Fancy sipping on some fresh juice while walking around on the beach? Bintan is the perfect destination to do just that, without having to fly too far away. An Indonesian island that is accessible and quieter than Bali, Bintan will tick all the right boxes if most of your travel plans involve a lot of destressing and relaxing. Let’s learn a little bit about this part of Indonesia, including Bintan’s time zone, culture, and climate!

Bintan Island Overview

Bintan is located in the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia and is just a 40-50 minute ferry ride away from Singapore. In fact, Singapore is the closest major city to this island! Once a powerful trading port, Bintan is now being developed as a major tourist destination in Indonesia. Bintan has about 400,000 locals who are of different ethnicities, including Malay, Bugis, Chinese, Orang Laut, and others. The major religion in Bintan is Islam, similar to the rest of the nation (with the exception of Bali).

Bintan’s time zone is GMT +7, which means it is one hour behind Singapore’s time zone. Its climate is hot and humid, the rest of this region, with dry season usually being between March and October, and the monsoon season at the end and beginning of the year. Bintan is known for its beautiful beaches, rich historical sites, amazing fauna, as well as abundant Chinese temples and seafood restaurants. Some good places to visit on Bintan Island is Tanjung Pinang, which is the capital city, as well as the surrounding islands.

The People and Culture in Bintan

Because Bintan is a tourist destination, it’s no surprise that the people here are warm and hospitable; in general, most tourist destinations in Indonesia have friendly and approachable people. The people of Bintan are animated in nature and friendly physical contact during conversation is often the norm especially when they really like you. However, because it has a Muslim majority, its important to note that romantic gestures in public are generally frowned upon; this includes things like hugging and kissing. Be sure to only wear swimwear at the beach and nowhere else; a good rule of thumb is to err on the side of conservative dressing when going around Bintan, especially if you want to give a good first impression to the locals. Some other helpful tips include:

When talking to the locals, it’s respectful to address older men as “Pak” and older women as “Ibu”, and it’s important to always be polite.
It is not polite in Indonesian culture to raise your voice or say no directly, so if someone is fidgeting around to do something for you or delaying it, it may be that they cannot actually do it for you.
If you are greeting someone that is a stranger, it’s best to say hello while putting your hand on your chest, instead of offering a handshake.

Staying Safe in Bintan

Bintan is generally a safe island, but some things you may want to remember are:
Always keep wallets and bags close to you and keep them in view to avoid falling prey to pickpockets.
Bring enough insect repellant; like most islands, Bintan has its share of six-legged critters too!
Always heed warning signs on the beach; if it says it is unsafe to swim in an area, don’t do it. If the currents start getting stronger when you are in the ocean, it’s best to move back to shore immediately.

Book Yourself into the Best Resort in Bintan

Bintan has many resorts, but the best resort you will find in Bintan is definitely Club Med Bintan! Not only is Club Med Bintan one of the most well-known franchises in the world, what’s great about our resort is that you will be paying for an all-inclusive experience. What that means is, all of the following are included in the one reasonable rate you pay:
All meals and snacks from our two world-class restaurants
Free-flow alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from our many happening bars
Dozens of activities on-site for all members of the family
Selected excursions (other excursions available at an additional fee)
Comfortable accommodation
Amazing service by our staff members

All that said, it’s no wonder that we are the best resort in Bintan. So, start planning your trip now and make a booking with us. We look forward to seeing you at our resort!