Travel Guide: Three Days in Bintan
Sometimes the best vacations are those that don’t have much hype. Sure, you can book a grand adventure on some tourist-frequented place, but you can always just sit back and relax in some hidden oases and enjoy the view. It’s a great plus if you have activities waiting for you when you feel bored! This was one of the things I was looking forward to during our 3-day stay in Bintan, wherein we were lodged at the Bintan Lagoon Resort and Nirwana Resort. Check out how we spent these three days in Bintan!
Day 1: Settling in
Getting to Bintan is a breeze. We arrived from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and landed at the Bandar Bentan Telani Terminal. Yes, it’s an international ferry complete with immigration lines! The earliest ferry leaves at 9:10AM Singapore time (8:10AM on weekends) and the latest is at 2PM (5PM on weekends). The crossing takes around 45 minutes to an hour, and adult fares are at around $37. From there, Bintan Lagoon Resort offers a complimentary shuttle ride to all guests, bringing you right up to the resort itself.
Alternatively, you can go the VIP route and get to Bintan Lagoon Resort directly through their very own terminal. That is, if you choose to stay here. This ride also departs from Tanah Merah terminal, and is courtesy of the Mozaic ferry line. The trip takes an extra 30 minutes, but it’s cheaper at less than $25! It’s more convenient, too, since you’re just a short distance from the resort, and you get priority passes through immigration. They even send out a buggy to transfer your luggage for you! These trips depart at 9AM and 4:10PM, but the route closes every monsoon season and when the seas are rough. Just make sure you check the availability of this route first.
Bintan Lagoon isn’t the only option for your Bintan stay, and choosing your resort would depend greatly on your preferred amenities. All of the resorts here have good pools and facilities, but each have their own highlights.
Bintan Lagoon, for example, has a large pool and a private beach with a long, beautiful coastline. You can hang out at Nelayan, their resto bar that has really good tropical vibes and great snack options.
If you check-in at Nirwana, you can have a romantic dinner at the rustic Kelong restaurant. During afternoons, you can hang out at the Mayang Sari beach, which is very beautiful!
Finally, Angsana offers a good pool and a bunch of good restaurants both in and around the resort. Since your first day, like ours, will likely be mostly about rest and relaxation, choosing your ideal hotel will be paramount.
After checking in on our first day, we left our things in our rooms and headed straight for lunch. The resort food is hearty and filling, though by no means spectacular. We had tasted better, but we can’t really complain. After all, we were still taking in the beauty and sheer vastness of the place!
Later on, we moved to the long Bintan Lagoon shoreline and strolled around the beach. We also visited the pool and the other resort facilities. We were getting into the feel of this staycation!
We checked out the various activities the resort offers, too. If you’re feeling up for some fun after the travel, the archery range here offers some good competitive fun. Or you can just sit around in the karaoke lounge and bond with your friends, family, or significant other!
Day 2: Heading Out
We had a good night’s rest thanks to the comfortable beds in our room, and we were awake just in time to catch the late morning round of the Bintan Mangrove tour. It was an educational experience, and it was fun getting close to nature. Maybe a bit too close, as we were in fear of sleeping snakes falling from the trees and into our boat all the way! But we enjoyed a lot, and we learned a good deal about the local biodiversity.
We also ventured out to Bintan’s Lagoi Beach, which looks very much like Bali! There are lots of resorts here, too. It’s beautiful, and the waters are beckoning you to swim. While in Lagoi, we also hopped over to Idola Cafe and had one of our best meals in the trip! The place is beautiful (complete with shaped hedges) and the delicious food comes in good portions. Finally, we went shopping in the many cute shops around Lagoi.
Another attraction worth your time is the Elephant Park, where you can watch elephants performing tricks and even hitch a ride on one of them around the park.
At night, we decided to go back to Lagoi beach and release paper lanterns. Our tour guide said, we could write our wishes in the lantern and release it. I’d like to see how that would play out.
Aside from these activities, you can also head back to the resort and check out the many available activities there. Both Bintan and Nirwana have lots of water-based activities, and Nirwana also has a team-building area for large groups .perfect if you came with family and friends. Angsana, on the other hand, has various activities like tree-trekking, bird watching, and other things available from their recreation center.
Day 3: Chilling Out
On the third day, we took advantage of the Bintan Lagoon Resort’s breakfast buffet. There were lots of options from Eastern and Western cuisines, and we ate our fill! We spent the rest of our time chilling out and trying out other activities. The golf course looked really fun, and we also headed back to the archery range for some more! For those inclined towards more adventurous recreation, the resort also rents out ATVs and has a host of water-based activities like jet skis, banana boats, and more. Indeed, Bintan has something for everybody. While chilling out is the first thing to do here, there’s a host of other unique things to do and see!
Once we feel we have had our fill, we rode the ferry back to Singapore. The earliest trips back start at 9:35AM local time (8:35AM on weekends), while the latest leaves at 2:35PM (5:35PM on weekends).
Where to eat in Bintan:
For those looking for gastronomic treats on their Bintan stay, there some pretty good places to check out!
Idola. The pride of Lagoi, and my own favorite! Real great food and scenery.
Kelong Restaurant. This is Nirwana’s pride. It may be a bit pricey, but you get good food and a cool sea view.
Nelayan Restaurant. Hailing from Bintan Lagoon Resort itself, it also offers great food including snacks and drinks.
Pantai Grill and the Fisherman’s Table. These are located at Angsana, and have delicious local Indonesian offerings.
The Holiday Villa Pantai Indah. This has a good outdoor restaurant you should try out! There are also weekend outdoor buffets, with a real nice setup.
Bintan is proof that you don’t have to go to the edge of the world to find a well-rounded vacation that fits everyone. Whether you have a huge family with you, or just your special someone, you will surely have a grand time here.