April 5 to April 7 2012
Our first holiday sojourn of the year 2012 started with a visit to Bintan.
Bintan is one of the nearest and very popular tourist destinations for Singaporeans and others. Bintan is part of the Indonesian archipelago. It is the largest of 3200 islands in the Riau archipelago and the third largest of the 37 provinces of Indonesia.
Bintan or Pulau Bintan as it is known as, is one hour behind singapore.
How to reach there
Bintan is one hr away from Singapore by ferry. When leaving Singapore, we need to cover the Straits of Singapore and South China Sea before we reach Bintan. We left at 530 from home.took a taxi to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal which is almost at the opposite end to where we are staying. The ferry service is Bintan Resort Ferries. We are staying at Nirwana Beach Resort.
I was surprised to see the ferry terminal in an extremely spruce condition. Almost like an airport terminal with clear cut check in, baggage check in, departure and immigration. Well kept with a nice mini restaurent selling food at reasonable prices unlike the changi ferry terminal from where you take ferries for Desaru. Everything was on time.
The ferry left at sharp 800 pm singapore time. Reached at 900 singapore time. The ferry was very well kept and they have an indoor deli selling snacks at pretty reasonable rates.
The Indonesian terminal immigration was confused and messy. And sigh, somewhat like home. Extra money for things to finish faster. However things finished and within half an hr we were rollling on our way to the BR. As it was quite dark, could not make out anything on the road
Only shadows of trees.
The resort is very big. Constructed in the traditional indonesian house style (the roof somewhat like kerala houses).Extensive use of wood. very relaxing. Huge. There are independent villas, chalets as well as normal rooms and suites.
I love the extensive use of indigenous styles of architecture and artwork and the wood. Batik paintings. There was a beautiful statue of Rama and Sita, carved beautifully in the hotel lobby.
So far, very polite and gracious hotel staff. Greeted us with namaste.
Owing to the time difference, we feel a sense of having a lot of time :). In fact it seems to be timeless there.
It is still 745 am. Not yet had breakfast. Explored the beach out there today. Pristine. Pure grey white sands. lots of corals and shells and some algae out there. The sun and the breeze and the quietitude in the early morning. No wonder, this is a beautiful place to unwind and relax. The beach is also very well kept.
Will be trying out the pool and some outdoor activities later in the day.
Beautiful weather. It seems jellyfish stingings are pretty common here.