A former mining site now converted into a photo-worthy tourist spot, Gurun Pasir Busung resembles a Middle Eastern desert oasis in the middle of Bintan Island with its undulating slopes and bright blue lakes. After the extraction of sand was prohibited in Bintan Island, the area was left untouched and transformed into a charming desert sandscape. Tourists and shutterbugs will love the plentiful photo opportunities with swings, camel dolls, bamboo ornaments and an archery arena. Light refreshments are available for purchase from local vendors on site.
Dive deep into the thick mangroves of Bintan along Sebung River, as you explore the thriving ecosystem of hundreds of wildlife and fauna species. From agile monkeys to lazy mangrove snakes, mud lobsters, clams and more, nature lovers will have a field day out aboard as your boat meanders through lush canopies in a 60-minute eco adventure. For an enhanced experience, opt for the evening tour for another perspective of nature. The highlight for the night will be the mangrove’s dancing fireflies, emitting an enchanting glow under Bintan’s starry skies. 9:00 am to late
The town of Tanjung Pinang is the capital of the Riau Islands and stands as the island’s main trading port. Steeped in idyllic charm, the town’s traditional architecture still bears Dutch influence harkening back to its history of colonisation in the 19th century. While there's just the one shopping centre, rows of charming shophouses offer a diverse range of affordable products including food, electronics, antiques, apparel, handicrafts and souvenirs. Don’t miss the traditional wet markets showcasing an array of fresh local produce and the opportunity to haggle with local shopkeepers. A short boat ride from Tanjung Pinang is the village of Senggarang, where a majority of the villagers are ethnic Chinese who still practice ancient customs and rituals. Besides the many old Chinese temples, wooden houses are built on the water here, emanating a charming sense of nostalgia. Opening Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm daily
Also known as the 500 Lohan Temple, Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is one of Bintan’s best hidden treasures. Located in Kijang (South Bintan), the Buddhist place of worship is just a short drive away from the main bustling scene of Tanjung Pinang. The name of this monastery is taken from one of the most revered Buddhist figures named Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Step into the temple grounds and be transported into surreal settings of towering structures and the highlight—more than 500 life-sized (Lohan/arhat) stone statues with intricate physiques and facial expressions, each one unique and different from the next. Look through the sea of faces and try spotting famous Chinese characters such as Journey to the West’s Tripitaka or Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ Guan Gong. Price: IDR 30,000 Opening Hours: Tues-Sun, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm