The Best Historical Landmarks to Visit in Bintan
In the spirit of Indonesia’s Independence day this week, we will take you on a journey to explore the most famous historical landmarks in one of Indonesia’s most exotic islands: Bintan.
Located in such a strategic location, Bintan has a rich history and some are reflected through the island’s many historical sites. Riau itself has been home to Malay and Orang Laut people (sea nomads) for centuries. It also has been a haven for migrants from South China and Indochina.
Due to its strategic location, Bintan was crucial for the China-India maritime trading route, hence why many traders from all around the world came to the island and decided to settle. Bintan was a major trading center back then. Many historical landmarks in Bintan are symbols that pay homage to its history.
500 Lohan Temple
Its actual name is Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and one of Bintan’s best hidden gems. The temple is located in Kijang, South Bintan, which only takes a short drive from Tanjung Pinang.
The main attraction at 500 Lohan Temple is the 500 life-sized Lohan or stone statues with complex physique and facial expressions. Each of the statues are unique and different from one another. Facing the 500 arhats are another three great bodhisattvas; Wen Shu Bodhisattva sitting on a lion, Puxian Bodhisattva sitting on an elephant and Guan Yin holding a willow.
500 Lohan Temple may not be easy to find, but you will not regret your visiting there. It’s definitely worth it.
Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha
This buddhist temple is the biggest temple in all of Southeast Asia. Located in Tanjung Pinang City, Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha is a historical evidence of the existence of the Chinese community in Tanjung Pinang for centuries.
The temple was built by the Chinese community to serve as a place to deepen religious knowledge and a place of study for monks, sangha, and teachers both from local and foreign countries such as China, Singapore and Malaysia.
Aside from functioning as a place of worship, this Vihara is also one of the most-visited destinations for tourists who come to Bintan. Apart from the magnificent buildings and landscaped gardens and parks, the statue of Goddess Kuan Yin inside the temple is also an attraction for tourists.
Banyan Tree Temple
Banyan Tree Temple is a Chinese shrine that functions as a place of worship for locals. The tree has been around for many hundred years, comes from a large banyan tree that grows around the temple. This uniqueness is what attracts tourists to come and see firsthand.
Based on the story written on the signpost, the tree has been around since 1811. Formerly, it was the residence of a Chinese captain, Chiao Ch'en. After the place was abandoned by the owner of the house, local residents took the initiative to make a house of worship considering that there are still many residents of Chinese descent.
Sultan of Riau Grand Mosque
Located in Penyengat, Tanjung Pinang, Sultan of Riau Grand Mosque has striking colours of royal yellow and green, making it the first thing that catches your eye once you approach Pulau Penyengat.
Known as the “Jewel of the Island”, the mosque has many unique features that attract many visitors to come. There are 13 domes and four minarets, making up to 17 which is the number of raka’ats (sections of prayer) a Muslim has to complete in one day.
Stay at ANMON
When visiting Bintan Island, make sure that you stay at the most comfortable resort to rest your legs after a tiring day exploring the city. The ANMON Resort Bintan is there to accommodate any of your needs during your vacation in the island. It is a perfect choice to stay with the whole family and your loved ones as ANMON has all the facilities you need.