Why you must visit Indonesia's Riau Islands

Riau Islands is an Indonesian province that borders Vietnam and Cambodia in the North and the province of West Kalimantan in the East, Singapore, Malaysia and Riau province in the West. Riau Islands is the creation of Riau Province.

According to data from Indonesia's Tourism Ministry as The Jakarta Post quoted, Riau Islands was the most visited place by foreign tourists in 2019, followed by the country's capital, Jakarta. Bali topped the list by attracting international visitors ( 38.47 percent), followed by Riau Islands (17.37 percent), and Jakarta (15.21 percent).

Batam City of Riau Islands
Batam Island Ivetta Inaray from flickr

Ninety-five percent of the Riau Islands' territory is water, making it suitable for marine tourism development. Besides its stunning beaches, Riau Islands has a lot to offer.

One of the main destinations in the Riau Islands is a Vietnam Village in Galang Island, Batam City, once a refugee camp during the Vietnam Civil War (1979-1996). Tourists can see the remains of Vietnamese' living during the refuge period.

The Buddhist temple Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva or known as "thousands face' temple, actually has 500 Lohan statues with various faces and also over 40 statues of gods in Buddhism. This vihara is the largest in Southeast Asia and makes tourists feel like in China.

History lovers will enjoy exploring Penyengat Island, located less than 2 kilometers from the province capital, Tanjungpinang. There are many historic buildings from the Riau Kingdom, from the tomb of national hero Raja Ali Haji to the Sultan Riau Great Mosque made from egg whites.

The Blue Lake (Danau Biru) is one of the Instagrammable spots no one can miss in the Riau Islands. Once a sand mine location, this location is ideal for taking a selfie.

The Barelang Bridge is the icon of Batam City, similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Barelang Bridge connects several islands, such as Nipah Island, Galang Island, and New Galang Island.

If you want to escape the hectic life and feel the sensation of a private holiday, Mubut Island in Batam can be the best alternative. You can enjoy the sunset on the white sand beach and relax.

Promotion helps boost the number of tourists

The Riau Islands Tourism Office expects that at least three million visitors will visit Riau Islands in 2020, above the mid-term regional development plan (RPJMD) target of 2.4 million overseas travelers.

"I believe there could even be up to 3.3 million visits," said the Head of the Riau Islands Tourism Office, Boeralimar in here, Sunday as Antaranews quoted.

The rise in the number of foreign tourists is due to the promotion efforts jointly carried out by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Boeralimar said.

Furthermore, he called on the city district government to create a new tourist spot to reduce boredom and attract more visitors.

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