Your trip in one sentence Bintan: Indonesia's paradise beaches one hour away from Singapore!
Why did you travel there ? This trip to Bintan was part of a 10 days journey to South East Asia. together with my sister, we first spent 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, and then 2 days in Singapore (amazing cities by the way!!). As we didn't want loose to much time in transportation, we looked for the closest place offering sandy beaches: it was Bintan, just one hour away by boat.
How did you get there ? By boat: using the services of Bintan Resort Ferries (see link below). It's the easiest way to get to the northern or eastern part of Bintan.
Where did you sleep ? We stayed in a guesthouse: Mutiara Bintan Guesthouse (see link below). We were sleeping in a pondok. The pondok are local beach huts. You can find a couple of guesthouses renting pondok as accommodations, but there are hundreds of them that you can rent directly on the beach, to rest on the shade.
What was the biggest cultural shock ? No running water, electricity available only between 6 and 11pm: well, that a bit of change compare to our European way of like! :)
No accurate maps of Bintan exists: even the Google map is empty!
What was your most interesting encounter ? The crew of the guesthouse.
All local guys, very nice and helpful. They took us to a fishing/snorkeling trip to be remembered!
We\'ve been to the coral reef that was their playground when they were child: a nice colorful reef, inhabited by clown fishes and stingrays.
Then, we caught some fishes using a very basic tactic: just some fishing line with two hooks, terminated by a sinker. You use some small pieces of squid as bait, you throw your line into the water. Then when the sinker reach the sea floor, you hope a big fish will bite. Hen you feel the bite, you surface your line: hopefully the agitated fish will still be there! So fun! :)
We also met a Belgian couple: they have been working in Singapore for almost twenty years, and yet it was their first trip to Bintan. They had just one regret about it: to have discovered the island just now!! They really liked the place, and told us that Bintan have a really negative image in Singapore ("it's an industrial place").
What did you do at night ? No that much to do at night. No clubs, no bars, no restaurants. Trikora is definitively not the destination for pub crawls and clubbing!
What were your cultural activities ? Reading!
Can you a think of a better place to read than lying in a hamac under the coconut trees?
May fishing be considered as cultural activity? :)
Your favourite local word ? Ikan bilis: a local specie of anchovy. Fishermen catch these small fish at night, in their kelong. Then, they dry them on the floor during the day.
The kelong are floating fihing huts, where the fishermen spend their night fishing, using a light as bait.
At night, you'd see dozens of lights in the open sea, coming from all the kelong: wonderful view!
Your favourite local food ? All the fishes we tasted (including the ones we caught!) were delicious. The coconut crepes served for breakfast at the guesthouse were awesome!! (served with sugar, fresh lime and fresh coconut)
Your favourite place ? The beach of the guesthouse.
This beach is located in the northern part of the Trikora beach, which streches out on about 20km on the eastern side of Bintan. Really enjoyable beach: sandy, deserted (very few tourists, some local fisherman), shaded by coconut trees.
Will you go again ? Sure!
I hope to go back to Singapore as I really loved the city, and of course I will go back to Trikora, and try to spend more time exploring the other parts of the Bintan island.
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