Editor’s Choice – Our Team’s Favourite Go-to Attractions in Bintan
What comes to your mind first when you think of Bintan? Most people would think of a relaxing getaway enjoying the sea breeze, tropical trees and beach resorts. However, Bintan is not all about the resorts and beaches. Beyond the resorts, Bintan is home to a myriad of different activities and unique experiences to discover and explore!
Read on to find out our team’s favourite go-to attractions in Bintan, and why you should totally include them in your next Bintan itinerary.
If you’re looking for a day of fun in water or on land, Treasure Bay Bintan is the one-stop recreation hub you cannot miss. Adventure awaits just a 5mins drive away from Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal.
Jetovator (Motorised water bike)
Be welcomed by a visual feast of the glistening 6.3 hectares Crystal Lagoon (the size of 50 Olympics swimming pools!) flanked by a large variety of activities and glamping accommodations. A first in Southeast Asia, Crystal Lagoon achieve crystalline water using a patent sustainable technology which filters seawater with lesser chemicals than conventional swimming pools.
Have a friendly kayaking competition with your friends at Crystal Lagoon
Engage in a variety of water activities suitable for the young and old, choose from kayaking, paddle-boarding, water cycling or sailing. Adventure junkies can challenge themselves to balance on the Jetovator or propel into the air on the Slip & Slide. If there’s a need for speed, pick up wakeboarding, waterskiing and knee-boarding at the Chill Cove Wake Park. Little ones can walk on water in a Water ZOVB (inflatable clear ball) or enjoy the inflatable water playground.
Inflatable floats for your insta-worthy moments
Giant inflatable floats are available for rent if you want to just sit back, relax and capture insta-moments! And that’s not all, there are still a long list of water activities for you to choose from, so put on your best swimsuit and get ready for an exciting time!
Before we got down and dirty in the juggle trail!
For those who prefer to stay dry, take your pick from the list of thrilling land activities available at Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan. Challenge the juggle terrain on an ATV/UTV, look out for the muddy puddles as you waive through the meandering Off-Road Trail.
Scooted around the compound easily with 1-day rental of electric scooters
Rent an electric scooter or a 2-wheeler Segway to go around the compound and capture insta-worthy pictures. Take a break from the sun and hop over to indoor activities such as a round of Air Rifle Soft Gun or a round of video games at the Chill Cove Music Lounge.
If you’re looking for activities to keep the kids occupied, they’ve got you covered! Parents may drop-off their kiddos at Pirates’ Adventure Indoor Playground to exhaust the energy of your little ones or challenge them to a Rodeo Bull showdown!
ANMON Teepee teepee-style glamp tents
Visitors may visit Treasure Bay Bintan with an admission ticket to enjoy access to Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan and unlimited rides on Slip & Slide. You may also check out the Chill Cove Inclusive Package which offers a well-rounded variety of water and land activities!
Natra Bintan, previously known as The Canopi
Oh, did we mention that there are also accommodation options in Treasure Bay Bintan? If you’re looking for an extended getaway, consider staying at ANMON or Natra Bintan which are situated just beside the lagoon. These resorts provide guests with the ultimate ‘glamping’ experience with complimentary admission tickets to Treasure Bay Bintan. To find out more about glamping experiences, stay tuned for upcoming articles!
Signage upon entering Safari Lagoi
During our first few trips to Bintan, we were surprised to learn that there was a safari and eco-farm here as we have never heard of it. We were even more pleasantly surprised to learn that Safari Lagoi is a licensed rehabilitation and refuge center that is home to numerous rescued endangered animals.
Resident sun bear that grew up in the compound after being nursed back to health
Residents are mostly rescued from illegal pet trade and exotic meat markets, and are either sick or injured and nursed back to health in the premises. Dedicated to wildlife and environmental conservation, Safari Lagoi & Eco-Farm maintains close partnerships with like-minded individuals, institutions and government bodies including the Indonesian Ministry of Nature Conservation and Forestry to provide continued quality care for these animals who are incapable of survival if released back into the wild.
Safari Lagoi is currently home to residents such as orangutans, Komodo Dragons, tigers, sun bears, reptiles, birds and even a 6 metre crocodile!
Picture perfect bed of flowers
Sharing the same compound, amidst the safari is also an eco-farm which offers a wide variety of seasonal plants and crops like rice, papaya, corn, pineapple, dragon fruit, berries and a variety of vegetables that are supplied upon harvest to nearby resorts. Depending on the season, you might also see endless beds of flowers such as lavender and sunflower. It was an eye-opening experience as there are so many surprises in every corner!
Seasonal plants and crops ready for harvesting
Guided tours are also available for a comprehensive experience while engaging with knowledgeable guides. Come in close contact with the safari’s residents as you make your way around the park. If you’re lucky, you may even stumble into a feeding session! It is amazing to see the tight bonds between the staff and animals as the guides share little details of each resident and their back story. The animals also react instantly when they’re called by their names. It is an enriching and fun session for everyone, old or young!
Estuarine crocodile, this species can grow up to 6m in length!
Safari Lagoi & Eco Farm operates daily from 9.00am to 5.00pm with admission. Guided tours are available for booking at https://www.bintanresortstour.com/ which are inclusive of 2 way land transfer, admission ticket, fully guided tour and seasonal fruit tasting. So be sure to add this to your next Bintan itinerary!
We were never really a nature lover but got totally converted after experiencing the Mangrove Discovery Tour! Bintan Mangrove is conveniently situated within Bintan Resorts and less than 5 minutes’ drive away from the local township hawker center, Pujasera.
Mangrove Discovery Tour
Upon arrival at Bintan Mangrove, you will be greeted by the iconic rustic entrance with some monkeys around the forest bushes. A gentle reminder to apply insect repellent, because the mosquitoes here are commanders and real hard to shake off!
Bintan Mangrove Guide Map
Before embarking on the tour, you will be given a short introduction on the routes taken and what to look out for at each point. After putting on your life jackets, board the motorboat and begin your enchanting journey. As the boat cruised through Sebong River, be immersed in the scents of nature with a cooling forest breeze. It is a truly therapeutic and relaxing experience.
Abandoned charcoal kiln along Sebong River
Shortly, you will arrive at the first stop, a Charcoal Kiln that is no longer in use since the government banned the burning of mangrove trees for charcoal years ago. It is now left there to educate, conserve and preserve the island’s history, definitely a highlight of the mangrove tour.
Kampoeng Kelong Seafood Restaurant
Continuing your journey into the wilderness, you will pass by several kelong restaurants that are beautifully situated on wooden stilts along the river, offering fresh and various seafood options for a unique dining experience.
As you travel deeper into the mangrove forest, the river will get narrow and with the motorboat engine slow down, watch the landscape transform into a tranquil habitat. You will be closely surrounded by dense mangrove trees which is home to hundreds of wildlife and fauna species.
Drone shot that capture the beauty of the mangrove river
During the day, keep a lookout for mangrove snakes, monkeys and monitor lizards. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some colourful kingfishers! You can also learn about the different mangrove species thriving in the forest and how to identify them by their unique root formations. The mangrove roots you can easily spot are pencil roots, stilt roots, ribbon roots and knee roots.
After nightfall, the mangrove tour will transform into a completely different experience where the twinkling of stars take over the night sky and fireflies dance under the moonlight. Mangrove Discovery Tours (Day or Night) are also available for booking on https://www.bintanresortstour.com/. Don’t miss this unforgettable and magic experience!
Make your way down to South Bintan, Tanjung Pinang and get ready for a gastronomical adventure. Tanjung Pinang is the capital of the Riau Islands and also the main town of Bintan where you can do some shopping, café-hopping or even immense in heritage and history of the island.
Cangkir Hawker Centre situated in Rimba Jaya
One of the most popular hangout spots for locals would be the food paradise – Rimba Jaya. This is also the team’s favorite go-to dinner location as it offers a wide selection of food options. Rimba Jaya comprises a hawker centre, a night market, several cafes and a Japanese restaurant that offers authentic yet halal-friendly and affordable Japanese food.
Night Market Street Food Stalls
Here are some of our top favorites “MUST-EAT” dishes and snacks in Rimba Jaya:
Goreng Pisang (fried banana fritters topped with grated cheese, chocolate sauce and condensed milk)
Halal-friendly okonomiyaki and ramen from TOMO Japanese Restaurant
Oyster Omelette from Cangkir Hawker Centre, incredibly tasty and pocket-friendly!
Ikan Bakar from Cangkir Hawker Centre, be sure to try other BBQ seafood selections from the same stall!
There is simply too much to list. Most eateries and cafes in Rimba Jaya operate daily from around 6pm to 11pm. So time your visit after sundown to indulge in the mouthwatering dishes. Be sure to go on an empty stomach, Rimba Jaya will not disappoint your taste buds!
Endless landscape of hilly sand-dunes
Saving the best attraction for last, this is by far our favorite place in Bintan! Gurun Pasir & Telaga Biru, when translated in English, means “desert, sand & blue lake”. This is a former sand-mining site that was abandoned for several years before locals rediscovered this area. After years of the Bintan sunshine, rainfall and elements of nature, this location transformed into a magnificent stunning hidden photography gem.
Turquoise lagoons adding a special touch to the sandy landscape
Previously a bare landscape with hilly sand dunes, rainwater was collected over the years, and thus, forming clear turquoise lagoons. Locals took notice of this incredible landscape and installed various insta-worthy artworks to preserve and complement its beauty.
Simple art installations complement the scenic natural backdrop
Word spread quickly and Gurun Pasir & Telaga Biru soon became the limelight of many locals. It has now become a photogenic hotspot for tourists too. Here are some Instagram-able spots and ideas that we really liked.
What do you think after looking through the images? It is gorgeous, isn’t it?
Gurun Pasir & Telaga Biru is located on the west side of Bintan Island, it is recommended to do a private car hire or enquire through a tour operator to get there. Remember to apply sunscreen before you set out on your photo adventure as there is little shade from the relentless tropical sun.
With many more attractions to discover on the sunny island, explore the wonders of Bintan by venturing beyond the resorts and you’re in for an adventure! We can’t wait to welcome you back to Bintan once this is over. Meanwhile, stay safe and we will see you soon!