Hey everyone! So if you follow me on my Instagram and on YouTube, you might have come across some photos and videos from my recent trip to Bintan, Indonesia. This is a little overdued, but here’s my recap of my Bintan trip. Hopefully this will help anyone who’s looking for a new travel destination in that region, especially if you headed to Singapore and have extra days to spend elsewhere!
Bintan is a 50 minute ferry ride away from Singapore with regularly ferries running until about 8pm. Adrian and I landed in Singapore late in the evening so we decided to stay the night at Changi airport since the ferry terminal is only a short 10 minute taxi ride away from the airport and we could easily get there in the morning. As it was on a weekday, it wasn’t crowded and is probably when you should aim for going if you’re planning a trip there. I would assume weekends would be busier as Singaporeans would be making a weekend getaway. I mentioned before that I have anxiety issues so I booked my tickets in emerald class which isn’t too expensive but it was well worth the upgrade price is you need a more comfy ride away from crowds. As this was a trip organised by Tourism Indonesia, I stayed in 4 different locations so that I can give a more informational article. All of the locations I chose have very different experiences and you can find below a summary of what I thought of each destination, and there’s links to the individual hotel reviews if you need more info.
– Air Adventures Bintan – A definite must do item on your check list. You get breathtaking views of the entire island, and Stuart the owner and pilot is a great guy who will take care of you and talk you through the entire flight. It’s not scary at all, trust me!
– Lohan Temple, Mangrove Tours, Firefly Tour – Due to time constraints and weather, I didn’t manage to do any of these, but they were the top of my list from my research into the island. If you have extra time, you might want to consider checking out the city but it’s a little far south.
– Indonesian Cuisine – I don’t think you’ll go wrong at any authentic Indonesian joints. I mostly ate at all the four accomodations below so I can’t give much recommendations except for having seafood at Kelong. Now this is important, note that there is “The Kelong Seafood Restaurant” at Nirwana Gardens, and there is “Aneka Seafood Kelong Restaurant” which is located near the mangroves tour. It’s a less classy place but apparently the food there is good. If you’re after a great view for photos but slightly more expensive seafood, I’d recommend the one in Nirwana.
1) Nikoi Island:-
– They recently were recognised as one of the world best private islands.
– Perfect for couples or small families or nature lovers. There’s only 15 villas on the island and you can actually book the entire island for yourself for a private wedding or event.
– Getting there is about an hour’s car ride from the ferry terminal upon arrival. Nikoi island handles all your transfers so they’re already there to welcome and greet you from the moment you step off the boat.
– Food here is AMAZING. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all inclusive in a daily packaged price. Everything in sourced locally and they use local organic produce. Love that they catered to dietary needs and keep you informed of your next meal on the island and give you options.
– Lots of activities to keep you busy except there do not have motorised water sports. Do try rock climbing as that was such a great experience being able to climb to the top.
– Overall if you’re looking for a relaxing stay, away from crowds, not worrying about activity time limits etc and want to just enjoy island life, this is the perfect spot!
– More pictures and insights in my review of Nikoi Island here!
2) Banyan Tree Bintan:-
– Both Nikoi and Banyan Tree equally share the top spot on my personal list.
– Perfect for a romantic getaway or a luxury escape. I would recommend the Angsana who are right next to it as it’s more suitable for families and kids.
– Location wise it’s a mere 10 minute drive away from the ferry terminal so you get to leave at the very last minute to catch your ferry back.
– There are 2 restaurants, one is a Thai restaurant and the other an Indonesian restaurant. Both were really amazing but I definitely had the best Indonesian food I had in my life here. The satays and beef ribs were divine and I quite liked their ‘otak-otak’ (barbequed fish cakes) which I normally don’t eat but these I’ll have any day.
– Apart from their restaurants, they actually have several very amazing spots which they can turn into a luxurious destination dining spot. I really think this is a perfect place to celebrate a anniversary or birthday if you’re looking for a relaxing celebration.
– We stayed in an amazing villa that had its own private pool so it was luxury at its finest. I’d highly recommend booking one of these if you had a party of four and you would definitely enjoy every minute of it!
– Lots of activities you can sign up for in their beach sports centre. I did jetskiing and ATV which was good fun!
– More pictures and insights in my review of Banyan Tree here!
3) Treasure Bay:-
– I only stayed here for one night, so I perhaps I’m not able to give a good summary as I didn’t explore and experience as much as I could, but this spot had the most activities so that’s a highlight.
– Great for people looking for more water activities but note that they aren’t near the ocean so there isn’t snorkelling or diving available. It’s literally a large swimming pool, in fact the largest lagoon in South East Asia. Its water is crystal clear and there is heaps of activities on site to keep you entertained. I did wakeboarding, jetovator and a mangrove kayaking tour. There were heaps of things to do that I didn’t get a chance due to my schedule to but it’s definitely a destination for fun.
– Accommodation wise, their concept is glamping – Glamorous Camping! It’s such a cute tent from the outside but inside everything is a lovely plush copper theme with an outdoor ensuite bathroom. Best of all – the pool is just meters away!
4) Club Med
– If you’re coming with a bigger family, or are looking to stay within the premises for several days, club med might be suitable for you.
– They’re an ‘all-inclusive’ hotel which means that all your meals and drinks are included in the price you paid for the room so you don’t need to worry about paying for anything while you’re there, it’s all included!
– They have a good spa and a trapezium where you can see if you have a calling to join the circus one day. I really wanted to try it but didn’t managed to sadly.
– Foodwise there have buffet lines with lots of international choices.
– I probably can’t give a good summary either for Club Med as I got food poisoning on the 2nd or 3rd day of my stay here and we truthfully didn’t really enjoy the food or atmosphere here, but it’s still worth considering if you’re looking for a more social space with crowds suiting families.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my very long summary. Do check out my two videos that I put together from my trip below so get more insights into the island, and I hope this has been helpful! Perhaps it might also be a good idea to stay at 2 of these spots over a week. Enjoy!