The city is somewhat special like Taiwan on the island of Sumatra. Bagansiapiapi is the capital of Rokan Hilir, Riau Province which was originally made up of immigrants from China who left their homeland to seek new dwellings to the east by sailing. Using three barges (a simple wooden boat for mining) they were bobbing in the ocean until it safely landed at Kuala Sungai Rokan in 1826 because of the fireflies that guide with the light to reach the land.
On the mainland, they were stayed and they cleared the forest land for residential and they slowly mingle with the natives. The composition of the original inhabitants is 70 percent Chinese ethnic and the rest are mostly Malays ethnic. Because of the wealth of fish that abound in this area, the settlers decided to settle down and became fisherman. Over time, the Chinese people that supported the expertise to catch fish was successfully made Bagansiapiapi to be the producer for abundant marine fish and being exported to other countries.
Bagansiapiapi grows as the city's second largest fish producer in the world after Bergen in Norway. Dutch East Indies government then glanced at the huge potential of fisheries in Bagansiapiapi and move the local government controuler from Tanah Putih to Bagansiapiapi in 1901. Bagansiapiapi City was developed as the most modern fishing harbor and passenger in the Straits of Melaka at that time.
Not only sea products that became the potential product for the community life, there is also natural rubber. During World War I and World War II, Bagansiapiapi become one of the qualified rubber-producing areas to fulfill the need of war equipment. After World War II ended, the demand for rubber declined by some employers to close the rubber factory.
Today, one of people’s supporting economy that replacing the fisheries and rubber is the cultivation of swallows, by taking its nest. There are a lot of buildings around the city that built in 3 to 4 levels, with the top roof is used as swiftlet cultivation place, while the level of 1-2 is used as a shop and home.
Like most Chinatowns with lot of Chinese descent, Bagansiapiapi presents a variety of typical Chinese cuisine that genuine and delicious. Morover, there are also some of events and culture that still be influenced by Chinese culture. Visiting This place will never dissatisfying you.