Alvinology goes to Bintan – Day 1 of 3

By alvinology, April 23, 2010 9:20 am
Ah... beach life
Ah… beach life

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.

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.

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
Waiting to board our ferry
Waiting to board our ferry
On the pier to board our ferry
On the pier to board our ferry
Ferry interior
Ferry interior
There's a TV inside that keeps playing Mr Bean
There’s a TV inside that keeps playing Mr Bean

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.

At Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal
At Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal
Shopping area at the ferry terminal
Shopping area at the ferry terminal
The driver from Yasin who picked us up at the terminal
The driver from Yasin who picked us up at the terminal
On the road
On the road
Going through the Agro beach brochure
Going through the Agro beach brochure

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.

Nostalgia Yasin
Nostalgia Yasin
The little huts where Rachel and I stayed for the night
The little huts where Rachel and I stayed for the night
Walking on stilits to get to our hut
Walking on stilts to get to our hut
Another picture of the kelong houses and structure
Another picture of the kelong houses and structure
The huts from a distance
The huts from a distance
The interior of the Yasin hut
The interior of the Yasin hut
By the balcony
By the balcony
Neighbours can peek at each other
Neighbours can peek at each other
Rachel doing some quiet reading
Rachel doing some quiet reading

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.

Pavilion to hang around
Pavilion to hang around
I can see the sea beneath our little hut
I can see the sea beneath our little hut
Snooker table
Snooker table
Beach chairs
Beach chairs

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?

On the tri-bike
On the tri-bike
Landscape that flies us by on the tri-bike
Landscape that flies us by on the tri-bike
This is what the tri-bike looks like
This is what the tri-bike looks like
Spotted this vintage car at Agro
Spotted this vintage car at Agro
Some of the sea sports amenities at Agro
Some of the sea sports amenities at Agro

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.

The main building for Oceanic Spa
The main building for Oceanic Spa
The reception at Oceanic Spa
The reception at Oceanic Spa
Preparing for our massage
Preparing for our massage
Thai massage by the sea
Thai massage by the sea
Watched the resort staff kept the sea-sports facilities during our massage
Watched the resort staff kept the sea-sports facilities during our massage
The pavilion for massage
The pavilion for massage

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.

Sun Moon restaurant
Sun Moon restaurant
The menu
The menu
Somebody made early reservation
Somebody made early reservation
Browsing through the menu
Browsing through the menu
Waiting for our meal
Waiting for our meal
Dinner is served
Dinner is served
Rachel's order
Rachel’s order
My order
My order
Happy Soda!
Happy Soda!
Another picture of the soda
Another picture of the soda
The waitress offered to take a picture for us
The waitress offered to take a picture for us

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.

Sun set
Sun set
Rachel standing on a rock
Rachel standing on a rock
Me, by the rocks
Me, by the rocks
restaurant view
restaurant view
Planks leading to the restaurant
Plank walkway leading to the restaurant
Me, on the walkway
Me, on the plank walkway
Parked small boats
Parked small boats

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.

Night time at Nostalgia Yasin
Night time at Nostalgia Yasin
Enjoying the sea breeze
Enjoying the sea breeze
Our own "outdoor cinema" by the sea
Our own “outdoor cinema” by the sea
Goodnight
Goodnight

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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One Response to “Alvinology goes to Bintan – Day 1 of 3”

  1. Lia says:

    Hi there!!

    It looks really fun! I’d love to go to Bintan with my bf before we start getting bz for our wedding preps & furthermore its actually for his birthday!

    So am wondering, hows the massage at Oceanic Spa?? Do you get massage by a male or female? Is it possible to request for male massage for him? Coz he wouldn’t want a female therapists…

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Cheers;
    Lia

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