Indonesia consists of more than 17.000 islands, of these about 6.000 which are permanently inhabited. About 80 percent of the archipelago is water. The country stretches across some 5.150 km from Sumatra in the west to Papua in the east, almost one eighth of the Earth’s circumference. The distance from north to south is about 1.931 km. Indonesia lies at the junction of the Asian and the Australian continental plates, which is the reason for the high volcanic activity in this region.
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.
Total area of Bali is 5.623 square kilometers, the island is 145 km long and 80 km wide. The capital is Denpasar on the southern part, the second largest city is Singaraja on the north side of the island. Parts of Bali consist of several large volcanoes, according to old beliefs home of the Gods. The largest is Gunung Agung, 3.142 meters, for long considered to be the center of the universe.