Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Singaporeans regard Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Bintan Island, as the gritty city that they need to get through on the way to a squeaky-clean beach resort. They're missing a lot.

 

 

 

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Located two hours away by ferry, this city once hosted the Malay empire's seat of government, before the Dutch and the British arrived to dismember it.


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Traditional culture remains strong; Locals at Penyengat Island (off the coast) indulge in a game of sepak takraw in front of the ancient Raya Mosque.

 

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Sunset at Jalan Merdeka, where the seaside promenade becomes host to a bustling night food market.


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Early morning finds rowboats ferrying folks from the nearby kampung air  - water villages on stilts - to shore.


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A familiar scene anywhere: a kids runs after resident pigeons, this time at a local Buddhist temple serving the city's large Chinese population.

 

Just a two-hour ferry ride from Singapore, Tanjung Pinang is an easy getaway from the sterile, hectic Lion City.


 
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