Bintan VTL Guide (2022) — Activities, Wildlife, Food And More

Emma Lam
Last updated Mar 01, 2022

Selamat Datang! With the two-way VTL (Sea) scheduled for 25 February, are you ready for your weekend getaway on Bintan island?

Previously, a quarantine-free travel corridor allowing travellers from Singapore to Batam and Bintan was launched on 24 January.

Since then, Transport Minister S. Iswaran announced the launch of Singapore’s first two-way Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) via sea with Batam and Bintan, starting from 25 February. 

Resorts in Bintan in the travel bubble zone
Source: todayonline.com

This new bi-directional travel arrangement will allow those who visited Batam or Bintan to return to Singapore without the need for quarantine upon arrival. Travellers must be fully vaccinated and are only allowed to visit Nongsa in Batam (via Nongsapura International Ferry Terminal) and Lagoi in Bintan (via Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal). 

The sea VTL will be shared among 700 travellers weekly with an even split of 350 passengers between Batam and Bintan, heading back to Singapore. Other travel regulations still apply. 

Source: brf.com.sg

Take note that the Bintan Resorts Ferries only operate Fridays to Sundays from Singapore and Saturdays to Mondays from Bintan.

Source: brf.com.sg

Round trip tickets start from S$68 (Economy class) and S$104 (Emerald class). Also, the ferries only operate on specific days with one or two trips per day.

This recent VTL (sea) announcement is probably music to many Singaporeans’ ears, especially since we’ve been itching for that quick weekend getaway for some time. If you’re planning one soon, here’s how you can enjoy Bintan to the fullest.

Disclaimer: While travellers are only permitted to stay at hotels within the Lagoi region for now. Some of the following activities will only be available when border restrictions ease further. All S$ prices listed are conversion estimates, subject to fluctuation. 

What to Do

Let loose and bounce your worries away

Source: Bintan Resorts

Ready to have a bounce-tacular time? Set up in the heart of Lagoi Bay (beside Plaza Lagoi), Bintan Bounce Park by Yolo’s impressive bouncy castles are infused with water park elements that satisfy all the conditions for a splashing good session. 

You’ll find yourself hopping and ducking under giant inflatable obstacles as you navigate through all the bouncy mayhem. What’s more, playtime is unlimited here at Bintan Bounce Park. So the fun only ends when you want it to end!

The bounce park also overlooks the picturesque Lagoi beach, ideal for catching that refreshing sea breeze and the golden rays of sunset at the end of a long but fun day.

Address: Jl. Gurindam Duabelas, Teluk Sebong Lagoi Bintan Utara, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia
Operating hours: Daily from 9am to 8pm
Price (per pax): Adult – IDR 70,000 (S$6.60) | Child (3 to 11 years old) – IDR 40,000 (S$3.75)*
*Accompanying adults – IDR 10,000 (S$1)

Note: Adult and Child prices stated apply to foreigners.

Have a chill or thrilling time at Treasure Bay Bintan

Source: Bintan Resorts

Contrary to its name, Chill Cove @ Treasure Bay Bintan will bust out all the action for all adrenaline junkies out there. 

This recreational leisure hub is your one-stop destination for a lineup of exhilarating activities like ATV riding and the 7.5m Slip & Slide. 

Source: Bintan Resorts

Also, you can’t miss the breathtaking Crystal Lagoon. As the first and largest recreational man-made seawater lagoon in Southeast Asia, this 6.3-hectare paradise is constantly abuzz with endless water activities like kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and more!

Source: Bintan Resorts

Hop on the Jetovator where you’ll get to be propelled several feet into the air with the help of attached water thrusters reminiscent of a jetpack. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

For our ‘chiller’ beachgoers, explore the lagoon either via a Solar Boat Ride or a Water Tricycle before unwinding with a drink at the Bora Bora beach bar. The stunning turquoise waters make an excellent backdrop for some sunset pictures.   

Remember to swipe your credit card when paying for them to collect some sweet mileage on the fly!

Address: Treasure Bay Bintan, Jln. Raja Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi, Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia
Operating hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm
Entry Fee: Adult – IDR 120,000 (S$11.30) | Child – IDR 90,000 (S$8.50)
Tel: +62 (770) 692 259

Go on an educational safari adventure

Source: Bintan Resorts

Ready to answer the call of the wild? Safari Lagoi and Eco Farm takes you on an unforgettable safari adventure as you get up close and personal with their endangered animal residents. 

On this two-hour guided tour, you’ll meet their family of orangutans, Komodo dragons, sun bears, elephants and even a six-metre crocodile! These animals were rescued and rehabilitated from places like illegal pet trades and exotic meat markets. 

Enjoy a hands-on experience of planting or harvesting crops on the farm grounds* and learn about Indonesia’s biodiversity and eco-cycle and reap the fruits of your labour (literally). 

Note: Minimum two pax is required. Booking to be made at least two hours in advance.

*subject to seasonality

Address: Baru City, Teluk Sebong, Bintan Regency, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia
Operating hours: Daily from 10am to 4pm
Price: Adult – IDR 300,000 (S$28.20) | Child (3 to 11 years old) – IDR 170,000 (S$16)

Seek enlightenment at the Thousand Face Temple

Source: Bintan Resorts

Despite being called the Thousand Face Temple, there are actually 500 faces of life-sized arhat statutes to behold at this hallowed Buddhist site. Hence, you may also refer to it as The 500 Lohan Temple or – if we want to get technical – Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.

The grand Chinese architecture and imposing high walls will transport you to China in mere seconds. Majestic pavilions for prayer and meditation flank the temple grounds, surrounding the Guanyin Bodhisattva statue in the middle of the courtyard.

Source: Bintan Resorts

This temple is truly otherworldly, with the arhat statues neatly lined up in rows upon rows. Each monk also bears distinct features and poses, making it distinguishable from the next. Best of all, the Thousand Face Temple is only a 45-minute drive away from Bintan Resorts.

Address: Batu 13, Kec. Tanjungpinang Tim., Kota Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau 29125, Indonesia
Price:
Free

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Guide hatched baby turtles to the ocean

Source: Nirwana Gardens

Perhaps one of the more interesting activities offered by Banyu Biru Villa Beach, Nirwana Gardens resort is its turtle hatchery programme. 

Witness the miracle of birth as baby Green and Hawksbill turtles emerge from their shells on Bintan’s shores between June to September annually. These eggs are laid twice a year and conserved in a hatchery for 60 days before being released three days after the first hatching. 

Note: Consult the Guest Information Centre at Nirwana Resort Hotel Lobby for more information.

Address: Jalan Panglima Pantar, Lagoi 29155, Bintan, Indonesia
Tel: +62 (770) 692 505

Off-roading tour around the island

Source: Bintan Resorts

It’s time to get a little rough and dirty with a guided Off-Road Adventure Tour around Bintan. Put on your best adventure attire and hiking shoes as you venture into local forests, villages and panoramic beaches in a multi-terrain jeep. 

There are four different off-roading packages available in total, each offering a unique route. Regardless of which package you choose, this is arguably one of the best (and most exciting!) ways to appreciate Bintan’s landscapes.

Note: Consult the Guest Information Centre at Nirwana Resort Hotel Lobby for more information.

Address: Jalan Panglima Pantar, Lagoi 29155, Bintan, Indonesia
Operating hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
Price: Depends on package
Tel: +62 (770) 692 505

Say hello to Sea Gypsies at Panglong Village

Source: Bintan Resorts

Sea Gypsies, otherwise known locally as Orang Lauts, were nomads before eventually calling Panglong Village their home. Located on the north-eastern tip of Bintan, the village construction was sanctioned by the government to introduce stability, land ownership and better education for the Orang Lauts and their children. 

Just as the village is brimming with warmth and life, so are its people. Its streets are often filled with laughter as tourists challenge the children of the Orang Lauts to an upbeat gunny sack (balap karung) race.

Source: tripadvisor.com.sg

An hour away by car from the port, the labyrinth of stilt houses tells a captivating story of the village’s traditional seafaring history and heritage. Be sure to spot some domed kilns that used to produce charcoal from the nearby mangrove trees. 

Note: You may explore Panglong Village for free (self-guided) or as part of the Trail of Sea Gypsies tour.

Address: Panglong Village, Berakit, Kepulauan Riau 29151, Indonesia
Tour price: Adult – IDR 680,000 (~S$63.80) | Child (3 to 11 years old) – IDR 600,000 (~S$56.30)
Tour time: 9am
Duration: 6 hours

Be teleported to Dune for a day

Source: tripadvisor.com.sg

Those who’ve watched Dune recently will be pleasantly surprised by Bintan’s very own desert dunes called Gurun Pasir Busung. As natural as these sand mounds seem, they’re actually the product of mining excavations following the ban on sand exports. Hence, these dunes comprise the former bauxite and sand mining site within the island’s centre. 

Regardless, these undulating sandy hills are still beautiful, exuding a fantastical Arabian feel to an otherwise tropical environment. Venture further down and you’ll be greeted by a cerulean lake that’s the cherry on top for all your IG-worthy photos.

Note: Private tour packages offering transport are available. Minimum two pax required. 

Address: Jl. Raya Busung, Busung, Seri Kuala Lobam, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia
Tour price: From ~IDR 680,000 (S$59.94) per pax  
Tour timeslots: 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Duration: 4 to 5 hours

A skip and a hop to Trikora Coast, and down to Grotto Santa Maria

Source: Bintan Resorts

Trikora Coast consists of four beaches along Bintan’s northeastern coast. Roughly 45 minutes away by car from Bintan Resorts, it features quaint thatched beach huts that line the ivory coastline, offering quiet respite for weary travellers. 

Source: Bintan Resorts

A mere 20 minutes away from Trikora Beach Point 4 is the tranquil pilgrimage spot called Grotto Santa Maria, featuring the ‘14 Stations of the Cross’ trail. These limestone statues depict the crucifixion of Jesus Christ before eventually concluding with a Virgin Mary statue in a cave set within an unassuming chapel.

Note: You may explore Trikora Coast and Grotto Santa Maria as part of the Trail of the Sea Gypsies Tour.

Address
Trikora Beach:
Trikora, Kawal, Gn. Kijang, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29151, Indonesia
Grotto Santa Maria: 4HQM+CRX, Malang Rapat, Gunung Kijang, Bintan Regency, Kepulauan Riau 29151, Indonesia

Tour price: Adult – IDR 680,000 (S$63.80) | Child (3 to 11 years old) – IDR 600,000 (S$56.30)
Tour time: 9am
Duration: 6 hours


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What to Eat

Get a bang for your buck at Haskell’s Cafe

Bintan Lagoon Resort's Activities and Haskell's Cafe Review
Source: luxuryhaven.co

You don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet just because you’re eating at a resort. Haskell’s Cafe overlooks Bintan Lagoon’s golf course, offering quality meals for great prices.

Specialising in Western and Southeast Asian cuisine, their menu items range from anywhere between S$12 to S$20 – fairly affordable as far as restaurant prices go. For picky eaters, opt for the Nasi Liwet ala Sunda, which consists of tempeh, fish and chicken and coconut rice garnished with anchovies. 

Address: Jl. Indera Segara Site A12 Lagoi, Sebong Lagoi, Teluk Sebong, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands 29155, Indonesia
Operating hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm

An invigorating night at Tanjung Pinang

Source: Bintan Resorts

Satiate your appetite with some local delicacies at Bintan’s main town, Tanjung Pinang. Filled with idyllic charm – and even more scrumptious cuisine – their famous open-air hawker centre, Akau Potong Lembu, will satisfy your fix of carrot cake, char kway teow, satay or their famous fish soup.

For all your snacking loots, head down to Tanjung Pinang Wet Markets or Tanjung Pinang Traditional Market to taste their local dried seafood and other tidbits like otak-otak (grilled fish paste blended with spices) or goreng pisang keju (fried banana fritters with cheese toppings).

Source: Bintan Resorts

Don’t forget to check out Rimba Jaya. Famous with night-goers, this area comes alive in the evenings with its vibrant market selling all sorts of cheap local fares. Scope out the other food establishments like Cangkir Hawker Centre, hipster cafes, a bar and even a Japanese restaurant called Tomo to appease your hunger.

Address: Jalan Gudang Minyak Rimba Jaya, Kemboja, Tanjung Pinang, Kemboja, Tanjungpinang Bar, Kota Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau 29115, Indonesia
Operating hours: Varied timing

Remember to use a credit card like the UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card to maximise your cashback returns while dining! You can earn up to 2.4 miles for every S$1 spent overseas.

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A refreshing take on nasi padang

Source: Bintan Resorts

While we’re so used to pointing at ingredients behind a glass panel for stallholder aunties and uncles to plate them for us, the nasi padang here at Restoran Sederhana Masaka Padang pulls an uno reverse card on you.

A waiter will carry out stacks of mouth-watering dishes for you, before laying it down in an authentic hidang style spread for diners to customise their nasi padang. They have a strict ‘you-touch-you-pay’ policy, so be sure to only reach out to those that you want.

With an array of tantalising dishes like Rendang Daging (coconut beef stew) and Asam Padeh (sour and spicy fish stew), your palate is in for a real treat!

Address
Tanjung Pinang I
: Jl. Hang Tuah Raya No.11, Tanjungpinang Kota, Kec. Tanjung Pinang Kota, Kota Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau 29125, Indonesia
Tanjung Pinang II: Jl. D.I. Panjaitan, Air Raja, Kec. Tanjung Pinang Tim., Kota Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau 29125, Indonesia

Operating hours: Daily from 9am to 9pm | Ramadan (2pm to 4am) | Hari Raya Idul Firtri (Closed 2 days before to 1 week after)

On a seafood (or see food) diet

Source: Bintan Resorts

What’s a visit to Bintan without some authentic seafood? Dine under a beach hut at Teluk Bakau Bay View Seafood Restaurant along the Trikora Coast. Using an assortment of cooking methods and sauces, they offer a decadent spread of black pepper crab, squid and local favourites like Remis (shellfish) and Gong Gong (sea snails). 

However, if your taste buds aren’t as adventurous, you can order more conventional dishes like chap chye (mixed vegetables) and chicken dishes. Rest assured, everyone at the table will leave with their tummies full.

Address: Jl. Pantai Trikora Teluk Bakau, Tanjungpinang, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia, Tanjung Pinang, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia
Operating hours: Mondays to Fridays from 10.15am to 9pm

Chicken dish with a twist

Source: Bintan Resorts

Situated near the base of Gunung Bintan, Bude Nino Ayam Presto is a quaint family restaurant that’s acclaimed for the popular local delicacy, ayam presto

Ayam presto is an Indonesian dish marinating and cooking fried chicken with spices like ginger, turmeric and others over a prolonged duration. This unique cooking method produces tender chicken meat, crispy skin, and edible soft bones. 

Feel free to order other dishes like omelette or stir-fried kangkong to complement your chicken meal. There won’t be anything left on your plate! 

Address: Tlk., Bintan Buyu, Kec. Tlk. Bintan, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29133, Indonesia
Operating hours:
Daily from 8am to 9pm

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Secure your travel insurance now

Travel insurance goes a long way in providing coverage for not only medical expenses but also for COVID-19-related delays and cancellations. 

In fact, all travellers to Bintan are mandated to have travel insurance worth S$30,000 and download the Indonesian COVID-19 tracing programmes PeduliLindungi and Blue Pass. 

View our comprehensive list of available travel insurance plans and promotions available for more insight.  

Don’t leave these important matters to the last minute. Purchase an effective plan in advance to mitigate any unforeseen costs and trip cancellations. 

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Read these next:
Batam VTL Guide 2022 — Activities, Shopping, Massages, Food And More
The Latest VTL Travel Requirements You Need To Know Before You Take Off
Best Travel Insurance in Singapore (2022)
Best Travel Insurance Plans with COVID-19 Coverage
What Does 2022 Hold for Travel?


By Emma Lam
With a minor problem of ‘itchy fingers’ for flash deals and sales, Emma is on a lifelong journey to understand what being financially independent in adulthood means. That said, her inner child is still very much alive… with animals and gaming being her weaknesses.


Emma Lam March 1, 2022 84454