Riau is an Indonesian island on the southwestern tip of Sumatra, in the central eastern bay of Java. It is home to lush forests, large rivers and palm oil plantations on its slopes. The eastern side of the island has steep, hilly terrain with rice paddy fields and settlements built into valleys. The western side of Riau is flat, grassy and well-planned with low-lying hills. To its north, the ancient ruins of the Buddhist Loh Bagua temple complex sit half-way through a jungle cove.
Riau Island is one of the three Riau archipelagos (Indonesian islands), situated on the southern part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is one of the most visited destinations in Indonesia and ranks among the top three most visited Indonesian islands, with Java and Borneo being the others. Exploring the wonders of Riau will captivate you and take you to another world, unlike any other place in the world. It has an enchanting blend of natural and man-made beauty. Here are some of the attractions worth visiting while exploring Riau:
The Riau Highlands is a small volcanic island that sits north of Riau Island. It is populated by tribespeople who have lived on this land for centuries. They are known for their craftsmen’s skills, and for being the last inhabitants of the island. The mountain villages are best explored with a car or by hiking. You can also spend some time at the forest lodges in the Riau Highlands to be close to nature and observe the flora and fauna.
There are many waterfalls in Riau Island. The waterfalls are natural and come in different shapes and sizes to appeal to every taste and budget. Some of the most famous waterfalls are Tebidirua Falls, Waterfall Muda, Kealorhea Falls and Na Pali Wallhang.
While on Riau Island, explore its rich culture and history. This place was originally a penal colony and you can see remnants of the old fort and churches. The largest temple is the Sinulog festival hall, which was built in 1963. Tourist guide can give you information about the history of the place and some of its religious places of worship.
Explore the diverse wildlife of Riau Island. This island is known for its serene landscape and spectacular wildlife. Most visitors stay on the east coast where they can see the monkeys, pigs, elephants and birds. However, tourists are not limited to just these creatures. Exploring the forest areas and bird sanctuary provides an opportunity to see the unique flora and fauna of the area. If you want to go further, you can go to the southern parts of the island which is considered the most beautiful.