Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bintan Lagoon Resort

07 Nov - Feeling the urge for a weekend day away from Singapore, together with our group of friends, we decided on Bintan Lagoon Resort for a cheap low cost holiday to relax. From the website available, the resort really looks posh (https://www.bintanlagoon.com). With the early bird discount available, we decided on renting a villa to accommodate our group.

To start the day, we need to catch our ferry really early in the morning at an ulu Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal that requires us to take a bus No. 35 from Bedok. Reaching the ferry terminal, we quickly check in for our MOZAIC ferry ticket to the Bintan Lagoon Terminal. It was unlucky that 2 of our group people are not feeling well, but they decided to go on the trip anyway.

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Once inside the small departure hall, it was a sea of  people again. Looks like a lot of the Singaporean are going for a Bintan weekend staycation just like us!

"People Mountain People Sea"

Soon, we are on our way to Bintan via Sindo 6. On the ticket, it was indicated the trip to Bintan will be a 90 mins ride. However, it actual fact, the whole journey took 120 mins. Perhaps this is an indication of "Indonesian time"? Everything indicated will likely be delayed by 15-30 mins?

Sindo 6

After a 2 hour journey on sea (which I fall asleep halfway), we finally reached the Bintan Lagoon Terminal. It is pretty amazing that the government built a custom solely for receiving the guests coming and leaving the Bintan Lagoon Resort. I guess the intention for such convenience is to create a major pull factor for tourist to come here and spent their tourist dollars. Well, as soon we cleared custom and entered the building, we are greeted with a traditional welcome dance and a refreshing welcome drink.

Traditional Welcome Dance

After waiting for about 45 mins ("In Indonesian time..aka slow...") for the check-in crowd to clear, we finally reached the villa we have secured. Truth be told, the whole building is quite spacious and looks posh. The only complain I have is that I saw a dead cockroach in one of the kitchen dustbin. Guess the housekeeping forgot to clear the dead pest out... -.-!

Our Villa - Buganvil 30

The Living Room

As we had a very early breakfast, by the time we finished putting our bags down and changed out for our snorkeling trip, our stomach are already protesting pretty badly. To save time, we decided to head out to the beach and have our lunch at the RICE Restaurant. Here comes our second shock for the day: The price of the dishes at the restaurant are not cheap. Each dish can easily cost SGD$20, excluding 21% government tax and service charge! Well, I do see lots of "IDR 200,000s" on the menu. I really wonder why Singaporean are still complaining about 17% GST and service charge back home.....

The snorkeling trip went well. This is the first time that we are literally swimming among the fishes. With a bread in hand, you will get to experience swarms of fishes crowding around you. Well, some of the fish decides to think my body is food for them and occasionally kisses my skin.

After our 90 mins snorkeling trip, we laze around on the beach for a while before joining in a impromptu beach volleyball competition. We played 6 sets of 15 points game. This is the first time after 12 years that I get to touch volleyball again. A bit rusty but we get to exercise our muscles well. At the end of the game, I can feel my muscles going jelly. Haha~ After washing up, its time for dinner!

We decided on a Japanese restaurant since the description on the resort map looks good. Having experience the prices of the RICE Restaurant during lunch, we were kind of prepared for the prices shown on the Japanese restaurant menu. I decided on having teppanyaki while my *mds* decides on the eel and rice combination.

Japanese Theme Restaurant

Shiitake Mushroom - Too salty, but the sauces are nice though

Teppanyaki Chicken and Teppanyaki Sotong are nice!

After dinner, with nothing else to do and one of our friend is so sick that a doctor has to be called in, we rested for the night. Next morning, we head off to Kopi-O for our buffet breakfast. Since this is already included in our accommodation, we simply have to eat our fill for both the breakfast and lunch.

Buffet Breakfast

We need to check out of our room at 1pm after asking for late checkout. While waiting for our 5pm ferry to take us back to Singapore mainland, we proceed to the leisure center for our free archery game which we have won yesterday while playing the beach volleyball competition.

Another welcome dance welcoming the new tourist for the day (Seen during our checkout)

Archery Game

Overall, it was a tiring but fulfilling stay-cation. Will I go back to Bintan Lagoon Resort? Probably not. The prices of the food there is so much more expensive.

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