Bintan Island, Indonesia
Bintan Island is located south-east of Singapore and can be reached by boat in less than an hour. The economy of Bintan is centred in tourism, given its close proximity to Singapore. The island has every bit of something for everyone!
Being born and raised in the Philippines, the beaches in Bintan offers nothing spectacular but hey, I’m not complaining, so long as I could quickly get away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.
Indonesians in Bintan are the most friendliest I have ever met, probably because tourism is the main draw of the island. The locals working at the beach resorts greets tourists with warmth every single time. The service is swift and excellent, they would even go out of their way sometimes.
Photos of Agro Beach Resort & Nirwana Beach Resort:
Me and my Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 ..I’m looking forward to travel the world with this backpack. So far so good!
Bintan accepts Singapore Dollars almost everywhere but it’s highly recommended to bring rupiahs for everyday use because the exchange rate is horrible (the cashier clerks do the conversion on their own!)
I’ve been to Nirwana beach Resort and Agro beach resort and I would recommend the former. If its Bintan, cheap packages are always available online.. make sure it includes my favorite, the elephant ride! Here’s a photo of Bb and Arif the elephant. Archery, horseback riding, zipline, ATV ride are some of the many activities Nirwana beach club offers.
Again, the service of both resorts that I’ve been to is excellent! I’m not too particular about the accommodation but I’m going to say its decent enough for a relaxing vacation.
Rifle shooting, one of the many activities Nirwana Beach Resort offers
The Path Less Travelled
Get out of your beach resort! Walk the unbeaten path and you would be treated with the real charm of Bintan! Look out for fishing villages nestled on pristine waters, ask locals for directions and buy cheap ripe fruits by the road.
Indonesian fishing boat during low tide. There are a lot of fishing villages around Bintan, you just have to know where to look!
Mr. turtle crossing the dirt road
Sure, the beach at Agro beach resort isn’t your typical beach, it’s too shallow for swimming but it’s paradise for paraboarders. Only knee-deep as far as the eye can see during the day; however on sunrise the water recedes all the way to the horizon. The shallow water makes it the perfect condition for the sport, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a family vacation. Unless you’re a family of paraboarders, your kids won’t enjoy swimming on the beach so it’s just back to the pool for them.
The edge, some 2 kilometres out.. I was already sweating when I got here.
Agro beach resort.. I woke up at 5:30am to take a photos of the beach at sunrise, taking advantage of the low tide and …man it was really something. The vastness and desolation of the beach is surprisingly relaxing, the sun lazily rising at the horizon. I wasn’t able to resist the urge to walk towards the edge of the beach, so off I went with my iPhone! Took me about 20 minutes to reach the edge.. where the water tries to slowly claim back the land.
Overall, Bintan is a ‘good enough’ destination for those who are based in Singapore. The thing is, it doesn’t feel authentic.. the resorts doesn’t feel Indonesian enough for me. Rent a bicycle and check out the surrounding neighbourhood.. don’t get too attached with your hotel!
I’m saving up for a Fujifilm x-pro1 for my future travels, somehow I feel my iPhone would soon outlive its purpose.. Let’s go!
..I think I like travelling, I think that’s gonna be my hobby, my way of life! :)