For many Singaporeans, Bintan offers a quick and fuss-free getaway from our hectic modern lifestyles. After all, the picturesque island, the largest in the nearly 2,000 islands of Riau Archipelago, is just an hour away from Singapore's shores by ferry.
But do you know that the leisure island known for its friendly people, beautiful beaches and delicious food has another side waiting to be uncovered?
With its hillside terrain and crystal-clear waters, Bintan is gaining popularity as a destination for world-class sporting events.
Here are some upcoming yearly sporting events that will inspire sportsmen, fitness buffs and just anyone seeking to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. With Bintan fast becoming a favourite spot for outdoor sporting events, you don’t have to get on a plane to participate in your next race.
Get ready to swim, cycle and run for the IRONMAN title. It may only cover half of the distance of an IRONMAN race, but IRONMAN 70.3 is challenging all the same. The course in Bintan will take participants around Lagoi Bay at the premier Bintan Resorts: a 1.9km swim at Lagoi Bay, a 90km scenic one-lap bike trail and a 21.1km three-lap run course.
Registration for the Aug 25 race is already closed but if there are still available spots, interested parties may still join. Everyone is also welcome to watch the event. Visit www.ironmanbintan.com for more information.
Find out more about this year's race in this event guide.
Tour de Bintan
Focus on cycling at Tour de Bintan. Avid cyclists can choose from distances that range from 17km to 140km. The cycling event gives participants a breathtaking ride along coastal roads. Cyclists will get to enjoy the lush green scenery that is abundant in the island.
Registration for the March 27 to 29, 2020 event is opening soon. Visit www.tourdebintan.com to find out more about it.
An annual sporting event at Bintan Lagoon Resort, Bintan Triathlon is perfect for the whole family. Its unique Fun Duo Challenge category is open to people as young as four years old. The triathlon is a multisport race that consists of swimming, cycling and running.
The next race is set for June 5 to 7, 2020. Check www.bintantriathlon.com for announcements.
The lowdown in cooling down
After sweating it out at these sporting events, treat yourself – and your family, if they’re in Bintan with you – to some quality rest and relaxation. You’ll already find many ways to unwind on the island.
The fully integrated Bintan Resorts, where most of the sporting events take place, is home to four designer golf courses where avid golfers can have a ball on the green after taking part in the outdoor sporting activities.
If you feel like getting a massage, head to Banyan Tree Spa for a traditional Indonesian massage, which incorporates all things local, including the oils applied on your body. Don’t miss out on its Nusantara Massage which combines the best massage techniques from across Indonesia.
If time permits, you can also go to Sebung Village to get the best seafood on the island while enjoying a view of the Sebung River. The village is teeming with kelong restaurants, where you can eat the best catch such as lobster and crab.
For first-time visitors, check out this list of what you can do for a day in Bintan.