Monday, February 6, 2017

bintan island ~ indonesia

the journey continues: after myanmar + again singapore (for 1 night) we reached after 2 hours by ferry the nearby island pulau bintan (indonesia). although the beach was a catastrophe (even at high tide there was not enough water to swim), we liked the hotel and the island anyway because of activities we made => just read my insights below :-)
bintan island (riau archipelago) ~ indonesia ~ adventure resort loola
gorilla guru :-)
sky walking tree jumping by my wife (unfortunately, i was too heavy for this adventure)
small mangrove islet we could reach by foot at low tide
well, even if we choose this former pirate island especially for its nearness and easy access by ship from singapore, we have spent nice time with our eldest daughter and her boyfriend there.
first of all, the ecological sports and adventure resort loola our daughter selected, was really a good choice. we liked the silt chalets, good food and enjoyed a mass of activities: climbing at a coconut palm, sky walking, climbing wall, sailing, kayaking, bonfire, archery, table tennis, massage (is it an activity or rather a passivity?). we also enjoyed the opening of a self-made floating bar and we even have been the one and only guests one evening there. ironically, only swimming was difficult because of the low water mark (even at high tide only up to the hips). 

on the other hand, we have visited 7 out of top 10 attractions according one indonesian TripAdvisor website.
  • the chinese senggarang village built up on stilts in the bay of bintan's capital tanjung pinang
 back to tanjung pinang (border control for ferries from singapore & co.):
happy chinese new year (CNY) => 2568 (chinese) = 2017 (westerm)
  • penyengat island, which looked like a museum to me, was accessible in 15 minutes by taxi-boat from tanjung pinang. the most impressive landmark was the Masjid Raya Sultan Riau (Grand Mosque of the Sultan of Riau)
  • banyan tree temple
  • the new Avalokitesvara Graha (Guan Yin) temple with its 16,8 meters big, 40 tons heavy goddess Quan Yin out of copper and plated with gold
buddhist chinese temple + goddess quanin close to the capital tanjung pinang
    • gunung bintan besar (bintan besar mountain) - hiking to the highest elevation point of the island 360 meters) and swimming in a small waterfall on the way back
    view from the watching tower on top of bintan besar mountain
    • crazy buddhist modern arts temple Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva 

    conclusion: besides the bad bad swimming conditions, for a short time of 4 days it was quite nice at bintan. even if (according to wikipedia and people we met there) indonesia's government tries to promote bintan as touristic number 2 after (hinduist) bali, please do not overvalue that. if you asked me, bali and java (and borneo if you asked my daughter) are much, much, much more interesting than bintan :-)

    more pictures here
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