dalena | 25 | counting fancies
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a dancer with mosaic
working at the learning lab
4th feb 1986
clearing out her wardrobe


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oh no they didn't
pink is the new blog
the butterfly tales
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Thursday, May 01, 2008
bintan: sun, sand and the sea 8:11 pm

3D2N at Bintan - oh how time flies! Essentially, all we did was bum on the beach or by the poolside, and now I'm the rather proud owner of a very slight golden tan to show for it. It may not be all that obvious, but to those that know me well, it really is an accomplishment since it is usually relatively impossible for me to get a tan of any sort. It took a hell lot of tanning oil (courtesy of Shan), super intense tanning sessions under the sun and A LOT of patience and water lost, I tell you.

Let me walk you through our trip!

Mark and I slept very little the night before thanks to Rock Band and my awesomely slow packing skills, and we had to wake up early to catch the ferry to Bintan. So we were really, really tired - and the long cab ride to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal certainly didn't help.

Shan and Peiyan looked much chirpier than we do, don't they!

We chose to stay at the Mayang Sari beach resort, which is part of the Nirwana Gardens group (they own so many hotels/cabanas/chalets in the area!). It was rather convenient since there were shuttle buses that regularly went around from hotel to hotel and also arranged tour buses that brought people out to the town area or markets if you get bored. For the more adventurous people, there was some highly recommended mangrove tour that I refused to go for because it brought images of Sungei Buloh, mudskippers and monitor lizards to mind.

The blocks there were named really cutely/strangely, depending on how you see it. The chalets that were facing the garden were named after random creepy-crawlies, like Ladybug and Black Ant (hahaha) while those with the seaview were named after sea creatures, e.g. Seahorse, Rock Lobster. We were staying at Ladybug, room 4 (Shan and Peiyan were 3 rooms away at room 1)!

Introducing....our room. Rather dim because the curtains were drawn and we were too lazy to turn on the lights since we only went in briefly to dump our stuff, before gallivanting off to the beach!

Speaking of the beach...the one that was just beside Mayang Sari is super gorgeous. The sand was so clean and powdery fine, and the water, so clear that even when I was fully immersed in the sea with just my head above water level, I could see my toes in full detail! I really, really loved the beach (and this is coming from me, hater of the sea because it is salty and hater of sand because it is icky) - just look at it!

How can we resist? But first things first...we went there to get a tan (except for Peiyan) and so tanning came first. I had fun spraying the boys down with the tanning oil - do all tanning oils smell like coconut, by the way?

My first time using a tanning oil + my first time on a hammock - I subsequently fell asleep on it, tanning oil, ipod touch and all, and was extremely thankful that I didn't awake to find earphone lines on my neck and chest or something.

We ran into the sea to play with the waves (they had some mega ones!) - I got engulfed by a few of the bigger and stronger ones, which was really fun despite the fact that I always came out spluttering like mad. We were literally frolicking on the beach for the longest time until the sun decided to set on us, before heading back to wash up and go for dinner.

Speaking of dinner, the food at Bintan is surprisingly expensive. The water sports, too! I'd expected everything to be cheaper there but I guess I was in for a huge surprise as the prices were not only high, but they were also higher than Singapore's. I think we spent more on food than on anything else there. Kind of expected I guess, given the touristy-nature of the whole island.

After dinner, we chanced upon...a giant chess set! Shan and Mark started playing a game of giant chess while I was intermittently interrupting them as I was trying to learn the rules and photowhore with the chess pieces at the same time.

There was also a giant board of Snakes & Ladders right smack next to the chessboard.

There isn't very much to do at Bintan in the night time, so we spent a hell lot of time playing bridge in our room! Shan and Peiyan smartly brought cards along, and we also smartly decided to invest in some duty-free beer - an extremely good move since the beer in Bintan turned out to be 2-3x more expensive than the DFS prices. Ah well, hotel rates...

The first thing I did when I woke up the second day was to bang my knee REALLY HARD on the corner of the bed. :(

Thankfully, it didn't quite manage to spoil my day though it left a huge angry bruise on my knee. The weather was quite iffy too the whole day - pouring one moment, followed by really hot and bright sun, before breaking into a drizzle again (still with the sun shining as strongly as ever) then finally settling on a semi-cloudy state. Such fickleness, tsk. We spent the day lounging by the pool instead.

The infinity pool was beautiful, too - comparable to the one at the MSF resort we stayed at last year (somewhere in Perak, I suddenly forget the name of the place) but without the multitude of flies that came with it! Thank goodness.

The second night we decided not to stay in hotel (I was really sick of the food there by then) and so we ventured out to this local market called Pasar Oleh Oleh. Such a strange name, right? We ate dinner at Helo Helo Restaurant and this made me wonder why is there a need to repeat the same word twice so often. Hmm.

We walked by some art shop that sold pretty nice paintings and it also offered a temporary tattoo service, so...

Couldn't resist it. :) Got a cute one since it's temporary anyway - and so now I have a sleeping winged bunny on my left wrist! According to everyone, it looks kind of drawn on by a marker or an ink smudge or something, but whatever! As long as I like it!

The last day at Bintan...our last minute attempt at getting a tan once again. Under the midday sun which was horribly intense - we were literally baking! Or, at least, I was.

The sun's too bright and too hot for me! Arrrgghhh.

Then we had lunch - our last meal there, and it was time to go home.

Hoooooome, hooooome on the raaaaaaange. And here we are back in Sunny Singapore (though Bintan was probably sunnier) and spammed with a million smses and calls and emails as usual.

Next trip coming up: Los Angeles in end May, for the LA Salsa Congress. Can't wait!

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