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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Must See Places in Bintan – Pleasant Island Getaway
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05 Must See Places in Bintan – Pleasant Island Getaway

Bintan the largest island within the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia is a favoured getaway destination. Located just 55 minutes from Singapore via ferry, it is only a one and a half hour flight from Jakarta. The island which is 30 minutes from Batam has much to offer.

1

Explore Pulau Penyengat

You can reach Pulau Penyengat from the Tanjung Pinang Pier via boats heading out to the island frequently. The island was once the capital of the Riau Raja's and is a great place to explore for its history. Culture buffs can visit the palace ruins of Rajah Ali, and check out the old tombs and graveyards of Raja Ali and Raja Jafaar. The best attraction on the island though is the beautiful saffron coloured Masjid Raya Sultan Riau, made up of domes and tall minarets. Built in 1832, this almost Gothic in style structure is one to explore. An ideal place to visit for a day out from your Bintan accommodation, the island is rife with many ruins of past empires.

2

The Banyan Tree Temple

Within easy reach of properties the likes of The Residence Bintan by Cenizaro, the Banyan Tree Temple is located within a 19th century building. The building which is now cocooned in the roots of a huge banyan tree is believed to have been the residence of a wealthy Chinese merchant, thought to be buried there. The place was not a shrine until recently when folks started visiting the place and making offerings to the deities thought to reside there.

3

Enjoy Chinatown

You can get off at the jetties of Senggarang better known as Chinatown for some memorable experiences and photo opportunities. The charming little town consists of houses propped up on stilts and spilling out to the sea; and yes indeed, some houses do seem to be perched rather precariously over the ocean. The community consisting of Teochew Chinese has been around since the 18th century and is a treat to explore. Wander around the narrow lanes, and peek in through the open doors, most often you will see shrines within the homes taking one back in time to a forgotten period.

4

Let Vihara Bhatra Sasana Impress

This is a beautiful Chinese temple where fierce dragons drape themselves over the elaborate eaves of the temple roof. The central altar is adorned with a statue of the Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. You can easily reach the temple by turning right at the corner of Jln Ketapang; get there by walking along the straight road from the jetty.

5

Visit Picture Perfect Cetiya Bodhi Sasana

This pretty little Chinese temple is visible from the water as your boat leaves to Chinatown. In front is an open-air stage where regular Chinese opera performances are held. Around the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, there are dragon boat races which are held in front of the temple and are indeed quite a treat to observe.