Riau Archipelago

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Not to be confused with Riau Islands Province, a province (administrative) of Indonesia.
Red circle around the Riau archipelago, within Riau Islands Province (green)

The Riau Archipelago is a geographic term (as opposed to administrative region) for the core group of islands within the Riau Islands Province in Indonesia, and located south of Singapore. Before the province of Riau Islands was formed, there was no ambiguity in term; however, in Indonesian both the archipelago and islands are referred to as simply "Kepulauan Riau". The province may have the word "Provinsi" preceding it.


Historically along with Temasek (now Singapore) - were under the Johor-Riau Sultanate before the split through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.

It is possible Singapore itself was considered a part of this archipelago during this time. The name of this archipelago predated the province by over two hundred years, and historically did not include the Lingga Islands or Natuna Islands, which now belong to the province of the same name.

The islands were later to form an integral part of the Riau-Lingga Sultanate.

Social Change[edit]

Concern about identity and social change in the archipelago has been the subject of studies and books.[1][2][3]

Piracy in the archipelago is also an issue [4]


The main islands are Batam, Rempang, Galang, Bintan, Combol, Kundur, and Karimun.

Tanjung Pinang located in the south of Bintan Island is the provincial capital. Tanjung Balai Karimun is an international port along with Tanjung Pinang.


High speed ferry services exist to the archipelago of the south, the Lingga Islands (Kepulauan Lingga).


  1. ^ Long, Nicholas J (2013), Being Malay in Indonesia : histories, hopes and citizenship in the Riau Archipelago, Singapore Asian Studies Association of Australia in association with NUS Press and NIAS Press, ISBN 978-9971-69-769-3 
  2. ^ Riau Roundtable (2007 : Singapore); S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (2007), Opportunities and challenges in the Riau Archipelago and the Riau Province : report on a conference organized by the Indonesian Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, retrieved 31 December 2013 
  3. ^ Ananta, Aris (2006), Changing Ethnic Composition and Potential Violent Conflict in Riau Archipelago, Indonesia: An Early Warning Signal, Population Review Publications, retrieved 31 December 2013 
  4. ^ Vagg, Jon (1995-01-01), "Rough seas? Contemporary piracy in South East Asia. (Riau Archipelago, Indonesia)", British Journal of Criminology (Oxford University Press) 35 (n1): 63–80, ISSN 0007-0955 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 0°54′00″N 104°27′00″E / 0.900°N 104.450°E / 0.900; 104.450