“You are better than you think you are.” – Joe Jer Tee
(one of Amazing Race Asia’s first winners)
Bintan in Indonesia is one of the closest place outside Singapore for a quick getaway, and is or was usually a go-to-place for “visa runs” for those staying in Singapore and are still waiting for their long-stay visas to be processed or approved. I am not sure if this is still possible now but it was when I used to live in Singapore. When my sister and nephew just moved to Singapore to be with me, it took time for my nephew’s student visa to be processed so we needed to exit him on one weekend in 2008.
The problem then was the date he needed to exit was the date I will be just arriving back from my holiday in Phuket. Not only that, this Phuket trip was the trip when I lost my wallet at Changi airport, so that means as soon as I landed back in Singapore, I only have 5 hours left to go to police headquarters to report my lost wallet so immigration at Tanah Merah Terminal would allow me to exit Singapore without my e-pass. Oh, I had to go to banks as well to report and replace my lost ATM and credit card right away, so I have money to spend in Bintan. I did all that errands in just 5 hours plus the unpacking and packing again, phew! :P That is how efficient Singapore is, I am not sure if I can do the same if I’m in Manila nor even here in Dubai, lol!
See my trip in Phuket, HERE.
We managed to get on time to our ferry at Tanah Merah Terminal. And after all those running around Singapore ala-Amazing Race, it’s time again for another relaxing holiday. It will be my first time in Indonesia too, so I was very excited too! Apart from my sister and nephew, we will be joined by friends also from Singapore who wanted a break from our hectic life in Singapore.
I booked our hotel at Bintan Lagoon Resort which is the home of the Amazing Race Asia‘s drop off point for those who were eliminated in the game. The resort is 5-star but pricey, there is always a price in every move you make even just charging your phone outside your room you still need to pay, which is ridiculous.There are a lot of activities you can take pleasure in, just approach the tour counter at the lobby and you can choose from there. Oh btw, rates here are in Singapore Dollars, making it more expensive, really!
Actually, Bintan Lagoon Resort are in the northern part of Bintan Indonesia, this is not the “real” Bintan, it was only being leased by Singapore government. No wonder the sand is fake or imported again, beach is not that fabulous and rates are so expensive, it’s like you have not left Singapore yet.They say the real Bintan (which is the central part) got the nicest beach than in Bintan Resorts (Nirwana, Banyan Tree, etc).
Having said that, we still had fun that weekend because we were a big group. Unless you are on honeymoon. I think it’s better to go to this part of Bintan if you are a big group, it’ll be more fun and exciting even without involving yourself in any of the tours they offer to make your stay worthwhile. It was also a good time for me to relax and not think about my lost wallet anymore ;)