Good morning Yasin
On our second day in Bintan, Rachel and I were woken by the first ray of the morning sun which pierced through the open window of our little hut.
The tide has receded and what was previously seawater below our hut was now all beach sand. We made ourselves a simple breakfast and sat by the balcony to enjoy the sunrise while observing the little crabs running around on the sand.
View from our hut in the morning
The tide has receded
Already in a beach resort mode, we continued to laze around till it was lunch time.
We had lunch at Nostalgia Yasin itself. I ordered a fish and chip while Rachel ordered some grilled fish with rice. We also ordered a freshly plucked coconut each.
Freshly cut coconuts
Fish and Chip - Indonesian style
Rachel's grilled fish
Where we ate at Yasin
As the serving was relatively small, we then ordered another omelette and our favourite “happy soda” (which according to Rachel, really makes her happy when she drinks it).
The components that go into a Happy Soda
Mixing my own Happy Soda
Omelette to share
After lunch, we packed our stuff and checked out of Yasin. A driver then sent us back to Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal where we met Romi, a tour guide/driver who is a friend of Andri from Bintan Holiday.com where we did our booking.
Romi spoke good English. He was able to provide us with much introduction and background on Bintan as well as its various resorts.
Before driving us to Banyan Tree, he took us to a nearby area where the local workers hostels are located to buy some drinks and tidbits.
The place Romi brought us to get supplies
We checked in at Banyan Tree resort at around 3.30pm. The lobby itself was a world of difference from bare minimal Yasin, with smartly dressed, polite staff manning the counter and posh-looking furniture.
We were served with ginger-lime tea while waiting for the staff to prepare the Oceanic Villa which we will be staying. The staff also gave us a map of the resort and took the time to explain to us all the facilities available.
Banyan Tree lobby
Waiting for the staff to prepare our villa
They served us with Ginger and Lime drink while we were waiting
Map of the resort
There’s a free single Yoga lesson for guests and buggy to transport guests from point-to-point at no extra cost, with just a phone call.
There are four restaurants in the resort – the signature Thai and Indonesia restaurant, Saffron; The Cove which offers view of the South China sea and serves Italian, French and Spanish cuisine; Treetops which serves International buffet, al fresco style on an open air terrace with views of the South China Sea; and Pantai Grill & Bar which serves US and Australian prime cuts and seafood.
Massage and spa services are also available.
Most importantly, there’s a beautiful private beach for use by only Banyan Tree guests.
Rachel and I immediately fell in love with Banyan Tree resort when we checked into our villa. This is the dream house that we can’t afford back in Singapore – with a fantastic sea view, an outdoor jacuzzi pool, quiet surroundings, not to mention the giant bed and the other quaint furniture.
Each villa has its own name - this is where we stayed
King size bed
A cloth turtle on our bed - Banyan Tree donate USD$2 on guests' behalf to save the turtles for each villa booking
Complimentary scented incenses
The large, cosy bathroom
Lounge chairs in our villa
Resting on the railing in our villa
Sitting by the room window which offers a full view of the sea
All set to head for the beach
We excitedly changed into our beach gear and called for a buggy to send us to the beach before the sky gets dark. The sand is well-maintained at the beach, with staff seen picking up litters and scratching the sand every few minutes.
We took a dip into the sea for a while and then went around hunting for hermit crabs. Thereafter, I spend much time just lying on the lounge chair, soaking into the atmosphere and doing nothing while Rachel was engrossed with her reading material.
The buggy dropped us here
At the pool area, above the beach
Lots of lounge chairs around the pool area
Clear water, blue blue sky
A hermit crab
Another shy hermit crab
A dead sea coral with a star-pattern
We picked up lots of hermit crabs
More hermit crabs
Lots of hermit crabs which we collected
Life should be like this...
Strolling along the beach
Ang moh family enjoying the sea breeze and view
We spotted a cute little ang moh boy hiding between rocks
Somebody had ordered "Dinner on The Rocks"
Other than "Dinner on the Rock", here's another of their "Destination Dining"
A last photo of the beach before we head back to our villa
We then headed back to out villa for a shower, a quick dip in the jacuzzi pool and then got a buggy to go to Saffron for dinner.
Rachel enjoying the jacuzzi while reading
View of the beach from our villa
A squirrel running by
The dinner at Saffron was most delightful. Rachel is a light eater, but she gobbled down more than five scoops of rice that night – an astonishing amount as she actually ate even more than me.
We ordered a duck curry dish and a fish dish. I cannot remember the exact names, but they both were cooked with many interesting herbs and spices.
Rachel loved the food at Saffron very much. For their rice serving, they even have a “Rice Master” who explained to us the various types of rice they served and let us sample a little of each. We particularly like their water-melon rice (rice cooked, soaked in water melon juice).
Saffron, the signature restaurant where we had our dinner
Fresh and ready for dinner after a good bath
Me enjoying the appetiser
Close-up of the appetiser - cut fruits with nut sprinkles
The Rice Master scooping out all the rice variety for us to sample
Water melon rice and yellow rice for me
Dinner is served
The duck dish that Rachel ordered
The fish I ordered
First time I see Rachel eat so much rice
The staff took a photo for us
After dinner, we headed to the lobby to rent DVDs to watch for the night. Most of the DVDs were already rented out, but we managed to get a copy of Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay which provided us with much laughter and entertainment that day.
The lobby at night
The library near the lobby to borrow DVDs
The buggy which ferries us around
Thereafter, we tucked ourselves to bed, very satisfied with our stay.
Stay tuned for the last update on my Bintan trip. Here’s a link to the previous blog entry on our first night stay at Nostalgia Yasin.
If you are interested to visit Banyan Tree resort, you can do your booking HERE.
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