Escape to Solitary

I think every once in a while, we all need a break. To me, that break came 2 weeks ago when I went to Bintan, Indonesia with 3 of my high school friends.

We got a pretty cheap deal through Groupon, and paid about $180 per person for 2D1N trip, including ferry transportation, land-transfer to-and-from hotel, 1 night villa stay at Bintan Spa Villa, half day city tour, 60 minutes massage and breakfast. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Now, if you have never been to Bintan, it’s actually just 45 minutes away from Singapore by ferry. But, we found out that there are 2 main ferry jetties that you can go to: north and south Bintan. 45 minutes is the ferry ride to the northern Bintan, while to the latter, it takes you about 2 hours. We didn’t know this of course, until we were in the ferry and we started wondering why after a (poor) full screening of the (pirated) movie Hercules on the screen, we still hadn’t reached yet?

Well, now we know…

Upon arriving

So 2 hours later, we finally arrived! I was so excited that I immediately could smell the sea, feel the cool breeze upon my face, and see the sky that’s full of fluffy clouds and ahhh, this is life. All daily stress and routines just faded away and I could feel myself relax. How could I not?

We were picked up by the staff from the tour agency and they took us to our half-day city tour. It wasn’t very eventful, we went to local shopping centre where we had our first meal of the day: Indonesian chicken noodles. It’s probably our visit to the Buddhist temple that was most impressive, as you can see here.

Temple

Temple pillars

Temple2

After lunch at an Ayam Penyet Restaurant, we finally made our way to the villa and holiday officially began!

Bintan Spa Villa2

Bintan Spa Villa Dinner Jetty Night viewBintan Spa Villa is a pretty, quaint place to stay but it’s really meant for those of you who just want a low-key, pampering and relaxing holiday. We were told that this southern part of Bintan is significantly quieter than the north part, where all the big resorts are. If you have heard of Bintan Lagoon Resort, Club Med Bintan, and all the big names, most probably they are located up there. Here in this villa, you can do some water sports like banana boat, kayaking, or maybe jetski (although during our stay I didn’t really see anyone renting the jetski), and get a nice massage but there’s nothing much beyond that.

To me, I really enjoyed the stay regardless, because I was really looking forward to relax and have a quiet weekend. And I absolutely got that, plus lots of fun moments and incidents that we surely would look back and laugh about (including having dinner at a local eating place beside our resort and a lizard fell from the ceiling… Err, I guess that’s for another story.)

And look at the night view from my room! Isn’t that beautiful?

When it was time to leave, I have to admit that I was feeling pretty bummed. It’s really nice to have a change of scenery, even if it’s just for one night. Leave the mobile reception behind, get away from the city and see how simple and happy the people who live there are. The beautiful beach doesn’t hurt either.

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