Bintan, Indonesia

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one of the destinations that i have been wanting to cross out on my list was bintan,indonesia. it is just a 45-minute travel from singapore but i can’t seem to have the courage to go there on my own. plus, most of the travel package that are offered on the different travel agencies that i find, are a minimum of two to go. so travelling alone isn’t really an option. when my boyfriend invited me to go, i still had some qualms in going there. this time, it was more on the financial aspect. ūüė¶

but despite the hesitations, i still looked for some cheap hotel with ferry packages to bintan. thus, i came accross the website of holiday city. i booked the one that they were offering for just s$274. the package already includes the following:

(a) Stay at Nirwana Beach Club Bintan with breakfast and welcome drink;
(b) Return Economy Class Ferry Tickets departing from Singapore, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT): SIN – BIN – SIN;
(c) Return land transfer: Pier – Resort – Pier
(d) SGD23.40 per person for Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal passenger levy, Bintan Terminal passenger levy, Baggage Handling Charge, Fuel Surcharge, Security Tax and Bintan Departure Tax.

it was indeed an offer that i can’t resist. unlike the other packages that i saw in groupon and other site, the one in holiday city doesn’t have hidden charges. yey to that. hehehe.

Below are the activities that we did and the expenses that we had during the trip.

Activities/Expenses Amount(SGD)
Hotel Plus Ferry 273
Lunch at La Luna Restaurant 45
Kayaking 14
Dinner at Nirwana Resort Restaurant 54
Refreshments at La Luna Restaurant 17
Refreshments at Mayang Sari Beach Resort 17
Lunch at La Luna Restaurant 27
Total 447

Not bad right? ¬†A weekend in Bintan, Indonesia¬†will just cost you 200-250SGD per person. ¬†Sigaporean Dollar and Indonesian Rupiah are the two currencies that you can use there. ¬†By the way, if you¬†don’t want to spend too much on food, you can go to Pasar Ole-Ole, instead of dining in the restaurants inside the resort. ¬†I’ve read that the food there are more cheaper. ¬†As much as I wanted, we did not go there though. ūüė¶

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our cabin…it has a veranda outside where you can hangout at night. but be sure to bring an insect repellent if you don’t like the mosquitoes to feast on you…

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there are several water sports that you can try in the resort…one of these is kayaking…they also have zipline…

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chasing sunset…sunset in bintan is superb…

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aside from the beach, bintan beach resort also has a swimming pool…

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wat pho temple – bangkok, thailand

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our last activity before heading to suvarnabhumi airport for our flight back to singapore was the city tour. ¬†we boarded a ferry at si phraya pier and alighted at tha tien pier. ¬†our first stop was the wat pho temple, the home of the biggest reclining golden buddha. ¬†just like in bang pa-in palace, one should wear proper clothing to enter the temple. ¬†if you are wearing sleeveless and shorts, you can borrow some green robes for free. ¬†you also have to take off your footwear and put it inside a blue bag. ¬†while roaming inside the temple, i saw some people putting coins inside a steel bowl. ¬†i was really curious in what they were doing but i did not have the chance to ask. ¬†i was also hesitant to ask them because i did not want to break their concentration in what they were doing. ¬†i’ve read that people who come to the temple put coins on the steel bowl for good luck and also for the upkeep of the temple. ¬†when you are already done wandering inside the temple, you can also check out the many stupas within the vicinity of wat pho. ¬†by 5pm, we decided to go to the grand palace but when we asked the security guard for some directions, she told us that it was already closed.(it closes at 3pm) ¬†so we decided to end our thailand trip and head to the airport so that we could already check-in, freshen up and eat our dinner. ¬†even though it was so sad to bid goodbye to thailand we have to go back to singapore. ¬†we have to go back to work for us to save again for our next destination. ¬†oh well… ¬†till next time thailand. ¬†i will definitely come back. ¬†but for now, i have to save up and explore other countries.

cruising along the chao phraya river, thailand

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the last part of our ayutthaya cruise tour was the relaxing chao phraya river¬†cruise. ¬†it was already 1pm bangkok (2pm sgt) time when we boarded the ship. ¬†we were already so hungry, tired and feeling so hot. ¬†luckily, we were having a buffet lunch. ¬†unfortunately, i wasn’t able to take much food as i have planned because i was again caught up hearing all the good stories courtesy of our new-found friends. ¬†you see, the other group that was joining on our table were also pinoys and speaks bisaya language like us. ¬†oohhh! ¬†how i envied the woman who sat opposite me. ¬†her daughter kept on serving her some food. ¬†but nevertheless, it was a relaxing and fun-filled experience. ¬†it was really nice to bump into them.

postcards: bang pa-in palace – summer palace

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when i was still a little girl, i used to play with my dolls and dress them up as if they were princesses and i for one would dress up using our blankets and curtains and pretend that i am a princess as well. ¬†now that i am old enough to play dolls and dress up games, i settled myself to watching historical romances and period dramas. ¬†oh, how i love to see those colorful gowns and magnificent castles. ¬†so it was a dream come true for me when we came to visit band pa-in palace on our third day in thailand. ¬†bang pa-in palace was built in the 17th century by king¬†prasat thong. ¬†it is located in bang pa-in district ayutthaya province. ¬†it is open daily from 8am to 4pm. ¬†to enter into the palace, you have to dress in an appropriate clothing. ¬†you can’t wear sleeveless and the ladies should not wear shorts and skimpy skirts. ¬†if you were not able to bring any proper attire, you can rent a sarong at the entrance of the palace for 200baht.

postcards: baiyoke sky hotel dinner buffet

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after a very tiring day and after we had a very relaxing massage, what more can we ask for? a sumptuous dinner and a spectacular view. luckily, baiyoke sky hotel has that. the view will.make the food taste more delicious. unfortunately, I wasn’t able to eat much because I was too busy listening to the conversations and stories of my aunt and my friend. good food, good view and a spectacular view. what more can I ask for? by the way, if you are wondering how much the.dinner buffet is, it was just 800baht. so make sure to put baiyoke sky hotel on your checklist when you visit bangkok, thailand.

shopaholic: chatuchak market – bangkok,thailand

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majority of the people i know, when they hear the word bangkok, the first thing that comes into their mind is shopping.  hehehe!  and i for one is no exception to that.  when we were still in the planning stage of our trip, i often come across of some articles about the chatuchak market. chatuchak market is open every weekends from morning till 6pm. the stuffs that are being sold at the market are of various kind. you can find pets, clothes, accessories, shoes, foods, kitchenware and many more. if ever you want to visit chatuchak market, make sure to bring plenty of water, wear comfortable clothes and footwear. do remember that the weather in thailand is really hot.

foodtrip: coconut ice cream

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days before our bangkok, thailand trip, i happen to stumble upon a blog post about how thailand’s coconut ice cream is so delicious, especially the one that is being sold at the¬†damnoen saduak floating market. ¬†so by the time we were already riding the boat for the floating market, we were already salivating and can’t wait for us to try it. ¬†indeed, it is really delicious. ¬†for only 50baht, you will already have 4scoops of coconut ice cream served on a coconut shell and with a coconut flesh and nuts. ¬†yummy…

postcards: damnoen saduak floating market – thailand

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after witnessing the maeklong railway market, our guide then took us to ratchaburi for the floating market. in there, you can witness the timeless lifestyle of native thai people. there are a lot of goods and foods being sold in the market but we opted not to buy except for the mango sticky rice and the coconut ice cream since we will be going to the chatuchak market after the tour. the floating market operates every morning till noon.

postcards: maeklong railway market, thailand

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for our second day in thailand, our tour guide took us to samutsongkram, thailand where the maeklong railway market is.  it is an hour and a half drive from bangkok.  the vendors on the train railway are very resourceful and clever.  they have their ways to avoid not to be hit by the train and they already have a routine in how to move their stuffs so that the train can pass through and put it back once the train is already gone.  it was really an amazing experience to witness their lifestyle.  my heart was really pumping when the train was already approaching and passed in front of me.  i was afraid that i might get hit or what. hehehe.