Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting a tan at Bintan...

Bintan Island a small island in the Indian Ocean, one of many that make up Indonesia. Cheap, exotic, lots of water and located outside Singapore. More than enough reason for 8 of us jobless souls to choose Bintan Island for the weekend.

So we decided to set out in the morning (yes, we do see mornings sometimes :) ) of Saturday. It was a rush from NTU to catch the Ferry to Bintan from Tanah Merah terminal. The ferry ride in itself was beautiful and worth it. We had our own space on the open upper deck with the sea around us and wind in our faces, the smell of salty water combining with cigarette smoke from those around us. The 2 hours flew by in talk and smoke, and before we knew it, we were in Tanjung Pinang terminal in Bintan.

'Immigration' was not more than a girl in a cubicle stamping our passports without giving a second look. We got out quickly, where our transportation took us to Nostalgia Yasin Bungalow, our base and place of stay for the rest of the trip.

Nostalgia was a simply beautiful place. Placed right by the beach side, and right next to its sister resort Agro Bintan resort, Nostalgia gives one the full freedom to enjoy cheap accomodation rates and access to wonderful water sport activities from Agro at the same time. The bungalows were spacious too, and had a beautiful view to the sea.

After a heavy lunch (buurp) we immediately jumped into the water sports. A boat from Agro Bintan took us to a nearby island, where we went into the surrounding sea with our snorkels and lifejackets. The surrounding sea was comparitively shallow, and had a lot of coral reefs which were a beautiful sight to behold as we went snorkelling deeper into the sea, apart from occasionally spotting rare types of fishes and sea plants. The island itself was nothing much to explore except its jungles (which we dint dare delve further into). After rounds of beach volleyball and taking pics, after the sun had tanned us several shades darker, we decided to head back to Nostalgia.

In the evening we decided to explore the city of Tanjung Pinang. Unfortunately, it was'nt much of an exploration. After going through Ramayana Mall and Bintan Mall, we just drove along the busy streets. The streets, shops and general city structure reminded me greatly of India, especially Kerala.

We got back to have a 'high' dinner at Agro Bintan. Lost count of the orders(well who can count when you're flying sky high). That bill also went equally sky high, by the way. Walked (staggered) back to our resort and had a nice lie-down by the beach, before we retreated back to our 'bungalows'.

Sunday was also full of water sports. The 'Flying fish' and 'Banana boat' kept us roaring on the top of our lungs while we were pulled through water at super high speeds. Kayaking was also an adventure, especially when a few kayaks capsized and we had to push the kayaks all the way back and then it got tiring :). Few more rounds of beach volley. Then it was back to resort to freshen up before lunch. The lunch was truly a phenomenon. Indonesian seafood cuisine, not only does it taste good, they do know how to make it look that way. Coconut water was literally flowing over the place by the time we were done. I even found a satisfying vegetarian item called Cap-Cay(on left) which towards the end I realized was not exactly vegetarian :(.

Shopping at the souvenir shop was a marathon. Settling the bill was even worse. Ultimately we forced ourselves out of the shop with stuff worth a few million Indonesian Rupiah (the Rupiah is highly inflated, so u end up talking in millions most of the time). Finally it was time to bye bye. We settled the bills (which has still not settled into us yet) and went back to catch the ferry to Singapore.

2 days later, we settled the accounts. It took 3 hours, 20 phone calls, 3 excel sheets, 4 accountants and a lot of 'approximations' to do. After all, we're all Engineers. By the time we looked at the total amount though, a Doctor is who we needed. Well, so much for a 'cheap' holiday :)

16 comments:

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

Awesome way to spend a weekend da! Simply beautiful location. My college mates are also going to a sea, sand and sea-food trip this weekend to Goa. Wish i could be with them instead of the damn plant. :) Your pics are too good. :)

Viajero said...

Good good....looks like you enjoyed immensely the cheap holiday ;-)
btw what was non-veg abt the cap-cay dish? fish? :-)

*I am back to be where I belonged ;-)

krik krak said...

Indonesia?? Sweeeet..Nothing like some sand and surf for a holiday :)

krik krak said...

And we're not TOTALLY arbitrary now are we ;)

Hari Vishnu said...

@abhi
hehe thanks 4 the comment..sea, sun, sand and sea-food.. together they can make heaven.. well atleast lifes still long, goa trippinu ippolum scope undallo

@viajero
yea the 'secret' ingredient was either chicken or fish.. even the nonveggies cudnt figure out.. and wth, it tasted good, so i had it anyways..

Hari Vishnu said...

@krik krak
yeeap.. nothin like water and sun to remove all memories of the tiring time ahead of u at workplace/college/lab

n yea.. now its not 'totally' arbitrary :)..

The Third Twin said...

yeah dude... that was the best part.. i thought it wud take years for us to formulate and settle the accounts, thanks to few math folks like yu, ashish and amrith, we got it solved in a jiffy, although 'a jiffy' is jus 4 hrs long :P

Amrahs Vijar said...

Seems you changed the Title?Totally Vanished..

Hari Vishnu said...

@naren
the trip in itself was one of the best ive had in my life man..will totally remember this one..if not go once again :)

@rajiv
yep.. 'totally' different now :)

Vinitha Vasanth said...

Had a rocking weekend , right ?
Nice pics ...

Hari Vishnu said...

@vini
yep :) thanks

Drunken Mind.. said...

wow hari...island exploration n all...simply awesome..must ve had a grt time...

Drunken Mind.. said...

wow hari...island exploration n all...simply awesome..must ve had a grt time...

Anil P said...

Flying Fish and Banana Boat, what do they look like?

Hari Vishnu said...

@drunken
yea man weekends are damn boring here so we prefer to waste our times outside :).. and bintan was the right canditate..

@anil
dude theyre sort of inflated rubber boats that u lie on and hold on to.. while a speedboat pulls it along at high speeds.. btw saw ur blog, looks awesome

Twin XL said...

Looks like such a great place to visit!!!