This was our third trip to Bintan. For the last two trips, we didn’t have a chance to join any local excursion. Even though the trips have been happily satisfying, we felt that a discovery tour beyond the resort would make it more complete.
So, we went to the Guest Information Centre at Nirwana Resort Hotel lobby to check out the tours. There are many interesting tours offered by BRC Tours, such as Bintan Elephant Park, Bintan Village Nature & River Spa, and Mangrove Discovery Tour.
Mangrove Discovery Tour is the Winner of the 2003 PATA Gold Award for Ecotourism, so we thought it must be good. Furthermore, it’s not something that we can find in Singapore and other countries. Hence, we decided to give it a try!
The shuttle bus from BRC Tour picked us from our resort half an hour before the tour, and the journey to Bintan Mangrove took about 10 minutes. Once we reached, we were given a short briefing and what to expect during this 1.5 hours tour by our tour guide.
I must confessed that I wasn’t as excited as Edison about nature excursion. And I also wasn’t expecting much apart from a nice cooling boat ride. But for Edison, he was so thrilled when he heard that he might be able to see wildlife in the mangrove. Snakes, kingfisher, monitor lizard, otters, mud skipper and monkeys, just to name a few.
After spraying ourselves with mosquito repellent and armed with safety life jackets (we hated them but it’s a must to wear), we were ready for our tour!
Sorry for the poor quality photos. I just brought a small point-and-shoot camera because I couldn’t handle a big camera on a shaky boat.
As our boat speed through the quiet waterways of Sebung River, we enjoyed the cooling boat ride and sights around us (thanks to the great weather!). We saw fishermen’s huts and local fishermen catching fishes using traditional methods.
As we approached the mangrove area, our boat slowed down and the tour guide told us to start looking out for wildlife. It didn’t take us long to spot our first wildlife – that’s a golden kingfisher!
Not long after that, we spotted three mangrove snakes on the tree! It’s not easy to spot them as they are well-camouflage in the leaves and tree branches. But yikes, when I saw one, I totally freaked out!
And when our boat went under that tree with mangrove snakes on it, I suddenly feared that they might fell onto our boat. Ha! Thankfully, that didn’t happen of course.
As we continued on our journey, we also saw monkeys, monitor lizards and mud crabs. It’s also interesting to see the different types of mangrove roots such as stilt roots, knee roots, pencil roots, peg roots, buttress roots, etc.
All in all, we enjoyed our first mangrove discovery tour and we were delighted to learn so much about animals and plants in the mangrove habitat. It was such a thrill to see wildlife in their habitat too (not in the zoo this time!).
I made a short video for memory’s sake – this is my first attempt to make a video, sorry for the poor quality. You can watch it here.
Mangrove Discovery Tour by Bintan Resorts:
Weekday price: Adult: IDR 380,000 (~SG$38) | Child (3–12 years): IDR 250,000 (~SG$25)
Weekend price: Adult: IDR 450,000 (~SG$45) | Child (3–12 years): IDR 250,000 (~SG$25)
Price includes two-way land transfers, fully guided tour, bottled mineral water and insurance coverage. For more information, please visit BRC Tours website.