Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bintan, Indonesia

This weekend, 7 friends and I took a relaxing getaway to Bintan, Indonesia.  It was only a short ferry ride just under an hour!!
Emma and I arrived Friday night just in time to meet the others for dinner.  We stayed at a place called Nostalgia Yasin Bungalow!  It was so awesome.  Two people stayed in one room and they were very spacious.  The beds all had mosquito nets and each room had a balcony.  
A picture really is worth a thousand words and I’m feeling quite lazy right now.  So this post will have a plethora of pictures.  I tried to organize them a bit, but they are just from the whole weekend.
Me and Emma in our room.
Lobby of our hostel.
We experienced low tide and high tide while we were there.  The difference was huge!  This is high tide.
Same boat during low tide.
Low tide.  During high tide the water was up to the rock wall.
The pretty water bungalows :)
Full moon.
The deadly bug I found in our bathroom!  AHHH!!!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bug this big.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten this close if I had known that if you get bitten it could kill you.  We called the front desk to get rid of it and they stomped on it.  eek!
The shower.  You just stand in the corner and hose yourself down.  No hot water, but it wasn’t bad.  Can’t expect much for $18 singapore dollars a night.
Our room.
With the mosquito net down.  Apparently malaria is a big issue in a lot of places in Southeast Asia.  I’m taking my chances and not taking the pills because they are quite expensive ($7.50 for one) and you need to take them everyday while on the trip and at least a week after you get back!  I’ve been continuously wearing bug repellent and mosquito patches so I don’t get bit.  I successfully avoided any bites this trip.
Hanging out on the porch.
Dinner the first night.
Appreciating life.
Fresh fruit juice every morning!  This is watermelon and pineapple.  They also have fresh fruit juices on campus, but it seems so much cooler when you’re enjoying it on the beach.
Enjoying breakfast before going into town.  Terry, Alex, Tim, Cass, Kira, Parisa, Emma.
Around 300,000 rupiah!!  But 1 singapore dollar is 6,900 rupiah so this is only about 43 singapore dollars.  ($1 USD = $1.27 SGD)  It really felt like we just had fake money.  The coins were so light and probably made from plastic, which makes sense because 100 rupiah is not even a tenth of a penny!
We went into town one day to see a little bit of the lifestyle and culture.  It was about an hour ride.  The driving here is insane.  Running red lights, passing people around corners, cars going between motorcycles, no seat belts, etc.  It was actually kind of scary.  I’ve found that bad driving is pretty common in Southeast Asia, even in Singapore where I would think it would be extremely regulated because everything here is.  I guess that’s why it’s a stereotype in America that Asians are bad drivers.  Also, not many people had cars.  They all had motorcycles.  At one point I saw a mother with 3 kids on one motorcycle.  It really didn’t look very safe, but it was very common.
On our way to town.  Me and Cass.
A lot of flooding was present in the town.
Machete sales on the street.
The simple life.  I’m curious as to whether or not they realize the extent of their poverty or if it’s just they way of life to them.
More flooding.
Apart from going to town, it was an extremely relaxing weekend.  It was cloudy for a lot of the time we were there, but it was still great!  On the last day, I forgot to put on sun screen because the sun wasn’t really out.  Bad idea, I got a little pink!  It isn’t bad, but I hate knowing that my skin got damaged :(
I obviously had to get my coconut.  Not as good as the ones in Malaysia and Singapore.
A lot of kite surfing.  It looked really difficult, but so cool!
We played a little friendly beach volleyball, but we all know how competitive I can get.  All we do is win, win, win. No matter what.  Team Awesome.
Playing on the beach!
Pool!  This wasn’t at the hostel we were staying at, but it was at it’s sister resort which was about 1km away.  We got free shuttle services there and back!  We did most of our activities at this resort including volleyball, kayaking, tanning, eating, and I got a foot spa!  So pretty much everything except sleeping.
Praying mantis by the pool.
We went kayaking!  It was extremely tiring!
Me and Cass having a great time with our life jackets.
Me and the German.
I’m 20 years old, living and studying in Singapore, visiting resorts in Indonesia for the weekend, and it’s February!  I’m so grateful that I am able to experience so much while abroad!  Thank God.
I purchased some souvenirs while I was there!  I got my own set of chopsticks, which I’m super excited about.  I love using chopsticks now.  I used a fork this weekend for the first time in about a month and found myself thinking that my food would be easier to eat if I had chopsticks!  I also purchased a couple of picture frames made from batik, which is traditional Indonesian fabric.  They’re very pretty and I can’t wait to decorate my room with all the things I collect!  It was a super relaxing and fun weekend in Indonesia with my new friends from all over the world :)

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