Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beach Holiday in Bintan Indonesia in March 2010 ~ Part 1

Welcome to this trip report of my summer beach vacation in the resort island of Bintan, Indonesia in March 2010. This section of the trip report will mainly cover the journey by Ferry from Singapore to Bintan, and how we spent our first day at the resort.

Part 1 ~ The Opening


After the first term of my secondary school in third year had come to a close, the one-week March vacation finally arrived. Feeling the need for a beach vacation, my parents made a wise decision to bring my brother and I on a four-day of sun and beach in Bintan, a resort island in Indonesia. This trip, however, would be made via ferry at sea, as currently, I know that Bintan does not have its own airport.


Bintan is an island of the Riau Archipelago of the Republic of Indonesia. It is part of the Riau Islands province, of which, the provincial capital is Tanjung Pinang. Like the island of Bali, Bintan is a popular destination for tourists looking forward to having a beach vacation. Currently, Bintan does not have its own airport, though it is easily accessible from Singapore by a one-hour hop on a ferry from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.


Travellers who wish to visit Bintan will have to stop over in Singapore. For example, if Japanese tourists plan to visit Bintan (i.e. Tokyo to Bintan), they will have to fly between Tokyo and Singapore. Upon arrival at Singapore Changi Airport, they will have to clear immigration, and arrange for a taxi or cab to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Note that the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal is located very near Singapore Changi Airport.


From the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, they can check in for their ferry and pass through the security checkpoint at the ferry terminal. The last step would be to proceed to the boarding jetty for their ferry, and once on board, they will be on their 1-hour trip to the island resort. Anyway, to get to the point, I shall focus on the story.


On Wednesday (17 March), we all woke up at around 6.30 a.m. to pack up our remaining baggage for the beach vacation to Bintan. Following breakfast, we loaded our baggage into the boot of our car. Having all our necessary travel documents with us, we left home by 8.45 a.m. for a 30-minute journey to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.


After a short 30-minute journey from home, we finally arrived at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at around 9.15 a.m.. My brother and I followed my mum to get a few baggage trolleys while my dad went to park the car for four days. Knowing that our ferry bound for Bintan would depart from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at 11.10 a.m., we quickly loaded all our baggage and went into the terminal building.



The interior of the main terminal building of the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Several tourist information counters by the entrance to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

My younger brother posing for a picture in his sunglasses

As soon as we checked in for our ferry, we received our tickets for the journey to Bintan. According to my mum, we would be seated in Emerald Class for the short hop, and that, our ferry bound for Bintan would be due to depart at 11.10 a.m.. Knowing that there was plenty of time left, we decided to head to a local cafeteria to have some hot drinks before our ferry journey to Bintan.

After we had some warm beverages at a local cafeteria in the main terminal building, we headed to the security checkpoint to have our baggage examined. We were then in the ferry side of the terminal by 10.25 a.m., in plenty of time before the departure at 11.10 a.m.. While waiting for the first boarding calls, we went to purchase some duty-free items from a duty-free shop by the waiting areas.

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