14 April 2009

Riau Archipelago: Bintan Island Tourism Object

Bintan is the largest island in the Riau province, with its area is 1.140 sq. km width, with a coastline of about 105 km. The island has a population of about 200.000, and like the rest of Riau this is a true mix of cultures like Malay, Bugis, Chinese and the Orang Laut. Bintan is very close to the equator and have a tropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 21° to 32°, with an average of 26° Celsius. 



Bintan and Batam saw before the economic crisis huge investments and development, including industrial parks and large tourist resorts. Bintan has since become a popular tourist destination due to its close vicinity to Singapore. Here we can get accommodation of all standards, and it is still possible to find a peaceful spot on Bintan far from other tourists. Most of the tourism is concentrated on the north coast around Lagoi, while the east coast is still unspoiled and worth a visit. In a not so distant past Bintan was completely covered with tropical rain forest. This is now all gone, except a small forest that covers the highest mountain on the island, Bintan Besar. The mountain is the remains of an old volcano, and has an elevation of 376 m, the highest point on the Riau islands.



In Bintan, diving promises to be comfortably civilized, with all underwater needs catered to Mana Mana Beach Club - Bintan Resort's professional water sports center. Out of the water, Bintan will be the place with something for everyone. There's the golf course, horses for riding and jungles for trekking - alternatives aplenty to tempt hardened divers to stay topside.



Bintan Island has tourism object  as the following:



Tanjung Pinang



Tanjung Pinang, is the main port town on Bintan Island, where trade and passenger ships link to all parts of Indonesia and Singapore. Bintan is a good point of departure to other islands in the area and only a two-hour boat ride away from Singapore. A large section of the old part of the town was built in traditional local fashion, on stilts, over the water, although today, its face is changing rapidly, with several first-class hotels and yachting marinas being developed. Seafood at the night market is great. Trikora Beach is about 50 kilometers south of Tanjung Pinang on the eastern side of the island. Good beaches are also found on the islands of Terkulai and Soreh, about an hour away by boat.



Tanjung Pinang is a busy little town on Bintan Island, visited by traders from Jakarta, Medan, Palembang and other big cities in Indonesia, Tanjung Pinang is only a two-hour boat ride away from Singapore. The town has a Museum located on Katamso Street. A large section of the old part of the town was built in traditional local fashion, on stilts, over the water. Bintan is a good point of departure to other islands in the area.




The main town on Bintan is Tanjung Pinang, which can be easily reached from Singapore. It is located on the western part of Bintan Bay, and is also the largest town on Riau Archipelago. It has the usual Indonesian chaos, but also its share of charm, especially the stilted buildings that sits above the water in the northern part of town is worth a look. Tanjung Pinang has a busy harbor that is strategically located close to the Malacca strait, one of the world's busiest sea-lanes. Most of the ships arriving Tanjung Pinang are however smaller vessels coming from all over Indonesia and from Singapore.




The 28m tall Raja Haji Fisabillah Monument of Struggle sits in the western part of Tanjung Pinang and is raised in memory of the hero Raja Haji who died during the battle for Malacca against the Dutch in 1784. The Sungai Ular (Snake River) Buddhist Temple is another attraction opposite the harbor in Tanjung Pinang. The visitor can also visit some of many small islands with fishing villages just a few minutes by boats from the town, and of course Penyengat Island. Tanjung Pinang is well known for good and inexpensive seafood and has a large selection of mussels, prawns, fish, squid and gong, a local specialty (shellfish). Also other traditional Riau food is served here, one specialty is "otak otak", fish meat cooked in coconut milk mixed with Indonesian spices and wrapped in coconut leaf, we can also find traditional Nasi Padang rice dishes. There are a large number of shops here, with a variety of relatively cheap goods, including electronics, tools, jewels, toys, batik and gold.




Tanjung Uban



The largest town besides Tanjung Pinang is Tanjung Uban on the north west coast. From here, it is a short distance if we reach it by boat to nearby Batam the ticket is cheap. Tanjung Uban has oil storage and is a district center. Along the sea there is a charming boardwalk called "pelantar" with houses, accommodation and restaurants built over the sea, behind this is the main street with shops.




Trikora Beach



The most popular beach on the east coast is Trikora, where also the locals use to go for relaxation on the holidays. It can be difficult to get there, go by taxi or the occasional bus from Tanjung Pinang. Even if the beach is isolated we can find simple accommodation here, even a more luxurious alternative. The sand is white and the water clean, a great place for relaxation after the hot and busy streets of Tanjung Pinang. We can also visit a fishing village nearby and a small ship building facility to have a look at traditional boat building.





Penyengat Island



Penyengat Island, 6 kilometers away from Tanjung Pinang, can be reached in 15 minutes by sampan boat. The seat of the powerful Bugis descended viceroys of Riau during the 18th century; Penyengat still bears the traces of its illustrious past. Ruins, abandoned for almost 70 years, were recently resorted. The oldest ruler's palace and royal tombs, among them the grave of the book respected Sultan Haji, author of the first Malay language grammar book among the legacies left by the Riau sultanate. A newly built cultural center for stage performances of Malay music and dances can be found.




In the 18th century Raja Haji built an outpost here as part of the defense around Bintan. He controlled the area until the Dutch at Malacca eventually killed him in 1784. His remains are now buried here. The ruler of Johor, Sultan Mahmud, gave the island to his Bugis wife Raja Hamidah in 1804. Raja Hamidah's son then ruled the Riau islands from Penyengat, while his half-brother ruled in the Lingga Island to the south. Raffles turned this division to his advantage in 1819, when the prince of Penyengat gave him the island of Singapore in return for a large sum of money and the protection of the British crown.



Under the protection and support of the British the area saw an "golden age", and the remains of this prosperous time can still be seen on the island. Some of the ruins have recently been restored, like the old ruler's palace and royal tombs. The old mosque, Mesjid Raya, is still in use. A cultural center is also newly built for performances of Malay music and dance. At the west end of the island there is an impressive stone fort, built by Raja Haji to fend off Dutch attacks.



The restored palace of Raja Ali is located in the center of the island. Raja Ali was a strict follower of Islam, things like gambling and cockfighting, the wearing of gold and silk for men and mixing of unmarried men and women were strictly forbidden. His yellow and green Royal Mosque can be seen from far away, completed in 1844 it became an important center for Muslim Malay learning in the 19th century. Penyengat Island actually became the cultural capital of the Malay world, and some 9.000 people inhabited the island, among them religious scholars from as far away as Mecca.



The importance of Penyengat ended when the last Sultan of the Riau-Lingga, Abdul Rahman Muazzan Shah, refused to sign a contract with the Dutch that terminated the rights and authority of the traditional king and officers of Riau. The Dutch then informed him that his palaces, buildings, land, etc, would be confiscated. To prevent this, he ordered Penyengat people to destroy the Dutch possessions on the island, this is the reason why there is not much left on Penyengat that shows its former glory. Today there are about 2.500 people living on the island, about one third of them are descendants of the former royalty, most of the residents make their living of fishing, while some work on the main island.




Because the participation of Penyengat Island was very important in historical of Riau Kingdom, so the island what relatively is very small it is to be well known and attention peoples to visit it. More over at there is still has much kind of historical last sites. At this island beside has much some kind of historical sites; it founded another interest objects like wonderful views, tradition couch, arts attraction, and traditional villages.



Source:www.indonesia-tourism.com

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