The Province of Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau), originally part of the Riau Province, was established in 2004. This unique province has approximately 3,200 islands with Bintan & Batam as the two biggest islands. The province’s capital, Tanjung Pinang, is located in Bintan while Batam’s proximity with Singapore helps to spur its economic growth.
In the 16th century, Riau islands became the political centre of the mighty Sultanate of Johor-Riau after the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese in 1511. The islands then evolved to be the centre of the Malay culture. It is also believed that Riau Islands is the birthplace of Malay, the language of which Bahasa Indonesia & Bahasa Melayu originate from.
Major tourist attractions in Riau Islands:
- Tanjung Pinang, busy historical port town
- Trikora Beach, one of the best beaches in the world
- Batam Island, remember to visit Nongsa recreational region & shopping malls
- Senayang Island, excellent place to enjoy ocean sports
- Penyengat Island, the seat of the powerful Bugis viceroys of Riau during the 18th century
- Tambelan Island, famous for its egg-laying turtles