Located in the province of the same name, with more than 1.200.000 inhabitants and around 3.000 incredible islands and islets, the Riau Islands are listed among the main tourist attractions of Indonesia not only because of their stunning nature but also because of their rich culture.
Breath-taking beaches, incredible jungles, ancient temples as the marks of the different religions, and amazing hotel accommodation are only some parts of the diverse tourist offer of Riau Islands.
Introduction to Riau Islands
The main part of Riau population consists of people with Malay or Javanese origins. Most of them are Muslims, and you can hear them speak Indonesian, Chinese, or Malay language.
Tanjung Pinang – The Center of Archipelago
The wonderful city of Tanjung Pinang is located in the southern area of Bintan. For a long time through the history, it was considered as a nice peaceful town but nowadays it is the busy capital of the Riau archipelago and the commercial port that doesn’t only connect the islands of this archipelago, but also represents an important connection with Singapur.
Having in mind that one of the main economic activities in this area is fishing, there is no wonder that Tanjung Pinang is also an important spot of gathering for numerous cargo ships bringing fish from the islands of this archipelago.
In addition to its important economic role, this beautiful area is a home for more than 200.000 people and it gathers a large number of tourists coming from all over the world to enjoy not only the incredible temples and various ancient monuments, but also, some of the most spectacular seafood meals, with the vivid food stands all around the city. Chilli crabs, spicy sauces, oysters, grilled fish? It’s up to you!
The Most Popular Islands of Riau Archipelago
The island of Batam is well-known as the island which is the home to the city of the same name, that represents the largest city in the entire archipelago. In addition to that, it is probably one of the most important industrial centers of the archipelago, located in between the islands of Bintan, Galang, Rempang and Bulan.
What to do in Batam?
First of all, don’t miss the chance to visit Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya, which is one of the most famous Buddhist temples, popular for the numerous laughing Buddha statues that beautifully surround the enormous complex that nowadays includes a vegetarian restaurant, numerous food stalls, and an orphanage.
Another interesting spot on the island is the Barelang Bridge, the bridge complex that includes seven bridges and is usually visited by the tourists who want to experience the lifestyle of the native people who live on the other side of the bridge, and enjoy the cheap local seafood restaurants.
One more reason for visiting this charming island is the perfect opportunity of enjoying various water sports, trekking and cycling activities, as well as playing golf on some of the most spectacular courses in the world.