Let’s face it.
As Singaporeans, we’re always swamped with piling amounts of work that sometimes we need a quick weekend break, free from any worries. There are so many possible destinations that you can consider, but for me, one the most convenient locations has definitely got to be Bintan.
Nestled just an hour away from Singapore, Bintan is a great island filled with plenty of charming resorts offering amazing views at every turn. From sunrise to sunset, there are tons of activities to do, fit for families, friends and couples.
I recently went on an extended weekend getaway in Bintan in between work and came back feeling so refreshed and rejuvenated. It only felt right to share this experience with you if you haven’t already been there!
If you’ve not been to Bintan, take the dive today and experience it for yourself!
How to get to Bintan from Singapore
You will need to take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to reach Bintan Island. There are plenty of ferry operators, with some even sending passengers all the way to the resort. Talk about great service!
I took the ferry by Mozaic Ferry Lines which brought me straight to my lagoon at Bintan Lagoon, and there are plenty of other destinations across the island that you can depart at. These include:
|Ferry Operator||Destination Port|
|Mozaic Ferry Lines||Bintan Lagoon, Bintan|
|Majestic Fast Ferry||Tanjung Pinang, Bintan|
|Sindo Ferry||Tanjung Pinang, Bintan|
|Bintan Resort Ferries||Teluk Sebong (Bintan Resort), Bintan|
Pulau Lobam, Bintan
How to get to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
To get to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, you can choose to take the public transport bus 35 from Bedok Interchange, grab a taxi or even ride on the shuttle buses that operate between Changi Airport and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
For a more comprehensive guide, refer to this link.
Where to stay in Bintan, Indonesia
1. Bintan Lagoon Resort
Bintan Lagoon Resort or BLR is one of the finest resorts in Lagoi, Bintan, along with other notable huge resorts like Nirwana Resort Hotel and Banyan Tree. Boasting its own private ferry terminal, beach with a fantastic view of the South China Sea and world-famous golf courses, BLR has established a great reputation for itself beyond its shores.
With over 470 Indonesian-style resort rooms spanning acres of land, there is so much to see and do in this sunny little island. Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or for a vacation with family and friends, you’ll be in for a treat at BLR.
Prices of the rooms start as low as USD 109.14/ SGD 148 per night for 2.
Check out the deal here!
2. Nirwana Resort Hotel
With over 241 guestrooms and 30 swanky suites, Nirwana Resort Hotel provides quality accommodation to different groups of people at really affordable prices. They have a wide range of facilities and amenities, such as lines of restaurants, pubs and bars, boutique shops and medical centre, that gives this resort a homely feel.
Enjoy the unique and traditional treatment here at Nirwana Resort Hotel. Prices of the rooms start as low as USD 91/ SGD 122 per night for 2.
Check out the prices of the different rooms here
3. Banyan Tree
Experience world class treatment and pamper yourself with all the offerings of Banyan Tree Bintan. With huge rainforests, secluded private beaches and nature trails, together with a wide range of facilities, Banyan Tree Bintan is a haven for all.
Enjoy the slow pace of life here and just immerse yourself with nature. This is a great place to unwind from the hectic schedules back in Singapore.
All this can be yours from as low as USD 436/ SGD 582 per night for 2.
View the prices here
4. Grand Lagoi Village
Grand Lagoi Village is a newly refurbished villa by the beach that you’ll enjoy too. Located on Lagoi as most of the other villas, Grand Lagoi Village is a great place for you and your family to relax, unwind and bask in the calming environment.
Prices start from USD 86.30/ SGD 117 per night for 2.
See the prices of the other rooms here
What to do in Bintan, Indonesia
There are so many things to do on this island. Normally, people go to Bintan to relax and enjoy the water sports activities, which are much cheaper than those you can find in Singapore. But as I went on my short adventure here, I realised there are so much more to just water sports!
Water sports in Bintan
Being an island paradise, you’ll find lots of fun things to do at Bintan. Each resort has a range of activities that you can try out, so check with your resorts the cost and availability of these activities.
Hop on one of these jetskis and speed through the beautiful waters across Bintan. Most resorts would offer this and they cater to every skill levels, from beginners to advanced. The awesome guides will be more than willing to help you and give you an experience like no other.
2. Banana boat
Imagine getting dragged across the waters while sitting on a banana-shaped boat at high speed, only to be flipped over.
That’s the banana boat adventure for you! While it may seem scary at first, it’s totally a fun experience. I never knew how exhilarating it could be to be thrown into the sea!
While I didn’t get to do this personally, I saw many other skilled guests try flipping stunts, leaving me in awe. While there were many professional wakeboarders flashing their stuff, there were plenty of beginners keen to try it out too, including two kids who looked 12.
No matter your age and proficiency, give it a try and have a good time today at Bintan Wake Park.
What could be more fun than paddling in blue waters under the warm, tropical weather? I took a 1 hour kayaking adventure from my resort and just paddled carefree around the bay. It was totally relaxing!
If you’d like to explore Bintan even further, visit the White Sands Island, home to a beautiful array of marine life and plants that you can see when you snorkel.
Book a tour so you won’t need to worry about transportation, meals and rental of equipment. You can book them from your resort’s front desk or online.
Land activities in Bintan
1. Riding ATV
I took a 30-minute ATV ride at my resort. For USD 49/ SGD 67, we covered 3 types of terrains – starting by riding on the soft sands along the beach, followed by a drive through the forests and finally through a hilly terrain before going back to the beach and back to the start point.
I enjoyed feeling the rush, especially when I was going at 25km/hr! The ATV ride gives you the option to ride solo or with a partner.
I must admit, I’ve never tried archery before. That is particularly one of the reasons why I was excited when I heard Bintan Lagoon Resort offered it! The archery stands were situated in an open space right next to a golf range.
Two words to sum up my experience – pain and excitement! I didn’t know how my poor form could lead to me getting a huge bruise on my left arm due to the snapping of the archery band, but a few tries later, I found myself closer and closer to hitting the bull’s eye yay! Anyone of you tried archery before?
Prices start from USD 3.70/ SGD 5.05 for 20 arrows.
The resort that I stayed at housed a huge range of golf courses catered to all levels of golfers. Having never touched a golf club before, I would have loved to try out the beginner’s course.
Do you think I could have had a shot at becoming a Lexi Thompson one day? 😉
Also known as a segway, different resorts offer this fun activity. A pity I didn’t get the chance to zip on one of these machines from one end of the beach to the other despite my 3D2N stay – there was simply too many things to do at the resort!
This is a family-friendly activity that you can try out when you visit Bintan.
Prices start from USD 11.15/ SGD 15.05 for a 15-minute session.
5. Hiking Mount Bintan
Despite being a haven for water sports, Bintan also has its own version of Bukit Timah. Mount Bintan is 340m in height, and at USD1.50/ SGD 2 per entry, you can have a good workout in 2 to 3 hours.
Many tourists enjoy the sights and scenery that you get to see along the way, including the mesmerising view of the waters from the top.
1. Swimming in the pool
This is the perfect activity for those seeking to unwind and relax. Most resorts have pools and poolside jacuzzi or even slides, giving you plenty of options to hit the pool!
2. Uncovering photo taking spots
As with many other beaches, no holiday, no matter how short, is complete without capturing some beauty memories on your camera.
Have a walk along your resort and uncover your own hidden gems just to make your holiday memories that much sweeter!
3. Strolling on the beach
Nothing can be more relaxing than just strolling on the beach. You could even pack a picnic mat or beach towel with you and lay it out on the white sands as you lie down and soak in the tropical weather.
Don’t forget to bring your shades and sunblock if you’re doing this! You wouldn’t want to get caught with a bad sunburn and tan lines.
4. Traditional massages
You cannot, I repeat, cannot leave Indonesia without getting a good, old, traditional Indonesian massage. There are so many options for you to choose from, including my personal favourite, the Balinese massage.
It is so convenient to get a massage in Bintan, especially when you book an appointment at your own resort’s spa and wellness centres.
5. Visiting wildlife safari
My resort provided a tour to a safari called Safari Lagoi (location).
Home to many endangered species such as the orang utan, sun bears and elephants, Safari Lagoi is more than just a shelter for these animals. In fact, you could see children learning about farming and growing their own vegetation too.
Expect to spend about 2 hours here with your family for a brief escape from the water sports and beach for a while as you learn more about nature and animals.
Things to take note before you go to Bintan, Indonesia
Most Singaporeans do not require a visa, but if you’re not a Singaporean passport holder, you may want to check if purchasing a visa is required. You can purchase the visas from the Indonesian embassy or even purchase a visa on arrival. Whatever it is, do check your eligibility prior to traveling to prevent any unwanted incidents.
You will be required to check-in to the waiting area at least 25 minutes before your ferry is slated to depart. Don’t be late! Refer to this for more information.
Your bags are subject to clearance by the Singapore and Bintan customs, so do ensure that you do not pack any prohibited items!
Have you packed everything you need for a tropical summer trip? Here’s everything you can think of for a summer vacation!
4. Custom clearance
If you’re planning to bring over lots of cash, alcohol or cigarettes, you will need to follow the guidelines imposed by the Singapore Customs. Refer to this link for specific details.