Day Trip to Bintan
If you're looking for a short getaway by the beach after days of sightseeing and shopping in the city, you may want to consider visiting the Indonesian island of Bintan.
For a start, it's only 50 minutes away from Singapore by ferry. Then there's the top-notch amenities available, as well as the island's natural beauty. In many ways, Bintan feels a bit like a laid-back version of frenetic Singapore, featuring the convenience of modern comforts, minus the crushing pace of city life.
Not surprisingly, plenty of Singaporeans come to Bintan too for short breaks, most of them staying in one of several resorts here. It's a family-friendly destination that offers something for everyone, from golf to go-karting at the Bintan Usahatama Go-Kart Track and fun rides on a Sumatran elephant at the Bintan Elephant Park. Or, you could simply choose to chill by the beach. That works, too.
To get to Bintan, you'll have to catch a ferry from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore, and arrive at Bintan's Bandar Bentan Talani Ferry Terminal. Staff from Bintan Resorts, the company that represents the many resorts on the island, will pick you up at the terminal and take you to your accommodation.
There are a number of resorts to choose from, such as the Banyan Tree Resort. With 70 cliff-side villas, each with a private open-air jet pool, the Banyan Tree offers much in the way of classy luxury.
Take note that, however, that practically all tourist businesses in Bintan accept only Singapore dollars. It may be an Indonesian island, but prices here are not very different from those in Singapore. There will also be a 10% service charge levied on most activities, as well as a 10% tax on almost anything you buy.