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Getting Around Riau Islands
Riau Islands officially became Indonesia’s 32nd province in 2002. The region covers 2.408 islands, where approximately 40% of them do not have names yet. Riau Island province has 2 major cities (Batam and Tanjung Pinang), 4 regencies (Bintan, Karimun, Natuna and Lingga), 42 sub-districts, and 256 villages. The northern part of the islands borders with Cambodia and Vietnam, southern part with Bangka and Belitung Islands, western part with Singapore, Malaysia and Riau province, and eastern part with Malaysia, Brunei and Borneo. Only 5% of the region are lands.
Sea transportation plays an important role in trans-island commuting. Locals still use motorboats or traditional boats (pompon). Ferries are also used for transportation between Tanjung Pinang – Batam – Karimun – Lingga, where speedboats are used between the Tanjung Pinang and Batam (Lobam). Specifically for the Natuna regency, larger boats known as Kapal Perintis are used. Taxis, motorbikes, buses and becak are commonly used on land.
Riau Islands province has 1 international airport – Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam. It currently has the longest runway in South East Asia. There are 4 additional airports in the region: Raja Haji Fisabilillah Aiport in Tanjung Pinang, Ranai Airport in Natuna, Dabo Airport in Lingga, and Matak Airport in Anambas Islands. There are several tourism attraction in Riau Islands.
Bintan Island, located close to Batam and Singapore, is perhaps famous for its beautiful beaches, white sands, and lush greens. Some of the famous beaches are Trikora beach and Logoi beach. Its capital is Tanjung Pinang.
Barelang is the name of the bridge that connects several islands: Batam, Tonton, Nipah, Rempang, Galang and Galang Baru. Along the bridge, you can find beautiful sceneries and ocean views.
Penyengat Island is a small island (2.500 m x 750 m in size), which is about 3 km away from Tanjung Pinang. It has many attractions such as The Sultan Riau mosque, which is made out of egg whites, tombs of kings from the old ages, castle complex, and many more. The castle complex and the island itself have been nominated for UNESCO world heritage sites.
Mount Bintan is located at Kampung Bekapur, Bintan Buyu village in Bintan. It is only 400 m above sea level, and its peak can be reached in approximately 2 hours of hiking. There many things that Mount Bintan has to offer: beautiful sceneries, tropical rainforests, various flora and fauna, and waterfalls from the base of the mountain.