Dear1 and Dear2 went for a short getaway to Bintan the last few days. Dear1 and Dear2 has been going for short and cheap getaways the past few years, and for 2007, as we are happily settling down in our twosome house, we kind of forgot that we have not went out for this year. So when the Simply Her Third Anniversary Promotions phamphlet came, Dear1 and Dear2 compared the promotional price for 3D2N Bintan Lagoon Resort, versus the usual package. Hmm…. A few tens of dollars in savings only for the $300 deal, considering that the promotional package does not include ferry tickets which cost up to $40+ per person on a weekday. Okay lah, since Dear1 and Dear2 needs a break anyway.
Off we went to Bintan. Dear1 and Dear2 took MRT to Bedok Interchange, where we had a full breakfast and then took bus 35 to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The ferry leaves at 11.05am, so we targetted to reach at 10am. Surprise surprise, the bus stop was just right outside the ferry terminal! And Dear2 thought that we had to walk a distance. Heehee.
The 1 hour ferry ride was supposed to be a plus point for Singaporeans who want a quick getaway. Afterall, what other forms of travel takes only 1 hour? The cheap Genting Highlands getaway, though cheap, requires at least 6 hours of bus ride. Anywhere else, time taken to travel to the destination takes at least half a day. Mind you, for the sea-weak, brace yourself for choppy waters. The 1 hour ferry was hell for Dear2. How am I going to bear the return ferry back? Groan…
We reached Bintan Lagoon Resort at 12+. The hotel staff were quite seasoned for early check-ins, with many tourists checking in before the official 3pm. We had to wait a while before the room can be ready though, but for the ‘free’ early check-in, the half hour wait was worth it.
As in Singapore, December seems to be a rainy period for Bintan as well. For the 3 days that we were there, it rained 2 days. Lucky for Dear1 and Dear2, Day 2 of our stay was relatively dry. We managed to play frisbee by the beach, went archery, driving range golfing and had high tea at the Horizons Cafe (the latter 3 were complimentary from the Simply Her promotion) all on the second day. Dear1 and Dear2 kinda enjoyed the 40 balls free on the driving range, it being our very first time experiencing golf. We wanted to go back on Day3, rental of $6 for 80 balls and $3 per club, but Day3 was raining the whole morning until we left Bintan, so just too bad. Else, what better chance to do all the malu things in the unpopulated driving range in Bintan, where nobody knows you? Heehee…
One very bad experience with Bintan would have to be the shuttle bus to Pasar Oleh Oleh. We took the 3.30pm bus to the Pasar, but had to return via the 4.30pm bus back to the hotel. And that is because the hotel does not allow buses to enter at night. Fair enough, but the attendant should have informed us when we enquired about the bus schedules. The Bintan Resorts Management ought to update the bus timings on their tourist brochure as well. So misleading!!!! Lucky for us, since Dear2 had been to Bintan on 2 previous occasions, we quickly ordered our zi char for takeaways, bought $10 worth of 6 packets of tidbits ($4 per pak in the resort, which we had during the half hour waiting time) and 3 cans of beer at $5, and were ready to head to back to the hotel. Period.
Overall, the trip was okay, not exactly fun as there really wasn’t much to do. The Simply Her promotion was worth it – we calculated about $50 in incentives that we utilized, include 1 beer and 1 soft drink at the Silk. The amount would have been more if we had used the 10% off spa and hair services, and Buy-1-Round-18-Holes-Free-1 promotions. The Live Band performance at Silk was sn eye-opener as well, with the strong vocals, strong drums, and strong band of 7 people.
Dear2 will not want to go back to Bintan again though, after 3 visits now. The choppy waters proves to be a deterent, though you just have to 1) endure it for 1 hour, or 2) stay focused on the TV mobile, or 3) go to sleep, or 4) read a book , or 5) a combination of read book and sleep. Food problem is a problem too in Bintan, where you either dine at the expensive restaurants on the resort or bring your own cup noodles and snacks (that’s what a lot of people do – we asked ourselves during check-in, are they going picnic or what?). Or you may considering having pizza at Silk – resonably priced and yummy with super fresh seafood. Oiishii…. (Or are we simpy too hungry?)