Riau:: History of Bintan

Riau Islands, Bintan. View over Tanjung Pinang. Parts of the city are built on stilts (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Riau Islands, Bintan. View over Tanjung Pinang. Parts of the city are built on stilts (from helicopter). (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Due to it’s strategic location and size Bintan has a rich history. Riau has for centuries been the home of Malay and the Orang Laut people (sea nomads). Later migrants came from south China and Indochina, today people from a large region of Asia has settled here. Bintan was located aside the China-India maritime trading route, and was early in the 14th century, together with Temasek (Singapore), recorded in Chinese maritime records as one of the islands of the Riau archipelago that was inhabited by Malay pirates.

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