Sindonesia - Bintan Resorts - Singapore in Indonesia
Bintan Travel Blog› entry 280 of 347 › view all entries
After last night's Insomnia, I found out that it didn't carry over to morning, and wound up missing all of the morning ferries to Bintan, Indonesia.
Dragged myself out of bed, got some coffee, and headed over to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in time for a 2PM Ferry to Bintan. Rode over to Bintan on the Indera Bupala with the upper deck consisting of a full compliment of seating. The upper deck's windows were cleaner...could actually see out the window, hence I stayed upstairs. I was sitting on the left side window...if you are leaving for Bintan, I would suggest sitting on the right side as you get a nicer view of the Singapore skyline in the distance as the boat heads out to see.
Arrived at the Bintan Ferry Terminal, paid my US $10 for Visa on Arrival, got my passport stamp - really the only reason I still went :-) - stopped by the ticket counter to reserve a seat on a return boat that night (only Ferry available was the 20:15 return) and realized that wass still almost six hours away! What to do now...
Walked out of the terminal and quickly realized there wasn't much to do if you weren't hopping right onto a resort bus to where you're reservation is. As I didn't have one...now what?
I walked back into the terminal and saw the Indorent desk for car rentals and such so decided to stop in and see what they could suggest for how to kill the next few hours. As it was already after 2PM, there weren't many choices.
I decided to go ahead and do the suggested itinerary...had nothing else to do and the only real alternative would have been just going right to the beach.
My taxi dropped me off at the ticket desk for the tour...located at the entrance to a true tourist trap area of small shops selling Polo, local crafts, convenience items, and a couple restaurants and "health spas". Wandered around for a few minutes until time for the tour, then off I went for the tour.
I must say, I was expecting the tour to be crap. My expectation was something more touristy where you follow a route with fancy signs, "surprise" sightings, full safety precautions (nets between the river and the trees, etc.) This was much better.
Nirwana Beach Club is part of the Nirwana Gardens resort. This is the location for younger people with cheap lodging and supposedly good entertainment and a nice scene during peak times. Being Sunday evening, it was very quiet, most people finishing up and packing (I saw maybe 10 people on the beach and in the restaurant, and all 10 of them and 20 or so others were waiting for the bus to the ferry terminal when it was time to depart for the last ferry.
Everything was quiet, but got to walk through the beach and the sea and relax for a while, settled down for some dinner and a beer from the club's restautant, and then the sun started to set. I'm glad I didn't get an earlier ferry back to Singapore...this made it all worthwhile! Beautiful sunset...beautiful surroundings.
Caught the 8:15 ferry back on the other ferry to Bintan, the Aria Bupala. This ferry's upper level is not rows of seats, but groups of seats around tables. Much more relaxed, but not as much room on the upper deck.
Made it back to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal around 10:15PM. When I got out of my taxi to go to Bintan, I noticed there weren't many taxis at the terminal, so I decided I wanted to be quick off the boat, through customs, and into the Taxi rank for the ride back to Orchard Bay.
Overall, a nice day!