Recently we travelled for a few days to Bintan, which is an island located in the North West of Indonesia, close to Singapore. Bintan is mostly known as a weekend destination for Singaporeans. The ferry ride from Singapore to Bintan only takes about one hour. Bintan offers sport activities such as golf or wakeboarding and besides, the prices in Bintan are way cheaper when it comes to food and so on compared to Singapore.
Nowadays, Bintan has its own airport, located in the city Tanjung Pinang. The flight from Jakarta to Bintan takes about one and a half hours and airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya or Lion Air operate to Bintan. As an alternative, it is also possible to fly to Singapore first and then take the ferry. But since we all came from Jakarta, a domestic flight was way easier and faster.
Now, Bintan itself is not a very attractive destination - in our opinion. The island itself is not the smallest, but there is not much to do on the entire island. The south is quite uninteresting, because there is not much to do when it comes to activities. After we arrived at the Tanjung Pinang airport, which is located in the south-west of Bintan, we took a car and drove up to the northern part. On the way, we saw plenty of greens and forests, but all in all, the southern part is quite isolated and empty. As far as you can see, there are many new buildings for future stores or restaurants, but most of them are empty.
In the northern part of the island, where also one of the ferry terminal to Singapore is located, you can find many hotels and resorts such as the Banyan Tree or the Nirwana Resort. The region there is called Lagoi. It reminds a bit of the BTDC in Nusa Dua, Bali, which is a district where many resorts with their private beaches are located next to each other.
The beaches in the northern part of Bintan are mostly private and belong to one of the resorts. Often it is just allowed to visit them, if you are a guest at the resort. In general, the sand and beaches in Bintan are not the prettiest, but nice enough to relax and swim in.
The reason why we ventured to Bintan was work-related. We were invited to come to the Treasure Bay, which is the biggest saltwater lagoon pool in Southeast Asia. It is located close to all the resorts in the northern island part and seems like a little town itself. Around the lagoon pool, there are plenty of water activities located such as wakeboarding, an obstacle park, boat rides and more. The water in the lagoon is salt water and the lagoon itself is very clear and nice to swim in. Around the lagoon, there are a few beach areas with sand, sunbeds and palmtrees. All in all, the area at Treasure Bay sends out great vibes and invites you to relax by the water and enjoy the day. You will definitely not have the same feeling as you would be relaxing at a real beach, but it gets quite close.
We rented a few eBikes to explore the surroundings of the lagoon and tried out a few water activities. Just hanging out by the water and relaxing, was great. The water is very clear and offers you also a great exercise just swimming in the lagoon pool.
On our last day, we had the great opportunity to fly in a seaplane. Yes - a seaplane! It takes off and lands on water, and the plane itself can only carry two persons including pilot. To be honest, it did not look quite safe. Basically like it was built together in a garage on a single day. But I admit, it was such a great experience. We took off on the lagoon and slowly increased in height. Treasure Bay is surrounded by heaps of greens and very close to the ocean. Shortly after takeoff, we flew across the forests and the ocean, being able to see until Singapore and Malaysia. On that day, it was great weather and the breeze was very soothing and nice. The plane itself is completely open. You had to wear sunglasses and earphones, otherwise it would have been too windy. Via the earphones, you were able to speak and listen to the pilot. Our pilot was a British expat in Bintan, former living in Singapore, that did a great job as a pilot. Tip: he told us that he is going to fly one of the sea planes to Bali soon and they will offer seaplane flights in Bali as well then.
Definitely the flight was our highlight and hey - whenever you are with good company, it does not really matter where you are, you will have fun everywhere!
Don't forget to watch our short video about our Bintan trip and let us know what you think!
Love, Marissa & Juliette