Went for a short getaway with bf and his friend and his friend’s gf early this July, so it was like a double-date kind of vacation. 🙂
We were actually deciding between Bali, Phuket and Bintan and ended up purchasing our package from Groupon for a Bintan trip.
Bf and I are hoping to visit Bali some time soon 🙂
Because I have very few days of leaves from work, we couldn’t travel far and for a longer period of time.
And as of date, I OFFICIALLY HAVE NO MORE LEAVE DAYS ANYMORE! ZERO! KOSONG! 16days of leave, just vanished into thin air within a mere blink of the eyes.
Most of the leaves were for legitimate reasons, mind you. As I am still studying (for my Master of Laws) and am a self-study exam candidate (there’s nobody teaching in SG!), sacrifices have to be made. Thus, most were taken for exam purposes. As there are 2 exam sessions (which I take 4 mods in May and 2 in Oct), 16 days of leave days is totally insufficient!
Apart from my bday trip on board Superstar Virgo Cruise and a handful of 1-day JB trips, I’ve not even gone for a proper vacation this year! 🙁
And strictly speaking, if ‘vacation’ consists of a requirement of crossing borders by airplanes, Bintan is not even considered a proper one too! 🙁
Okay, enough of ranting.
We bought the Bintan package where our resort resided at Bintan Spa Villa which was just beside Bintan Agro Beach Resort. I am just as skeptical as you are when ordering from Groupon (especially when they facing a recent lawsuit), and what more for travel packages (cheat money, bring us go to ulu place and kena chopped into pieces how?!)!
But I am super glad that everything went well and I am back alive. Not that we encountered any life-threatening events though 😉
We bought the $99 for 2D1N Bintan Spa Villa Resort and had to pay $2 for tipping, $55 for weekday extension and $25 for seaport tax. So 1 pax amounted to $181.
Here’s what happened during DAY ONE :
Part of our package includes a half day city tour (although we didn’t really walk half a day because it was extremely boringggg so we headed to the resort earlier than scheduled).
We were brought to 2 ‘shopping malls’ for a start. I inverted the phrase because I wouldn’t consider them shopping malls and I bet your sentiments would be exactly.
Don’t believe? Check out the pictures.
And yes, of course I was wearing shorts underneath the long tank top 🙂
Our travel buddies – Kelvin and Kylie. We call them the ‘K-couple’ and ‘Big K’ and ‘Small K’ individually, haha how cute!
Our first group picture taken by our friendly tour guide, Michael, who speaks English better than I’d expected 🙂
Kylie pointed this out and I thought that it was worth snapping. 😉
There was an official opening of a shop and hence the lion dance as well as the ‘flower boards’ you saw in the earlier pictures above.
I thought this was really cool! A private ‘boxed-up’ Karaoke space!
And because it was freaking boring, we pretended to pose for the camera, trying to serenade our audiences 🙂
These karaoke boxes were from the 2nd mall we visited, where there was an arcade which we spent most of our time at. LOL. Claiming prizes (hair ties) from tickets (there’s a private joke to these tickets but I shan’t divulge :p) and the hair ties snapped the next day when I tried to tie my hair with them. Blame it on the expected poor quality and thickness of my hair!
After that, we proceeded to have our Ayam Penyet which was part of our package. This little cafe popped outta nowhere and because our sunny island is totally congested with buildings, we found it a little strange to find it located in the middle of nowhere.
Another group picture! We chose to sit on this ground bench area since it’s rare in Singapore! Everything also MUST TRY! 🙂
Love and I! 🙂
Bf and I ordered fried chicken for our meals.
While K-couple ordered the grilled version 🙂
I found the soup to be quite tasty, mainly because I am a soup-lover. But the melons (I assume?) were a little too hard to chew, especially with my braces on.
We ordered extra dishes (which we have to top up with cash), but the portion seems to be quite small and the Oxtail (the black colour dish on the right) was extremely spicy! Even the chilli that comes with the Ayam Penyet could kill!!!
And as you can see, my soup depleted faster than the rest’s 😉 And I even drank bf’s one. :p
Even menu also might snap. Typical snap-everything-Singaporean 🙂
And another group picture! 😀
Big K commented that he felt like an animal in the farm because of the fences, LOL :p
After filling our hungry stomachs, we were brought to visit 2 temples.
Main entrance of the huge temple.
The whole area is extremely huge!!! I believe it can house several HDB buildings back here. The setting made me felt like I was in China, rather than Indonesia.
Look how tiny we were!
Tiny bf! 😛
The girls! 😀
Nice contrails and I think I shall just position my arm like this in pictures in the future because it looks slim la! 😀
We nearly died squinting. We tried out best to open our eyes but the blazing sun resulted in our funny faces.
And being a cloud-lover (you would know this if you have followed on Instagram @shootingstar18 HAHA!), I knew I had to snap the statues with the cloudy sky.
They are really really fluffy that I was gonna dieeee! 😀
Apart from the plantations at the entrance, there’s another mini plantation of dragon fruits too 🙂
Close-up of a dragon fruit. I know how suaku we as Singaporeans are because we don’t have such things back home! 🙁
So anyway, here comes the HILARIOUS part. I think it was the most hilarious throughout the whole trip!
No photoshop was done – mainly because I don’t know how to?! =x
Michael was very pro in taking jump shots and it was him who suggested that we take jump shots! I am impressed! And am even more impressed with his jump shot stunts! 😀
Successful jump shot – where everyone’s up in the air. AND I KNOW I CAN ADVERT FOR A SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL 😀
There are several shots that failed the bench mark!
Like this :
I was the only one lagging, I know -.-
I looked like I was gonna fart, hence the icon :p
It was blazing hot and we stand under the scorching sun for some time, I was ‘gao wei’ with perspiration, especially with make-up on.
Okay, fine, I’m just slow and relatively inactive than the rest! Not forgetting fatter too… ARGH!
And that’s Michael, together with K-couple!
Bf and I took jump shots with Michael too!
Now now, I’m not the only one lagging here anymore… only because Big K sucked at taking jump shots! =x
And I look like I’ve truckloads of farts again! -.-
Told you he really sucked at taking jump shots! =x He snapped at the count of 2!
Wondering about my position?
Chit-chatting and getting prepared while this Big-K figure out how to snap a jump shot successfully… And he snapped unintentionally while doing so LOL
OKAY, I cannot tahan anymore!
All these pictures never fail to make me ROFL.
I look like I am sitting on a chair!!! HAHAHA!!!
Now what did I tell you? Michael’s really good at snapping jump shots as well as posing in the air !!! KUNGFU JACKIE CHAN WANNABE!
We didn’t discuss our positions prior to snapping this picture, so here you go. Bf kicking me ass and I am extremely happy that I got my ass kicked!
And I can haz hairy face too!!!
Look at how cute this couple is! Only that Big-K’s left foot should be up and straightened out as well!
HAHAHAHA!!! Another failed shot but better than the 1st one because Small-K’s hadouken meant to target his stomach but he jumped too low, hence shot at his head instead!
We also visited another temple which was very much smaller than this.
This small temple has tree trunks, branches and roots intertwining into it. We asked Michael which came first, the tree or the temple, and he told us that the latter was first built followed by the tree. Quite cool isn’t it?
A close-up look of the temple with clearer view of the intertwining roots and branches, with leaves.
And a close-up view of the huge tree standing strong and firm.
The girls! 🙂
And the guys! 🙂
After fooling around, we headed to our long awaited villa resort! 😀
Lovely resort rooms built upon water. We didn’t upgrade to this because we thought the price difference wasn’t justifiable. This is known as the Royal Ocean Villa while we took the Seaview Deluxe that was already included in the package.
Lovely sea… away from the buzzling urban city 🙂
Island boat tour which we rode on the next day! Stay tuned for my next post! 🙂
Went up to our rooms after checking-in 🙂
Our resort room was on the 3rd level. Back to the primitive style – no escalators/elevators, so it was climbing up and down, up and down for the whole 3 days! 🙁
The must-take-picture-of-your-hotel/resort-room-when-you-first-check-in photo 🙂
The must-cover-all-angles/areas-of-your-hotel/resort-room picture.
Outdoor balcony! 🙂
The man with his phone.
One of the many pictures that constantly and provokingly remind me that I should go on a diet soon before I drown in my own pool of fats.
Hello neighbours! 😀
Views from our resort room on the 3rd level.
Our rooms weren’t considered really seaview but if we look out from our balcony, we are still able to see the sea la… so… yeah *awkward smile*.
After resting for awhile, we excitedly proceeded to check out the whole resort! 🙂
Our favourite swinging chair and I really do mean F-A-V-O-U-R-I-T-E because throughout the whole vacation we’ve sat in it for countless of times! Plus, it’s better than sitting on chairs lepaking while spamming the wifi… 😀
The mini bar area…
Big-K doing what he does best.
The guys having their own game.
So small K and I entertained ourselves with darts!
This picture looks a little funny if the dart board wasn’t there, like she’s doing some chicken-dance =x
Trying to aim.
Ignore sharp pointed face and chin, jiggly flabby arms and thunder thighs pls.
Look at the speed of the dart! Nah, I’m kidding :p
And then we got bored and swopped with the guys. Okay, only small K did, I was entertaining myself with my camera while they were busy…
Testing and practising my photography skills….
Here are some of the pictures I took.
Focusing again. Trying to snap a postcard-quality photo…
There’s an outdoor Jacuzzi as well but it looked kinda dirty, so we didn’t try it out at all.
And then everyone got bored of the 2 games so we decided to explore Spa Villa further.
New Ocean Suite.
And as the name suggests, there’s a ‘spa’ area for customers too.
We got to try this out which was included in our package as well. Read below to find out more 🙂
Beach Volleyball net! 😀
We played this as well but on another island – yes we island hopped! Will blog about this in my next post for Day 2! 🙂
Big K imagining himself as a goalie…
Everywhere also can do pull-ups, but bad idea because the metal was rusty!
Took this back shot of bf without him knowing and he loves it! 😀
The guys are more enthu in getting soaked first than us girls.
Doing the BBOY stance.
A lonely emo palm tree…
Palm trees in the sky.
Another postcard-wannabe picture by yours truly 😉
So we decided to have our spa massage before our dinner, because it makes sense right? You don’t want to feel all weird and quirky and bloated when you are supposed to enjoy a relaxing massage…
The spa rooms. Really facing the sea! Super relaxing 🙂
And the ingredients used…
I wasn’t sure which scrub they used but it smelled really sweet like honey… It might just be the milk scrub?
Before we got onto the massage beds for our full body massage, we were also given a good foot scrub massage. No pictures because I felt really paiseh to snap pictures of the masseurs. It’s like kinda rude, no? Plus, I was cringing and tolerating the ticklish feel all the way… Trying my best not to burst out laughing. That happened too during the body massage. =x
Oh yes, for those who have no idea, like me, this traditional full body massage differs from the Thai massage where the latter helps to ‘crack’ your bones. Plus, this spa massage requires you to strip all the way down… But you will be provided with a disposable underwear and a towel wrap. There were times I had to unwrap the towel e.g. to face down on the bed naked and the flip and rest on my back… it was really really embarrassing. So yes, do prepare yourself mentally okay?
And naturally, we got hungry and sourced for food thereafter.
There was nothing much to eat around there except for the little cafe at our resort lobby.
We ordered the expensive BBQ sets.
It costs approx $30 for each set and the seafood were quite tiny! Plus, we sat at the alfresco area so there were insects around, like mozzies and a worm which big K found in their baked potato. He requested for a change but was quite upset when met reluctance from the staff who took awhile to believe him. The new potato took quite some time to be served and it was cold. Even more upsetting.
So it’s not really worth it.
We didn’t know that they serve ala carte food too because they only had the posters promoting their BBQ sets. Totally regretted! 🙁
Anyway, what’s chilling without some booze? 😉
So… we went back chilling at the swinging seat again….
What did I tell you? 😉
As requested by bf, smiling with my teeth and braces shown. I’m still hoping to perfect my smile and teeth but seems like without a jaw reduction, I still look awkward although bf always assures me that I look fine :’)
And another reason why I hate smiling with teeth shown is because I feel it makes me already huge round nose even bigger! :'(
And and and, it deepens my laugh lines compared to smiling…
Ok ok, I know I’m damn problematic 🙁
So, that pretty sums up day 1!
Psst, here are some tips, if you are contemplating to travel with Groupon and with Spa Villa.
1. Read every single fine prints for the Groupon package, as with any other vouchers they offer.
2. Clarify with the travel agency, everything and anything you don’t know.
3. Don’t try the BBQ sets at Spa Villa – expensive and too little.
4. Sit indoors if you don’t wish to dine with insects.
5. Must go for their massages! But must be mentally-prepared to strip.
6. There’s a shuttle bus which fetches visitors to Bintan Agro Beach Resort – which seems more promising than Spa Villa. They are located quite near to each other actually. More on Agro in my next post 🙂
7. Must definitely plan activities to do (if not you would be bored to death) – Snorkelling, Diving, Island Boat Tour etc. All’s stated in their website 🙂
8. With activities in mind + city tour – 2D1N is definitely not enough so extension is highly recommendable by me and depending on your own schedule and budget, you can extend either on weekdays or weekends.
9. Consider bringing an insect repellent along, but the resort provides a little small bottle – not sure if it’s complimentary though. But things sold there are pricey – At Agro beach because Spa Villa doesn’t have a shop.
10. Expensive food with small portions at Spa Villa – bring along cup noodles. Food at Agro is much better – will blog about this in the next post. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed reading and found these tips useful! 🙂
Phew, I think this is one of my longest entry post!
Stay tuned for Day 2 and 3!