Batam and Bintan islands in Indonesia will resume tourist activities and welcome back leisure travellers from Singapore to their pristine seashores. As per the ferry operators that arrange trips from Batam and Bintan, a stream of inquiries have been flooding in since the past week, owing to the country’s announcement that travel bubbles between Singapore and these islands will resume.
Visitors from Singapore have been permitted to travel quarantine-free to Batam’s Nongsapura Ferry Terminal and Bintan’s Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal, thanks to the travel bubble agreement.
Travellers should present a negative COVID-19 test report and should be fully vaccinated before their arrival. They must stay in Singapore for a minimum of 14 days prior to that.
There are plans to introduce daily or twice-daily ferry trips to Batam — up from its current schedule of one trip every two days.
Batam and Bintan: The port hubs of Indonesia
A secret paradise with sparkling, white sandy beaches and mouth-watering culinary delights, Batam and Bintan Islands are just a stone’s throw away from Singapore.
For a quick weekend getaway from Singapore, visit the province of Kepulauan Riau, which in English translates to ‘Riau Islands’ or ‘Riau Archipelago’, which is home to the beautiful islands of Batam and Bintan. With convenient access from both Singapore and Malaysia for day trips and weekend stays, the Riau Islands house many wonders for you to experience.
Things to look forward to in Batam and Bintan
Tourists and locals alike from Singapore enjoy visiting Batam because it serves as a wonderful getaway for family and friends who would like to try adventure activities, affordable fresh seafood, shop and pamper themselves with inexpensive spa and massages.
One of the best spots for shopping in Batam is the Nagoya Hill Mall where you can buy local food products like the popular kueh lapis (Indonesian layer cake) and Indomie (instant noodles). You can also shop for sports equipment, especially for golf, as it is a destination with internationally acclaimed golf courses. Nature enthusiasts could motorbike through the scenic northern coast, sandwiched between lush green forests and a sweeping seafront.
Visit the Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple, famous for its many laughing Buddha statues in various sizes and costumes surrounding the temple. Lastly, you can go off the beaten path and marvel at the Barelang Bridge to experience a more realistic local culture, consisting of street hawkers and locals aloof from the tourists thronging the place. Be sure to enjoy a quiet meal at their authentic, old seafood restaurants with dishes at dirt cheap prices. You can also explore the coastal backwaters to delve deeper into Batam’s past.
Rich in cultural and historical stories, Bintan Island is a part of the Riau Archipelago in the South China Sea, a perfect escape for visitors from Singapore with its array of activities to indulge in. A picturesque 45-minute ferry ride will transport you to an oasis of white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue seas, delicious Indonesian cuisine and loads of fun outdoor activities.
There are plenty of things to do in Bintan, like immersing yourself in history and culture at the Senggarang Village, their first Chinese establishment. With its strategic placement on the Indo-China trade route, the quaint village is a boiling pot of diverse styles of architecture. Since it’s an open community, the doors of most houses are left ajar, which allows you to sneak a peek into the lives of the local people. While taking a walk along the charming village, you’ll spot many temples, Banyan Tree Temple being one of the most interesting ones, as the massive structure, built way back in 1811, is enveloped in the massive branches and roots of ancient trees.
Lastly, you can grab the best shopping bargains in the cosy town of Tanjung Pinang, play golf at resorts and clubs, de-stress by indulging in spas and massages, eat fresh and highly affordable seafood/local food, interact with gentle giants at the Bintan Elephant Park, or sunbathe and take a dip in the clear blue sea at Trikora Beach.
Where to stay?
To make your stay at the Batam and Bintan Islands even more memorable, there are several high-end, luxurious accommodations for you to choose from. These beachfront resorts and hotels offer rustic charms coupled with modern amenities and tailor-made services guaranteed to help you unwind.
Offering gorgeous pool-side villas with panoramic sea views, 24-hour butler services, water sports, internationally acclaimed golf courses as well as vibrant and delicious meals from fine-dining restaurants, these luxury resorts in Batam and Bintan have it all.
Here are some of the most gorgeous luxury resorts and hotels in Batam and Bintan you can book
(Main image credit: Montigo Resort Nongsa Batam; Featured image credit: Angsana Bintan)