Bintan Mangrove Discovery Tour by Bintan Resorts

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!

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Bintan Mangrove 2Jetty where the tour starts off from

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.

Guide Map

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!

Group PicA group photo with our tour mates

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.

Sebung River

Nirwana Gardens Bintan: Review & Recommendations

Nirwana Gardens Bintan is an integrated beach resort spanning over 330 hectares that offers five accommodation options ranging from family-friendly to the romantic and exclusive. Just an hour ferry ride away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, it’s the perfect relaxing haven from bustling Singapore.

Nirwana Gardens offers numerous facilities and services which could keep their guests entertained for days. It also has its own private beach where guests could use for various activities.

Now, let me give you a glimpse of what you can expect at this family-friendly yet fun-filled resort in Bintan Island.

Getting to Nirwana Gardens Bintan

We took the ferry at Bintan Resort Ferries at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The journey to Bintan Ferry Terminal took just an hour. The ferry is very comfortable and clean with a deli offering snacks and beverages.

We took the 11:10am ferry and arrived at Bintan at 11:10am (Indonesia time is one hour behind Singapore). For details on ferry schedule and ticket fares, you can visit BRF website.

Travelling to Nirwana Gardens is totally fuss-free. Just check-in at Bintan Resort Ferries counter at least an hour before departure. Upon arrival at Bintan Ferry Terminal and after immigration and customs, take the complimentary shuttle bus to Nirwana Gardens. We arrived at the resort in just 10 mins.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by helpful staffs to assist in our check-in and luggage, together with local cultural dance performance and light refreshments to welcome our arrival.

Accommodation

There are five types of accommodations at Nirwana Gardens. The most popular one is the Nirwana Resort Hotel – where we stayed. There are 245 refurbished rooms that come with view of the landscaped gardens, South China Sea or swimming pool.

Nirwana GardensEntrance to Nirwana Resort Hotel
Deluxe RoomNirwana Room in Nirwana Resort Hotel

We stayed in a Nirwana Room that is equipped with TV with multiple cable channels, mini-bar, private shower with bathtub, basic toiletries, personal safe, hairdryer, and complimentary WiFi. The room is clean, spacious and comfortable. We also had an extra bed for Edison.

Nirwana Resort Hotel is perfect for families as it has literally everything you need for a fuss-free family holiday! Its family-friendly environment is a sure win for parents and children.

Nirwana Gardens 2The three-storey Nirwana Resort Hotel

Other accommodations at Nirwana Gardens include the rustic Mayang Sari Beach Resort, the village-style Nirwana Beach Club (with cabana rooms), Banyu Biru Villa for families and gatherings, as well as the exclusive Indra Maya Pool Villa.

The key advantage of this resort is the various accommodation options to suit travellers’ needs and budget.

Ultimate Bintan Getaway to Bintan Lagoon Resort (Part 2)

Air Rifle in Bintan Lagoon Resort

Activities

What we like best about Bintan Lagoon Resort is their wide range of activities – especially those that are not easily available at other resorts such as quad biking (ATV). Some complimentary activities that are included in our package include archery (20 arrows), driving range (20 balls), access to two swimming pools and those at the Leisure Center.

We were given 10% discount for other leisure activities such as bike rental, batik painting, water ball, kids fishing, etc. For more info on the activities price list, please click here.

Air Rifle at BLR

Driving range in BLR

Archery

Three activities that Edison loved most is golf, archery and air rifle. It’s been more than a year since our last visit to a driving range, but I’m glad he could pick up his swing relatively fast. After the complimentary balls, we topped up another 100 balls for IDR 100.000 (just SG$10).

BLR Mini Golf

Edison also tried the mini golf – a miniature golf course with 5 holes, which is very fun for kids for just IDR 98.000/hr (SG$10). These 3 activities are located within the same area, so we planned our time accordingly to do them all together. There are instructors at each station, so you don’t need to worry if you’re new to the game.

The air rifle is fun, fun, FUN! Edison loves gun a lot, and he has more than 10 toy guns in all sizes. So, you can imagine his excitement when he gets to try a real gun. 20 bullets are charged at only IDR 120.000 (SG$12) – I’d highly recommend this!

Ultimate Bintan Getaway to Bintan Lagoon Resort (Part 1)

I’m a huge fan of weekend short trips close to home to recharge myself. That being said, I always feel that Bintan is one of the best places to go – beautiful sandy beaches, mangrove tour, golf courses, lush greenery, delightful local food and kids-friendly activities. Best of all, it’s just an hour away by ferry! So, right after the school holiday started, we visited Bintan Lagoon Resort. Even though it was just a short 3D2N trip, it was fun and activity-packed! Edison had so much fun, and he couldn’t stop talking about the trip even when we get home.

Now, let’s catch a glimpse of Bintan Lagoon Resort, a kids-friendly yet fun-filled resort in Bintan Island.

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Getting to Bintan Lagoon Resort

Just 75 minutes of ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, we arrived directly at Bintan Lagoon Resort. What amazes me is that the resort has their own private jetty and immigration terminal. This means – we don’t need to get through the hassles at Bintan’s main ferry terminal and long immigration queues. Awesome, isn’t it? Ten bonus points, please!

The ferry service is operated by Mozaic Ferry Lines, a direct ferry service from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Bintan Lagoon Resort Ferry Terminal. Once we cleared the immigration, we took a shuttle bus to the resort – just a short distance away.

Mozaic Ferry Lines: Schedule & Pricing

SIN – BIN: 9:00am, 4:10pm
BIN – SIN: 1:00pm, 5:10pm (all days except Friday)
BIN – SIN: 11:45am, 5:10pm (Friday)
Return Trip (SIN – BIN – SIN): Adult SGD60, Child SGD50

We took the 9am ferry and arrived at Bintan Lagoon Resort at 9.30am (Indonesia time is one hour behind Singapore). Thankfully, our room was ready. So, we did a quick check-in, dropped off our luggage and started exploring the resort.

Accommodation

Bintan Lagoon Deluxe Sea Facing Room

Bintan Lagoon Resort has a wide range of accommodation, from deluxe rooms to suites and villas to suit couples, families and even groups. We stayed in a Deluxe Sea Facing Room.

This resort is over 20 years old, but their guestrooms were refurbished few years ago. So, I wasn’t expecting the room to look brand new, but it was certainly newer than I’ve expected.

The Deluxe Room is spacious and comfortable, tastefully designed in warm colours and sleek wood finishes. There’s a balcony that overlooks the swimming pool and sea. There’s a king-sized bed and raised cushion platform. Extra bed for kids can be set-up on this platform.

Kids Bed Bintan Lagoon ResortExtra bed for Edison

Edison was thrilled to see the marble bathroom with bathtub. Five bonus points from Edison! The bathroom is equipped with hair dryer and basic toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, earbuds, shampoo, soap, conditioner, bath gel, facial cottons and comb.

BLR Deluxe Room Bathroom

View from our room

View from our room 2View from our room

10 Reasons Why We Love Club Med Bintan

Club Med has always been on my dream vacation list for a while. I want to experience how it’s like to be in a luxury all-inclusive resort. All meals included, free flow of drinks including wines and cocktails, a variety of fun activities, late night parties, nightly live shows and supervised kids programs, just to name a few.

So, I’m glad that we finally experienced the awesomeness of Club Med Bintan two weeks ago. It was one of the BEST resort vacations ever!

Do you know that Club Med Bintan was recently named Best Resort for Families in Asia by Trip Advisor?

Perhaps the best thing about this resort is its close vicinity to Singapore. Just an hour of ferry ride out from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and it can be easily booked online. As a quick weekend getaway or an impromptu family trip, Club Med Bintan is a perfect choice.

Here are TEN reasons why we love Club Med Bintan.

1. The moment we arrived, we felt pampered and at ease

The moment we arrived at the resort, the Resort Manager and the GO Team were standing at the reception entrance to welcome us with warm towels and beverages.

First impressions count. The resort has given us the BEST impressions the moment we arrived – that made us felt completely pampered and at ease.

Info: At Club Med, ‘GO’ means Gentle Organizers. They’re a group of young, energetic and enthusiastic Club Med crew who run all the activities in the resort, including the kids club and sports.

2. The spacious and comfortable guestroom

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The guestrooms are divided between small 3-storey buildings that are designed with exotic woods using local crafts. Between modernism and local architecture, its design is pretty unique.

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Our room is a Deluxe Sea View room with a spectacular view of the China Sea. The unique part is the little window alcove specially designed as the children sleeping area. Edison was so thrilled to have his own private space.

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One thing that is worth mentioning is the daily surprises from the housekeeping crew. They folded the towels into animals and decorate them with flowers. I really appreciate their attention to details.

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3. The beach is exceptionally beautiful

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Club Med Bintan is known to have one of the most beautiful beaches among all the other resorts in Asia. With palm trees swaying gently in the breeze and a beach that stretches for 8,500 feet of fine white sand, it is indeed an island paradise.

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The water is crystal clear and the beach is exceptionally beautiful. Edison loves dancing on the beach. The sand is so soft and clean, he just couldn’t stop playing with them.

4. Enjoy a variety of sport activities 

Most of the sport activities do not require pre-booking (except mountain biking, sailing / kayak and snorkelling). So we just need to walk-in to join. It’s the perfect chance to improve our existing skills as well as discovering a whole new sport.

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The GOs are qualified instructors, so guests can enjoy some personal coaching from them. Our favourite sport activities are the golf and archery. There is a driving net, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker (obstacles dug in the ground and filled with sand).

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The flying trapeze
Info: Some of the sport activities have dedicated time slot for parents and kids (i.e. circus school and archery). Do check the timings on the Club Med Bintan Island Information Sheet that will be given to you on your arrival.