May Day Weekend Trip to Bintan/Indonesia

Public holidays in Singapore are fairly allocated between the major population groups, and each gets to choose two of their most important holidays. E.g. Christians get 1 day for Christmas and 1 day for Easter while Chinese get 2 days off for Chinese New Year celebrations. The only exceptions to this rule are Singapore’s National Day commemorating the nation’s founding on 9 August, New Year’s Day on 1 January and May Day.

This year May 1st was on a Tuesday, allowing us to take a day off on Monday and enjoy a long 4-day weekend on the island of Bintan (Indonesia), a 45 minute ferry ride away from Singapore.

Beachside at Moonrise

I’m still unsure if the trip was really 100% relaxing, as it was so radically different from our usual ways of travelling:

  1. Travel individually – No group tours, all-inclusives, pre-organised affairs. We like to make our own plans (and change them on the go as necessary), stay in places we like (even go to the same place two days in a row) and skip places that aren’t interesting or too touristy.
  2. Be super connected – We make sure to have local SIM cards ready, downloaded the offline maps, post pictures/messages/etc.
  3. Spend at least one day shopping – using duty-free and/or favourable exchange rates, we usually buy most of our clothes, shoes, gadgets on vacation.
All-inclusive, pre-organised, worry-free hotel resort

This trip, however, was the exact opposite to these points. The picture above shows the extent of the places we went on this vacation – a private resort, the next inhabited place maybe about 20~30 minutes drive away with everything taken care off.

Which led to us being stumped on the first day on what, exactly, we were supposed to be doing there. The answer to that turned out to be “eat, drink, sleep”. I guess the point of such a resort is to go ahead and completely forget about everything around you and just enjoy.

In order to increase maximum enjoyment however, we decided to use the chance to switch off our phones, lock them in the provided lockbox and go for some digital detox, which may have proved to be the most relaxing part of this vacation (at least for me) – by the end of the 4 days, my eyes felt more relaxed, my shoulders weren’t as stiff from the constant typing/texting/clicking and the outdoor activities probably provided some much needed vitamin D.

Of course, some digital detox wasn’t going to prevent me from making a quick video with the GoPro which doesn’t have a screen and so doesn’t count (and I even sneakily switched on my phone for ~20 something minutes for a quick drone flight).

Have a look yourself:

Weekend in Bintan (2018 May 01) from Flo on Vimeo.

Let me know if you enjoyed or if you would like to try all-inclusive travelling once. Stay tuned for the next trip reports which are going to be a lot more like our usual way of travelling!

And, as always, thanks for watching/reading & subscribing to my blog.

See you next time,