Barelang Bridge (consists of 6 bridges : Tengku Fisabilillah – Nara Singa – Raja Ali Haji – Sultan Zainal Abidin – Tuanku Tambusai – Raja Kechik)  Batam City, Riau Archipelago Province


Indonesia is blessed with more than seventeen thousand islands, stretching more than 1,900,000 km2 along the equator line. And with more than 230 million people speak approximately 400 various indegenous languages, this archipelago is unquestionable bear the most dynamic country on earth.

Administratively, Indonesia is consisting of  33 provinces (a relatively few, comparing to Thailand’s 76 and Philippine’s 80) but then each provinces are consisted of regencies and cities (as of 2012 there are 405 regencies and 97 cities, or 502 in total). Regency and City are the same administration level, having their own local government and legislative body.

What difference does it make between ‘Regency (Kabupaten) and City (Kota)’?

Broadly speaking, the difference lies in demography, size and economy. Generally, a regency comprises a rural, larger area than a city. A city usually has non-agricultural economic activities. Other than that, a regency is headed by a regent (bupati), while a city headed by a mayor (walikota). All regents, mayors and member of representatives are directly elected for five years term.

Somehow it’s not always necessarily be that way. We noted  ‘city’ that goes beyond the ‘usual and common idea or definition about a city’… due to its location or natural reasons. Here are the list:

1. KOTA BATAM, Riau Archipelago (Kepulauan Riau) Province


Most people will instantly picture this –when Batam is mentioned– : an island-city lies only a few miles away from another island-city neighbour Singapore. And they can’t be blamed for this.

batam cityBut the truth is, Batam city comprises more than one single island.  If we are to see from the above (see the map), we’ll spot many islands with ‘ Rempang ‘ and ‘ Galang ‘ next to Batam. This three islands are now connected with 6 grand bridges collectively called   ‘Jembatan Barelang’ ( stands for BA-tam ~ RE-mpang ~ ga-LANG ). *picture above*

Even then, as much commercially or industrial  it can be, Batam can never fit definition above, since Rempang & Galang is literally rural. And with 715 km2 area that Batam City covers, there are many isles nearby such as Belakang Padang, Bulan, Subang Mas and several others almost of them are also rural – even uninhibitted- Batam city is easily placed amongst unusual city, in the sense that it has quiet wide area for a city and that it holds both urban-suburban-rural environments.


Batam is a free trade zone, it has to compete with Singapore and Johore for the ‘Si-Jo-Ri’ development area (Singapore-Johore-Riau), thus it should have many islands to grow in the future. This is the reason why Batam City covers beyond Batam Island itself but also to many adjacent islands.

Enjoy Batam

More : Kepulauan Riau Province

2. KOTA TIDORE KEPULAUAN, North Maluku Province


The official name of the city – Kota Tidore Kepulauan (literally City of Tidore Islands) – easily figures out what anomali the city has.  This probably almost the same with Batam City that it has wide enough area for a city status and covering more than one island.

It is true, with coverage area of 9.564,7 km² , the city is ranked first based on . and had an Census population of 89,506 in 2010, the mainland part (Oba) became the city of Sofifi, the new provincial capital. 

tidore map peta

City of Tidore Islands area (in blue) consists of Tidore Island, Mare & Maitara Island and also western part of Central Halmahera Island.  

The municipality covers 2 small islands, Maitara and Mare, Oba and Tidore island. It is divided into 5 sub-districts (kecamatan), namely Oba, Oba Utara, Tidore, Tidore East, South Tidore, and North Tidore. The 4 Tidores cover Tidore Island and the two small islands, covering .



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