Places to visit

Penyengat Island


Penyengat Island

A small island situated across Tanjung Pinang, capital of the Riau Islands Province, the island of Penyengat in the 18th century was the twin-seat of the Sultan of the Johor-Riau Kingdom. Today, the Sultan’s palace is being restored. It is an interesting blend of Javanese and Dutch architecture, still imbued with an air of dignity, even though it has been abandoned for more than 80 years. Here are tombs and crypts, and a restored fort.
The pride of the island is the Sultan’s Mosque (shown on the left), the Mesjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat. Peeping through the palm trees like a fairy tale castle, it is still in use today. Rumour has it that a large part of the mosque was made of eggs, gifts from the Sultan’s loyal subjects on the occasion of his wedding.  The egg-white proved to be a strong bonding agent. The mosque has excellent acoustics and even a whisper can carry right across the auditorium.  Here is also the beautifully preserved handwritten and illustrated Quran of over 150 years old.

To Stay

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Hotel Panorama

Jl. Haji Agus Salim no. 12 Bintan Island

Bintan Beach Resort

Jalan Pantai Impian no. 1 Bintan Island

Bintan Beach Resort (Bintan Permata Hotel)

Jalan Pantai Impian No. 1, 29111 Tanjungpinang

Plaza Hotel

Jalan MT Haryono km.3,5 Komplek Bintan Plaza-Tanjung Pinang, 29111 Tanjungpinang

Pelangi Hotel & Resort

Jl. D.I Panjaitan Km. 6, Tanjungpinang Bintan Island

Comfort Hotel & Resort

Jl. Adi Sucipto no. 10, 29125 Tanjungpinang

Aston Tanjung Pinang Hotel & Conference Center

Jl. Adisucipto Km 11 Bintan Island

Hermes Agro Resort & Convention

Jl. Raya Kawal km. 25 Taopaya, Bintan Island

Hotel Laguna

Jalan Bintan no. 51 Bintan Island

Serumpun Padi Mas Resort

Jalan M. Yusuf Kahar no. 15 Bintan Island

Villa at Hermes Agro Resort & Convention

Jl. Raya Kawal km. 25 Taopaya, Bintan Island

Hotel Sampurna Jaya

Jalan M. yusuf Kaher no.15 Bintan Island

To Stay

There are many affordable hotels in Tanjung Pinang. Just pick one.

To Buy

There are no distinctive souvenirs from Penyengat Island. You might consider buying local handicrafts at Tanjungâ Pinang’s giftshops.

Get Around

Around the island, descendants of the Riau royalty still live here in modest stilt houses. Even today there is hardly any transport on the island, and life goes on very much as it has for centuries. There are good walkways on the island. A new cultural center holds performances of Malay and local dances including Malay wedding ceremonies, the joget dance, and demonstrations of pencak silat, the Indonesian martial art.

Get There

The island’s just a 1.5 km from Tanjung Pinang. Speed boats are available to carry you to Penyengat from Tanjung Pinang jetty, about US$1 per person. Or you can rent one for about US$7 to take a small group of people for a roundtrip.

If you depart from Singapore, there are three ferry operators between Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal and Tanjung Pinang. The trip will take about two hours and a one-way ticket cost around 35 Singaporean dollars. Make sure you already have a visa or ask the ferry companies whether you can get a visa-on-arrival.

To Eat

Recently, some of the locals have opened up restaurants in Penyengat Island.

But you can always prepare some yourself before departing from Tanjung Pinang jetty. A lot of stalls sellâ  food around there to pick from. Penyengat Island itself offers a great environment for a picnic. Seize the chance!

To Do

Penyengat IslandNearby is the tomb of Raja Ali Haji (shown on the right), author of the dictionary, grammar and history of the Riau Malay language, which became the base for Bahasa Indonesia, the present national language of the country.

Further down is the tomb of Engku Puteri Permaisuri, queen of Sultan Mahmud. She was a Bugis Princess who received the island of Penyengat as her dowry. She took power and reigned here until her death in 1844.


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