kilometers from Singapore. We took a ferry to going there, and instead of other travellers who stayed in Bintan Resort's area, we were looking for Bintan's best kept secret. With a taxi, it took almost one hour to reach Mutiara beach guesthouse located on island's east coast, where the Bintan's best beach Trikora, was said to be. When arriving there the staff members came to greet us with friendliness, from the beginning it came clear this was totally different place compared ... read more
Kelong - floating eco-bungalow
Welcoming drinks

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Bintan November 25th 2008

After 2 months of not seeing each other, I flew into Singapore on Thursday night and was very happy to see Brett waiting for me at the airport! My flight arrived around 10pm local time and it was amazing how hot and humid it still was, although Brett said it was actually on e fo the cooler nights! Can't believe they have been building a skatepark in this heat, no wonder they are going a bit nuts (to say the least!). And funny that I went from sharing a kind sized bed with Di a week ago while her husband slept on the floor, and now Brett and I are sharing a single bed that is on the floor. And a really short single bed at that! Well we did put the box spring beside it ... read more
Welcome to Bintan!
Some of the local boats in the Indonesian waters
The ferry, The Falcon (a.k.a. Best "Falcon" boat ever)

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