Knowing Bintan at Its Heart
Currently, Bintan is well-known for its luxurious resorts and exotic shining beaches. But, do you know about the island’s profound history? Well, let us take you down on a memory lane.
Many centuries ago, Bintan was famous as a trading centre in Asia. Bintan was a site where traders from all over the world, particularly from China, the Middle East and India, gathered and did their businesses. Traders from Indonesia bought spices from other islands while foreign traders (such as the Chinese) came to Bintan to bring tea, porcelain and silk.
Due to its strategic location, Bintan became one of the most trading routes for local and foreign traders. This dated back in the 14th century where Bintan and Temasek (Singapore), as recorded in Chinese maritime records, were one of the islands in the Riau archipelago that was inhabited by Malay pirates.
It was not so long until foreign traders were stunned by Bintan’s charms. Lying close to the Equator, Bintan enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year. The perfect combination of warm turquoise waters of South China Sea and sparkling white beaches, Bintan is the ultimate dream for both traders and inhabitants.
Many traders eventually decided to settle in Bintan and married local people. That is how Riau and Bintan became home of Malay and sea nomads as well as migrants from China, India, and the Middle East. The history of BIntan is pretty much a product of cultural assimilation among these people. The significance of Bintan’s natural beauty and cultural diversity is the reason countless tourists are attracted to this heaven on Earth.
Bintan’s strategic location was initially disputed by many parties. Bintan once was a part of the “war triangle” among the Portuguese, the Johor Sultanate, and the Acehnese of northern Sumatra. Bintan witnessed many rulers grow and decline in power. Most of them were trying to achieve control of the region as Bintan was a crucial spot for traders.
Before gaining its independence, Bintan was occupied by Indonesia’s three colonizers: the British, the Dutch, and the Japanese. In the 18th century, Bintan was occupied by the English East India Company as a suitable port for maritime trading. In 1911, Bintan became a Dutch colony. When the Japanese entered the region in 1942, Bintan was occupied by them. It was not long until Bintan became part of the Riau province after Indonesia gained its independence in 1945.
Located only one hour ferry ride away from Singapore, the Indonesian government was very ambitious in turning Bintan into a major tourist destination in the western part of Indonesia. In the 1990s, cash flowed into Bintan which was very beneficial since Bintan needed foreign investment for their own economic development.
Since then, numerous resort developers and companies flooded onto the island which resulted in hundreds of luxurious resorts and recreational spots in the island. Though Bintan experienced ups and downs during its development, the hard work paid off. Bintan can now show off its international-standard high-end resorts and recreational area, one of which is the Crystal Lagoon, the largest man-made seawater in Asia.
Nowadays, Bintan’s economy relies heavily on tourism. Given its proximity to regional hubs such as Singapore, Jakarta, and Johor Bahru, it is not surprising that Bintan gains its popularity as a major international tourist destination in the flash of an eye. Tourists, either local or international, are drawn to the island’s natural beauty and cultural history and heritage.
Are you fascinated in exploring Bintan after learning the island’s captivating history? Make sure you stay at The ANMON Resort Bintan during your exploration in Bintan. The ANMON Resort Bintan is a desert glamping resort that offers its guests retreat into their desert adventure, where soulful experiences meet wanderlust. The resort also has various facilities that guarantee to make your stay here the best glamping experience you’ve ever had.