More to Tanjung Pinang than meets the eye

There is so much more to Tanjung Pinang than the port area – fascinating and busy as it is.. This time we walked more (our first visit was in 2015) and also hired a car and driver for a day, visiting some beautiful spots. 

There are now gardens that stretch along the waterfront

When walking along the seafront we were delighted with the newly planted gardens that extend a long way from the end of the “business” part of town to the new tourist information building formed in the shape of a Gong-Gong the local shellfish (and a great delicacy.)

The new tourist information Centre

Inside there is a deliciously cool air conditioned gift shop. The young ladies serving in the shop were very thrilled to see us (I don’t think they’d had many visitors that day) and dressed the guys in traditional Indonesian headwear (belangkon)

We eventually found the way in to the souvenir shop
Modeling traditional Indonesian headwear

Our friend Windy, who we met in the supermarket where she is marketing manager, suggested some places to head for if we were hiring a car. This was fortunate as we hadn’t done much research on Bintan Island (on which Tanjung Penang sits).

A column from the exterior of the Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha (Guan Yin temple)

We went round to the tourist office where the friendly and efficient staff – particularly Edy who we first met in 2015 and who remembered us – helped organise a car.
A detail from outside of the Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha (Guan Yin temple)

Our driver had good English and was also extremely helpful – finding a laundry near to his home so he could bring our clean washing back for us and deliver it to the tourist office. 

Laughing Buddhas at Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha (Guan Yin temple)

We mentioned a few of the suggestions that Windi had given us and he then took us to a number of other places along the way. 

One of these was the Vihara Avalokitesvara Graha (Guan Yin temple) – which boasts the largest sitting Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) in South East Asia. The statue is made of brass coated with 22 carat gold. 

The largest sitting Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) in South East Asia.

There is a sweeping driveway up to the temple through a large dragon fruit plantation. The main shrine is magnificent with many statues of Buddha in various poses.   

More from inside the the Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) temple.

During the day we visited Lagoi and Trikora beaches, had lunch at a restaurant in a ramshackle “resort” built entirely on stilts in the water and went to a freshwater lake (Lake Lagoi) where the gardens were beautifully manicured. 

Lion statue in front of the hotel at Trikora Beach
The beachfront
Dragon boat at a resort
The Indonesians seem crazy about Hello Kitty!
The massage pavilion
View from the restaurant on stilts
The “Resort” taken from the restaurant
The fish for lunch was freshly caught – kept alive and swimming in a massive net below the floorboards
The net below the boards
Gorgeous Trikora beach
Swim anyone?

It was such a lovely day and we all felt happy to know that there was much more to Tanjung Pinang than meets the eye. 

The best kept gardens in Indonesia at Lagoi Lake
Another view of the lake

Lagoi Beach

Quad bikes on Lagoi Beach
Wonderful to see ancient crafts kept alive at our favourite waterside restaurant

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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