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Bintan - an island off the shore of Singapore

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Singapore 's newest attraction, Bintan, is the largest of 3,200 islands in the Riau archipelago and the third largest of 27 provinces in Indonesia.

Located just 45 kilometers south-east of Singapore and twice its size, northern Bintan is easily accessible via a 45-minute ride on a high speed catamaran from Singapore's Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Despite Bintan's proximity, you will need your passport and most likely a visa.

07010402.jpg (55757 byte)

Checked in for first flight.
07010501.jpg (67047 byte)07010503.jpg (50746 byte) One night in Singapore -- checking out the veggies (note the pumpkins to the left) and pet shops.
07010504.jpg (54313 byte) Plenty of exotic fruits available.
07010604.jpg (62222 byte)07010612.jpg (57159 byte) Waiting at the ferry terminal in Singapore to go to Bintan.

Is that a retired ferry from the Malmö - Copenhagen run before the bridge?

07010622.jpg (37531 byte)07010623.jpg (46840 byte) Is THAT Bintan? I knew it was small, but . . .

No, there comes the ferry terminal on the Bintan side.

07010626.jpg (56730 byte)07010627.jpg (61718 byte) Welcoming committee at the Bintan Lagoon Resort - our home for 1 week. We also got a delicious glass of ice tea with lemon grass in it.
07010628.jpg (54811 byte)07010629.jpg (59713 byte) The open-air lobby of our hotel.

Looking down toward the pool and beach.

07010630.jpg (47458 byte) View from our balcony - a service road on the backside and a big hill protecting us from the golf course and stray golf balls.
07010641.jpg (33449 byte)07010643.jpg (52055 byte) Our first walk along the beach the day we arrived.
07010645.jpg (50541 byte)07010646.jpg (49014 byte) Sunset.

Our first Indonesian dinner - Nasi goreng and "satay" - grilled shish kebobs. We thought it was so good that we ate it 3 times during the week!

07010711.jpg (44434 byte)07010710.jpg (51008 byte) The resort has their own nursery to grow all the flowers and plants they need on the premises.
07010709.jpg (61111 byte)07010717.jpg (62054 byte) Breakfast at the clubhouse, next to the 9th and 18th holes. A favorite place, since the view was so good.
07010723.jpg (59012 byte)07010722.jpg (62215 byte) Took a bus trip into the nearest town - Oleh Oleh, which was a tourist trap of shops with clothes, souvenirs, and restaurants.
70108001.jpg (54586 byte)70108004.jpg (50928 byte) Found a good place to do Tai 'Chi on a flat bit of ground between the hotel and pool.

Our hotel from the "nature walk" close to the beach.

70108006.jpg (48172 byte)70108007.jpg (58213 byte) The neighboring golf course and the South China Sea.
70108008.jpg (57174 byte)70108009.jpg (62914 byte) Along the beach - NOT overly crowded.
70108013.jpg (59926 byte) A stream along the golf course.
70108016.jpg (60913 byte)70108019.jpg (62285 byte) A day tour of the island

A taxi driver took the two of us to interesting spots. First stop was at the island's only blacksmith. Along with his son and one helper they made 3 tools a day out of scrap iron.

70108014.jpg (44929 byte)70108023.jpg (69946 byte) Local dwellings.

Some were on stilts.

70108035.jpg (46194 byte)70108040.jpg (63850 byte) A resort area for the locals, really buzzing on weekends. We stopped for some "coconut water".

Lady with coconut she just opened for us. Two straws and we were all set. Delicious and thirst quenching.

70108064.jpg (49453 byte)70108069.jpg (44630 byte) Some dwellings are on stilts in the water.

Fishing boats.

70108066.jpg (54203 byte)70108070.jpg (58024 byte) A structure that seemed to protude endlessly out into the water. There were places to wash your hands, and even restrooms. The portion closest to shore was a complex of seafood eateries, with fishing furthest out.
70108025.jpg (47530 byte)70108086.jpg (45002 byte) A mosque out in the country.

Entering the capital of Bintan, Tanjung Pinang. A quaint old town characterized by rows of wooden houses on stilts linked by a maze of walkways.

70108097.jpg (48870 byte)70108093.jpg (67603 byte) A bustling city with a population of about 100,000.

Menu of the day in a downtown restaurant. Very tasty and definitely more than we could eat.

70108109.jpg (55932 byte)70108110.jpg (58343 byte) Wandering through a passageway with stalls offering all kinds of wares. Note the scarves.
70108100.jpg (50814 byte)70108098.jpg (46238 byte) A downtown shopping center, Bintan Indah Mall.

Myra with our driver for the day.

70108115.jpg (66174 byte)70108140.jpg (54265 byte) We took a water taxi out to yet another small island, historical Pulau Penyengat, originally the home of the Melaka Sultanate. This tiny island is distinguished from afar by a glittering dome belonging to its 170-year-old mosque which houses a rare handwritten Koran. Near the mosque are the royal tombs of past sultans.
70108124.jpg (56694 byte)70108125.jpg (59715 byte) There was a small park and a 200-year-old temple.
70108126.jpg (58092 byte)70108130.jpg (66695 byte) Under the picture, there is a net covering a bunch of turtles. People threw coins in, just as in a wishing well.

This large Buddha at the top of the hill had a swastika on it, but we didn't ask why.

70108131.jpg (60978 byte)70108133.jpg (64403 byte) There were many large sculptures scattered through the park.
70108134.jpg (59743 byte)70108136.jpg (70259 byte) These sculptures represent figures in a story.

We were standing in front of yet another small temple.

70108139.jpg (58196 byte)70108123.jpg (53992 byte) More sculptures depicting a fairy tale.

On the short water taxi ride back to Bintan we saw many houses built out over the water.

70108141.jpg (43907 byte)70108145.jpg (45041 byte) The "streets" came out perpendicular to the shore. Electrical lines could be seen going out to all the houses. Some were quite elaborate. We were told that it was quite expensive to build there.
70108106.jpg (66542 byte)70108107.jpg (64866 byte) The mode of transportation of choice.
70108161.jpg (58652 byte)70108166.jpg (43862 byte) Driving out of town we saw more motor bikes than cars.

They are even used to transport goods.

70108173.jpg (60873 byte)70108168.jpg (45475 byte) Driving through a village.

The highest point on Bintan.

70108180.jpg (54276 byte)70108179.jpg (47974 byte) As an extra treat since we had plenty of time, we stopped at an elephant farm. They had 7 elephants onsite.

There was no show when we were there, but we walked around and looked at the elephants that were grazing.

70108185.jpg (54810 byte)70108186.jpg (47890 byte) A new farm was being established, mainly for growing pineapples. 

We had a perfect day for our outing.

07010902.jpg (63614 byte)07010903.jpg (47147 byte) The next day a tropical rain came and it rained most o the day.
07010905.jpg (53943 byte)07010909.jpg (67164 byte) What do you do when it rains so much?

One good pastime was to sit on the balcony and work on the pictures for this homepage!

07011003.jpg (52696 byte)07011111.jpg (59914 byte) We had more pretty days and we went walking. We walked out a ways and took pictures of "Bintan Lagoon Resort" written with shrubs. All the way out at the exit to the main road you could read "Have a Pleasant Trip", also spelled in large letters with shrubs.
07011014.jpg (43555 byte)07011115.jpg (67298 byte) We walked a lot along the golf cart paths on the golf course early morning or towards evening when there were no golfers. The clubhouse is in the background. The large radio mast that can be seen is close to our balcony.
07011026.jpg (45583 byte)07011027.jpg (57539 byte) One evening we were walking along the golf course, went along the beach a little ways and up by another hole.
07011028.jpg (59754 byte)07011029.jpg (56267 byte) We found the "half way house" and following the path up from there a beautiful view. We continued along the path. 
07011030.jpg (45556 byte)07011031.jpg (50837 byte) And continued, coming to a road and a sign to the clubhouse.

We passed many ponds and pretty park-like areas typical for golf courses.

07011032.jpg (45321 byte)07011033.jpg (46832 byte) Aha, a half an hour later we saw the clubhouse -- but it wasn't "our" clubhouse! We had wound up on another golf course. A nice guy there drove us back to our hotel, as it was getting dark now. There are three 18-hold golf courses intertwined in the area. You need a map to get around -- no wonder they use golf carts here!
07011117.jpg (81142 byte)07011118.jpg (73189 byte) One last dip in the pool at our hotel.
07011120.jpg (44396 byte)07011122.jpg (54226 byte) Dancers welcoming new arrivals.
07011124.jpg (66732 byte)07011125.jpg (48411 byte) Dinner at a Japanese restaurant.

Our neighbors showed us their sushi trays.

Then we continued on to New Zealand.



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