Riau is a province in Sumatra. It is located on the east coast of the island and is rich in oil.
In 2004, the eastern islands of the province near Singapore were carved off into the new province of Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau), covered separately.
- 1 Pekanbaru - the capital of the province.
- 2 Bagansiapiapi - a little fishermen's town. Famous for Chinese festivals like "Bakar Tongkang", Chinese New Year and Cap Go Meh.
- 3 Dumai - main port with connections to ports in Malaysia
- 4 Selatpanjang - has many Chinese temples
- 5 Siak Sri Indrapura - historical centre of a sultanate
In the last 25 years, 2/3 of the jungle that once covered Riau has disappeared. Some of it remains cleared land, but most of it has been converted into oil palm plantations and tree farms to feed the pulp industry.
The world's two largest pulp mills are in this province, and it has the highest rate of deforestation of any Indonesian province.
Still, tigers and elephants continue to hold on here; and efforts are being made to secure some kind of future for these and other wild animals.
The main airport of Riau province is Pekanbaru's Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (PKU IATA), with frequent flights from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta and Halim airports, as well as flighs from Surabaya, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and the major cities of Sumatra island. There are direct international flights from Malacca, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and Singapore Changi Airport.
Dumai's Pinang Kampai Airport (DUM IATA) has a few weekly direct flights from Batam and Medan,
Pekanbaru and Selatpanjang are connected by ferries.
- Muara Takus Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple from ancient Srivijaya Kingdom.