Last updated on August 12th, 2018 at 11:32 pm
Bintan Island in Indonesia is a mere 45 minute ferry ride from Singapore. Check this link, to know more about the schedules and the prices of the ferry that’ll take you there. If you’ve been looking at new places to visit in Southeast Asia, or if you are always passing by Singapore in between flights and needed a quick getaway, a visit to Bintan is definitely worth it. Bintan Island might just be the next Bali, who knows? Take a look at our list of things to do in Bintan, Indonesia below.
Here are all our recommendations how to get to Bintan Island from Singapore, where to stay in Bintan Island and best time to visit Bintan Island!
How To Get To Bintan Island from Singapore
From Singapore there are direct ferries going to Bintan Island several times a day. The departure is from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. There are a few ferry companies going to Bintan from Singapore, namely: Mozaic Ferry Lines, Bintan Resort Ferries, Majestic Fast Ferry and Sindo Ferry. The trip lasts 45 minutes and it costs $45 SGD one way.
Best Time To Visit Bintan Indonesia
If you want to go to this beautiful island, the best time to visit Bintan is from December to February. It is the dry season and you will find the best weather for all your activities during these months. March to May is the busiest season to visit Bintan and it is also the hottest season. Rainy season starts from June to November. It will rain several days at a time but the showers come periodically throughout the day. Click here for accurate weather updates on Bintan, Indonesia.
Daily budget to visit Bintan
One of the first things you need to do before going to Bintan is to prepare a budget. You should know that lodging in Bintan can be a little more expensive than other Southeast Asians. They are still very affordable, with a mid-range hotel in Bintan costing around $20-60 USD while the cheapest guest house goes for around $20 USD. AirBnB is also available in Bintan. You can get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB when you sign up with us!
Each meal will take $5 USD from your budget every time you eat at local restaurants which are plenty in Bintan. As for going around, don’t expect plenty of options as transportation is quite limited. Also, renting a motorbike or a car is pretty expensive. Joining a tour will be your best option if you want to explore Bintan on a budget.
Transportation around Bintan
As we have mentioned, there aren’t a lot of options for public transportation in Bintan. You can ask locals to teach you how to get to a certain destination. They might suggest renting a motorbike for around $20 USD or a car for $50 USD a day. Bintan also has vans and private drivers available. Luckily, most resorts offer pick-up service from the pier to your hotel so at leas you won’t have to worry about that.
Take the opportunity to meet locals and find someone who’s willing to drive you around. They very generously offer their service, anyway, so you can just ask around and find someone with an agreeable price that fits your transportation budget.
Things To Do In Bintan Indonesia
1. Explore Sebung River’s Bintan Mangrove with a Discovery Day Tour
Indonesia’s Bintan island is actually surrounded by preserved Mangrove trees. Many mangrove species in Indonesia have already gone extinct and the Sebung River is one of the main preservation sites in Bintan. It is a beautiful spot that shows the full beauty of the mangrove forest.
We did the Mangrove Tour in Sebung River on our first day in Bintan. It was an hour-long day tour where we were taken on a trip all over Sebung River. There we saw various mangrove trees and learned about how all these plants co-exist in the forest. We also picked up some history lessons and environmental tidbits. We even saw several wild animals. We saw a snake lurking about! This part of our visit in Bintan was definitely a unique experience. If you are the type of traveler that enjoys discovering trees, admiring the beauty of nature and learning about environment conservation, this is definitely a trip you should make. Our official mangrove tour guide, Fadli, was very informative and fun to go around with. There were lots of beautiful areas in the river and the cherry on top of this day was the sunset, when we had the chance to take lots of beautiful photos.
2. What to eat in Bintan
Food is just so difficult to separate from travel. One of the wonders of leaving your country is the joy of discovering new food. We were staying near the Plaza Lagoi Mall where we ate sumptuous local food served by Idola Café. What to eat in Bintan, you ask? We had a few local dishes for dinner, some satay, delicious soup, and chicken. It was definitely a satisfying evening! Make sure not to miss out on the chance to see the city’s local side when you visit Bintan. The island is near Singapore, and is developed and marketed as a luxury resort destination so the area is definitely prepared for tourists and luxury stays. We are happy to still experience the local side of traveling in Bintan through their food!
3. Do sports activities with Treasure Bay Bintan
Treasure Bay Bintan’s Crystal Lagoon is the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia at 6.3 hectares, equivalent to 50 Olympic-size swimming pools! It is also the first man-made seawater lagoon in Southeast Asia. If you’re into sports and active travel, Treasure Bay Bintan is definitely the way to explore the island. They have a lot of amazing land and water recreational activities. Unfortunately for us, we had a super limited time visiting Treasure Bay Bintan because it rained so hard after a few hours. However we had one of the most adventurous times of our travels while staying there. We did the ATV tour where we spent an hour of super fun ATV ride around the muddy course of Treasure Bay Bintan. While the whole ride is supervised by a guide, you still need to be very careful and at least somewhat trained to operate an ATV because there were some advance trails that you will have to pass by. We had 3 levels of trails and had the most amazing time exploring them. Luckily, we had the opportunity to try those trails before it rained really hard. We weren’t able to resist a swim at the beautiful Crystal Lagoon, as well. The water is just crystalline blue, it was such a beautiful sight to see.
4. Walk around Lake Lagoi
Into fishing or small recreational boat rides? The Grand Lagoi River is both peaceful and picturesque. If you are fond of quiet and simple afternoons, you can’t deny that the lake is very inviting. Just check out the amazing views we were able to get of the lake!
5. Walk around or swim in the Lagoi Bay Beach
The beach is almost always in our itinerary! Yup. Total beach bums. During our stay, the monsoon season’s start was very evident. The water was filled with waves, and the wind was blowing strongly. Still, taking a trip to the beach was still a nice touch. A good morning and afternoon stroll or taking a little dip is definitely a must-do!
6. Where To Stay in Bintan- Our recommendation: Grand Lagoi Village
Now you can’t really say no to luxury stays right? After all, we humans are creatures of comfort. Luckily, Bintan is definitely equipped for these desires. Wondering where to stay in Bintan? Well, Rachel and I stayed in Grand Lagoi Villa for our first few days, and it is definitely an attractive, well-situated hotel. It was next to Plaza Lagoi Mall, the Bay beach and the Lagoi lake, and was only 15 minutes from Treasure Bay Bintan. It was a definite no-brainer to stay here! It was also a quick 15-minute ride from terminal so it’s not hard to get to after the ferry ride from Singapore.
7. Nightlife in Bintan
To check out the nightlife in Bintan, we chose the rooftop bar and restaurant of Grand Lagoi. It’s the perfect place for dining with a view. The food was pretty high end and quite delicious. Try to visit at sunset to enjoy the amazing view while drinking cocktails and having some barbecue. Going before dark? You can enjoy their infinity swimming pool and still take in an excellent view.
8. Enjoy the sunset and sunrise (it’s a real MUST on the list of things to do in Bintan)
We aren’t early bird people, Rachel and I, but on this trip we chose to wake up and see the sunrise. We were greatly rewarded for our efforts. It was great enjoying the quiet mornings and walking around while meeting locals. It was also the perfect time to learn new things about Bintan: the food, language and even more unique things to do in Bintan. And of course, at the end of the day, we enjoyed taking pictures of the sunset.
More Things To Do In Bintan Indonesia
Kelong Fish Village Tour
You can visit a floating fisherman village where you can do some activities like riding a banana boat or relaxing on the beach. This is also a good place to go fishing and getting to know the locals in the area. Locals here live without electricity and live in floating homes, a way of life that we were so interested in learning about.
While riding on a boat, the next best thing you could possibly do is snorkeling. You can enjoy the crystalline waters of Bintan with fishes swimming all around you.
Enjoy a massage
Spas in Bintan offer incredible Javanese massages, foot baths and many other services that will leave you at peace and well-rested after a long day of going around the island.
Mangrove Night Tour
Isn’t it just amazing to see fireflies? They add such a romantic and idyllic ambiance to any place.Lucky, there is a night tour in Bintan where you will be able to see fireflies. We were so impressed by these creatures and how they light up the verdure like Christmas lights on a tree. The fireflies were just an amazing bonus to the tour. During this expedition, yu will learn more about the river, how fishermen in the area live and what it is like to stay in a floating village.
Enjoying the Villa
Enjoying the Bintan Spa Villa first thing in the morning, with the colors of the sunrise all around, is really such a relaxing and breathtaking experience. As the day goes on, you can do activities like swimming, some karaoke or eating delicious seafood. You can even walk around this island paradise or play pool, and make new friends while doing so. There’s also a Jacuzzi that offers amazing views as you drink fresh coconut juice. All this you can enjoy when you book your stay at the Bintan Spa Villa.
Festivals in Bintan
Bintan Raya Festival
Held at Plaza Lagoi is a beautiful festival called Bintan Raya, a cultural celebration that highlights Bintan’s art and culture scene with events like Batik Hand Painting. The festival is held mid-June and welcomes tourists from all over the world.
Soundscape Music Festival
Music festivals are all the rage now. There seems to be one in every city! Bintan is one of the lovely places to hold such an event during December. Soundscape Music Festival showcases popular local bands and DJs like WinkyWiryawan, Angels Percussions, Noah and DJ Yasmin. This is the perfect venue to get to know Indonesia’s contemporary culture.
We had an amazing time visiting Bintan Island, Indonesia. Definitely off beat, as it’s not one of the most visited areas in the Southeast, but the place is highly developed and just so beautiful. There are many things you will surely love.
If you want to know about more cool destinations to visit this year, read here about our experience in Boracay, one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. If you continue your trip in Indonesia you can go to Lombok and climbing Mount Rinjani We also have a blog post about our favorite place in Indonesia: Nusa Penida.
Let us know just how much you loved this post in the comments below! Hope this gets you excited to add Bintan to your bucket list!