Mark Twain once said
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
Boy, was he right! Exploring new places, interacting with new cultures and looking at the world with brand new eyes -that is what makes life worth it! Last year, on one such pursuit, I had the chance to visit the exquisite island of Bintan. Situated on Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, this island is a breathtaking beauty.
The Ferry Ride
The best part about this trip was that I did not have to wait for the awesome part, it began with the journey itself. Bintan is just an hour away from Singapore and the ferry ride is something you will remember always.
As we boarded the ferry from Singapore’s Tanah Mera port, we knew this was going to be fun! I was travelling with my husband who had generously booked premium tickets. No, here “premium” does not mean “al a carte and massages on the way”. It means that we had access to the deck and it was worth every cent!
Looking at the unending sea under the shining sun we reached Bintan in no time. We were greeted at the port by representatives of the Bintan Resort. After we were through immigration, we started for the resort in a bus, which reminded me of India (plainly because the bus was not in a great condition, but whatever!).
The trip from the port to the resort was no less! Lush green forests sprawling on both sides of the road, the tranquility of the place was almost achingly beautiful. We couldn’t keep our eyes off the “outside” for even a minute and that helped us ignore the “inside”of the bus!
We arrived at the resort, which was spectacular and quite grand. We were welcomed by big hungry orange fishes in the open aquarium near the reception. They scared me.
After waiting for some time, we were finally assigned a room. Ours was a garden facing villa and the view was quite serene. Though, we couldn’t wait to hit the beach. One of the best parts of the premium resorts in Bintan is that they have clean private beaches. We quickly changed and headed for the beach. It was spell binding. Spread across miles, the beach was like a haven. Emerald green water dancing in waves and washing away the cold white sand offered a picturesque scene.
On the other side, there was no dearth of happening shacks, restaurants and cafes. Some had live music concerts going on while some were quiet. After spending some time on the beach, we decided to eat something. We found a multi-cuisine restaurant that served excellent Indian food. Since, I am a voracious glutton, we ended up spending a few hours eating!
It is a sin to travel and not get spa. So, obviously, I had an in-room spa service booked for the evening. Just the thought of getting pampered while listening to the ocean prancing with tides just a few miles away, is bliss. I was so impressed by my masseuse, I gifted her a pair of earrings as an added bonus. Then, I went outside to chill in the sun.
What came next was even more awesome. Walking alongside the beach in the evening is like therapy. The sun setting in the velvet sky, the sea reflecting the neon orange of the setting sun and birds chirping away to their nests for the night – it was just perfect.
Bintan Has The Best Mornings
The next morning was yet another beautiful day. The weather was in our favor and we decided to take a dip in the ocean. After the refreshing sea bath, we went on a tour of the resort, golfed and ate.
Though it was a short trip, Bintan etched its way into our hearts. If you are in or around Singapore and are looking for a completely relaxing break, consider Bintan. It is not too expensive and for what its worth, you won’t regret.
I don’t know about you but I can never get enough of the sea! Happy Travels!