Bintan, July 23rd 2011

Just got back from a 1 night getaway at Bintan (on 23rd July) and it was a lot more fun + prettier than I remember it to be!

Bintan is an island (apparently larger than Singapore itself lol what) that’s about 45 minutes away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore. Considering it’s situated so near to Singapore, I’m amazed at how serene is! 45 minutes is hardly enough for me to get from Simei to Jurong, but it can get me to Bintan (coz I stay near the ferry terminal lol)

Win.

The last time I was at Bintan in 2008, I remember the beaches being really yuck and the premises quite boring. Think I stayed at Bintan Lagoon which was a yawn fest. But this time I found myself having so much more things to do at a different resort – unfortunately we only had less than 24 hours there.

In the lobby of our resort, Angsana Resort & Spa.

I LOVED this place.
The staff all spoke decent English, everyone was really friendly and always ready to offer you smiles plus the place is clean and gorgeous to boot!!!

Chillin’ in the hotel lobby while waiting for welcome drinks to be served and for our room to be ready. We arrived a little early, at like 11am but since we only had 1 day and night there, we didn’t wanna waste a second of it!

First impression of Angsana Resort & Spa – a welcoming, happy-looking lobby!

The lobby + restaurants are not air conditioned to my horror, but I think it’s because the majority of their guests are white people and white people have an obsession with “tropical” temperature (aka burning themselves alive under the sun and in the heat)

I don’t think anyone realistic would stay in a hotel without air conditioning in Singapore.

From the moment we stepped out of the van into the hotel’s premises, we had people grinning ear to ear like this :DDD and exclaiming “WELCOME!!!” a little too enthusiastically haha. And the manager also came out to greet us.

And then we were served an icy cold glass of Lemongrass drink, much appreciated considering the blazing weather!

(By this time I was already very impressed. Sam picked out this hotel, normally he chooses crap / unlucky places but this was a gem)

After settling our room arrangements, we went exploring the hotel’s grounds to check out what was in store for us that day!

Lush gardens and water features!

I’d expected to be swarmed by insects instantly but the AMAZING thing is I didn’t get bitten ONCE throughout the trip!!!!

I mean this is truly amazing hahaha. I’ve always had a problem with insects at beach side resorts but I didn’t even see so much of a housefly in our hotel room. That’s because Angsana Resort actually burns these incense sticks everywhere that apparently wards off the mozzies and bugs!

It doesn’t have a strange smell either, it smells nice.. like a Balinese spa! Woody and soothing. HUGE plus points. They provide extra incense sticks in the hotel room for you to take home too (Y)

Pretty but overgrown water lilies

Pathway leading to the pool….

Which was GORGEEOOUUSSS.

Right next to the beach / sea, surrounded by coconut trees and mini fountains and cozy little cabanas and day beds. Love.

Didn’t feel like I was an hour away from SG, felt like I was halfway across the globe!

99% of the hotels I go to have disgusting pools. Even so called 5 star ones have shameful pools! Dead leaves and insects floating on the surface, a pile of sand on the bottom of the pool etc… but Angsana’s pool was close to spotless, much to my delight. I hate dirty swimming pools.

As you will realize, I have nothing but compliments for this hotel. :)

Because when we were wandering around, a waitress walked up to us and asked, “Hi mam, would you like some frozen watermelon to cool off?”

COMPLIMENTARY RANDOM REFRESHMENTS FTW!

(Btw, they also offered us a 2nd round of complimentary ice cream while we were soaking in the pool later on in the day. I’m almost shocked at how impeccable their service is.)

Walking over to check out the beach!

A good beach could make or break a beachside resort.

It wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough considering it’s so near singapore – It’s still quite near to a lot of pollution. And there’s way too many resorts on this part of the island.

I appreciated how there wasn’t one empty bottle or ciggy stub or plastic bag or any sort of junk in sight.

Sam admiring the views!

I think if it wasn’t raining so much these days the beach would be prettier as it’d be whiter sand and not so wet / dark looking. Anyhoo, I wasn’t that concerned about how clean the sand was because I’m not one of those girls who wear tiny bikinis and sit around sun bathing all day…

The first thing I do when I’m near a beach is to search for signs of WATER SPORTS!!!

Wasted no time jumping onto a Jet Ski.

If I ever lived near a waterfront I’d so buy one of these. The adrenaline rush is like no other. I’ve been on sport bikes before and it’s hardly comparable to a jet ski!!! Why jet skiing is so fun is because instead of traveling on a boring road, you’re out on the open sea beside a beautiful beach resort, skimming through the ocean, and you feel like the king of the world, there’s no traffic lights, no rules, just you and your jet ski, getting increasingly excited as you accelerate and listen to the engine roar and getting mouthfuls of water while trying to cut / jump waves…

Every second is unexpected fun because you never know when is the next big wave that’s going to come at you and send you FLYING off!!!

You need to hold onto the jet ski really tightly in order not to fly off :D You HAVE to try it if you’ve never done it.

We paid for a 1 hour + guided tour around the island and it was definitely the best part of the trip!

The views were breathtaking. Bintan is soooo pretty, we got to visit the quieter part of the island that only accessible by boat / jetski.

Perfect sunny weather, calm waves, cool breezes. Sun, sea, sand, me on my jet ski going like 50km/hour screaming “WOOOHHHHOOO”! and then getting splashed in the face by a big wave.

LOL inexplicable happiness.

I liked how our tour guide kept very strict safety rules (he turned back to check on us every few minutes, and if I was trailing off behind the group, he’d come back to get me) but at the same time, challenging us by going quite far out at high speed and encouraging us to make sharp turns instead of going in a straight line all the time!

It’s too bad we were too busy zooming all over the place that I didn’t have time to stop and take pictures of the different beaches.

Halfway through the jet ski safari, he brought us to this secluded part of the island where the water was crystal clear and so beautiful omg!!! We stopped our engines and just floated there for a bit before he jumped straight into the sea and urged me to join him, “Come on in, the water is so nice!” (it was)

But then I was like “NOOOOO” because I’d seen ALOT of jellyfishes floating around my jetski just before (in another beach – it’s jellyfish season) and if you don’t already know, I’m terrified of jellyfishes. They look so harmless but are so fucking poisonous!!!

I asked him what species they were and he replied oh-so-casually, “They are box jellyfishes.”

I was like HOLY FUCK! DDDDDD: SAY WHAT?! and of course refused to jump off my jet ski but he literally pulled me off my jetski (playfully) and I fell into the water with a big splash. Meh I think the tour guide took a special liking to me because he always paid me special attention lol. Anyway I clung onto him for dear life even though I was wearing a lifejacket (just in case a jellyfish was nearby it could eat him first :P) and he kept laughing at me hysterically!!

WHY do people think it’s so funny that I’m scared of jellyfishes???

Reminds me of that time me and Gwen were at Cottesloe beach in Perth and I saw a bright red jellyfish and freaked out and all she did was laugh at me and did absolutely nothing to save me. Hello why does nobody empathize with me!!!

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Our time spent at the private beach was entirely too short.. Before I knew it, we were already on our way back to our resort.

…And then it happened.

My jet ski made funny splurting noises.

Kind of like the noise your car makes when it’s about to break down on the highway. I remember widening my eyes and then cursing the jet ski, “You stupid thing!!! Don’t you dare break down on me when I’m in the middle of the sea!” (nowhere near any resorts)

But it ignored my threats and DIED ON ME WHILE THE OTHERS WERE OBLIVIOUS TOWARDS MY SITUATION AND HAPPILY JET SKI-ED FURTHER and further… and further away from me, wtf.

Until I could not even see them anymore, they disappeared into the horizon.

We were meant to travel in a single file and since we arrived the latest to register for the safari, we were positioned at the back of the group. The others had their jet skis on full speed and the engine is realllyyy loud so they couldn’t hear me shouting, “HEY!!!! COME BACK!!! COME BACCKKKKKKkkk….”

For a moment I felt like Rose during Titanic :’(

Come back! *blows whistle* /sadface

….

So yeah. Sam and I found ourselves floating on a broken jet ski in the middle of nowhere, and then I started wondering WHY DO THESE THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?

Seriously… every time I go on a holiday, something weird / stupid / dangerous / unlucky / unexpected like this ALWAYS happens. To meee! Never to other people we travel with. ME. Why liddis???????????

Eventually our lovely tour guide realized we were missing and so he came back to get us. He looked like an angel in that moment :)

He checked our jet ski and informed us that we…… ran out of fuel.

*FACE PALM*

Of ALL things, the last reason should be that we ran out of fuel!!!! By right I should’ve complained to the management / hotel. What the hellll why would you rent out a jet ski with insufficient fuel? But I was in a really good mood that day so I decided to let it slide. My tour guide was a very nice guy as well, so I didn’t want to get him in trouble.

The only way for us to get back to the resort at the same time was to tie a rope and securely link the two jet skis together, dragging the broken one along slowly. LOL. We were going really, really slow…

This is me looking bewildered by the whole situation (crazy hair, wind swept for over an hour), and my tour guide, Arti! He’s tall, skinny, dark skinned and speaks with a British accent. If you ever visit Angsana Bintan, go look for him, he’s fantastic at his job! Also mention that Jessica (the one with the broken down jet ski) sent you, LOL see if he remembers.

We shared an enjoyable conversation on our way back while poor Sam was being dragged along on the 2nd jet ski….

It was one heck of an experience all of us won’t forget!! ♥

Tired, but exhilarated! :)

Cooling off in the pool

Isn’t it a beautiful day?

Had to wash out all that saltwater from my mouth and hair… after a quick refreshing shower, we’re back on the beach! Something really calming about dining by the sea, listening to the waves gently brushing ashore and staring into vast blue openness.

The food at bintan is gooodd but expensive, USD $5 for a can of sprite omfg. And 28 USD for some light snacks @_@

Taking a stroll on the beach as the sun sets ♥

Matching slippers provided by the hotel hahaha uber comfy!

Difference in our foot sizes

So peaceful. If I ever worked in a hotel, it’d be a beachside one for sure!

Blue skies & plane trails

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Went back to our hotel room to get a little rest. Seriously sleep deprived these days, there’s just so many things to do :(

This getaway was definitely needed to keep me sane.

An hour later was dinner – BBQ buffet!! YUM!!!!!!!!

I love BBQ food and it’s smoky flavor ♥ And I mean real BBQ, not the cheating type of BBQ like seoul garden using hot pans… You can never replace the natural flavour of real charcoal!

Sam cannot maintain whenever there’s good food around lol

HAHAHAHA LOOK WHAT WE FOUND AT THE FRUIT SECTION!!!

Say hi to Watermelon Man!!! He’s so freaking realistic looking -_- I can’t believe someone actually sat there and carved him out of a bloody watermelon lol

Side view. Whenever I walk past this I swear I feel it’s eyes on my back following me lol

A picture of the live band because they were REALLY good together!!!

I normally hate live lounge singers coz they suckkkk but they were awesome. They sounded like mexicans but they were singing in Malay haha

Immediately after dinner, we went for our spa massage appointment.. wrong move!!!!

I was stuffed to the brim with food, and when the masseuse pressed down hard on my back (I was lying face down) I had the WORST stomach ache + felt like puking and had to hold back my smelly farts throughout the whole session hahaha fml. At least the session was almost 2 hours long and I fell asleep halfway so I was relieved of the discomfort. The spa treatment was awesome, service top notch once again (pampered like queens and kings!), my only complain was that sometimes the massage hurt quite a lot :(

Not sure is it because my muscles were aching like shit or because she was using too much force. Could be both… Woke up the next day with sore muscles everywhere, particularly my shoulders and arms because of the jet skiing aagghhh.

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Caught an early ferry back to Singapore at 8am the following morning. Can’t believe we got so much done in ONE day! We even managed to squeeze in a bit of complimentary buffet breakfast before rushing off.

Goodbye Bintan!!! You were awesome!

Already looking forward to the next time I’m here.