Monday, September 24, 2012

A trip to Bintan Indonesia with Friends

Ofcourse, I was with my friends; obviously :)

We went to Bintan last weekend, so yeah my trips lately outside of Singapore has been hectic.  I had no major trips outside Singapore except when I had to go to Cebu, my hometown to visit my family.

Anyway, Bintan is really near to Singapore like it's a 45 minute-ferry ride.  Early dawn of Saturday, I received miss calls from Chritian as I have asked them to call me so I can wake up early as I did not trust my alarm (or perhaps myself).  Usually weekends for me is like holy when it comes to sleeping :)) I can wake up at noon.  That's how late I start my weekends.  Yup, to be on the ferry terminal at Tanah Merah early, I decided to take a cab.  I was planning to actually take the train but I felt I'll not be able to make it so I had to cough up 20 dollars for the cab.  I arrived at the terminal on time and my friends were already there, queuing for out tickets.  I met them in their queue and gave my passport after the small talk :)  I did not take my breakfast so I found this Killiney coffee house and there I ordered teh (tea with milk) and kaya toast (slice bread with kaya; a spread made of coconut).  My friends finished their checkin and stuff and we got our tickets. We queued to going to the immigration and all the security stuff and no later that 10 minutes, we found ourselves boarding the ferry and off we went to Bintan Indonesia :)

We had a villa for ourselves at Nirwana resorts.  It's a two storey house, with two big common rooms and a  master's bedroom.  It's somehow furnished. In fact one can cook their food there which was part of our plan.  When we arrived at the resort, it was actually about lunch time in the coming hour.  Since we had our packed lunch we just looked for a nice place to have lunch :)

At around 1PM we were able to check-in at our villa.

There were so many things to do.  After we have settled ourselves, our first activity was the ATV. Unfortunately, it was not available and they that it's going to be on the next day that they'll resume operations :(  So we just decided to bathe into beach.  Hmmm there was actually a Meta Man - it's a triathlon actually and to my surprise, Sen. Pia Cayetano; senator of the upper house of the Philippines, was joining the event.  Anyway, the afternoon was the start of the swimming competition which made our stay there different.  For most of us, it was our first time watching a live triathlon.  There were jelly fishes in their beach so it was not that fun actually and their sand is a bit muddy so it did not feel good because when you splash and swim it would turn a bit murky.  Anyway, we explored their beach on the other side and the view is nice but not as good as we had in the Philippines - sorry if I am comparing....  Anyway, I told my friends that I'd go to the pool :)  I spent like an hour or two at the pool just enjoying the scenery and cheering the triathletes.  They were in the marathon competition already and they happen to pass by near the infinity pool.  To my surprise, Sen. Pia Cayetano was there and so I can't help but cheer.  At around 4PM my friends joined me at the pool.  My friends wanted to go back to the villa and prepare for dinner but then I asked them to cheer for Sen. Cayetano and at around 5PM she had the 2nd round already and when she was near the pool side we were shouting, "Go Ms. Pia" - she did smile at us but I think she find it so strange :D
Well,  it was getting dark already and we had to go back to our villa so we can prepare for dinner.  I think I made a mistake in my timing simply because I was using the Singapore time.  Indonesia is 1 hour advance :P

After everyone was ready, we were headed to The Kelong restaurant.  We waited for the hotel service for a few minutes then off we went to the restaurant.  To our surprise we saw Senator Pia again and so we did cheer and blurted, "Go Ms. Pia! Mabuhay!".   Anyway, we arrived at the restaurant a bit hungry and the good thing was, the place was not crowded.  Getting our orders was fast and the guy serving our table was friendly and it felt we were not too rushed unlike in Singapore restaurants where the service is a bit rushed :))  The food was good and the service was quite good so after our heavy dinner, we tipped the guy 10 Singapore dollars.  There was nothing to do actually so we just decided to go back to our villa and had our karaoke.  My friends brought their portable karaoke :) As usual, it' fun singing with friends =))

We decided to check the beats from outside and it was actually the Meta Man challenge finish line.  I think the organizers party.  The triathletes has been active for the last 16 hours as shown in the finish line clock.  I was so amazed at how sporty these people are.  I even saw some athletes at their late forties as you can see in their whitish hair :D  It left an impression on me to be a bit sporty as well or simply put I have to be fit :P I stopped going to the gym actually and I have not been jogging and not even doing the dance exercise in our Xbox Kinect.   It was getting dark so we decided to go back to our hotel to sleep already;)

Early morning, my friends were already cooking for breakfast.  Since there's a free breakfast for two because we had two extra beds, Christian and I took the free meal.  Mamul asked us to bring back some butter for the bread.   The breakfast served at Nirwana was quite good so I was full again. We took some butter and strawberry spreads. Then off we went back to our villa.  My friends were still eating and the German sausage I brought was really nice to look at so I had my hands on them.  They also prepared some spam so yeah I also devoured some.  After our breakfast, the first order of business was to go for an ATV ride.  Then the unexpected happened.  We were like being passed from one counter to the other just to get to their ATV and everyone was already exasperated because of the long walks.  For the last time, we demanded to the hotel staff to bring us to the correct place already. So they decided to give us a free ride going to the ATV venue.  Good thing we pushed through for the ATV for it was so fun.  The trails was really nice and a bit challenging.  Too bad, we only had few minutes left because we need to go back to Singapore early. With that, we only had 30 minutes ATV. But the whole thirty minutes was really fun.  I think I am going for an ATV adventure in Bintan in the near future.

After the ride, we went back to our villa.  We still have some few hours to prepare so some of us went to dip at the pool and some had the elephant and horse back riding activities. Me ? I went to the pool :D

One hour has passed and it was time to pack up.  It was rather fast to pack and we need to checkout from the resort at 1PM.  We waited for some few minutes to take the free bus ride going to the ferry terminal.

After some immigration stuff and some waiting, we boarded and off we went back to Singapore :)

I then realized I miss the wifi connection I had in Singapore.  Wireless internet at Nirwana is 30 Singapore dollars - quite expensive as most hotels nowadays are offering free wifi.  It was a fun experience but I think KL is more affordable and exciting if you want to have a vacation without the beach thing.  I think the beach part at Bintan is not that good as well so I think going to KL is more enjoyable.

Good night everyone and enjoy the weekdays?

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