Over the Easter bank holiday, we went to Bintan with our friends Fi & Nav for a little bit of beach hut action. Bintan is a firm favourite amongst Singapore residents, as it’s the perfect beach side getaway, but only an hour ferry ride from Singapore. It is part of the Riau archipelago in Indonesia, so you get all the flavour of being in a different country, without travelling very far. To Will’s delight, the time difference between Bintan and Singapore, means that you arrive at the same time that you depart!
On the recommendation of a friend (cheers Adam!), we stayed on Trikora Beach in a lovely little place called the Shady Shacks. Basic but lovely huts right by the beach, with a little restaurant/bar to provide sustenance and refreshment. With some good friends and a pack of cards, what more do you need?! Trikora Beach is on the other side of the island to Bintan Resorts, which is the part of the island that most people visit. We had an hour drive in a car to arrive, but it was nice to really escape all the hustle and bustle.
The accommodation is basic – take a sarong or something similar to sleep under, and some toilet paper! However, the host, Lobo, is super friendly and very helpful. The menu in the restaurant is centered around fish and chicken, and while we didn’t get bored with the small selection during the time we spent there, I think any more than a few days and you’d be craving something else to eat.
Mostly we spent our time relaxing on the beach; reading books, swimming and chatting away. We also played lots of cards! On the second day we were there, we arranged a boat to take us to one of the little island we could see from the beach, that had the most gorgeous pale sand, and beautiful turquoise water. It was actually a nicer beach than the one just by the Shady Shacks, and was nice to have a little change of scene. After whiling away a few hours there, we came back and had a massage on the beach – bliss!
That evening there was the most gorgeous full moon, and I had a bit of fun trying to spell out letters by moving my camera around to catch the light – what do you think?!
We had a fantastic time on Bintan – it was great going to sleep to the sound of the waves crashing outside, and waking up to see the sun rise over the South China Sea (still sounds impossibly exotic to me!). I can’t speak for the other parts of the islands, but I’d recommend hanging out at Trikora beach if it’s just for a few days, and you don’t mind getting back to basics, whilst soaking up the sunshine and the views.