I recently told a friend that I took a short but excellent holiday and he replied "Eh! What's so good about Bintan?!". Maybe Bintan wouldn't suit a party animal but if you are a family man like myself or you love chilling out, there's a high chance you'll LOVE Bintan.
I stayed at the Nirwana Resort Hotel so the list below might just be applicable to their chain of resorts. Sorry but I have no idea what the other resorts offer! Well my dear readers, here are 10 things worth doing in Bintan...
1) International Breakfast Buffet at The Coffeeshop - Their buffet breakfast is da bomb!!! It makes waking up worth the hassle. I'm not a morning person but I'll wake up any day to stuff my face with bacon, sausages and the to-die-for scramble eggs!!! For the record, I only missed breakfast once thanks to a horrible hangover. Tequila is a bad bad drink!
2) All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) - You can either drive through jungle trails that have been designed with sharp bends and steep slopes or cruise along the beach. Either way, you'll enjoy yourself. Yep!
3) The Eco-Farm Tour - This is a hour and a half tour that brings you through an eco-farm. See how fruit trees are planted and fish are reared. Besides the guided tour, you'll get to feed the fish and goats and you'll top off the tour with a fruit tasting session!
4) Nirwana Resort Centre - This new entertainment centre is a wonderful addition to an already fantastic resort. You can ride an elephant at the Jumbo Park, have a round of archery or go BANG BANG at the air rifle range. We however opted for two rounds of bowling followed by an hour of Pool.
5) Paintball - I looooove paint ball! This attraction is also housed at the Nirwana Resort Centre. If you're with a big group, go paintball!!! If you are in a smaller group, try looking around for another group of folks to play against. Nothing beats the satisfaction of kicking a stranger's ass!
* You need a minimum of 4 people to paintball.
6) Jet-ski, Kayaking & Banana Boat - We're talking sea sports baby! I'm not big on sea sports but I know of friends that are. From what I observed from the beach, the instructors are nice and professional. That can only mean one thing. You'll be in safe hands!
7) ZOOM Band fronted by Apip Sutardi - You have got to check out this band! I had the privlidge of listening to them two nights in a row and they are GOOD!!! If there is ever a chance of getting them a gig in Singapore, I'll help them out in a heartbeat. You can catch them at La Luna Beach Club and The Pub. Do check with the hotel reception for more information...
8) Massage - All the resorts have their own spas so I don't have to recommend one. The key here is to choose a form of massage that suits you. I personally love soothing massages that drifts me off to snooze land. So go ahead and book your appointment and relaaaaaaaaaaaaax....
9) The Kelong Restaurant - You can be assured that the restaurant serves the freshest seafood. The seafood you order is either removed from fish tanks or from traditional kelong nets in the sea. Everything we ate tasted so good because it was fresh. Oh god, I'm drooling just thinking of the Gong Gong! Slurp!
10) The Beach - Last but not least, do yourself a favour by chilling-out by the beach! Leave your mobile phone in the room and bring along your favourite beverage. Mine would be Indonesia's very own Bintang Beer. Forget work, your worries and whatever B.S you have going on in your life and enjoy the sun, sand and the sea!
ps: You can get an ALL-IN-PASS from the Nirwana Resort Hotel activity desk. We only found out there was such a thing when we were on the way home. Grrr... Anyhow, it's S$33++ per person and you get the following: Elephant ride, horse ride, archery, air rifle, kayaking, body boarding, snorkelling, bowling and flying fox.)