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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for The Best “Secret” Locations in Bintan – Enchanting Island Discoveries
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Best “Secret” Locations in Bintan – Enchanting Island Discoveries

A part of the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia, Bintan Island is a truly wondrous island destination with everything from beachside escapes to cultural adventures. Despite its popularity, the island has some places of interest that are not always highlighted, but which offer captivating discoveries.


Grotto Santa Maria

Situated within easy reach of the Trikora coastline, Grotto Santa Maria is a pilgrimage spot for Roman Catholics in Bintan. One of its key features is the 14 “Stations of the Cross” that have been carefully carved in limestone amidst a natural setting. These statues and depictions lead one to a cave where one will find an ornate statue of the Virgin Mary. Beside the cave is a small chapel where mass is held on Sundays; witnessing this only adds to the rich and spiritual experience one can get here.


500 Lohan Temple

Also known as Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the 500 Lohan Temple is a truly unique attraction since it is actually home to 500 Lohan (or arhat) statues! Located within easy reach of Tanjung Pinang, this temple enjoys a hillside setting and features distinctive Chinese architecture. You can explore the grounds of the temple where one will find the Lohan stone statues which have different facial expressions and poses. At this site, one will also find statues of revered deities along with a huge Buddha statue which is a truly amazing sight.


Senggarang Village

Located on the island’s south-western coast, Senggarang Village provides captivating insights into the region’s Chinese heritage. One of the striking sights here are the stilt houses of the local fisher community which have been built in rows above the water. Easy to visit on excursions from local resorts the likes of The Residence Bintan by Cenizaro, Senggarang is also home to ancient Chinese temples; some of them go all the way back to the 17th century and feature striking paintings and sculptures. A remarkable sight awaits at the Tian Shang Miao temple which is literally entwined with the roots of a huge Banyan tree which is believed to be over two centuries old!


Panglong Village

A captivating visit is in store at Panglong Village where one can learn more about the Orang Laut or Sea Gypsies who have established their home in this part of Bintan. Resorts offer tours to this village that’s full of old world charm and where one can see the traditional way of life of these sea nomads. Living in stilt houses by the water, the Orang Laut mainly engage in fishing as their form of livelihood and still make their fishing nets and boats by hand!


Bintan Mangrove

A boat tour along the Sebung River will bring you to the Bintan Mangrove, an ecosystem where flora and fauna thrive amidst interconnected tree roots by the water. A wonderful place to visit for nature lovers or those looking for a more laid-back excursion, this mangrove forest is a great place to spot wildlife too. Keep your eyes peeled for you might see silver leaf monkeys, macaques, monitor lizards, kingfishers and even mangrove snakes!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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