Kijang is a small but expanding town situated in the south-east coast of Bintan island, less than 30 km east of Tanjung Pinang, the capital of the Kepulauan Riau (Kepri) province.
The town is famous for its bauxite mining, dating back to the Dutch colonial era when the mine was first established and undertaken by the Nederland Indonesia Bauxite Exploitatie Maskapai (NIBEM) which was later taken over by a state-owned mining company, Aneka Tambang (Antam) after Indonesia became independent. Antam remained as the sole operator until the end of Suharto's Orde Baru era in late 1990s after which private sectors were allowed to mine in line with the autonomous decentralisation campaign in the Reform Era. Antam abandoned its operation all together in late 2010 but is held responsible for replanting of the open areas left treeless. A monument to remember its presence in Kijang was built by Antam and was inaugurated by the Governor, whilst the private operators stay put.
Driving a hired car at Rp250,000 per day from Tanjung Pinang is far more convenient than travelling by shared taxi. Shared taxis are the public transport in the form of old sedans shared with up to five other passengers and the driver at a very cheap fare Rp20,000. The two-way road is fairly smooth with just a few motorcycles and cars even in daytime. Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport (formerly known as Kijang Airport) is located 12 km from Tanjung Pinang where more comfortable metered taxis are available but may charge you up to Rp150,000 per trip.
There is no public transport or taxi. The distance across the town is less than 5 km. The most common means of transportation is motorcycles (ojek). But safety is the main concern with this type of transport as other motorcyclists drive at breakneck speed especially teenage riders. Fatal accidents among young cyclists are regarded as everyday news.
There are no tourist attractions in this deserted mining town. An expensive resort island is located off the coast eastwards but the trip has to be arranged through a package tour from Singapore in group instead of individual. From Tanjung Pinang, once the visitors arrive in Barek Motor (fisherman landing jetty), they will need to board on a wooden boat that takes them to the island. See www.pangkil.com for more details.
- Seafood lovers may want to visit Sungai Nam to enjoy their favorite cuisine on wooden platforms above sea water in a windy atmosphere so relaxed especially in the afternoon. This fishing village is famous for its affordable guests from Singapore as an alternative to the similar seafood eateries around Tanjung Pinang. This place is quiet far from Kijang downtown though, so ojek are not suitable for the journey.
- There are a number of alfresco restaurants, known as "akau". Akau, only open from late afternoon until midnight, are equipped with a stage for live music or mostly by CD player complete with jumbo size loud speakers and a large screen TV. The most popular is the one at the town lake. Even if you can enjoy local food and drink, the music is so noisy that you are hardly able to hear conversation with friends at the table. At times the TV screen shows a programme of a certain political party holding a mass gathering or rally with its supporters.