Alvinology goes to Bintan – Day 1 of 3
Rachel and I took a weekend getaway at Bintan last week. Burned out with our work and wedding preparations, this was a good way to recharge.
The booking was done via Bintan Holiday.com. Thanks Andri for the offer and the itinerary planned for us. This was the first trip to Bintan for both of us. We had a wonderful time there and really enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
We visited two resorts during our 3D2N stay – Banyan Tree and Agro Beach Resort, staying a night at each resort. These were on the two extremes of the price scale for resorts in Bintan – with Banyan Tree on the luxurious end and Agro on the budget end.
On the first day, we caught a Bintan Resorts ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at 11.10am and arrived at Bintan at 11.05am (Bintan time is one hour behind Singapore).The ferry ride was quite fast and comfortable. Both Rachel and I took a short nap while on the ferry and were surprised to find ourselves in Bintan already when we woke up.
At the Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal, a driver from Agro picked us up and drove us to Yasin. Agro Beach Resort is located at Trikora Beach, approximately one hour drive from Bintan Resorts where Banyan Tree and most of the other more luxurious resorts are located.
We stayed at Nostalgia Yasin at Agro Beach Resort on the first day. This was a quirky little hut on stilts, raised on the seashore – a kelong house in other words. The rooms and amenities are minimal, but sufficient. It’s good for those who are on a budget.
Although there’s nothing much to do at Yasin except a snooker table and to enjoy the sea view, there’s free tri-bike transportation from Yasin to the various other Agro-owned resorts where sea-sport activities, spa and massage facilities are available.
Upon reaching Yasin, Rachel and I promptly unpacked and busk in the sun by the balcony in our little hut for a while. We munched on some food we had brought along while enjoying the sea view…. gradually falling asleep.
We woke up at around 4pm and took a tri-bike to the nearby Agro Resort for a Thai massage session at Oceanic Spa. The massage was done in a small pavilion by the sea. How cool is that?
The view was excellent and the massage was invigorating. Price was at around S$30+ per pax for an hour. Note that at most resorts in Bintan, Singapore dollars and US dollars are the preferred currency. However, at Agro, they accept Indonesian rupiah too, and at a better rate than for Singapore dollars.
After the massage, both Rachel and I were starving and headed to the nearby Sun Moon Restaurant for dinner. The kelong structured restaurant has a good sea view and practises an interesting discount system – 10% off for 2 to 4 hours advance reservation; 15% discount for 4 hours to 24 hours advance reservation; 20% discount for one day or more advance reservation.
I ordered a fried rice dish while Rachel ordered chicken with rice. We also ordered a “Happy Soda” to share, intrigued by the name.The latter turned out to be a delightful find and we were addicted to this drink thereafter. It’s basically a mix of soda, rose syrup and condense milk, fancied by the locals.
The service was excellent at the restaurant. The waitress serving us was very attentive and polite. The food was average, but the ambient and view more than make up for it.
After dinner, we headed back to Yasin to laze and rest for the night. As I brought my laptop along, we were able to set up a make-shift outdoor “entertainment system” on the balcony. Under the moon and stars, Rachel and I watched a Bollywood DVD, Quick Gun Murugun, which we had bought the night before at Mustafa Centre.
Most of our time at Yasin was spent lazing around, soaking in the beach ambient while reading the books we brought along or just idle chatting. Time passed really slowly.
With our busy schedules, both Rachel and I seldom have much alone time and Yasin was really a good place to just sit back and do nothing. If you are interested to visit Yasin, you can do the booking HERE. 🙂
This concluded our first day in Bintan. Stay tuned for my next update where we move to Banyan Tree Resort.
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