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The Sixth


3 - 5 August 2002

Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan Island, Riau, Indonesia

Getting there
Visas are required for all international travellers entering Indonesia except for nationals of the following countries (list in Microsoft Word format).

If you are coming from outside of Indonesia, the quickest and easiest way is via Singapore: the Nirwana gardens are a mere 45 minute ferry ride from the Tanah Merah terminal, on the southeast coast of Singapore, close to Changi airport. See Bintan Resort Ferries for more information. Here is their schedule in Microsoft Word format, valid November 2001.

If you are coming from inside Indonesia, and you don't want to travel via Singapore, then you have a choice of arriving by air (the easiest) or by sea (the cheapest).

By air you have to fly to Batam. (The old airport at Tanjung Pinang is no longer operating.) From Jakarta there are several daily flights to Batam, and there are also daily flights from Pekanbaru, Padang, Medan, and other smaller places. Upon arrival at Batam airport, take a taxi to the Telaga Punggor ferry terminal, about a 15 minute ride. From Telaga Punggor, take a speedboat to Tanjung Uban on the island of Bintan -- it's a short and cheap 10 minute hop. From Tanjung Uban you'll have to charter a taxi to the Nirwana Gardens, and the trip probably takes the better part of one hour.

By sea, the most likely option is a Pelni ship, which will bring you to either Kijang on Bintan, or Sekupang on Batam. But the Pelni ships are rather infrequent. You can search the Pelni website for schedule information. From Kijang it's a long two hour drive by taxi to the Nirwana Gardens. From Sekupang it's about 30 minutes by taxi to Telaga Punggor, from where you proceed as described in the preceding paragraph.

The final option is the cheapest but the most time consuming. Take a bus to Pekanbaru (36 hours from Jakarta if you're lucky). From Pekanbaru, every morning, there's at least one boat (via the Siak river) to Sekupang on Batam, plus several bus-boat combinations (bus to Buton, boat from there) also to Sekupang. The last departure from Pekanbaru is at 0900 or 1000, but try and get an earlier one, if you want to reach the Nirwana Gardens the same day. On arrival at Sekupang, generally sometime between 1500 and 1800, proceed to Telaga Punggor, though if you get there after 1700 or 1800 there may no longer be any speedboats to Tanjung Uban. Alternatively, there is sometimes a direct boat from Sekupang to Tanjung Pinang on Bintan: occasionally, you can even buy a through ticket to Tanjung Pinang in Pekanbaru, involving a change of boats at Sekupang. You'll probably arrive in Tanjung Pinang around sunset, and from there it's another two hours or so by taxi to the Nirwana Gardens.

Selamat Jalan!