"Pasar Oleh Oleh" Pulau Bintan Travelogue by DarkRay

Pulau Bintan Travel Guide: 459 reviews and 1,449 photos

Although a very "touristy" destination, I loved it! Some people may hate it because they consider it a tourist trap, but it is really more expensive to eat and buy stuff from the hotel. If anything, it provides for an interesting distraction from the usual beach and sea for those not wanting to venture to Tanjung Pinang (S$88 return trip, 1.5 hours ride), which is the main town of both Bintan and Batam.

There will be shuttle buses ferrying hotel guests to Pasar Oleh Oleh and the return trip cost S$2, payable as an entrance fee to Pasar Oleh Oleh.

Oh yeah, do visit it during the evening only as it can get quite hot during the afternoon. For the 2 times I visited it, I took the 6.55pm shuttle bus from Nirwana Resort and the 9pm shuttle bus back.

Pasar Oleh Oleh is a cluster of shops, all targetting at the tourist dollar.

Anyway, despite the corny name ("Helo" is "OIeh" in reverse), this restaurant actually serves very good and reasonably priced food.

My dinner during the first evening in Bintan consisting of otah otah (BBQ fish paste), BBQ chicken wings, deep fried fish with soy gravy, sambal kangkong (a form of green vegetables fried with chilli), and drinks (ice coffee) came up to only S$12 each after splitting it 3 way with my friends, which included an additional voluntary 10% tips.

For my second evening, we had a mini-feast consisting of chilli crab, BBQ chicken wings, butter prawns, prawn egg, stir-fried vegetables, and beer came up to S$20 each after splitting it 5-way with my friends, which included tips as well.

For those looking for even more affordable fare, from Pasar Oleh Oleh, you can also take a short 5 minutes walk to a nearby Pujasera, which is a food court serving local delights at even lower prices!

The well-stocked minimart is our favourite place in the whole of Pasar Oleh Oleh! The items here are usually about 30~50% cheaper than that of the minimarts in the hotels and it has a much wider variety too!

The "Monica" brand Kueh Lapis (Layer Cake) costing S$10 each are rather delicious and makes for great gifts!

Häagen-Dazs ice-creams are available as well for those wanting something cool to beat the heat.

There are lot of these "Polo" shops in Indonesia and it is with no exception that we find a few of these in Bintan at the following locations:

- 1 in Pasar Oleh Oleh (pictured)
- 2 in Bandar Bentan Telani
- 1 in Bintan Lagoon Resort

One of the most common questions asked is "are this the real McCoy"? Well, the answer is yes and no.

"Yes", because these are actually a special franchise of the Ralph Lauren label, and is manufactured under license from them.

"No", because you won't find the word "Ralph Lauren" printed anywhere and both the cutting and materials used are clearly much more inferior.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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