Karimun islands or knows as Great Karimun or Karimun Besar, another splendid island that Indonesia has, settled in between west Singapore and Batam. Administratively located in Karimun regency, Riau Islands, this beautiful islands lies about 37 Km southwest of Singapore and 54 Km west of Batam.
Together with Batam and Bintan, Karimun forms part of the Batam-Bintan-Karimun Free Trade Zone, which is being developed into an industrial and tourism region. Tanjung Balai is the capital city of Karimun Islands, a busy medium town largely built on stilts, with a significant Chinese Peranakan population.
The name of Tanjung Balai Karimun should not be confused with its namesake Tanjung Balai in Asahan on the main island of Sumatra. Similarly, Karimun in the Riau Islands province should also not be mistaken with the Karimunjawa Islands, that located at the north of Semarang, capital of Central Java.
The island has strategic geographical importance, as it is near to the Straits of Malacca, an international shipping route. As the island is strategically located at the border of Singapore and Johor (in Malaysia), Karimun is also included the SIJORI Growth Triangle partnership. SIJORI (Singapore-Johor-Riau Islands) Growth Triangle is a strategic partnership among Singapore, Johor and Riau Islands that combine the individual and collective strength to improve the subregion attractiveness to investors from both the region and international.
The tourism potential from this Islands is big, regarding there are numbers of tourism sites that worth visited. Karimun Islands offers long stretches of white sandy beaches, snorkeling opportunities, and of course succulent seafood dishes of fish, crabs, prawns and oysters and all freshly caught from the sea. The nearby Terkulai and Soreh are popular holiday islands, while Palawan Beach and Pongkar Beach offers white sandy beaches ideal for watersports and relaxation under the palm trees. The island of Telunas in Karimun has also been developed into a holiday resort, a favorite with Singapore expatriates and students.
Moreover, here are found a number of Chinese temples, oldest of which is the Vihara Cetiya Vidya Sagara at Jalan Jenderal A. Yani at Meral, built in 1926. Others along the same street are the Vihara Bodhi the Vihara Sasana Diepa. Further away at Jalan Athena is the Klenteng Tua Pek Kong.
To meet the inhabitants aroung the islands and enjoy the rural life on this tropical island, we need to get away from Tanjung Balai and go to some local village or “kampung” at Meral or Pasir Panjang.
To reach this islands, there are frequent ferries connect Singapore, Johor in Malaysia, Batam and Bintan with Tanjung Balai Karimun. And with more people visiting the islands for trade, investment and tourism, Karimun now is also has number of good hotels. Having your sweet escape to this place is the experience you will never missed.