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Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiرياو
 • Chinese廖内
Istana Kerajaan Siak (1).jpg
Jembatan Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah.jpg
An-Nur panorama.jpg
Tesso Nilo 2009.jpg
Sejahtera Sakti Selatpanjang.jpg
Riau Main Stadium.JPG
Muara Takus temple.jpg
From top, left to right: Siak Palace, Tengku Agung Sultanah Latifah bridge, An-Nur Mosque, Tesso Nilo National Park, Hoo Ann Kiong Temple in Selatpanjang, Riau Main Stadium a largest stadium in Riau and Muara Takus Temple
Flag of Riau
Coat of arms of Riau
Coat of arms
Bumi Bertuah Negeri Beradat (Malay)
(Ground of Fortunes, Land of Customs)
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Location of Riau in Indonesia
Coordinates: 0°32′N 101°27′E / 0.533°N 101.450°E / 0.533; 101.450Coordinates: 0°32′N 101°27′E / 0.533°N 101.450°E / 0.533; 101.450
EstablishedAugust 10, 1957
(and largest city)
 • GovernorArsyadjuliandi Rachman (Golkar)
 • Vice-governorVacant
 • Total87,023.66 km2 (33,600.02 sq mi)
Area rank7th
10 m (30 ft)
Highest elevation
1,091 m (3,579 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total6,657,900
 • Rank10th
 • Density77/km2 (200/sq mi)
 • Density rank24th
Warga Riau (id)
Kaum Riau (ms)
 • Ethnic groupsMalay (33.28%), Javanese (29.20%), Batak (12.55%), Minangkabau (12.29%), Chinese (4.13%)[3]
 • ReligionIslam (89.27%), Protestantism (7.87%), Buddhism (1.84%), Roman Catholicism (1.06%), Confucianism (0.08%), Hinduism (0.07%)
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Malay, Minangkabau, Hokkien (regional)
Time zoneUTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
28xxx, 29xxx
Area codes(62)6xx, (62)76x
ISO 3166 codeID-RI
Vehicle signBM
GRP per capitaUS$ 9,252.17
GRP rank3rd
HDIIncrease 0.712 (High)
HDI rank6th (2015)
Largest city by areaDumai - 1,623.38 square kilometres (626.79 sq mi)
Largest city by populationPekanbaru - (929,247 - 2015)
Largest regency by areaIndragiri Hilir Regency - 11,605.97 square kilometres (4,481.09 sq mi)
Largest regency by populationKampar Regency - (711,236 - 2015)
WebsiteGovernment official site

Riau (Jawi: رياو), is a province of Indonesia. It is located in the central eastern coast of Sumatra along the Strait of Malacca. Until 2004 the province included the offshore Riau Islands, a large group of small islands (of which the principal islands are Batam and Bintan) located east of Sumatra Island and south of Singapore, before these islands were split off as Riau Islands Province in July 2004. The provincial capital of Riau Province and its largest city is Pekanbaru. The province shares land borders with North Sumatra to the northwest, West Sumatra to the west, and Jambi to the south.

The total area for Riau province is 87,023.66 km², which stretches from the slopes of the Bukit Barisan to the Strait of Malacca. Riau has a wet tropical climate with average rainfall ranging between 2000-3000 millimeters per year, and the average rainfall per year is about 160 days. Riau is currently one of the richest provinces in Indonesia and is rich in natural resources, particularly petroleum, natural gas, rubber, palm oil and fibre plantations. Extensive logging and plantation development in has led to a massive decline in forest cover Riau, and associated fires have contributed to haze across the larger region.

Since the 1970s, much of Indonesia has experienced a decline in population growth rates. Riau has been a significant exception, with increasing rates every decade since 1970 to a 4.35 percent annual rise for the 1990s;[4] however, this rate slowed significantly during the subsequent decade. The provincial population was 5,538,367 at the 2010 census,[5] and according to the estimate for January 2014 this had risen to 6,358,636.


There are three possible origins of the word riau which became the name of this province. First, from the Portuguese word, "rio" which means river.[6][7] In 1514, there was a Portuguese military expedition that traced the Siak River, in order to find the location of a kingdom they believed existed in the area, and at the same time to pursue followers of Sultan Mahmud Shah who fled after the fall of the Malacca Sultanate.[8]

The second version mentions that riau comes from the word riahi which means sea water. The word is allegedly derived from the figure of Sinbad al-Bahar in the book of the Thousand and One Nights, and the third version mentions that this word comes from the local people's speech, lifted from the word rioh or boisterous, which means crowded, frenzied working people. Perhaps this name is derived from the naming of local people, the Malays who live in the Bintan area, which is now located in the Riau Islands. The name is likely to have become famous since Raja Kecil moved the Malay kingdom center from Johor to Ulu Riau in 1719.


Prehistoric Period[edit]

Riau allegedly has been inhabited since the period between 10,000-40.000 BC. This conclusion was taken after the discovery of tools from the Pleistocene period in the river basin of the Sengingi River in Kuantan Singingi District in August 2009. The stone tools found, among others, the printing ax, the perimbas, the serut, the shale and the core stone which is the basic material of the drawing tool and flakes. The research team also found some wooden fossils predicted older than the stone tools. Suspected human users of tools found in Riau is pithecanthropus erectus as has been found in Sangiran, Central Java. The discovery of this evidence proves there is an older life in Riau which has always been referring to the discovery of Muara Takus Temple in Kampar.[9][10]

Precolonial period[edit]

At the beginning of the 16th century, Tome Pires, a Portuguese explorer, noted in his book, Summa Oriental that the cities on the east coast of Sumatra between an area he called the Arcat (around Aru and Rokan) to Jambi were merchant ports dominated by kings from what is now West Sumatra.[11] In the area, Minangkabau traders established trading villages along the Siak, Kampar, Rokan and Indragiri Rivers, and local residents established semiotonomic empires that were given freedom to manage their internal affairs but were required to pay tribute to the Minangkabau kings . One of the many kampongs is Senapelan which later developed into Pekanbaru, which is now the provincial capital.

The history of pre-colonial Riau was dominated by several autonomous kingdoms which controlled various regions in Riau. The earliest kingdom, the Kingdom of Keritang, is thought to have appeared in the sixth century, with an estimated territory located in Keritang, Indragiri Hilir. This kingdom was once a conquered territory of Majapahit, but as it incorporated the teachings of Islam, the kingdom is also controlled by the Sultanate of Melaka. In addition to this kingdom, there is also the Kingdom of Kemuning, the Inner Empire of Six Tribes, and the Kingdom of Indragiri, all allegedly centered in Indragiri Hilir.[12]

Sultanate era[edit]

Indragiri Sultanate[edit]

The Indragiri Sultanate was founded in 1298 by King Merlang I, uniquely located in Indragiri, but in Melaka. Government affairs are left to the traditional authorities. New to the reign of Narasinga II circa 1473, Indragiri kings began to settle in the center of his government in the Old City.[13] In 1815, under Sultan Ibrahim, the royal capital was moved to Rengat, now the capital of Indragiri Hulu Regency. It was at this time that the Dutch began to interfere with Indragiri's internal affairs, including by appointing a Young Sultan based in Peranap.

With the treaty of peace and friendship signed on 27 September 1938 between Indragiri and the Netherlands, the Indragiri Sultanate became the zelfbestuur of Dutch protection, led by a controleur who held absolute authority over local power.

Siak Sultanate[edit]

Siak Sri Inderapura Sultanate was founded by the Little King of Pagaruyung in 1723. Siak soon became a dominant great power in the Riau region: on the order of the Raja Kecil, Siak conquered Rokan in 1726 and built a maritime fleet on Bintan Island. But the aggressiveness of the Little King this was immediately matched by the Bugis people led by Yang Dipertuan Muda and King Solomon. The Little King was forced to unleash its influence to unite the islands off the east coast of Sumatra under the banner of Siak, although between 1740 and 1745 he recovered and conquered several areas of the Malay Peninsula.

In the late 18th century, Siak has been transformed into a dominant force on the east coast of Sumatra. In 1761, Sultan Abdul Jalil Syah III entered into an exclusive agreement with the Dutch, in trade matters and the right to the sovereignty of his territory, as well as assistance in the field of armaments. Although there was a dualism of leadership within the imperial body of the empire that initially had no conflict between them, King Muhammad Ali, favored by the Dutch, later became ruler of Siak, while his cousin King Ismail, disliked by the Dutch, emerged as King of the Sea, controlled the eastern waters Sumatera to the South China Sea, building strength in the cluster of Pulau Tujuh. In 1780, Siak conquered the Langkat area, including the Deli and Serdang regions. Under the terms of their cooperation agreement with the VOC, in 1784 Siak helped the Dutch troops to attack and subdue Selangor, and beforehand they had cooperated to extinguish Raja Haji Fisabilillah's rebellion on Penyengat Island.

Dutch colonial period[edit]

The local Siak people could not resist the aggressive Dutch invasion. The Dutch narrowed the sovereign territory of the Siak by establishing a residency in Riau (Residentie Riow) at Tanjung Pinang, under the rule of the Dutch East Indies. The residents were to monitor the coastal areas of Sumatra. The Sultan of Siak, tied to an agreement with the Netherlands, could not intervene. Siak influence was further weakened by tensions between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (the latter dominating the Straits of Malacca) at strategic areas on the east coast of Sumatra. The Sultan of Siak was forced to surrender Siak territory to the Netherlands in an agreement in July 1873, where power was handed to the Dutch Bengkalis. At the same time period, Indragiri began to be influenced by the Dutch (although the latter only managed to control Batavia in 1938), and Dutch dominance of the Siak was a factor of the outbreak of war in Aceh. The Netherlands also quickly abolished smaller kingdoms on the coast that were not subjects. On the coast, the Netherlands moved quickly abolished the kingdoms that still have not been subject. Finally, the Netherlands managed to impeach Sultan of Riau-Lingga, Sultan Abdul Rahman Muazzam Shah in February 1911.

Japanese occupation[edit]

Riau became a prime target for occupation during the Japanese invasion. Rengat was occupied on March 31, 1942. The rest of Riau was then swiftly subjugated under Japanese rule.

Legacy of the Japanese occupation include a now abandoned 300 km railway line connecting Muaro Sijunjung and Pekanbaru, completed through forced labor by hundreds of thousands of Riau locals.


At the beginning of the independence of Indonesia, the former Riau Residency area merged and incorporated in the province of Sumatra, based in Bukittinggi. Along with the crackdown of PRRI sympathizers, Central Sumatra was divided into three provinces, namely North Sumatra, Central Sumatra, and South Sumatra. At that time, Central Sumatra became the strongest base of PRRI, this situation caused the central government to make a strategy to break down Central Sumatra with the aim to weaken the movement of PRRI. Next in 1957, based on Emergency Law No. 19 of 1957, Central Sumatra was divided into three provinces, Riau, Jambi and West Sumatra. Then the newly formed Riau province area is the former territory of Siak Sri Inderapura Sultanate and Residency of Riau and added Kampar previously occupied by Japanese troops put into Rhio Shu region.

Riau had become one of the areas affected by the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia in the late 1950s. The central government held Operation Firm under the leadership of Kaharuddin Nasution, who later became the governor of this province, and managed to quell the remains of PRRI sympathizers.

After the fall of the Old Order, Riau became one of the milestones of the New Order's economic development. In 1944, NPPM geologist Richard H. Hopper and Toru Oki and his team discovered the largest oil well in Southeast Asia at Minas, Siak. This well was originally named Minas No. 1. Minas is well known for its good and low sulfur Sumatran oil.] In the early 1950s, new wells were discovered in Minas, Duri, Bengkalis, Pantaicermin, and Petapahan. Oil exploitation in Riau began in Siak Block in September 1963, with the signing of a work contract with PT California Texas Indonesia (now Chevron Pacific Indonesia). This province was relied upon as a contributor of 70 percent of national oil production in the 1970s

Riau is also the main destination of the transmigration program launched by the Soeharto government. Many families from Java moved to newly opened palm oil plantations in Riau, thus forming a community of its own that is now quite significant.

After the security situation gradually recovered, the central government began to consider moving the provincial capital from Tanjung Pinang to Pekanbaru, geographically located in the middle. The government finally established Pekanbaru as the new provincial capital on January 20, 1959 through Kepmendagri no. December 52 / I / 44-25.

In 1999, the second son of the first Djasit Riau took up his parent's post and served as governor in the Provincial Parliament. He was succeeded by former Regent of Indragiri Hilir, Rusli Zainal, who was elected in 2004 and 2008, and then succeeded by Annas Mahmun. Both Rusli Zainal and Annas Mahmun were removed from post and jailed following corruption scandals. Arsyadjuliandi Rachman, nicknamed "Andi", is the current governor of Riau.[citation needed]

Riau is under review by the Indonesian government for reorganisation.

Geography and Climate[edit]

Geographically Riau lies in the position of 02 ° 25 'LU-01 ° 15 ° LS and 100 ° 03'-104 ° 00' East. The area is quite large and located in the central part of Sumatra Island. Riau Province is directly adjacent to North Sumatra Province and Malacca Strait in the north.Together with the Riau Islands, the Malacca Strait is still a natural barrier in the east. The southern border of the province is Jambi and West Sumatra. Meanwhile, the western boundary is the Province of West Sumatra and North Sumatra. In general, the province of Riau in the form of mountain ranges, lowlands, and islands. The mountainous area lies in the west, the Bukit Barisan Mountains. The further east the contours of the soil decrease in the form of lowland. Off the eastern coast there are several islands.

Thus when viewed from above, the area of Riau is flanked by two very contradictory natural features, namely the Bukit Barisan Mountains and the Malacca Strait. Such a position would greatly affect the climate and weather conditions locally.

In general, Riau has a wet tropical climate influenced by two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The average rainfall received by Riau Province is between 2,000 - 3,000 mm / year with an average rainfall per year of 160 days. The most rainy areas are Rokan Hulu and Pekanbaru. Meanwhile, the area that received the least rain was Siak District.

Riau's average air temperature is around 25.9 °C with maximum temperature reaching 34.4 °C and minimum temperature reaching 20.1 °C. The highest temperature occurs in urban areas on the coast. In contrast, the lowest temperatures include high mountain and mountain areas. The average air humidity can reach 75%. Slightly different for the archipelagic region in the eastern region is affected also the nature of the sea climate.

Before the separation of the Riau Islands Province in 2002, Riau has an area of 329,867.61 km2, which consists of 235,306 km2 of ocean and 94,561.61 km2 of land. After the expansion of the area was reduced to 107,932.71 km2 which covered 18,782.56 km2 of sedutan and 89,150.15 km2 of land. The lndragiri Hilir regency with an area of 13,798.37 km2 is the largest administrative area, while Pekanbaru City with an area of 633.00 kmz becomes the smallest administrative area.

Riau administratively also changed. Before, pemekaran, the administrative area of Riau amounted to sixteen. Now after six years of expansion of the province, Riau has 12 administrative regions consisting of 10 districts, 2 cities, 141 sub-districts, and 1,517 villages / kelurahan.


Riau has several universities, including the University of Riau, Riau Islamic University, University of Muhammadiyah Riau Islamic University of Sultan Syarif Kasim Riau, Lancang Kuning University, University Abdurrab, University Sand Pengaraian, Universitas Islam Indragiri, Islamic University Kuantan Singingi, Polytechnic of Bengkalis and Politeknik Caltex Riau.


The economy of Riau expands faster (8.66% in 2006) than the Indonesian average (6.04% in 2006), and is largely a resource-based economy, including crude oil (600,000 bpd), palm oil, rubber trees and other forest products. Local government income benefits from a greater share of tax revenue (mainly from crude oil) due to the decentralisation law of 2004.[14]

The province has natural resources, both riches contained in the bowels of the earth, in the form of oil and gas, as well as gold, as well as forest products and plantations. Along with the implementation of regional autonomy, gradually began to apply the system for results or financial balance between central and local. The new rules provide expressly limits the obligations of investors, resource utilization, and revenue-sharing with the surrounding environment.

Agriculture and Plantation[edit]

Plantation growing is rubber and oil palm plantations, either run by the state or by the people. There is also a citrus and coconut plantations. For oil palm plantation area currently Riau province has a land area of 1:34 million hectares. In addition there have been about 116 palm oil mills (PKS) which operates with the production of coconut palm oil (CPO) 3.3868 million tons per year.

Forests and Fishery[edit]

Deforestation (in Indragiri Hulu); Forestry development essentially includes all efforts to utilize and strengthen the natural resource functions of forests and other natural resources and the ecosystem, both as a patron and life support and preservation of biodiversity as well as resource development. But in reality had lost its three primary functions, namely the function of long-term economic, protection function, and aesthetics as the impact of government policies ago. The loss of the three functions above led to an increased extent of critical lands caused by forest products companies that ignore the aspect of sustainability. The next effect is the decreasing production of non timber forest concessions, while reforestation and afforestation efforts have not been optimally implemented. Another issue that is detrimental not only to the province of Riau in particular but Indonesia in general, is the problem of illegal logging leading to reduced forest areas and the problem of illegal sand dredging.


In this province there are several international companies engaged in the oil and gas as well as the processing of forest products and oil. In addition there is also a copra and rubber processing industry. Several major companies including Chevron Pacific Indonesia a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, PT. Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk in Perawang, and PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper in Pangkalan Kerinci Riau provincial mining Mining Results are Petroleum, Gas, and Coal.


Highway linking the West Sumatra and Riau in Kampar regency of Riau province is the only province that has enterprises in the field of air transport, namely PT. Riau Air, which aims to serve areas that are difficult to reach by road or sea. Riau Air operates the Dutch-made Fokker-50 fleet of five, and in 2008 the company added two more fleet with the type Avro RJ-100.

Finance and Banking[edit]

In the field of banking in the province is growing rapidly, this marked the number of private banks and rural banks, in addition to local government-owned banks such as Bank Riau Kepri


The population of the province of Riau based on data from the Central Statistics Agency of Riau Province in 2010 amounted to 5,543,031 inhabitants. Regency / City which has the largest population is Pekanbaru city with a population of 903 902 inhabitants, while the district / city with the smallest population of Kepulauan Meranti, amounting to 176 371 inhabitants.

Ethnic groups[edit]

Riau provincial population consists of diverse ethnic groups. They consist of Javanese (25.05%), Minangkabau (11.26%), Batak (7.31%), Banjar (3.78%), Chinese (3.72%), and Bugis (2.27% ). The Malays are the largest community with a composition of 37.74% of the entire population of Riau. They generally come from coastal areas in Rokan Hilir, Dumai, Bengkalis, Meranti Islands, up to Pelalawan, Siak, Inderagiri Inderagiri Upstream and Downstream. However, there are also indigenous Minangkabau ethnic clumps mainly from areas Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Kuantan Singingi, and partly Inderagiri Hulu. Also Mandailing community in Rokan Hulu, which is claimed to be a Malay rather than as Minangkabau or Batak. In the 19th century, the people of South Kalimantan Banjar and Bugis from South Sulawesi, also began arriving in Riau. They are widely settled in Indragiri Hilir especially Tembilahan. The opening of Caltex oil mining company in the 1940s in Rumbai, encouraged people from throughout the country to try their luck in Riau. Javanese and Sundanese in general, many migrants are in the area. While ethnic Minangkabau generally become merchants and many living in urban areas such as Pekanbaru, Bangkinang, Duri, and Dumai. Likewise, Chinese people are generally the same as the ethnic Minangkabau are becoming merchants and settled especially in Pekanbaru, and many are also found in coastal areas in the east as Bagansiapiapi, Selatpanjang, Rupat and Bengkalis. Other than that in the province, there are a set of indigenous people who live in rural areas and riverbanks, such as Sakai tribe, Akit Tribe, Talang Mamak and Orang Laut.


The introductory language of the people of Riau province generally uses Malay and Bahasa Indonesia. Malay is commonly used in coastal areas such as Rokan Hilir, Bengkalis, Dumai, Pelalawan, Siak, Indragiri Hulu, Indragiri Hilir and around the islands. The Minang language is widely used by residents of the province, especially by indigenous peoples in the Kampar, Kuantan Singingi and Rokan Hulu regions, which are cultured allied to Minang as well as migrants from West Sumatra. In addition Hokkien language is also still widely used among the Chinese community, especially those living in Pekanbaru, Selatpanjang, Bengkalis, and Bagansiapiapi. In a large scale also found speakers of Javanese language used by descendants of Javanese immigrants who have settled in Riau since the colonial period before, and by the transmigrants from the island of Java in the post-independence period. In addition, many speakers of Batak language among immigrants from North Sumatra.

Riau Governmental office in Pekanbaru

Riau Malay[edit]

The dialect of Malay spoken in Riau Province is considered by linguists to have one of the least complex grammars among the languages of the world,[citation needed] apart from creoles, possessing neither noun declensions, temporal distinctions, subject/object distinctions, nor singular/plural distinction. For example, the phrase Ayam makan (lit. 'chicken eat') can mean, in context, anything from 'the chicken is eating', to 'I ate some chicken', 'the chicken that is eating' and 'when we were eating chicken'. A possible reason for this is that Riau Malay has been used as a lingua franca for communication between different people in this area during its history, and extensive foreign-language speaker use of this kind tends to simplify the grammar of a language used.[15] The traditional script in Riau is Jawi (locally known in Indonesia as "Arab-Melayu"), an Arabic-based writing in the Malay language.[16]

It is sometimes supposed that Riau Malay is the basis for the modern national language, Indonesian. However, it is instead based on Classical Malay, the court language of Johor-Riau Sultanate, based primarily from the one used in the Riau archipelago and the state of Johor, Malaysia, which is distinct from the local mainland Riau dialect.[17]

Non-mainstream varieties in Riau include Orang Sakai, Orang Asli, Orang Akit, and Orang Laut.[18]

Riau Minangkabau[edit]

Minangkabau language is the indigenous language of the western part of Riau, mainly in the Pekanbaru, Kampar, Kuantan, and Rokan Hulu.[19] The pronunciation of Riau Minangkabau similar to Payakumbuh-Batusangkar dialect, even differs from that of other dialects varieties of West Sumatra. Historically, Minangkabau language used in the Sultanate of Siak and nowadays also spoken in the lower Siak river basin.

Religion in Riau (2010 Census)[20]
religion percent
Roman Catholicism
Not Asked
Not Stated


Viewed from the composition of Riau's diverse population with different socio-cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, it is basically an asset for Riau itself. The religions of the province are very diverse, including Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Various facilities and infrastructure of worship for the people of Riau already exist in this province, such as Grand Mosque of An-nur (Great Mosque in Pekanbaru), Great Mosque of Sand Pengaraian, and Rengat Mosque for Muslims. Catholics / Protestants include the Church of Santa Maria A Fatima, HKBP Church in Pekanbaru, GBI Dumai, Kalam Kudus Church in Selatpanjang, St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Bagansiapiapi, Methodist Church (Wesley Church) in Bagansiapiapi. For Tridharma Buddhists there are Dharma Loka Temple, Dhamma Metta Arama Monastery, and Cetiya Tri Ratna in Pekanbaru; Vihara Sejahtera Sakti in Selatpanjang; Ing Hok Kiong Temple, Sasana Buddha Temple, Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple in Bagansiapiapi. For Hindus is Pura Agung Jagatnatha in Pekanbaru

Administrative divisions[edit]

Historical population
1971 1,641,545—    
1980 2,168,535+32.1%
1990 3,303,976+52.4%
1995 3,900,534+18.1%
2000 4,957,627+27.1%
2010 5,538,367+11.7%
2014 6,358,636+14.8%
2017 6,657,900+4.7%
sources:[21][22] Note: Census years not equidistant, 2010 excludes Riau Islands split.

Riau Province is subdivided into ten regencies (kabupaten) and two autonomous cities (kota), listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census and according to the latest (January 2014) estimates.

Name Area (km2) Population
Census 2010
Estimate 2014
Capital HDI [23]
2014 Estimates
Dumai City 1,623.38 253,803 291,393 Dumai 0.718 (High)
Pekanbaru City 632.27 897,767 1,030,732 Pekanbaru 0.784 (High)
Bengkalis Regency 6,976.41 498,336 572,143 Bengkalis 0.708 (High)
Indragiri Hulu Regency 7,723.80 363,442 417,270 Rengat 0.671 (Medium)
Indragiri Hilir Regency 12,614.78 661,779 759,793 Tembilahan 0.638 (Medium)
Kampar Regency 10,983.47 688,204 790,132 Bangkinang 0.707 (High)
Kepulauan Meranti Regency
(Meranti Islands)
3,707.84 176,290 202,400 Selat Panjang 0.629 (Medium)
Kuantan Singingi Regency 5,259.36 292,116 335,380 Teluk Kuantan 0.674 (Medium)
Pelalawan Regency 12,758.45 301,829 346,532 Pangkalan Kerinci 0.686 (Medium)
Rokan Hulu Regency 7,588.13 474,843 545,170 Pasir Pangaraian 0.670 (Medium)
Rokan Hilir Regency 8,851.59 553,216 635,151 Bagansiapiapi 0.662 (Medium)
Siak Regency 8,275.18 376,742 432,540 Siak Sri Indrapura 0.714 (High)


Forest cover in Riau has declined from 78% in 1982 to only 33% in 2005.[24] This has been further reduced an average of 160,000 hectares on average per year, leaving 22%, or 2.45 million hectares left as of 2009.[25] Fires associated with deforestation have contributed to serious haze over the province and cities to the East, such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [26][27] [1].

Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu biosphere reserves

Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Indonesia, is a peatland area in Sumatra featuring sustainable timber production and two wildlife reserves, which are home to the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Malayan tapir, and Malayan sun bear. Research activities in the biosphere include the monitoring of flagship species and in-depth study on peatland ecology. Initial studies indicate a real potential for sustainable economic development using native flora and fauna for the economic benefit of local inhabitants.

Cagar Biosfer Giam Siak Kecil Bukit Batu (CB-GSK-BB) is one of seven Biosphere Reserves in Indonesia. They are located in two areas of Riau Province, Bengkalis and Siak. CB-GSK-BB is a trial presented by Riau at the 21st Session of the International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere (UNESCO) in Jeju, South Korea, on 26 May 2009. CB-GSK-BB is one of 22 proposed locations in 17 countries accepted as reserves for the year. A Biosphere Reserve is the only internationally recognised concept of environmental conservation and cultivation. Thus the supervision and development of CB-GSK-BB is a worldwide concern at a regional level.

CB-GSK-BB is a unique type of Peat Swamp Forest in the Kampar Peninsula Peat Forest (with a small area of swamp). Another peculiarity is that the CB-GSK-BB was initiated by private parties in co-operation with the government through BBKSDA (The Center for the Conservation of Natural Resources), including the notorious conglomerate involved in forest destruction, Sinar Mas Group, owning the largest paper and pulp company in Indonesia.

Tourism, Art, Religion and Culture[edit]

Jemur Island[edit]

Located approximately 45 miles from the capital Rokan Hilir District, Bagansiapiapi, and 45 miles from neighboring countries namely Malaysia, while the province of North Sumatra is the closest province of Jemur Island. Jemur Island is actually a cluster of islands consisting of several islands, among others, Pulau Tekong Emas, Tekong Simbang Island, Labuhan Bilik Island, and other small islands. In the north-western winter season, the sea waves in the Malacca Strait are very large, and usually local fishermen take shelter in the middle of Jemur Island, as the sea water in the area is calm.[citation needed] After the sea waves shrink or the storm decreases, then the fishermen come out to start fishing activities again. Jemur Island is used by turtles to keep their eggs under the layer of beach sand. In addition to the island Jemur there are also some other tourism potential[citation needed] of them are the Japanese Cave, lighthouse, the remains of Japanese defense, Panglima Screen stone, marine parks and golden sandy beaches.[citation needed]

Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park[edit]

Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park (TNBT) has an area of 144,223 Ha, with a lowland tropical rain forest ecosystem, the area is a transition between swamp forest and mountain forest with different ecosystems compared to other national park areas is in Indonesia.[citation needed] Bukit Tiga Puluh is a hilly stretch separated from Bukit Barisan mountain range and bordering Jambi province, this area is catchment area to form small rivers and is upstream of big rivers in the surrounding area. Several types of fauna that can be found in Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park include: Sumatran Tiger, Sun Bear, Tapir, Siamang, Kancil, Babi Hutan, Rangkong, Kuaw, and various other animals. While the type of rare flora that is suspected endemic in the area is Rimau Fungi (Rafflesia haseltii).[citation needed] In addition to the habitat of various types of protected rare flora and fauna, the park is also home to some indigenous communities such as Talang Mamak, Anak Rimba, and Melayu Tua.[citation needed]

Junk Burning festival[edit]

The Junk Burning festival which is a traditional Chinese community ceremony located in Bagansiapiapi is the leading cultural tourism of Riau Province from Rokan Hilir Regency.[citation needed]

Chinese New Year Celebration in Selatpanjang[edit]

The celebration of Lunar New Year is part of the tradition in Selatpanjang City. Almost every year the celebration of Chinese New Year in this city is celebrated, including the Lunar New Year celebration in the province of Riau. Moreover, the local government of Meranti Islands District has also made the celebration of Imlek as one of the annual tourism assets that entered into the Riau Tourism Calendar. Tens of thousands of people both from within and outside Selatpanjang, even tourists from abroad such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, will flood the city of Selatpanjang to participate enliven Lunar New Year celebration. The highlight of the Lunar New Year celebration in Selatpanjang takes place on the 6th day of the first month of Chinese New Year, usually called Cue Lak in Hokkien, but the excitement begins on the 7th day of the week before the Lunar New Year falls.[citation needed]

The welcome of the Chinese New Year in Selatpanjang is centered in the Sakih Sejahtera Sakti Temple. At the height of the Lunar New Year celebration, coinciding with the birthday ceremony of the god 清水 祖師 Qing Shui Zu Shi. At this moment, the Chinese people believe that the god is coming down to earth with a view to expel the elements of evil and provide prosperity and tranquility for the citizens of Selatpanjang. For that special greeting was held by carrying the ladder of gods statue and paraded around the city through several other temples accompanied by attractions liong dance (dragon), and lion dance (lion) accompanied by Javanese cultural art, Reog Ponorogo. Celebration Cue Lak is also attended by the elders or people who are elected and possessed by the spirit of the gods who are usually called Thangkie, i.e. where the body or body of the person used as a communication tool or spirits of gods. This culture has in common with the people of Singkawang in West Kalimantan commonly known as Tatung.

Muara Takus Temple[edit]

Muara Takus Temple is located in Muara Takus Village, District XIII Koto Kampar, Kampar District. The distance is approximately 135 km from Pekanbaru City. The distance between this temple complex with the center of Muara Takus village about 2.5 km and not far from the edge of Sungai Kampar Kanan. This temple complex is surrounded by a wall measuring 74 x 74 meters. Outside the area there is also a 1.5 x 1.5 kilometer wall of land that surrounds this complex to the edge of Sungai Kampar Kanan. Inside this complex there are also buildings Old temple, Candi Bungsu, Mahligai Stupa, and Palangka. The building material of the temple consists of sandstone, river stone, and brick. According to local sources, the bricks for this building were made in Pongkai village, a village located downstream of the temple complex. The former excavation for the bricks is now considered to be a highly respected place for the population. To bring bricks to the temple, carried on a beranting from hand to hand. This story although not yet sure the truth gives the picture that the construction of this temple is done by mutual cooperation by the crowd. In addition to the Old Temple, Candi Bungsu, Mahligai Stupa, and Palangka, inside the temple complex is also found mound which is estimated as a place of burning human bones. Outside this complex there are also buildings made of brick, which can not be ascertained the type of building. Muara Takus temple complex, the only historical temple in Riau. This Buddhist temple is a proof of the existence of Buddhism in this region several centuries ago. Nevertheless, archaeologists have not been able to determine exactly when this temple was founded. Some say the eleventh century, some say the fourth century, the seventh century, the ninth century and so on.

Siak Sri Indrapura Palace[edit]

Siak Sultanate is the largest Malay Muslim sultanate in Riau. Achieved its heyday in the 16th century until the 20th century. In the genealogy, the Sultan of Siak Sri Indrapura Kingdom began in 1725 with 12 sultans who once reigned. Now as a historical evidence of the greatness of the Malay Muslim kingdom, we can see the royal heritage in the form of the Royal Palace of Siak built by Sultan Assyaidis Syarif Hasyim Abdul Jalil Syaifuddin in 1889 with the name Assirayatul Hashimah, complete with royal equipment. Now the Royal Palace of Siak Sri Indrapura is used as the storage of royal collection items such as: the seat of the golden throne of the kingdom, the crown duplicate of the Kingdom, the Kingdom safes, the Royal umbrella, the Royal spear, the comet as a rare item and according to the story there are only two in the world, and other goods.

Great Mosque of Pekanbaru[edit]

Pekanbaru Grand Mosque is located in Senapelan District has a very interesting traditional architecture and is the oldest mosque in Pekanbaru City. The mosque was built in the 18th century and as a proof of Siak Kingdom once stood in this city during the reign of Sultan Abdul Jalil Muazzam Shah and Sultan Muhammad Ali Abdul Jalil Muazzam Shah as the fourth and fifth sultan of the Siak Sri Indrapura Kingdom. In the Mosque area there is a well has a magical value to pay zakat or vows previously dihajatkan. Still in the area of the mosque complex we can visit the graves of Sultan Marhum Bukit and Marhum Pekan as the founder of Pekanbaru city. Marhum Bukit was Sultan Abdul Jalil Alamuddin Shah (4th Sultan Siak) ruled from 1766 - 1780, while Marhum Bukit around 1775 moved the royal capital from Mempura Siak to Senapelan and he died in 1780.


Riau has a football team, PSPS Pekanbaru, based in Kaharuddin Nasution Stadium, Pekanbaru. There is football team PS Siak too. In 2012, Riau hosted Pekan Olahraga Nasional.

See also[edit]


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