Bintan Island: Enjoy That Perfect Beach Vibe An Hour Away From Singapore
Singapore is one of the easiest, most convenient and budget-friendly places to go to from the Philippines. You probably had rounds of shopping and gone through well-known tourist spots here, but admit it: the country lacks the wild beach vibe we sometimes look for to complete a getaway experience. Luckily, Singapore is near to its island neighbors rich in beaches and fantastic shorelines. So, before going back to Manila, me and my family decided to cruise to Bintan Island, a place I’d say in no doubt could be considered a chunk of Singapore because of its accessibility.
Bintan Island or Negeri Segantang Lada is an island in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia. It is a part of the Riau Islands province with Tanjung Pinang as the capital, which lies on the South of the island and is considered to be the island’s main community.
Singapore, being the closest major city from Bintan Island, has its ferry terminal in Tanah Merah to travel conveniently to the island in just less than an hour. It is probably quicker than traveling from city to city within Manila. We traveled using Bintan Resort Ferries, which is the most popular ferry service from Tanah Merah in Singapore to Bintan Island.
Our roundtrip tickets cost S$64 for an adult and $54 for a child. These rates are for off-peak days (Mondays-Thursdays). Rates a little higher for peak days (Fridays-Sundays), so you might want to consider traveling on weekdays to save on costs and avoid the road traffic and long queues (yes, we encountered some traffic since Tanah Merah is near industrial zones where you can encounter big trucks and construction vehicles). You must arrive at the terminal 1.5 hours before departure time.
A travel for three – me, husband and daughter, as easy as:
1) Ride the taxi from Singapore hotel going to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
2) Go to the counter to buy tickets
3) Go through Immigration counter and baggage inspection (as you’re technically leaving the country)
4) Wait for the departure
Tip: Fill up your Immigration card ahead of time so everything is ready once you arrive at Bintan terminal.
After 45 minutes from Singapore, we were technically in another country: Indonesia! This is Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal. After queuing for immigration and a quick baggage inspection, we waited for a private bus to bring us to the hotel.
As this is the same terminal on your way back to Singapore, you can still opt to buy some goodies and souvenirs here for last minute shopping.
Nirwana Gardens is one of the biggest resorts in Bintan Island, boasting of 330 hectares of lush tropical land and powder-soft beaches. This is where we decided to stay since it has a lot to offer new visitors. The resort has scheduled coach services aligned to ferry arrivals and took us only 15 minutes to arrive to the hotel from Bintan Ferry Terminal.
The hotel has clean and crisp rooms with relaxing lush greenery outside. It is a mix of contemporary and Indonesian style with wooden sliding doors, rattan chairs and carved wood accents that builds its character.
An infinity pool that virtually extends to the sea
The pool has its jacuzzi corner where you can have a relaxing back massage while enjoying the lush landscape, and a mini pool bar which opens at night.