July 30 & 31, One Day/One Nite Free & Easy tour to Senggarang/Tanjung Pinang, Bintan Island

Senggarang, a coastal fishing village has in recent years developed into a mini-resort, situated twenty minutes away by motor-boat across the bay, opposite of Tanjung Pinang town.

 July 30, Friday

  • Departure: 8.50am by Indo Falcon ferry from Tanah Merah Terminal which is reached by SBS bus No.35 via Bedok Interchange
  • Arrival:   11.00am  check-in 6th-storeyed Melia Hotel(some rooms sea-facing) which is less than 15mins walk away from Tg Pinang ferry-jetty
  • 12noon-1.00pm ………….nasi padang lunch
  • 1.20-5.30pm…………..Senggarang excursion/walk-about (If Senggarang is less interesting, travellers then adjourned to roaming Tanjung Pinang town)
  • 5.30-6.30pm……….Rest period in Melia hotel
  • 7.00-9.00pm……….seafood dinner at Laut Jaya hotel’s promenade which is ten mins. away by transport from Melia and diagonally opposite Senggarang
  • OPTIONAL – after dinner, can stay behind to watch impromptu karaoke sing-a-long by locals/foreigners on make-shift stage adjacent to Tua-peh-kong temple O R listen to live music by local band in Melia’s partially roof-covered sea-fronted lounge

July 31, Saturday

  • 8-9am  breakfast in Melia hotel
  • 9.30am-12noon…… OPTIONAL – visit tombs of Riau-Johor sultanate and centuries-old kampung at Penyengat Is 15mins by boat across Tg Pinang OR shopping at Ramayana Shopping Mall which is less than 20mins by transport away from Melia
  • Departure with a choice EITHER at 2.30pm by Penguin ferry or 3.00pm(1/2 hour later) by I Falcon.
  • Times indicated are Singapore readings (Indonesian time is One hour earlier).  Maximum pax to travel is SIXTEEN persons including two EO’s
  • Expenses – two-way ferry tiket $50  (Tg Pinang port departure tax is 35,000 rupiahs)
  • Melia hotel room rates are between 220-450 thousand rupiahs
  • two-way boat trip from Tg Pinang to Senggarang WAS 40,000rupiah 

Abel Tan


1. Abel Tan (EO)

2. Frisna Tan (Asst.EO)

3. SK Chua

4. Daisy Yeo

5. Angela Straaten

6. Angela’s sister

7. Doreen Cady

33 thoughts on “July 30 & 31, One Day/One Nite Free & Easy tour to Senggarang/Tanjung Pinang, Bintan Island

  1. Abel

    I remember Tanjong Pinang for the hugh Gong Gong symbol they built by the beach. The last time I was there must be over 25 years ago. It was than a sleepy fishing town. Good place for nature lovers to cruise into the swamps and virile Singaporeans searching for cheap prostitutes. Would like to see it again.

    We can walk slowly, talk softly, relish our beer and maybe sing a few slow songs than sleep…..by ourselves. Sounds like a good holiday. I will join you.

  2. Well done, Abel. I really appreciate your sharing with us some of the trips that you make to the Indonesian islands.

    I have adjusted the layout of your Post to make it look more tabulated. Let me see my schedule; I wish I can join you. Got to sort out my kid’s stay downunder. Meantime, enjoy your travels.

    Terence Seah

  3. I want to go too Abel!

    In fact u beat me to it as I’ve indicated to TS about doing Tanjong Pinang.

    Being mum’s hometown, I’ve been to TP since a small girl but always roam about never bother about names. So where’s Senggarang? Is it Tua Poh? Don’t know Laut Jaya either.

    Have you been to Trikora? The last time I visited, there were raised huts built on the beach which one can rent and rest sheltered from the sun, enjoying a coconut to quench one’s thirst.

  4. Hi Terence/YK
    I’m helping Abel in organising this trip and updating the participants’ list. can you kindly transfer the “edit right” to me please. thanks.

    Tian Soo/Daisy/Yat Sing: glad 3 of you can join. looking forward to a rustic and nostalgic journey…

  5. Hi Frisna/Abel

    My sisters and I are interested in this rustic holiday but would like to know more about the place and the hotel. We have been to Tanjong Pinang before but that was about 15 years ago.

    I read that Melia Hotel is a 3 star hotel, I suppose that it has all the normal comforts like fully aircon rooms and hot water showers? Will we have to do a lot of walking?

    I would appreciate it if you could please give me more information so that I can make a decision fast. Thank you.


  6. Hi Angela
    Abel said Melia is the best hotel on the island complete with the standard amenities. the town itself is smaller than batam/normal indonesian town. you dont have to walk so much if you don’t want to join the excursion – it’s free n easy. can do simple shopping for dried salted fish/ikan bilis etc.

    hope you n your sister can join us!

  7. Hello Abel n Frisna,

    I still have half a million rupiah in my purse πŸ™‚ Guess that’s a good reason to go splurge in Bintan, right? But i cannot commit yet…
    Nevertheless would like to suggest a tweak to the itinerary (if possible) to maximize our time there…

    Can we explore Senggarang AND Kampong Penyengat on Fri 30th after Lunch?
    Then on Sat morning, we go shopping in Tg Pinang town AND Ramayana shopping mall..

    With this shuffle, we don’t miss any of the places mentioned in the original itinerary. Possible?


  8. Hi SHCians

    The Hotel Melia opened in 2002 and is considered the best hotel as I have not returned to Tanjung Pinang since early 06. Perhaps, if one of the few dilapidated buildings fronting the sea has been torn down and rebuilt as a hotel, we can select this new premises.

    If the 3-storeyed Laut Jaya hotel(early 80s) has been well upgraded, it will be a choice selection, because fourteen of its rooms, seven each on the upper levels face the promenade(where we shall have our seafood dinner) and the distant lights of Senggarang, and from your windows, early risers can watch boats plying to-n-fro further east into the bay, as well as passengers(adult workers & schoolchildren) embarking at a landing point towards the end of the promenade which was built by the hotel’s first owners.

    The following two hotels, the jetty-facing Fajar hotel(early 90s) and the partially sea-facing Mutiara hotel(late 80s) which is approximately equidistant between Melia and Laut Jaya, can be considered too iff both have been well-upgraded.

    The out-of-town(40mins away) 3-storeyed Bintan hotel(early 70s) with wide-circulared staircase and spacious balconied-rooms, public areas/grounds and plus a swimming pool(Hi, Tg Batu guys, reminiscent of the inland Gembira sister-hotel??), with a partially open-terraced, sea-facing cafe lounge is an isolated building, patronised mostly by inter-island Indon family groups, and in my opinion a probable selection for those seeking idyllic seclusion.

    Tanjung Pinang is a near 300yr old settlement as it was the last stronghold of the former Melaka-Riau-Lingga sultanate and the town was often heard mentioned by some Malay residents when I visited my cousins in a Pasir Panjang kampong during the 60s. Batam Island was the result of Indonesia”s transmigration policy in the mid70s.


    Abel Tan

  9. Hi Jassmine
    so, u r still a millionaire!
    Abel said it’s possible to explore Kg.Penyengat (optional for each person). but he said less than 20 pax/100 chinese sporean who vistied Tg.Pinang stops by there as it’s a historical place for muslim.
    Hope to see you on the trip!

  10. Hi SHCians

    My humble apology in overlooking to mention that at least SIX persons, including myself, is the MINIMUM figure for a economically worthwhile side-trip to Penyengat Island(Jasmine your suggestion is welcomed) for otherwise the excursion charge is up to 150,000 or more per head, excluding the boat trip.

    With due respect, my observation is that probably less than 20 out off 100 Chinese Sporeans who visit Tanjung Pinang, do not side-tripped to Penyengat Island as the place is merely a historical heritage of the former Riau-Lingga sultanate, albeit with a Spore linkage via one of the two young teenaged sultans, one was Abdul Rahman under the care of the Bendehara in Tanjung Pinang whilst his half-brother, also a young teen, Hussein who was disputing the throne, lived in the Kampong Glam palace(off Beach Rd and since 2004 was turned into a Malay Heritage Musuem) and protected by Temmengong Ibrahim(the Johor provincial chief) who mortgaged Temasek Island to Raffles and later on after the final Dutch attack in the early 1830s triggered the downfall of the Riau-Lingga sultanate, siezed the Johor province and made himself the first sultan of present Johor state of Malaysia, a move criticised by many Riau historians whom fully suspected the British of closing/winking an eye in fair exchange of Spore becoming a British island.

    By the way, maintainence tend not to be a priority/urgency even in the best hotels, and thus sometimes one is unlucky to be assigned a room that has a bit of ceiling stains, a not fully-workable toilet-flush system, wash basin taps/faucets drip water, chipped bathroom tiles, etc. But management is always obliging for an exchange of rooms, conditionally upon occupation of less than an hour and availability of similar-priced rooms.

    A few management had informed in the past that the occurrence of damaged room-facilities were mostly due to rough usage by guests which accounted in addition to the above-mentioned defects, faulty remote TV/air-con controls, cigarettes’ burnt stains on tables/cabinets, sagging/unaligned window-curtains, slightly-loosened cupboard hinges, etc.

    Hopefully, we shall all obtaine presentable accomodation.


    Abel Tan

  11. Hi Frisna/Abel

    I’m sorry to inform you that 1 of my sisters will not be joining us, whilst the other one and I will only be able to commit at a later date.

    We will confirm our participation when the plans are firmed up and nearer the date. Thank you for being patient with us.


  12. Hi Abel #14,

    Interesting history πŸ™‚ To think that more than 100 yrs ago, a prince from Penyengat actually lived in S’pore at Kampong Glam! I’m familiar with this portion of history but didn’t know Hussein hailed from Penyengat. If possible, will want to visit Penyengat – will play by ear when in Bintan.

    Will confirm my participation asap.


  13. I will interested in this tour however I am not able to confirm my participation until about one to two weeks before the tour date.

    I have been there more than ten years back and still remember that we need to use water taxi to travel to various places of interest. It’s a bit scary for those who are use to travel on big and steady boat or ferry.

    I doubt most people would be interested to visit Penyengat again after seeing the ruins of the palace especially for people who visit the palaces in China. It just a few walls and stones left standing. Maybe if you are an archeologist or historian you may be interested but for people who expect to see grandeur in the palaces or tombs I think they will be disappointed.

    Maybe we can consider replacing the visitation to tombs or palaces to one of the mini resort.

  14. Abel

    Yes, it is nice to read the little historical bits about the ruin in Penyengat.
    Unfortunately, I have some errand to attend to at home on the 30th July, so cannot join you. I will join you if there are any change to my commitment.
    When I was there some 20 years ago, I remember the ruin castle was made of stone. I wander who built the castle because early Malay sultans do not built stone castles. Only the whiteman does when they come to this part of the world.
    Our tour guide also told us that Sang Nila Utama came from there and he met a lion in Singapura but my nature books say wild Lions only live in Africa.

    Anyway, it is all good fun.

  15. Ref # 18.

    It was definitely not a lion. Some studies concluded that the strange-looking animal was most probably a Malayan tiger. But if it was a tiger, Sang NU would have recognised it ( and may be named Tumasik Harimaupura! LOL).

    The early history (pre colonial days )of Spore is all legend, unsubstantiated by any authentic records), so why would the Govt. of modern S’pore not down play it and focus on the founding of modern S’pore? (A newly-launched book – ref. today’s ST – home pg B11 – accused the Spore govt of downplaying early history …Of course politics is involved, so …no more comment.)


    P.S. Sang NU was a prince from Palembang who went to Bintan and…

  16. Hi Frisna and Abel,
    I am sorry I am unable to go on this trip with you bec the maid confirmed she will go home for 2 weeks at that time, and so I will be mom’s caregiver then.
    Thank you.

  17. Hi SHCians

    A belated thank-you to you Terence for the encouragement.

    Your comments are welcomed and noted Thian Soo. My verification is that, less than twenty Chinese Sporeans when visiting Tanjung Pinang do make a sid-trip to Penyengat Island as understandbly majority are not interested in the Riau-Lingga history though there is a heritage connection with Johore state and Temasek Island for both being former possessions of the Riau Lingga sultanate, as reflected significantly to the present day where there are still a few decendents of Sultan Hussein living in Spore, and their kin and nobles’ graveyards still remain at Jalan Kubor off Victoria Street while that of Temmenggong/Sultan Ibrahim’s followers’ graveyards are located at the hillside off Telok Blangah Rd and opposite the St James disco-niteclub and just before the Sentosa road-cum-LRT bridge.

    Well Steven Ng, definitely the palace remains of China’s dynastic eras are more splendid than the stone ruins at Penyengat Is. as well as even the colonial bungalow-styled Kampong Glam palace. By the way, the nearly 3hours away from Tg Pinang town, Trikora Beach resort though expanded and upgraded in recent years as reported by Indonesian media, is rather out of the way for a one day/one nite tour.

    Sang Nila Utama, his Malaynised name, was called Parameswara in British history books and who ran away from internal princelings’ squabbles of the hindu Srivijaya Empire in Central & South Sumatera and centred in present day Palembang, and was claimed as the one to name Temasek Is. as Singapura(singa-lion, pura-city, with Pura being actually a Sanscrited word) as well as the founder of the Melaka Sultanate.

    A foreigner, having never visited Spore would unhesitatingly recognise our Little Red Dot as a Muslim nation, by just looking at the national flag which portray a moon-crescent symbol, significantly portrayed in all Islamic nations’ national flags. Oldies like me have perrenially wondered whether our Aug 9 leaders were being overly pragmatic in furthermore having our national anthem Malay-versed and our national language in Bahasa Melayu.


    Abel Tan

  18. Hi SHCians

    My sincere apology to announce that the above scheduled on July 30 & 31 is now, due to an urgent leave taken by a Malaysian colleague to attend his son’s wedding on 31st July which takes precedence over my leave-request, carried forward three weeks later to August 21st & 22nd (Sat & Sun). All the other details in the original Post remain steadfast EXCEPT, the homeward bound departure time from Tanjung Pinang is 2.30pm (Spore time)

    Thank you for the kind attention on this matter.


    Abel Tan

  19. Hi SHCians

    Again, my humble apology, in overlooking the fact that August 21st & 22nd fall during the month of Ramadan and thus except Batam and the northern Bintan resorts, other islands are quite subduedly “non-touristic”.

    Therefore, the original intended dates of July 30th & 31st will stand as indicated in the Post of 7th June, for yours-truly one day unpaid leave is approved.

    Thank you for your kind attention on this matter


    Abel Tan

  20. Hi Abel

    It’s nice of you to take unpaid leave to take us on this tour.

    I’m happy to confirm that my sister, Mary, and I will join you for the trip but I hope that we won’t have to take any sampan rides.

    Best Regards,

  21. Hello SK, Daisy, Angela, Doreen

    So the date/time is confirmed: going 30/7 and coming back 31/7

    Jassmine: are you coming? How about Steven? please come lah otherwise Abel will be the lone guy….

  22. Hi Frisna #26,

    Anyeong haseyo! Apologies for delayed response. i can only confirm on the 21st. There’ll be two of us if i’m able to join the trip. Keeping fingers crossed… πŸ™‚

  23. Hi SHCians

    Thanks Angela for your gracious comment.

    Probably now there will be one or two bigger motorised-sampan boats than the normal six-seater of pre-2006. If a bigger vessel is unavailable then, in that moment of time, a majority’s decision shall prevail.

    Please take note that if at Tanah Merah Ferry terminal and just before departure, the weather turns terrible, we shall leave by a later departure time,1.10pm.


    Abel Tan

  24. Hi Abel/Frisna,

    Am not able to join this trip. πŸ™ Will have more time in Oct. Hope to join your future trip(s). Now hv to bank my half million rupiah. lol!

    All trippers – enjoy the trip. πŸ™‚

  25. Hi Abel & Frisna,

    Very sorry to inform you that my sister and I will not be able to join you for this trip. Take care and have fun.

    Best Regards,

  26. seem like everybody isn’t going…if by wed 28/7 noon there’s no new participants, then this trip will be cancelled (and Abel and me will have our own sweet time somewhere in singapore….)

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