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See Riau
Places of interest in Riau

On this page is a list of tourist attractions in the province of Riau.


About 160 kilometers upstream on the Siak river, Pekanbaru, Riau's provincial capital, has a number of buildings in the traditional style of the area, among them the Balai sang Merdu, the Balai Adat and Taman Budaya Riau or Riau Cultural Park.

The Siak Sultanate's Park

This Moorish style palace of the Sultan of Siak, 120 kilometers up stream from Pekanbaru on the Siak river, was built in 1889 by Sultan Syarif Hasyim Abdul Jalil Syarifuddin. Now a museum, the palace contains the sultanate's royal paraphernalia and other items of historical interest. Established during the 1 6th century, the Siak Seri Inderapura sultanate lasted until 1946, when it became victim to the popular upheavals following the Japanese surrender at the close of World War II.

Candi Muara Takus

Like many other structures of its kind in Sumatra, this Buddhist stupa near the village of Muara Takus in the Tigabelas Koto district, was built with red bricks and sand. The temple is believed to have been built at around the 9th or 1 0th century A.D. when the power of the South Sumatra-based Sriwijaya empire was at its peak. Excavations are still being made to determine the precise age and function of the stupa.

Mosque in Riau Tanjung Pinang

A busy lime town on Bintan Island, visited by traders from Jakarta, Medan, Palembang and other big cities in Indonesia, Tanjung Pinang is only a two-hour boat ride away from Singapore. The town has a Museum located on Jl. Katamso.

A large section of the old part of the town was built in traditional local fashion, on stilts, over the water. Bintan is a good point of departure to other islands in the area.

Penyengat Island

This island, six kilometers away from Tanjung Pinang, can be reached in 15 minutes by sampan boat. The seat of the powerful Bugis-descended viceroys of Riau during the 18th century, Penyengat still bears the traces of its illustrious past. Ruins, abandoned for almost 80 years, were recently restored in the 1990's.

The old ruler's palace and royal tombs, among them the grave of the book respected Sultan Haji, author of the first Malay Language grammar book are among the legacies left by the Riau sultanate. Still in use is the old vice-royal mosque, the Mesjid Raya. A newly built cultural center for stage performances of Malay music and dances can also be found.

Kerumutan Nature Reserve

Located on mainland Riau in the Kuala Kampar district, this 120,000 hectares 130,000 acres) nature reserve can be reached in 18 hours by motor boat from Pekanbaru. The boat sails up a calm river surrounded by virgin forests.

The Island of Batam

A very strategic island in Indonesia, Batam lies close to Singapore, designated as a center of not only industry, but also tourism and trade. It is one among Indonesia's key locations of industrial growth.

The Batuampar area is called a pioneer area and is being rapidly developed. While in the region of Sekupang significant projects have been in progress. The Nongsa region has been set aside as a recreation area. Four golf courses, hotels, motels and marina sports facilities are there as well as a forest reserve managed by the Batam Industrial Development Authority.

The Batam Center is designed for the administrative and commercial center of Batam island. Hotels of international standard have recently been completed on Nongsa Beach. Batam can be reached in two hours from Tanjung Pinanq by ferry, and in about half an hour from Singapore.


Riau with its thousands of islands has plenty of scenic beaches and diving spots, among them Trikora on Bintan and Pasir Panjang on Rupat Island. The first is about 50 kilometers south of Tanjung Pinang on the eastern side of the island. Pasir Panjang, on the northern side of Rupat facing the Strait of Malacca, is a stretched out natural beach with waves that make it attractive for surfing. Good beaches are also found on the islands Terkulai and Soreh, about an hour's distance by boat from Tanjung Pinang. One of the most popular beaches is Nongsa on Batam Island. From here one can see the Singapore skyline.

Sea Gardens

Sea gardens with beautiful corals and fish are found in the waters around the islands of Mapor, Abang, Pompong, Balang, and Tanjung Berkait.

Last revised on October 22, 2009
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