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 on a trip down memory lane.
Bintan as a Flourishing Trading Port
Many centuries ago, Bintan was famous as a trading centre in Asia. It was a site where traders from all over the world, particularly China, the Middle East and India, gathered and conducted their businesses. Traders from Indonesia bought spices from other islands while foreign traders, such as the Chinese, brought tea, porcelain and silk to Bintan. Due to its strategic location, Bintan became one of the busiest trading routes for local and foreign traders.
Lying close to the Equator, Bintan enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year. With the perfect combination of warm turquoise waters of the South China Sea and sparkling white beaches, Bintan is the ultimate dream for both traders and inhabitants. It was not too long before foreign traders became enamoured by Bintan’s charms.
Many traders eventually decided to put down roots in Bintan and married the local people. That is how Riau and Bintan became home to the 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 why countless tourists are attracted to this island paradise.
The Struggle for Control Over Bintan
Bintan’s strategic location was initially disputed by many parties and was once a part of the “war triangle” between the Portuguese, the Johor Sultanate, and the Acehnese of northern Sumatra. Bintan witnessed many rulers grow and decline in power, with most of these rulers seeking 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 colonisers: 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 only after Indonesia gained independence in 1945 that Bintan became part of the Riau province.
Bintan as an Exotic Tourism Hub
Located only one hour away from Singapore by ferry, the Indonesian government was very ambitious to transform 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 on the island. Though Bintan has experienced plenty of ups and downs during its development, the island now boasts of international-standard high-end resorts and recreational facilities, one of which is the Crystal Lagoon, the largest man-made seawater lagoon 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 has gained popularity as a major international tourist destination. Tourists, both local and international, are drawn to the island’s natural beauty and cultural history and heritage.
Are you keen to explore Bintan after learning of the island’s rich and captivating history? Make sure to consider The ANMON Resort Bintan as your place of accommodation during your visit to Bintan. The ANMON Resort Bintan is a desert glamping resort that offers guests a retreat into a desert adventure, where soulful experiences meet wanderlust. The resort also has various facilities that guarantee your stay here to be the best glamping experience you will ever have.