Indonesia’s Batam and Bintan Islands will resume tourism operations and once again welcome Singapore’s leisure travelers to their pristine beaches. According to ferry operators operating trips from Batam and Bintan, a flood of inquiries have poured in since last week, due to the country’s announcement of the resumption of travel bubbles between Singapore and these islands.

Visitors to Singapore have been allowed quarantine-free travel to Batam’s Nongsapura ferry terminal and Bintan’s Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal, thanks to the travel bubble agreement.

Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test report and must be fully vaccinated before arrival. They must stay in Singapore for at least 14 days before that.

There are plans to introduce daily or twice daily ferry trips to Batam – from its current schedule of one trip every other day.

Batam and Bintan: Indonesia’s port hubs

A secret paradise with sparkling white sand beaches and mouth-watering culinary delights, the Batam and Bintan Islands are just a stone’s throw from Singapore.

For a quick weekend getaway from Singapore, visit the province of Kepulauan Riau, which translates to ‘Riau Islands’ or ‘Riau Archipelago’ in English, home to the beautiful islands of Batam and Bintan. With convenient access from Singapore and Malaysia for day trips and weekends away, the Riau Islands are home to many wonders to discover.

Not to be missed in Batam and Bintan

Batam

Tourists and Singaporeans alike love to visit Batam as it is a wonderful getaway for family and friends to try adventure activities, affordable fresh seafood, shopping and pampering with a spa and cheap massages.

One of the best places to shop in Batam is the Nagoya Hill Mall, where you can buy local food items like the popular kueh lapis (Indonesian layered cake) and Indomie (instant noodles). You can also buy sports equipment, especially for golf, as it is a destination with internationally renowned golf courses. Nature lovers could cycle the scenic north coast, sandwiched between verdant forests and an expansive waterfront.

Visit the Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple, famous for its many Laughing Buddha statues of different sizes and costumes surrounding the temple. Finally, you can get off the beaten path and marvel at the Barelang Bridge to experience a more down-to-earth local culture of street vendors and locals away from the thronging tourists. Be sure to enjoy a leisurely meal at their authentic, old fashioned seafood restaurants with dishes at very low prices. You can also explore the coastal backwaters to delve deeper into Batam’s past.

Bintan

Rich in cultural and historical stories, Bintan Island is part of the Riau Archipelago in the South China Sea, a perfect escape for visitors to Singapore with its array of activities. A scenic 45-minute ferry ride will transport you to an oasis of white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue seas, delicious Indonesian cuisine and plenty of fun outdoor activities.

There are plenty of things to do in Bintan, like immersing yourself in history and culture at Senggarang Village, their first Chinese settlement. With its strategic location on the Indochina trade route, the picturesque village is a boiling pot of various styles of architecture. As this is an open community, the doors to most houses are ajar, allowing you to get a glimpse of how the locals live. As you walk along the charming village, you will spot many temples, the Banyan Tree Temple being one of the most interesting, as the massive structure, built in 1811, is shrouded in massive branches and roots of ancient trees.

Finally, you can grab the best shopping deals in the charming town of Tanjung Pinang, play golf at the resorts and clubs, relax by indulging in spas and massages, eat fresh seafood/local food and very affordable, interact with gentle giants at Bintan Elephant Park, or sunbathe and snorkel in the clear blue sea at Trikora Beach.

Where to stay?

To make your stay on the Batam and Bintan islands even more memorable, you have the choice between several luxurious and high-end accommodations. These beachfront resorts and hotels offer rustic charms paired with modern amenities and bespoke services guaranteed to help you unwind.

Offering magnificent poolside villas with panoramic sea views, 24-hour butler services, water sports, world-class golf courses as well as vibrant and delicious meals at gourmet restaurants, these resorts luxury in Batam and Bintan have it all.

Here are some of the finest resorts and luxury hotels in Batam and Bintan that you can book

(Main image credit: Montigo Resort Nongsa Batam; Feature image credit: Angsana Bintan)