Monday, February 2, 2015

Island breeze

Small islands scattered in the ocean blue. Luxury resort perched on a white sand beach. This picture was not confined to the Maldives, but also the Riau Islands. By Reza Idris explains why this province deserve to be a family vacation destination, executive summary by darmansjah

Umi  Segantang Lada . This is the nickname of the Riau archipelago. Being in the ass Straits of Malacca, the islands share a border with Singapore and Malaysia (the annexationist region). The extent of 252 601 km2, the number of pieces 2.408 islands with 40% not yet have a name. Said local resident, to count the island as much as it needed pepper bushel.

Glorious history. Located in one of the world's busiest trade routes, Riau Islands have had a massive harbor. Golden age took place in the 18th century under the command of the Sultanate of Johor-Riau. Most of his tracks stored on the Penyengat  island status imperial center. There we can find the Sultan of Riau Grand Mosque that some body is made from egg whites; Indonesian father's tomb, Raja Ali Haji; and towering fortress on Bukit Kursi.

After its vital role as a hub of trade was taken over Singapore, Riau islands turned into tourist destinations. Luxury hotels springing up. Restaurants are mushrooming. Tour operators are busy serving travelers from neighboring countries, particularly Singapore (Singapore Dollar major currencies like here). Looking at the landscape and amenities, the Riau Islands have the capital to rival the Maldives or the Caribbean.

For the majority of domestic tourists, unfortunately, the Riau Islands has not been popular. He lost to shine than exotic islands in eastern Indonesia. In fact, for matters of access, Riau archipelago qualified relative. He is the province with the largest airport: Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Raja Haji Fiasibilillah in bintan, Ranai in Natuna, in Dabo Dabo Singkep, Matak in Anambas, plus Busung airport being built in northern bintan. And as I have proved from this trip, Riau Islands have a fairly complete offer of activities, including for travelers who come with family.

Nikoi Island is one of the tourist magnet in the Riau Islands. The island area of ​​30 football fields can be reached using the ferry from Pelabuhan Kawal. Embedded in dark clouds, pilots spur speed, devouring waves rising wind. 'If it Bintan rains, Nikoi usually bright,' said one of the ships staff. Interval of 20 minutes, his words proved. Approaching the dock Nikoi, the sun showed his face back.

Originally uninhabited island, breaks Nikoi transformed so that popular destinations. The story begins when the expatriate named Peter Timmer sail for months to track down the island to realize his dream: "a perfect paradise '. Like Necker Island in Virgin Islands, Nikoi adopted the concept of 'one island, one resort'. Peter built 17 villas each with its thatched roof and wooden walls. All the buildings are not painted. Much is left bare floor paved with white sand. Peter wanted the guests one with nature.

The concept of eco-resort is also applied on the north side of the island. In 2007, founded the resort manager turtle conservation area. More than 200 eggs hatched on this coast. Jordan said, bartender resorts, Nikoi a maternity home for green turtles and hawsbill. They generally come from December to October. Green turtle last stop February ago, and their children will emerge from the sand in mid-April.

Nikoi also offers many exciting activities. On the south side of the island, visitors can ride a kayak to circumnavigate the island which covers just 15 hectares of this. Kayaking will take you browse through choppy seas and through the narrow mangrove forests inhabited by herds lizards.

After paddling, guests can snorkel at several points around the island. Pin, the staff of the island, took me to the best location: the stretch of reef is only eight meters from the beach. South coast Nikoi collected soft coral and enchanting colorful biota, such as angelfish, nudibranchs, clown fish, butterfly fish, and batfish. Which is also fun, snorkeling equipment can be borrowed without paying.

The beauty of coral reefs in Nikoi could not be separated from the role Michel Lippitsch, the man from France who has dozens of years to explore the underwater world of Indonesia, ranging from alor to Raja Ampat. 'The best diving location in the south of the island, "he said while pointing waters near the island lined sand and mangrove lined islands, about 10 minutes from Nikoi. Michel held a regular class diving there for a minimum 12-year-old child. April to October is the best diving period.

Snorkeling and diving can also be done on the Pulau Beralas Pasir, the island with an area of ​​only 4 ha which is quite close to the beach Nikoi. Only a handful of humans who inhabit it. The entry fee of US$5 per person and is valid all day. Some of the accommodation or tour operators often take their guests to this tiny land.

For a phobia of water, Nikoi offers trekking in the jungle tours in the east of the island. Bembeng, rangers from Flores, guide me through the field to drain enough stamina: the route, winding road of rock and soil, bushy plants. I watched the spider lily flower, frangipani, and milky white stinkhorn mushrooms. Also seen a spider golden orb and some kind of lizard tail are milling about in the branches of trees. In mid-2008, a researcher of Indian origin had done research here and find attractive creatures, such as the Kingfisher bird, little heron, and white belly sea eagle.

Night at Nikoi not filled with a party at the bar, but the safari. Armed with flashlights and sticks, I trace the path to the east. Less than 10 minutes, fiddler crabs caught flashlights land. He was small, equivalent to the size of a cell phone. According to the safari guide, these animals come out at night to eat the fruit that falls from the sea fig trees. Finished eating, he would dig a hole in the ground as his new home, while her old home turned into a catchment pit that plays an important role in maintaining soil fertility. Peter Timmer seemed to successfully reach his dream, Nikoi is' perfect paradise'-a place where man and nature live together, while enjoying all that God has given.

Lagoi like Nusa Dua version Riau Islands: pouch pockets inhabited by tourists luxury property and premium facilities. Land area of ​​23.000 ha to 3.000 ha of which occupied seven hotels and four Jack Nicklaus design golf field.

What to Do in Riau Islands

Diving in Pulau Beralas Pasir
This tiny island waters collected about 100.000 thousand marine species. It is advisable to come in summer for best visibility (Asia Dive Now. Global Operations Centre Blk 465, Singapore: 6536 065 6532;

Bintan Elephant Safari Park
The zoo offers a program of interaction between humans and Sumatran elephants. Guests can also visit the feeding station up the backs of elephants and elephant safari in the jungle (WelcomeToBintan; 062 771 318 692;

Jetski Safari
Tour through the mangrove forest in Bintan, visit the fishing village Segiling, and race in the water circuit (Bintan Lagoon Resort: 0812 706 5752;

Gunung Bintan Adventure Trek

Trekking through the wilderness of Bintan to the height of 340m. This forest inhabited by monkeys, eagles, and various exotic plants. Tour diitutup by bathing in a waterfall (111 North Bridge Road # 02-07 Peninsula Plaza, Singapore;

Catamaran Sailing
Glide 30km per hour speed catamaran boat and see the beauty around Nikoi Island (Nikoi Island; 065 9635 1950;

Tourism area in Bintan was launched on 18 July 1996 on cooperation between the government of Indonesia and Singapore. Predictably, the main customers are tourists from Singapore. Every weekend, people are saturated with panoramic views neighboring skyscrapers came into Lagoi to feel the softness of white sand between your toes, see the waving palm trees, and of course, swinging a golf club. By the government, Lagoi even had promoted as the 'Bali volume two'.

I began my exploration of Bintan Lagoon Resort, resort area of ​​310ha with a modern contemporary style architecture. Together Outdoor Adventure tour operator and Bintan Lagoon, I scoured the hills on the east side resort using the ATV. Atv racing when I was through the woods, past the field soil and sand along the 2km. If too slow, the vehicle weighs 300kg is easy to fall into the sand pit.

Before through the woods, I had stopped at Pantai Panjang.  1.5 km along the beach is relatively quiet, perhaps because access is difficult. Said Martin, the guide, not far from here there is a fishing village called Village Segiling. The fishermen generally to the shore for grouper fishing.

Bintan Lagoon also provides electric bicycle tour lasted 90min. Participants will be taken down the path paved tree lined shady. Different from the ATV tour, this activity is more relaxed. While enjoying the breeze, I saw the monkeys perched on the branches of trees

Lagoi managers are quite serious in maintaining the ecosystem of the area. Hotel and golf course should stand, but pockets of green remains conserved. Later, this strategy bear fruit even profitable, for many tourists from Singapore was like nature exploration package.

Ecotourism is one of the packages offered by the Bintan Lagoon. In the evening, the participants brought to Sebung river through the mangrove forest, then boarded a boat to watch the fireflies light up the night flying. If you come during the day, we can see a variety of wildlife, such as gold ring snake, lizard, and with luck, crocodiles.

Explore the tourist harvest success in tempting some investors to work on other areas in Riau Islands. Many islands are now being developed as a tourist area, one of them ‘Pulau Bawah 'in the waters Anambas, about 3 hours of' Pelabuahan Kawal '. The plan of this island will be transformed into a special retreat of foreign celebrities. If Prince William went to the Seychelles for their honeymoon, can be prince harry later brought his wife to the Riau Islands.

Getting There

Batam and Bintan are the two main gates of the Riau Islands are commonly visited by the national airlines. Bintan flight Jakarta-served among others by Lion Air (, Sriwijaya Air and Batavia Air ( all purgi home in May. Nikoi Bintan Island is located in the East. To reach it, you can take a taxi from the airport to the Port Guard, ferry boats that connected opposite each at 12 and 15. To achieve Lagoi, you can ride a rented vehicle. One of the operators are eligible to choose the Indorent (sebung bay Ferry Port Block 5 & 6; Lagoi: 0770 691 931;

When to Go

Water sports activities can not be done during heavy rainfall. Peak of the rainy season occurred from November to March, while the summer from early April through August.

Where to Stay
Nikoi Island, premium resort and only Nikoi Island, offers 17 traditional-style villa with the concept of water. Select the number seven villas are located near a variety of resort facilities (065 9635190;, ranging from U.S. $ 390). Lagoi region, bintan umbrella Lagoon Resort 411 rooms and 57 villas that are divided into various types (Jl. Indera Segara Site A12, Lagoi 29 155; 062 770 691 388;; rooms start at U.S. $ 168).

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