As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore into the town of Tanjung Pinang.
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Tanjung Pinang is the main town on the island of Bintan. It is the capital of the newly-created province of Riau Islands in Indonesia. The city is fast growing and now a population around 150 000. It's a trading and shipping center in the region.
Central Tanjung Pinang, including the old part of town which is built on stilts, is small enough for you to move around on foot. If you want to move further out, such as to Bintan Mall, taxis are the easiest way for foreigners. Buses exist but are seldom easy to understand as stops are rarely marked, drivers do not speak English, and there is no information available for them on paper.
Take a walk down to the docks and find yourself a little boat to take you for a round trip around the harbor (10 Singapore Dollars or less). Tanjung Pinang is built into the water and being on the water is the best way to see it. As with any cities, always be careful not to be too flashy of your wealth and wary of pickpockets.
Tanjung Pinang is famous for its wooden handicraft and Indonesian designed textile. Everything else is cheap with some products lower than 10% of the prices in Europe.
Padang restaurants, named after the town of Padang, can also be found throughout Tanjung Pinang. In a Padang-style restaurant, the table will quickly be set with dozens of small dishes filled with highly-flavored foods such as curried fish, fried tempeh, stewed greens, chili eggplant, curried beef liver, fried chicken, and of course, sambals, the spicy sauces ubiquitous at Indonesian tables. Customers take - and pay for - only what you eat from this array of dishes.
In Indonesia eating with your hand (instead of utensils like forks and spoons) is very common. The basic idea is to use four fingers to pack a little ball of rice, which can then be dipped into sauces before you pop it in your mouth by pushing it with your thumb. There's one basic rule of etiquette to observe: Use only your right hand, as the left hand is used to clean yourself in the bathroom. Don't stick either hand into communal serving dishes: instead, use the left hand to serve yourself with utensils and then dig in. Needless to say, it's wise to wash your hands well before and after eating. Eating by hand is frowned on in some "classier" places. If you are provided with cutlery and nobody else around you seems to be doing it, then take the hint.
ATMs are common in any major cities in Indonesia.
Be careful when using credit cards, as cloning and fraud are a major problem in Indonesia. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, but American Express can be problematic. At smaller operations, surcharges of 2-5% over cash are common.
The sole official language is Indonesian, known as Bahasa Indonesia.
The are several internet cafes in Tanjung Pinang. You will find one at Bintan Mall in downtown 200 meters from the Ferry and Cruise Terminal of Bintan.
mobile phones emergency number: 112
December/January Idul Fitri, the celebration of the end of Ramadan.
January 1 New Year's Day ( Tahun Baru).
March/April Nyepi, Balinese saka New Year.
March/April Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
May Idul Adha (Hajh), Muslim Day of Sacrifice.
May Waisak Day, anniversary of the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha.
May/June Ascension Day.
June/July Muharam, Muslim New Year.
July/August Maulud Nabi Muhammad, the anniversary of the birth of Mohammed.
August 17 Independence Day ( Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan) celebrates the proclamation of Indonesian Independence in 1945 by Dr Sukarno.
December Ascension Day of Mohammed.
December 25 Christmas Day.
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