Landscape of Tanjung Pinang (Tanjung Pinang, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia)

A one hour ferry trip from Singapore takes to Bintan Island. Speaking of Bintan Island, it is popular in resorts, but its north coast of the island for tourism is a special area where local residents are restricted to enter. Meanwhile, except this area, it is an ordinary tropical island which is indifferent from refinement.

Usual things for the tropical zone are special things for others. Guide books only introduce resorts and are not written very much about most of the remaining part though among those are attractive spots. However, those may be favorite for advanced travelers.

Tanjung Pinang, the biggest town in the island, has a population of 200,000. The first scenery that a traveler encounters when getting off the ferry from Singapore is streets that are dirty in the rain. No one must feel well to them. But, don’t abandon and go up to the hill approaching. To accept the expanding population, the surrounding hill would be inevitably developed since the extent of the plain land by the sea was limited. It is so steep slope, uphills and downhills.

Even if it is hard to live, a rich hill landscape is one of the conditions of an attractive town, in all parts of the world. As the height is going up, the scenery is being opened up and the view is moving by a meandering road along a slope.

A two-way roads sometimes appears and a narrow one-way street links the upper road with the lower road. The reason why there is few stairs but many slopes connecting between uphills and downhills despite of considerable difference of elevation would be because they can possibly reach with a small car or a motorcycle if they bear down ?

I had imagined that the residential area on a slope in third world must be slum which was lined with dilapidated houses. But, in reality, this area was a good middle class residential area in terms of Japanese.

First of all, a house is built tidily. There are many concrete and brick houses, and wooden houses are not so loose. A tin roof is rusty with rain, but, thanks to the eaves, the rain dirt on the wall is not so much.

The fact that there are many houses with gardens kept carefully contributes to improve the quality of the residential area. At the foot of the hill is a large gardening shop, so there must be considerable people who can afford to enjoy gardening.

The most important thing is the gentle air. There are not many houses with a steel-barred window. That is the evidence of few crimes and a decent community. Residents neither show caution to others nor threaten but they are friendly. People gather at the bench on a street and under eaves, children play football cheerly and streets were full of warm signs. I remembered the scene of a residential area in ??Japan when I had been a child.

A residential area at the foot also has the same air. Tolerance may be Indonesian national character. Indonesian society seems to be firmer than I had thought.

However, as for the pleasures of walking around, the residential area on ??the hill is outstanding. When the attractive hill landscape and the gentle community integrate into one, the dimension of coziness rises. It cannot necessarily be found anywhere. The hill of Tanjung Pinang is a modest but memorable place.

It is not satisfactory that there is neither old Western-style house that is often on the hill of a port town nor a high-quality landmark that can be seen from everywhere on the hill. The reason why I felt a bit monotonous while walking must be because there was no outstanding landmark. So, soon I did not know where I was.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

From Singapore to Tanjun Pinang
2 hours by ferry from Singapore Cruise Centre at Tanah Merah Ferr y Terminal to Tanjun Pinang Port (4 services per day).


Comfort Hotel & Resort Tanjung Pinang
Hotel Furia(TEL 62-771-31125)
Pelangi Hotel


2008.12 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.01 Change of photos
2018.05 Text in English version

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Landscape of Tanjung Pinang

Photo by Daigo Ishii