Author: Josh Lew
Bintan is an Indonesian island a mere 45 minutes by ferry from Singapore. The island is home to plush beach resorts favored by tourists and Singaporean elites. However, the island suffers from a bit of multiple . The southern portions of the island are anything but 5-star. However, despite a generally rough and scruffy appearance, the southern half of the island is charming and not very pricy at all. While a room in the resort area will set you back a pretty penny, a more than decent room in the southern city of Tanjung Pinang costs less than $20 dollars. The prices of retailed goods are also cheap, especially considering the proximity to Singapore. Tanjung Pinang also has an authentically Indonesian vibe. People are generally friendly, though touts are often the most friendly, trying to weave some sort of con or at least gain some commission by showing you to shops, restaurants or guesthouses.
It is possible to get a visa on arrival when you get off the ferry in Bintan. For that reason, it is a good place to get some Indonesian flavor while on a trip to Singapore. If you don't like it, the next ferry is only a couple of hours away.