Want to go to a place that seems to have stopped in time? Then it’s a must to visit Senggarang Village, just a short boat ride away from Tanjung Pinang, the capital city of Bintan. This rustic fishing village is built on top of the water, and being there feels like you’ve gone back in time to a place almost untouched by development. The place has friendly locals, and more importantly, Senggarang Village is also home to many Chinese temples, which are great to learn a little bit more about the history of Chinese settlers in Bintan. The most famous temple here is arguably the Banyan Temple Tree, which has an interesting story behind it. We’ll let you find out when you get there.
If Senggarang Village is where you can learn about and mingle with the Chinese locals in Bintan, Penyengat Island is where you can learn about the history of Bintan dating back to the 18th century. Penyengat Island is where the Sultanate of Johor-Riau used to reside more than 150 years ago in their heyday, and where their fort was situated too. Visit this island to visit the tombs of the old rulers and scholars in this region, the famous Masjid Raya Sultan Mosque with its structure made out of egg whites, sand, and lime, as well as palace complex of the Sultanate.
Santa Maria Cave, or Grotto Saint Maria is a place of worship located opposite Trikora Beach. A statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a globe looms over the entrance, and on the grounds, there are numerous Christian religious statues carved from limestone. The statues and grounds are very well-maintained, and if you go on a Sunday, local devotees hold service in the chapel there and there are often informal weekly gatherings after to mingle with other devotees. Even if you are not a Christian, this beautiful attraction is worth a visit on your Bintan holiday for gorgeous photos!