Caressing the Lustful Bintan!

Musafir By Musafir, 28th Mar 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Indonesia>Riau Islands

"To adore Bintan, is to fall in love with it!
And if you do, you can’t just help yourselves flirting with its beauty, and caressing its lustful historical time curves and sexy heritage.
The rustic charms and alluring nature of Bintan will always indeed beckon you to return…."

Travel - Riau Island of Bintan

Caressing the Lustful Bintan!
by: Musafir Lara Selamat

Far from the title would suggest, nay, there weren’t any hanky-panky on our recent trip to Bintan!

Though Tanjung Pinang, the capital Island of Bintan, is well known for its night life and frequent visits by men indulging in pleasures, well, ours was in part to celebrate our children’s birthday, and in part also as a short get-away for the whole family to relax and rejuvenated our family ties/bonding.

Our stay mostly centred at Bintan Resorts area, though special short trips to venture out and discovering the lustful rustic charms of Bintan were made spontaneously as we arrived.

It was our second time to Bintan, actually; the first was in February 2009 where we put up at Nirwana Resort Hotel. Not much were done back then, except lazing around in the sun and frolicking ourselves on the wide sandy beach of the Resort.

This time round, taking advantage of the voucher given as part of the membership of the Laguna Holiday Club, we put up at Angsana Resort & Spa.

There was no time wasting on this second occasion: we spontaneously measured, and as soon as our intuition could sense to trust the contact, we engaged him as our driver cum guide for the trip round the island. Jimmy Nelson proved a reliable guide, and we were much in gratefulness meeting Jimmy there!

Brief History of Bintan
Along the trip, Jimmy shared with us pleasant legends and historical stories about Bintan – stories and legends that are familiar to us that were once told by our elderly through word of mouths, books and films, yet missing the actual accentuation of the events. Jimmy’s stories with relative pin-point of the historical sites reiterated in us to value our rich Malay culture and the long-lost link/root we had with Bintan, which still form part of the Nusantara (or our Malay Archipelago).

Bintan (which should be pronounced correctly, and sometime spelled, with an “e” instead of an “i” as in Bentan) is part of the western islands of the Riau province of Indonesia. It has a long and interesting historical background: dated from the early Srivijaya/Majapahit Empire years to being the centre/capital of the vassal of the early Sultanate of Malacca; from being part of the Malay Kingdom of Johor Lingga-Riau to the period of the Dutch and Portuguese colonial days.

Bintan is indeed filthy with both its regional and western colonial history, yet rich in its Malay heritage and taboos.

The Culture of Bintan
The majority and indigenous people of the island are the Malays: they share the same culture and language as those in Singapore and Johor. They speak like us too – in our Malay-Riau ascent rather than that of their Indonesian relatives. In fact, interestingly, some old, forgotten Malay words are still spoken there daily than here in Singapore itself!

The strong Malay cultures are still evidenced there. Old palm-roof (or atap) wooden houses – as well as modern bricks houses too - are built with the signifying symbol of the roof designs that spelled the owner’s status and their cultural heritage.

The crossed or single central piece of the front axis of the roof signified several meanings and declarations – a crossed axis with a plain design simply signified a declaration of peace of the owners; a single central piece with delicate carving symbolised the Head Village dwelling, whilst a Hulubalang’s (or warrior’s) house would be signified by a different symbol altogether.

Many of the houses in the rural part of Bintan still preserves this symbolic Malay heritage, similar as those we had witnessed in our other trip to the Malay state of Terrengganu. It unified and signified a rich Malay culture: all made possible to be understood by us now through Jimmy’s explanation. Gazing an old wooden atap house in Bintan nowadays took us to a deeper and different perspective altogether; it offers us a richer appreciation of our own Malay heritage/culture.

The Lustful Trikora Beach
Jimmy first brought us along the coastal ride from Bintan Resorts to reach Trikora. What a pleasant ride it was…

Along the way, we could capture the locals hunting for various seashells along the beach during low tides. It was filtered with many floating Kelongs – unlike the fixed off shores one that we are used to imagine here in Singapore – used for anchovies and squids fishing. We were made known through our guide that an over-night trip on one of those floating Kelongs is possible and can be arranged if truly we desired so. What an experience it can be!

Trikora has many fishing villages with a truly beautiful views and rich with its rustic charms. One could hardly take their eyes off from lustfully admiring the beauty of the rural Bintan.

Trikora beach is also dotted with many smaller, yet alluring and seductive resorts. Sri Pandan and Nostalgia Yasin are the sexiest among them.

The Intimidating Island Capital Town
of Tanjung Pinang

Unlike the rural and peaceful Tirikora Beach, Tanjung Pinang, the capital town of the island, reflects a total contrast. Congested with both vehicles and people, and mushrooms with shopping malls and stalls, Tanjung Pinang is for those who seek entertainment and a paradise of merchandises for shoppers who look for a good bargain.

Other than that, Tanjung Pinang did not appeal to us as Trikora Beach and the rural areas had.

It is indeed amazing that while you are on a single island of Bintan, yet you are actually made to feel belonging to 3 different worlds: first, the luxurious world of Bintan Resorts Centre; second, the rustic world of the rural and fishing villages; and the third, the crowded and intimidating capital town of the island.

Bintan is indeed an island full of surprises and many facets.

To adore Bintan, is to fall in love with it!

And if you do, you can’t just help yourselves flirting with its beauty, and caressing its lustful historical time curves and sexy heritage.

The rustic charms and alluring nature of Bintan will always indeed beckon you to return….

* * * T H E E N D * *


Angsana, Asia, Bintan, Ferry, Indonesia, Malay, Resort, Southeast Asia, Tanjong Pinang, Trikora

Meet the author

author avatar Musafir
A traveller to a lesser known world!
Hail from Singapore, Musafir set sight to travel round the world, in particular to the lesser-known world.
Coincidentally his name "musafir" is a Malay word derived from Sanskrit that literally translated, mean...(more)

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author avatar Ulfah
18th Jun 2010 (#)


Im urgently in need of a reliable driver to bring ard in tanjung pinang. Do you happen to have the contact of the driver you used for this trip...Thanks.


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author avatar Musafir
26th Jun 2010 (#)

Sorry that I did not reply to you urgently as I had just returned from my recent trip to Bangka-Belitung for a holiday.
The Driver cum guide mentioned in the article above goes by the name of Jimmy Nelson; he's available at the Lagoi Jetty. You should be able to get hold of him should you ask around, he's working for the transportation company at the Jetty (can't remember the company's name but Jimmy would wear the all dark-green uniform with his name tag displayed on his uniform).
Hope this info is not to late for you....

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
15th May 2012 (#)

Great writing on Indonesia. Thank you for sharing.

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