With sandy beaches on which hawksbill and green turtles come to nest and a general tropical allure, Bintan Island provides a great getaway from the bustle of Singapore.
Malays, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabs and British have all played a part in the history of this old trading post on the Strait of Malacca - which was also known as Pirate Island due to the plundering Malay pirates who once looted merchant ships here.
Today the island, the largest of the Riau Archipelago, is officially part of Indonesia, although it's reached most easily from Singapore, less than an hour away on a regular high-speed catamaran.
The catamaran service from the Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore to the Bandar Bentan Telani terminal at the northern end of Bintan Island provides easy access to Bintan Resorts: a Singapore-owned enterprise that comprises more than ten hotels, and four top class golf courses that have been designed with the input of Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus and other golfing greats.
Prices on the island are normally shown in both Indonesian rupiah and Singapore dollars, which combined with its proximity to Singapore makes it a convenient extension to a stay in the Garden City.
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