About Bintan

About Bintan

Are you in the mood for picturesque sandy beaches, luxurious resorts, and beautiful diving experiences? Then Bintan is the place to be. Situated just a ferry ride away from Singapore, Bintan is known to be a holiday within a holiday. While on holiday in culturally diverse and colourful Singapore, Get away and indulge in the abundance of what Bintan has to offer.

  • Bintan

    Bintan in situated in Riau Islands, Indonesia. Located east of Sumatra and south of Singapore, Bintan is just 45 minutes from Singapore on ferry. Bintan is the largest island of the Riau islands. It is one of the most developed and affluent parts of Indonesia. Due to its strategic location, Bintan attracts many tourists, mostly from Singapore and Malaysia. In recent years, its popularity as a seaside holiday destination has grown and the number of visitors from all around the world has been on a steady rise.

    Bintan is at the northern tip of the Riau islands. The capital of Bintan is Tanjung Pinang. This is also the biggest town in Bintan. One of the main attractions in Tanjung Pinang is its ancient and vibrant market that is partially on stilts.

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    Bintan is well known for its luxurious beach front resorts. Most of the resorts are situated on the northwest side of the Island and there are also a few beach resorts located on the east coast of bintan.

    The people in Bintan are hospitable and courteous. The main language spoken in Bintan is Bahasa Indonesia. However English is widely spoken in all areas, especially the Bintan resort area. Bintan has a deeply rooted history, a very colourful present and an extremely promising future with Indonesia marketing it as the second popular tourist destination after Bali.

    Diving in Bintan is an exciting experience. There are many varieties of marine life to be sighted here including turtles. Six of the seven species of turtles found throughout the world are said to be found in Indonesia.

    The waters around Bintan are not too deep, allowing a diving experience for all levels of divers. Bintan is mainly known for shallow fringing reef and good coral and macro life.

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  • History

    Bintan is a growing tourist attraction with visitors coming from all over the world. A large percentage of visitors are from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia itself. Bintan is the largest of the 3,200 islands in the Riau archipelago and the third largest among the 27 provinces in Indonesia. Only 45 minutes away from Singapore, Bintan is twice the size of Singapore. In the past, Bintan was an important hub for trade and in recent years, it has slowly evolved into a tourism hub in Indonesia.

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    Due to its strategic location, Bintan was a very busy trade hub many years ago, located along the China-India maritime trading route. It was recorded in the 14th century that Bintan had the most number of pirates roaming on its water. These pirates earned a reputation for themselves, using war ships to attack Chinese ship returning from the Indian Ocean. To this day, you may find Chinese ceramics dating back to the Song Dynasty washing ashore from the ships that are now underwater wrecks.

    The original settlers in Bintan and the rest of the Riau Islands are said to be Malay and Orang Laut people also know as sea nomads. Later, migrants from South China moved in and made Bintan their home.

    During the 12th and 13th century, Bintan was part of the Srivijaya Empire on Sumatra. Sri Tri Buana, a member of the Royal family later declared himself the King of Bintan and Singapore. Then during the rule of Sultan Mansoor Shah from 1459 to 1466, Bintan and the rest of Riau became part of the Malacca. In 1511, Malacca empire fell to the Portugese. A war between the Portugese, Johor Sultanate and the Achehnese of northern Sumatra then begin. This was called the ‘War Triangle’ and Bintan was part of it. Bintan saw many rulers come and go during this time. The region eventually fell under the ruling of Dutch later.

    In 1942, the Japanese occupied Bintan, and in 1945 it became the part of Riau province of the Republic of Indonesia.

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  • Getting to Bintan & Around

    Bintan has a domestic airport located at Tanjung Pinang. Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport serves Indonesian flight between Bintan and Jakarta, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Jambi and the remote Natuna Islands. The most popular alternative to get to Bintan is via Singapore. The international airport at Singapore, Changi Airport, is a common gateway for Bintan. The boat ride from Singapore takes about an hour.

    There are several ferry operators operating daily departures from Singapore Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan Bandar Bintan Telani Terminal (North) or Tanjung Pinang Terminal. Ferry tickets cost around S$50-59 return or S$40 one way (excluding Indonesia port tax).

    In Bintan, the best mode of transport is taxi. Try avoiding taking taxis from the ferry terminals and airport. It is advisable to request for resorts to organise the transfers for you. Other modes of transport include renting of vehicle and chaffeur from resorts.

    Depending on the arrangement with the accommodations you are staying in, the transportation from airport to the accommodation can be free.

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    The land and sea transfers are inclusive in all the diver and non-diver packages with the Bintan Resort.

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    The land and sea transfers are inclusive in all the diver and non-diver packages with the Bintan Resort.

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    No transit accommodation is needed in Bintan. The travel time between the ferry terminals or airport is less than 1.5hrs.

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  • Useful Information

  • Climate

    Bintan Island is located close the equator and has a tropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 21° to 32°, with an average of 26° Celsius. Humidity ranges from 61 to 96 percent. The period between October to March is characterized as the north monsoon season with more rainfall and stronger winds, but the weather is generally sunny all year around. The Riau Island’s monsoon period starts from November through to March. Bintan is sheltered mainly from Northeast Monsoon from nearby islands and is suitable for diving all year round.

  • Currency

    The official currency of Bintan is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). The denominations used are 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, and 1,000. There are also silver coins for 500, 200 and 100 IDR. It is important for you to check the zero’s on a note before handing it over. It is often that people mistake the new IDR100,000 and the new IDR10,000 note.

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    Most resorts accept Singapore dollars, and US dollars are accepted in only some of the resorts. If you take US dollars to change in Bintan you may not get a good conversion rate. However, credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Citibank and Diners Club are widely accepted in Bintan. There may be a surcharge for using credit card for payment.

    There are many money changers in Bintan. However, be wary of who you go to. The best bet is to go to a place where they seem to be very busy. That means they have earned a reputation for their credibility. Always double check your currency when you receive it. The other way of getting Indonesian Rupiah is to withdraw from an ATM.

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  • Electricity

    The electricity that is supplied in Bintan is at 220V 50Hz.

    Plugs are usually the European two pronged type. It is advisable to bring an adapter with you. You can also request from the hotel or resort you are staying in.

  • Time Zone

    Bintan is in the same time zone as Jakarta, +7 hours to the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In relation to Singapore, Bintan is 1 hour behind Singapore time.

  • Telecommunications

    Bintan resorts area has modern telecommunication facilities, including IDD, facsimile/data lines and card-operated payphones. Local calls can be made with phone cards.

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    The mobile phones in Indonesia use the GSM and CDMA systems. Check if your phone is compatible with these systems.

    The country code in Indonesia is 62. Internet services can be easily found at the hotel/resort. You can also find some internet cafes in Tanjung Pinang.

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  • Immigration

    All passengers who arrive in Bintan should have a passport valid for at least six months.

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    On 1 August 2005, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia implemented the Visa on Arrival Policy. Foreign visitors will be able to apply for visa at a special payment counter in the international airport during arrival before going to the immigration clearance desk. Following are the three different categories of tourist visa that apply after the policy has been implemented:

    30 days visa free entry – This is granted to the passport holders of the following countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hongkong Special Administrative Region, Macao, Morocco, Peru, The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam and Chile.

    30 days visa on arrival at USD 25 per person – This applies to the passport holders of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, The United States of America and United Arab Emirates. Cash is the only accepted form of payment.

    Note that the 30 days visa starts from the day of arrival till the day of departure, in other words, visitors will have to leave on the 30th day. All visas are non-extendible unless for special circumstances such as natural disasters, accident, illness, medical, otherwise there will be legal charges.

    It is recommended that all visitors contact their nearest Indonesian embassy or Indonesian consulate and enquire on the documentation needed for visiting Indonesia as regulations are subject to changes.

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  • Useful Contacts

    Dive Asia NOW!

    +65 6536 6532

    Emergency Service Numbers:

    999 – Ambulance, Civil Defence, Fire or Police

    Singapore General Hospital Hyperbaric & Diving Medicine Centre

    Tel: +65 6222 3322

  • Bintan Frequently Asked Questions

    You’ve come to the right place! Here you will find a list of Bintan’s most frequently asked questions.

    Just ask if you can’t find what you are looking for. We will be most glad to answer your questions! No bookings with us is required.

  • When is the best diving season in Bintan

    You can dive in Bintan all year round. Overall, the best conditions is from February to October. Visibility averages at 15m and may go beyond 20m on some days. Due to Northeast Monsoon from November to February, the diving in Bintan is limited to some areas. Visibility may drop below 10m at times.

    How easy it is to get to Bintan?

    The main transit city to Bintan is Singapore. Ferry tickets can easily be purchased online from the Singapore Cruise Terminal or Bintan Resort Ferry.

    What is the common language in Bintan?

    In Bintan, the locals speak Bahasa Indonesia, the official language of Indonesia. However, most of the dive and resort operators are foreigners who can converse in English fluently.

    Is there internet at the resort?

    Yes, there is internet at Bintan Agro Beach Resort. Dive Asia Now screens partnering resort carefully, ensuring that they are well equipped and facilitated, and providing quality service before sending our guests there.