Bintan Resorts

I’ve met many people who have tattoos all over their bodies. I don’t have tattoo on me, but I’d want to get one when I have the chance. I heard that people got their tattoos during special occasions or when they experienced something significant or simply because they were drunk. One thing that most of them told me, though, is the fact that tattoos are somehow addictive. Just like traveling.

When I travel, I keep thinking of the next traveling plans while being on one. It could be just a simple outing, like making a visit to the local museums, or luxurious vacations at resorts with people to serve all your needs.

I stayed in Angsana Resort in Bintan, Indonesia for three nights over the weekends. I’m lucky to be able to experience resorts but always feel some how contained and restricted to the resort boundaries (and that everything are so expensive).

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Bintan island has integrated beach resorts that are built across the northern part of the island, making it easily accessible for a short get aways from Singapore.

Day 1 for us was all about the resort. My friends and I enjoyed the (partially man-made) beach. It was fun and very relaxing. I’m not particularly a person who would spend time tanning by the shore or swim at the beach. I prefer kayaking and a long walk by the shore, which I did. Kayaking was probably a better way to get tanned compared to just laying at the beach. I got to  paddle myself quite a distance away from the shore and just relax on the kayak while the wave drifted me back.

I also got to ride All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), which is a motorized four-wheeler vehicle. I rode it near the beach and also in the jungle. We passed by a small village of the local people through the jungle track. They even have a mini mosque, which I didn’t take a picture of, since our phones were kept by our guide. The guide only stopped occasionally to take picture of my friends and I in action.

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Then we tried swimming at the swimming pool, tried the in-room services, visited the internet corner by the lobby and the games corner at the third floor (there were a lot of bean bags), we had a nap by the pool side and dinner at the Bar & Grill which is held every friday night. It was a fun packed day.

It’s impossible to explore the whole Bintan island in a day, but on day 2 we managed to get out of the integrated resorts. The transport was one of the limitations to explore Bintan because there’s no public transport available for me to go around by my own means. Taking bus or private taxis cost quite a sum and they would only take tourists to the pre-determined tourists destinations as packages. For example, if you book a SPA/tours from outside resort, the company would provide you with free 2-way transport. We enjoyed a SPA by Bintan Village Nature and River SPA. The driver who picked us up at our resort was very nice and drove us to check out Trikora Beach, which is one of the local beaches, and Pasar Oleh-Oleh, the integrated resorts shopping districts, before driving us back to the resort. We asked one of the restaurants at the shopping place to provide us with to-and-fro transport later that night for dinner. They had good service and nice food.

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Back at the resort in the late afternoon, we tried the jet skis and got to see the hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings being released to the sea by the Conservation Lab of Banyan Tree. It was so cool when the resort photographer asked us for a picture to promote their conservation projects. I didn’t get to touch any of the little hatchlings because the staff asked the children to release the hatchlings to the ocean. It was a great strategies to let the children to be interested in saving the endangered species and hopefully other species. Anyway, the ATV ride on day 1, the jet ski ride on day 2, seeing the turtle hatchling crawl their way to the ocean and even the SPA were all new to me. So I’m pretty overwhelmed by my experiences with my friends.

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We woke up late (on purpose) on the third day (last day!) and didn’t get to go for the morning Nature Walk that we booked last night. We were too ambitious, I think. My body knew I had to enjoy sleeping on the comfortable bed for the last time.

Our bill turned out to be a lot less than what we expected. We didn’t get charged for some things and get 25% discounts for everything we paid. I thank our ATV guide who didn’t charge us for using the kayak, which would’ve cost us about USD 25! That kind of things accumulated and saved us a lot of money.

Oh, talking about money, Bintan accepts SGD, USD and IDR. The shops and hotels are flexible to change the money currency using the current exchange rates.

There are many resorts in Bintan. Most of them would provide transportations from the ferry terminal to the resorts and back to the ferry terminal on your last day. Checkout Bintan here (link to bintan-resorts.com) You can check out the activity packages offered by BRC Tours and the activities offered by the individual resorts. Here is the ferry information.

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So is traveling addictive? Of course. I just hope that the next time I go abroad, I could explore more of the town instead of being stuck at the hotel. The hotel doesn’t have to be as luxurious as the resorts in Bintan. After all, I would only be back at the hotel to sleep at night and be out again the next day.

It’s time to plan the next trip. See more, experience more.
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