What better way to enjoy the holidays than to be on a holiday? No worries, no crowds, no annoying responsibilities, just you and your loved ones together overseas. While you may not have been able to book a long leave, or an exciting overseas vacation, there are always cheaper options which are closer to home which you can book at the last minute which will still make for great fun.
If you love the sun, sand and sea then Bintan is the place for you. Nestled a mere boat ride away from Singapore, you could even book your entire trip on the day you want to leave and have everything up and prepared by the time you arrive. Plus, you won’t even have to burn any leave, Bintan is great for a short weekend getaway, 3 days of relaxing fun is all you need to take in the fresh air and rediscover yourself.
Known as a beach resort island to both Asians and Westerners, Bintan is a great escape if you’re looking for peace and tranquillity to rejuvenate yourself after a long year of work. For thrill seekers, you won’t be disappointed either, the beach resorts are teeming with adrenaline filled activities bound to get your heart racing.
If you’re looking for luxurious pampering, look no further than the Lagoi area of Bintan. A private stretch of beach owned by local and international resort chains, properties including Club Med, Angsana, Nirwana and Bintan Lagoon Resort occupy this coveted beachfront.
The pick of choice here has to be Nirwana Gardens Resort. With over 5 different types of hotels in this resort, you can take your pick between beach front living, private bungalows and the typical hotel room. With such flexibility, you’ll be able to plan the perfect trip whatever your party size. The resort is fully integrated, meaning you actually wouldn’t have a reason to leave the property. With its own sea sport and dive centre, restaurants, bowling alley and many other facilities, this resort takes the cake for a simple but luxurious trip.
The obvious thing to do in Bintan is to enjoy what’s available naturally – the sea. No matter what resort you’re staying at, there’s going to be some activity center for you to book sea activities, from kayaking, to banana boating, to jet skiing to parasailing, the list goes on.
If you can’t swim but you’ve been dying to try out diving or snorkelling, Nirwana Gardens offers you the one of a kind experience of an Under-Sea Walk. You don’t need to know how to swim to do this, simply don a helmet fitted with an oxygen tank, and your guide will take you on a walk around their coral reefs where you can get up close with the spread of marine life under the surface.
Want to have your water sport fix but your resort doesn’t offer what you want? Fret not as Treasure Bay is your one-stop solution to all your water sport needs. This colossal water park has integrated activities of all kinds. Swim in their 338-hectre pool and relax on the beach chairs as you work on your tan. Race your friends down the Slip & Slide, or defy gravity with their Jetovator. The resort also has accommodation in the form of ‘tents’ where guest can enjoy pool front living during their stay
These are just a small taste of what you can expect from Treasure Bay. Not just limited to water activities, there are plenty of other things to do in this theme park like riding an ATV or taking their electric scooter out to Lagoi Plaza.
Mangrove and Firefly Tour
Something you can’t experience in Singapore, Bintan offers the mangrove and firefly tour daily. Visitors can expect to be enthralled and amazed at the floating lights dancing around them over the course of the tour, the experience is simply magical.
No trip is complete without some shopping and Bintan does not disappoint. Head down to Plaza Lagoi with the help of the free shuttle buses which cater the hotels in the Lagoi region of the island and have some much needed retail therapy. Check out the Polo Ralph Lauren factory outlet where you can get your branded attire at a bargain. Local shops are also available here for you to get souvenirs or get a good bargain on clothes. If you happen to be staying in a villa, the two minimarts here are well stocked for all your needs.
At the end of a long day, why not go for a spa and massage? Most resorts have their own in-house spa and massage facilities, but if you feel like having one outside, Plaza Lagoi houses a few massage outlets. If you’re willing to travel, you could even go to Aroma River Spa where you can experience a traditional and rustic Indonesian lifestyle complete with authentic nasi padang.
There is no shortage of food in Bintan. With one of the freshest seafood you can find, be prepared to feast each and every meal as you get treated to an explosion of flavours. Starting off the list, we have The Kelong Restaurant in Nirwana Gardens. This restaurant is the picture of aesthetic dining, situated on stilts above the sea, you get a gentle sea breeze cooling you throughout the meal, and an amazing view of their floating bar at sun set.
Next on the list is Aneka Seafood, like The Kelong Restaurant, you once again find yourself dining on the edge of the beach. The unforgettable dishes here have to be the black pepper crabs and their fried mee hoon, simply delightful.
If you’re willing to travel, you should check out Rimba Jaya. This is Bintans version of something inbetween a night market and a hawker center. With stalls as far as the eye can see, treat yourself to local delicacies like fried mushrooms, grilled fish and barbequed squid.
Finally, not something you would expect in Bintan, but you can get Italian pizza at Pizza Casa Italia. The traditional family run restaurant uses a real wood-fired oven to cook up your meals. Run by an Italian couple who decided to open up a restaurant in Bintan, the experience doesn’t get any more authentic.