Looking for a perfect weekend escape? Here, you can even bring the kids for a great family getaway
By Lester J Wan
As I disembarked from my ferry at the idyllic Bintan Island, I was a little sceptical. Would Angsana Bintan’s “Ultimate Chill Out – All-Day Beach Party” live up to its billing?
Upon arriving at Angsana Bintan, the first thing that struck me was the impeccable service and the warmth of the staff, no matter in which role or where I encountered them.
Attention to detail, including leaving gifts and well wishes written with leaves, flowers and stalks on my bed, heightened the inviting ambience. It truly felt like coming home, away from home.
The welcome aside, Angsana Bintan has various exciting sports activities available. For me, the most fun of them all was the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) ride. Also known as quad-bikes, these mean machines are basically motorcycles with four wheels that can travel over any terrain.
It was exhilarating being let loose as a speed demon on the beach and the open roads, as well as overcoming challenging or bumpy tracks in the forest and over the little knolls. What makes it more fun is that it is not that easy, so you not only experience the thrill but feel a sense of accomplishment at the end.
Along the journey, we got to see a small kampong, and even spotted a wild monkey in the trees!
Jet skiing was also a thrill, though the waves can be choppy and you need to be prepared to take water in your face. Still, if you like a high-speed chase on the water a la James Bond, this would be your kind of fun.
Other Games & Activities
There are other beach party activities especially ideal for families or groups of friends. You can participate in a nature walk, beach soccer in sarong, a volleyball competition, a marble race with a spoon, and even a mobile gym on the beach.
There are also activities for kids, such as the sandcastle building competition, a bike race on the beach, kids’ treasure hunt, and a sugar sack race. It was lovely to see the little ones having a great time.
Release of Sea Turtles
The high point of the entire weekend was undoubtedly the release of sea turtle hatchlings, as part of Angsana Bintan’s conservation effort.
It was quite the experience, watching these little hatchlings clambering along the beach and heading straight for the sea. Only about 10 per cent of baby sea turtles survive to adulthood once they reach the sea and, in the wild, many are eaten before they even reach the sea.
The breeding and release of sea turtles greatly aids in the odds and numbers of survival. Make sure you come early and plan your photo spot as there will be others scrambling for a shot of these little darlings.
Beach Grill & Party
As the sun began to set, we headed to indulge in a massive barbecue spread for dinner at Pantai Grill, by the beach. We were surprised to find that our table and seats had been moulded from the sand.
Laid in our sight was a wide array of barbecued meat including beef, lamb, chicken, fish and seafood. The heady, tempting aromas wafted along with the sea breeze and helped to build up an appetite.
All of a sudden, there was a buzz of excitement. In a flash, the sky was lit in a flurry of striking colours and patterns. The spectacular fireworks that painted the night sky lasted for a long time.
We left at about midnight, but not without reluctance.
The next morning, we went for a spa experience at the Angsana Spa. You can choose a soft, medium or hard massage, and different scents of potpourri. Each level of massage has different options.
I chose the “Dreams” massage. Suffice to say, I can’t remember too much about it as you can guess where I drifted off to. The massage was soothing and therapeutic, and helped to unknot a few tense muscles from the daily grind.
I certainly felt rejuvenated after this great weekend escape.
Angsana Bintan’s “Ultimate Chill Out – All-Day Beach Party” was launched on Oct 26. The next weekend event has a culinary theme entitled “Colours of Thailand”, and takes place from Nov 30 to Dec 1.
The “Colours of Thailand” weekend experience features the Corporate Chef from Saffron restaurant, Chef Renu Homsombat.
Enjoy the following inclusions when you book:
• Return land transfers by coach between Bintan Ferry Terminal & the resort
• Thai buffet dinner for two persons on Nov 30
• Thai-themed breakfast & lunch for two persons on Dec 1
• Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Rates start from US$220++ for Superior Twin room, to US$550++ for the Angsana Suite. Check with Angsana Bintan for other room options and rates.