Tanjung Pinang is the main town on the island of Bintan. It is the capital of the newly-created province of Riau Islands in Indonesia. The city is fast growing and now a population around 150.000. It's a trading, shipping, shopping and tourism "seafood" center in the region.
TheSri Bintan Pura ferry terminal at Tanjung Pinang is the main passenger port of Bintan. It is a visa-free for most ASEAN citizens and visa-on-arrival port. See Indonesia's Get in section for visa details.
- From Singapore's Tanah Merah ferry terminal, there are a few direct ferries line available (MV. Penguin & MV. Indofalcon) connection to TanjungPinang everyday. The ferry fare is $37.00(two ways) and $20.00(one way) excluded sea port tax charge. Purchase ticket with advance payment is suggestion in the week end or peak season condition. The take journey by ferry from Singapore to TanjungPinang approx. 1 hour.
- Alt. from Singapore's Harbourfront to Batam Centre ferry terminal. Then take a taxi direct to Telaga Punggur boats terminal with cost $6.00(2008; the current standard prices check at the taxi stand, please) approx. 30 minutes. The boats frequent from Telaga Pungkur Batam to Sri Bintan Pura ferry terminal TanjungPinang every 30 minutes (everyday), exception the bad weather condition. The fare is $5.00(one way) and $8.00(two ways) before sea port tax (the take journey approx. 60 minutes).
- From Malaysia; there are also less frequent connections from Stulang Laut port of Johor Baru (Malaysia (two hours away).
- From other Riau Islands with varying frequency. The Bintan Resorts on the northern part of Bintan, Tanjung Pinang is about 50 minutes by speedboat, although connections are not frequent. See the main Bintan article for ferry connection details.
All international and inter-island ferries leave from the pier at the southern end of Jalan Merdeka in town. The road leading to the port from Jalan Merdeka is actually Jalan S M Amin or also known as Jalan Samudera. Some tickets are sold at the terminal itself, and agents throughout town sell tickets for most ferries and boats, whether international, domestic or Pelni boats. You may have to hunt down the one which advertises the ferry or boat you need, for obscure connections. Pelni boats leave from Kijang port, about 20km east of Tanjung Pinang.
TanjungPinang is one of the aviation hubs in Indonesia, so unless you're coming from Jakarta, Batam or Pekanbaru in Indonesia, the easiest way to enter TanjungPinang is by plane. In addition to flagship carrier covered by Batavia, Lion, Sriwijaya and Riau Airlines. TanjungPinang airport is known as Raja Haji Fisabilillah located about 15 minutes from the city. Domestic departure taxes from airport will be charges for all of passenger $. 3.00 From the airport there are a number of ways to get into the city. The airport taxi (cab) is easiest & simply follow the signs after clearing customs & take baggage. Standard price listing or meters are always used in TanjungPinang; prices are reasonable. A trip to the TanjungPinang city destination or during the day will be between $. 3.00 -$. 5.00 including surcharge. An additional 100% surcharge applies for destination out of town like as Kijang, Kawal, Trikora, Lobam, Tanjung Uban or Lagoi Bintan resort.
Buses and taxis link Tanjung Pinang with the port of Tanjung Uban at the northwestern end of Bintan where the are speedboats to/from Telaga Punggur on Batam. The bus fare from Tanjung Uban to Tanjung Pinang bus terminal is about Rp. 10.000 (as of 2005, 3 hr). The bus terminal is 7 km east of town. Angkut (passenger vans) shuttle between the terminal and town. From the port of Kijang (where Pelni ships dock) over 20km to the east, there are bemos and taxis to Tanjung Pinang. 25 minutes to the fantastic Trikora beach on the east part on Bintan Island. Tanjung Pinang is about an hour and forty-five minutes south by car from Bintan Resorts on the northern part of Bintan.
Central Tanjung Pinang, including the old part of town which is built on stilts, is small enough for you to move around on foot. If you want to move further out, such as to Bintan Mall, Bestari Mall, Bintan Center, Trikora beach, open air "Akau" restaurant, Budhist " Kelenteng Senggarang" temple taxis are the easiest way for foreigners. Buses exist but are seldom easy to understand as stops are rarely marked, drivers do not speak English, and there is no information available for them on paper.
Only take taxis from the main road. 'City Taxis' charge $.3 if you request to leave the urban area. The taxis are affordable once you have sucessfuly bargained. Fix your price firmly before boarding the taxi to avoid any problems. A 40km trip to Trikora Beach should cost $.5.00
By Motorcycle Taxi (Ojek)
There are also the thousands of motorcycle taxis called ojek waiting to ferry you around, although consider this more of an "adventure" way to travel and is not necessarily safe.
By Angkutan Kota (Minibus)
Angkutan Kota operates on fixed routes, they carry six to eight passengers and charges per person vary with the distance is another useful way to roam around, fare around the town is $.0,3 (2008). Expect about $.0,5 for places out of the town center such as Batu 10. To stop at your destination, just shout "kiri"!
Tanjung Pinang is today a living trading port, every day hundreds of local ships go in and out of Tanjung Pinang port. Tanjung Pinang has the usual Indonesian energy, crowded and close and charming human contact.
- Buddhist Temple. Contains a fantastic sculpture park. There is also a newly built Buddist temple which house the largest sitting Guang Ying (Goddess of mercy) in S.E.A. Locate approx. 10 miles from Tg. Pinang downtown.
- Penyengat Island. Places to visit include the Masjid Raya - the old vice-royal mosque, which locals claim is made "from egg". There are also a few more mosques and graveyards to see, some of which include royalties.
- Senggarang Temples is a temple complex including Chinese and Hinduist worshipping places. This includes a 40-armed statue and several animal deities. From there, you can walk to a stilt house village, where there is also a temple that a tree has grown into. There are boats going from Tanjung Pinang piers to Senggarang frequently, haggle for price.
- Sungai Ular Buddhist Temple, or Snake River Temple, is a little way up the so-called snake river (for its windings). The best (and probably only) way to get there is by boat. Go there for some gory murals depicting the Chinese version of hell.
- The old ruler's palace and royal tombs, among them the grave of the respected Sultan Haji, who also was creater and author of the first Malay Language grammar book, are among the legacies left by the Riau sultanate.
- The cultural center for stage performances of Malay music and dances is located in Tanjungpinang. The center organizes regular festivals and other performances such as music and dance.
- Raja Haji Fisabillah Monument, downtown Tanjung Pinang. 28m tall and raised in memory of the national hero Raja Haji who died during the herotic battle of Malacca against the Dutch in 1784. He was a famous malayan king and had his castle on the island Penyengant right outside Tanjung Pinang.
- Kelong, 'Kelong' is a stilt house the fisherman built for breeding or trapping of fish, some are built mainly for commercial use but, there are a few that offer stays on the 'Kelong'. Most of them are built away from the bustling town thus, it's a perfect getaway if you're looking for some peace and quiet. Cost is around S$20.00 per room for 2 per night, meals can be arrange with the operator as some provide fresh catch from the sea. Also fishing trip in the open sea can also be arrange with the operator. It's good way to explore and learn how the local do their fishing the 'Kelong' way.
Rent a guide - who will arrange a boat or boats - at one of the piers (i.e., at the end of Jn Pelanatar 1 or 2), and go and see Penyengat, Senggarang and Sungai Ular Temple in one go. Price is up to negotiation, may be around 30-40 SGD for two persons. Watch out to get only one person showing you around, and make it crystal clear in the beginning that price is all-inclusive.
Take a walk down to the docks and find yourself a little boat to take you for a round trip around the harbour (10 Singapore Dollars or less). Tanjung Pinang is built into the water and being on the water is the best way to see it. As with any cities, always be careful not to be too flashy of your wealth and wary of picketpocket.
Tanjung Pinang is one of the cheapest cities in Asia. Things are on average 20% cheaper than those found in most industrialized countries. Western standard accommodation cost around $15-$30. Dinner in an exclusive seafood restaurant seldom exceeds $10; in a street cafe less then $3.
Tanjung Pinang is famous for its wooden handicraft, and indonesian designed textile. Everything else is cheap with some products lower than 10% of the prices in Europe.
Antiques: There are few shops in Tanjung Pinang which sell high quality antiques and are worth a visit. Indonesia is famous for its wooden handicraft.
Fakes: Just like in most of South-East Asian countries, pirated goods are available openly. DVD and music CD are everywhere, often not more then one Singapore dollar for a DVD. Quality is "ok". You can test the quality before you buy.
Tea & Coffee: Indonesia abundance of coffee and tea. Very tasty and cheap. Also are the 'Kaya' ( a local bread spread) made from coconut and egg are a must try, some may find it too sweet for their liking.
Electronics: Very competitively priced in Tanjung Pinang. The shops carry many of what you may need. When buying electronic goods, remember that Singapore uses 240V voltage with a British-style three-pin plug
Cameras & Watches: The main street from the Ferry Terminal has a selection of camera shops. Prices are significantly lower than in many other countries.
Tanjung Pinang has many seafood restaurants, and prices are low by Singaporean (or even Western) standards, Try crab (ketam) and gong-gong, a local mollusk.
Padang restaurants, named after the town of Padang, can also be found throughout Tanjung Pinang. In a Padang-style restaurant, the table will quickly be set with dozens of small dishes filled with highly-flavored foods such as curried fish, fried tempeh, stewed greens, chili eggplant, curried beef liver, fried chicken, and of course, sambals, the spicy sauces ubiquitous at Indonesian tables. Customers take - and pay for - only what you eat from this array of dishes.
As for local delicacies u might want to try
"Bak Kut Teh" - The Chinese Pork Rib Soup (Pricing between Rp 20.000 - Rp 25.000) can be found at Jl. Potong Lembu or Around Jl. Pelantar II area.
"Otak-otak" (Costs mostly Rp. 1.000 (buy 10 get 2 free)) can be found at Jl. Pelantar II.
"Wet kway teow" - rice noodle(Pricing between Rp 12.000 - Rp 20.000) can be found at Jl. Pasar Ikan, Jl. Tambak, Jl. Potong Lembu.
"Lor-Mie And Satay-Mie" (Pricing between Rp 8.000 - Rp 10.000) can found at several spot in city area.
Or, head to the local food court just across the street from the ferry terminal.
Precaution: as most of the food is spicy and hygiene might not quite be up to the standards your stomach is used to, it may be wise to eat cautiously and carry appropriate medication.
Although Indonesia is an Islamic country, alcoholic drinks are available in most of the cafes and restaurants, nonetheless. Non-Muslim Indonesian drink alcohol only in social setting.
If you like to drink new things, try the local "Double Kiwi", which comes in clear (i.e. vodka-like) and amber (i.e. whisky-like) fashions, at only 15-20 degrees alcohol.
Avoid drinking while driving. While in the old time, you might be stopped for drink driving and could "settle" your way through with $10-$20, the policeman might now charge you with bribing attempt instead. As a consequence, you might be jailed for up to 3 months and the officer would get a stipend for US$1,000.
If you are stopped by police for any offence, just ask to write you up and pay the summon letter directly to the nearest bank. This would be a cheaper, faster and risk free settlement.
- Travellers Lodge (Inn)(Suzy Resort Inn), Trikora Beach KM 42(1 hr drive from Tg Pinang), ☎ +62 81372876196, . checkin: 24 hrs; checkout: 24 hrs. Serene Huts right in front of a clean, peaceful sea shore. Great ambiance and the right place to relax. Good food, great service and clean rooms. Very cost effective with A/C huts for only 18 US Dollars and Non-A/C for just 14-15 US Dollars. Check out the link to see some awesome snaps taken during our last visit to this resort. http://bintanresort.bravehost.com/index.html15-18 US $.
- Bintan Agro Beach Resort, Jalan Trikora Km.36 (About 45 minutes from ferry terminal), tel. +62 771 28290, . The resort has a private beach, S$121 for deluxe sea view room include breakfast, land transfer from ferry terminal to resort to ferry terminal. Sea sport activities like Diving, Snorkeling, Canoeing, Fishing.
- Bintan Beach Hotel. 3 km from town, has an attached mall and waterfront park and most of the regular resort facilities. One of the two hotels with a swimming pool. The other is comfort hotel.
- Bintan Harmoni, Jalan Pancur, tel. +62-771-28742. About 1 km from the town, or about 5 minutes drive from Tanjung Pinang port. Very clean, full air condition, television set and bathroom ( with heater ) attached in every room.It is also opposite an supermarket. the cost is lower than what other hotel is offering. price for standard room is S$15(with a smaller queen sized bed) and S$18 for the superior which is a bigger room and comes with a king sized bed.
- Bintan Panorama Hotel, Jln. Haji Agus Salim No. 21, tel. +62 771-22920, . Nice and clean, english speaking. Air condition, cable tv, Western-style bath, WLAN. Good restaurant: indo/chinese/western. Night club on the panorama balcony. About a 10 minute walk from the ferry terminal, but they offer a free shuttle between the terminal and hotel. S$15-24/room.
- Comfort Hotel (formerly known as Royal Palace), Jalan Adi Sucipto No. 10 (Located at Batu 10), tel. +62-771-41234/41111. Room price is about Rp 250.000 - Rp 275.000.
- Hotel Gunung Bintan Jaya, Jalan S.M. Amin 38 (Conveniently located just outside the port's exit gate), tel. +62-771-29288. Very clean, bright, although rooms are a little small. S$23 for standard rooms with Indonesian-style squat toilets, S$28 for superior rooms with Western sitting toilets, and S$30 for deluxe rooms with western toilets and mini bar. All rooms air conditioned and come with television and telephone.
- Laut Jaya Hotel, Jalan Pelantar II 98 (Located to the right at the end of Pelantar II by the waterfront), tel. +62-771-331471. Reportedly a good hotel with clean rooms, although front rooms my get a bit of noise from waterfront activities and the open eating area which is set up at the pier at night. Rooms from S$20.
- Lesmina Hotel, Jl Pasar Ikan No. 29A. (About 5 minutes walk north from the ferry terminal), tel. +62-771-315000. The hotel has a new look, clean and well kept. Standard rooms cost S$23, superior rooms S$26, delux rooms S$28, family rooms S$31 and executive S$33.
- Pelangi Hotel & Resort, Jalan D.I. Pandjaitan Km.6 (About 15 minutes from ferry terminal), tel. +62 771 21982 / 318888, or email us : firstname.lastname@example.org. Your Home Away From Home. West of Bintan island. Room rates range between Sgd$36 - Sgd$80 per night include breakfast, land transfer from ferry terminal to resort to ferry terminal. Facilities like hotspot internet connection (free wireless in most of the hotel's area), swimming pool, billiard/pool, 24-hr room service, 24-hr restaurant, 24 hr cctv & security, 24 hr transportation, gym room.
- Riau Holidays Indah, Jalan Pelantar II 53 (Located off the main jetty to the left before you reach the waterfront), tel. +62-771-22715. The hotel looks newly refurbished. Rooms from S$23.
Some well-known guide books list Bong's Homestay as a sleeping place, which is in Lorong Bintan 2, off Jalan Bintan. It is cheap (Rp 40,000 / night) and low-comfort (fan only, bucket-shower). People are friendly. A real retro backpackers place. If you want to experience what a place was like to stay in 20 years ago drop in for a day or two. Centrally located and some say it is also next door to a brothel, in a dark street although it is difficult to tell.
The are several internet cafes in Tanjung Pinang. You will find one at Bintan Mall in downtown 200 meters from the Ferry Terminal. Our at Ramayana Shopping Mall in uptown. Some hotels have internet connection, but few broadband with wire less lan. There are also quiet a few internet cafe located along 'Tambak', which is within downtown, cost is Rp5000 to Rp6000 an hour.
Tanjung Pinang is the best place to catch ferries to the other islands in the Riau and Lingga archipelagos, including Batam,Tanjung Balai karimun,Galang, Moro, Tanjung Batu, Lingga, Singkep, and the Natuna Islands. Tickets can typically be bought at the ferry terminal to these places and are typically only a few dollars for even long journeys. Beware that the notion of time is loose, cancellations can happen, and ferries may arrive at alternate ports during bad weather. Knowledge of some Malay or Indonesian (or even Mandarin) is recommended as there are few English speakers outside of Tanjung Pinang. However, the archipelago is extremely scenic and if you have the time to explore, it is highly recommended to see the thousands of uninhabited tropical islands in their natural beauty, which you will come across in any ferry travel through the region.
This page was last edited at 04:51, on 17 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Leong Shen-li, pelangi and Ian Sergeant, Wikitravel user(s) Morph and Rodericoco, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.