Bintan is a perfect beach paradise ideal for tourists who wants to enjoy the beach. It offers a lot of things to do including snorkeling, sailing and exploring the island. There are also other perfect tourist destinations nearby. One can book a tour to these nearby places from the tour operators. Hotels also provide assistance for tours and excursions to the places at the outskirts of the city.
Batam is in a very close proximity to Bintan. Being one of the most popular travel destinations in Indonesia, Batam Island features several interesting tourist attractions and spectacular beaches.
The Barelang Bridges is one of the attractions not to be missed. “Barelang” means Batam-Rempang-Galang. With this abbreviation, Barelang Bridges link the tiny island of Tonton Nipah to the larger Setoko, Rempang, Galang, and Galang Baru Island together.
As an island paradise, Batam is a home of several beautiful beaches, especially in the stretch of the Nongsa Coast and the Waterfront City area. The beaches have fine white sands and crystal-clear sea water. These are great for water activities including jet skiing, parasailing, speed boating, windsurfing, snorkeling, canoeing, and rafting.
Apart from the beaches, Batam also houses some religious architectures including temples. The Maha Vihra Suta Maitreya is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. Also known as the Laughing Buddha Temple, it is frequented by thousands of devotees every day. Built by the Chinese community of Batam, the main hall contains some fascinating statues of Buddha. An image Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, is featured on its side chambers.
Another temple worth visiting is the Vihara Buddhi Bakti Temple. It is also known as Tua Pek Kong Bio. Located in the city center, the temple features a sacred garden comprising stone sculptures, scriptures, Buddha statues, and tables where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea under the trees.
Pekanbaru is the capital of Riau Province. It is located on the Siak River, making the city a natural trading port due to its access to the Strait of Malacca. It is home to several attractions including the Mesjid An-Nur, a large mosque located off Jalan Jend Sudirman. Apart from this mosque, the Grand Mosque in Jalan Riau near the river is an older mosque built in 18th century. Considered majestic, this mosque is where the remains of the fourth and fifth Sultans of Siak are found.
To learn more about the history and culture of Pekanbaru, the Museum Negiri Riau would be a great spot. This museum features an interesting collection of cultural artefacts from all over Riau Province. For a more taste of the town’s culture, located next to the museum is the Riau Cultural Park.
For a recreational activity, one can visit the Alam Mayang Fishing Park in Harapan Raya Street. There are fishing ponds with different species of fish along with a very pristine natural environment perfect for relaxation.
Medan is the capital city of the province of North Sumatra. Nowadays, Medan is the main gateway to the province of North Sumatra. As the main gateway and as the capital city, it is a commercial and economic hub. Medan was dubbed as the Parijs van Soematra due to the city's resemblance to Paris. The city was recognized as one among six cities in Asia to feature and preserve several colonial architectural sites. A diversity of cultures and races co-exist in Medan as the rest of this incredibly diverse country. Coming to Medan is a step back in time to the era of the colonization.
Medan was a Sultanate in the 16th century that can be traced in the Maimoon Palace. This was built in 1888 by the Sultan of Deli. he palace was designed by the Dutch architect Theodoor van Erp. It is now a museum covering an area of 2,772 square meters. With over 30 rooms, only the main room is accessible to the public. The main exhibit is the opulent inaugural throne.
The Tjong A Fie Mansion is also a historical gem of Medan. It was built by Tjong A Fie, a Hakka merchant who came to Medan that later became the Chinese Leader, as a residence. In an area of 8,000 square meters, there are 35 rooms in this two-storey mansion. It is a registered historical landmark as well as a cultural heritage building and museum.
The Vihara Gunung Timur is a Chinese Taoist temple built in 1962. It is the largest Taoist temple in Medan, which is also probably the largest in Sumatra. It contains a large paved area with an impressively scaled incense burner, two covered badminton courts, a very large main hall.
Another temple is the Sri Mariamman Temple. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Medan dating back in 1884. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. The gate is decorated with “gopuram” or the storey tower which can usually be found at the gate of the Hindus temples in South India with sculptures of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The Sipiso-piso Waterfall is located in Tonggiang Village, 45 kilometers from Berastagi at the northern end of Lake Toba. It has a height of 120 meters making it one of the tallest waterfall in Indonesia. This waterfall is formed by a small underground river of the Karo Plateau and flows out into the Lake Toba caldera.
Lake Toba, Parapat & Samosir Island
The Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in Southeast Asia covering an area of 1,145 square kilometers. With a depth of 450 meters, it is one of the deepest lakes in the world. Set at about 900 meters above sea level, it is a place where travelers relax and enjoy nature in a cooler climate.
This legendary volcanic lake is accessible by Parapat, a small town 4 to 6 hours away from Medan. Lake Toba’s edge is in Parapat. Most visitors outside North Sumatra fly to Medan and take a bus to Parapat. There are also private tours from Medan to Parapat going to the Lake.
As the main gateway to the Lake Toba, Parapat is frequented by tourists. There are a lot of things to do in Parapat, mainly water activities. Its proximity to the Lake Toba makes it a spot for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, water skiing, and boating. A very relaxing way to spend a holiday in Parapat and the Lake Toba will be boating and enjoying the solitude of nature.
In the middle of the lake is the Samosir Island, the cultural center of the Batak tribe. Samosir Island is one of the most popular places to explore in this wondrous lake. Batak culture are widely spread in the island. There are well-preserved sopo, Batak houses, with curving roofs in Tomok. There are also local handicrafts in this area. There are stalls offering intricate wood carvings, Batak musical instruments, traditional ulos cloth, and other handmade items that could be a perfect memento in a visit in the Samosir Island.
Samosir lies between 900 and 1,700 meters above sea level, which keeps temperatures at an average of 20 degrees Celsius. Nights and rainy days are very cold. It is highly recommended for the tourists to bring warm clothes.
Southern Region of Malaysia
The Southern Region is the home of the states of Melaka and Johor. Melaka is Malaysia's Historical City containing remnants of ruined buildings and fortresses. It is filled with historical aspects that reflects it as one of the most famous trading post. The southernmost part of the Peninsular Malaysia is Johor. It is the state that links Malaysia to Singapore where the residents are allowed to find jobs in Singapore. However, it has a high-cost living compared to the other states of the country. In addition, Johor is still a home to some natural attractions like beaches and beautiful coral islands.