I haven’t written anything here for almost a month. I have a huge back log of things to write about. When I find time, I’ll write and edit some of them and post it this month.
The hiatus can be explained. I took a long vacation last month. Yes, an extended relaxing vacation!As usual I spent some time in Singapore. I had to take care of some personal business there but I never forgot about traveling. My life will never be complete without it!
After some days in Singapore I visited an Indonesian resort in Bintan island, about an hour from the eastern coast of Singapore by ferry (catamaran). From the Tana Merah seaport, a very impressive and modern terminal, the ferry goes straight to Bintan port where the resort buses are waiting to take holiday makers to their respective hotels. It was convenient as you don’t have to think about how to get to the place you rented. The island is an hour behind our time.
Accommodation is up to you – mine was for a simple stay, I wanted to see the islands natural beauty over the luxury its resorts can offer. After some some biking the following morning I saw vast forest and some creeks that leads to the sea. It did not disappoint as it was really a great nature place. There was this boat activity where one could enjoy observing the mangroves and its natural inhabitants.
Bintan has greatly been developed by Singaporean investors and the local government. Because of this, it has been drawing up tourist money, providing locals with livelihoods. The beach is far from what we have back home but the resort(s), its staff and facilities, are definitely world class. What impress me the most is that the people that run the resorts try to balance development, while preserving refuge for local wildlife, plants and it scenic coastlines – which is among the longest I’ve seen.
There were no Komodo Dragon around but I did get up close with Sumatran elephants. They were amazing giants this is the first time that I got close to touch these gentle beast’s. The resort where we stayed had a small area where they keep pythons, huge rare fishes, exotic birds (himalayan vultures, parrots etc etc) and crocs for their customers to see. There were also monkeys in the forest area. I saw bronze monuments of Javan Rhinos on the road. I’m not sure if the island of Bintan still have one today, I heard they are among the most endangered species in the world (the rarest mammal according to some experts).
The recreational sport center is an awesome place for family activities (paintball, ziplines, badminton, basketball etc etc). They have a modern bowling center where I knocked down some strikes! I was throwing stones that night (of course I was dreaming)!
The food was a treat – you can eat as much as you want in the restaurant every morning. Since its the only free meal of the day, I made sure I get plenty of stock in my gut! I emptied several plates of beef bacon – there’s beef bacon, yes but pork bacon is still king!
Indonesian’s I found out are very conservative Muslims’, the place where we stayed does not serve pork and Muslim ladies wear their traditional dress. The resort staff, most are Muslims, are very kind and accommodating.
I’ll stop here before I turn this site into frommers – I’m a great fan of nature places not really into hotels and resorts but it doesn’t hurt to enjoy them every once in awhile. Well, for me it comes once in a blue moon.
Now, back to my bummy travels!
Happy new year to all!