Thursday, March 2, 2017
Nirwana Gardens (Bintan) - A Quick & Fun-filled Getaway
Bintan is just about an hour away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. This makes Bintan an extremely popular spot with Singaporeans, and tourists who use Singapore as a base to explore South East Asia. With sandy beaches, beautiful blue skies, lush greenery, and a ton of activities, it's clear why Bintan is an attractive destination for a quick holiday.
I never knew that Nirwana Gardens spans across an insanely huge area of 330 hectares (that's about 330 football fields!) There are five different properties in the resort. From a beach club to villas, Nirwana Gardens has got you covered. In addition, 11 dining destinations and a wide array of activities await you.
The new Neydles House that just opened on 13th February prides itself on fresh handmade noodles that draws inspiration from different regions. Chef has cleverly paired different types of noodles with different flavours and the freshest ingredients to satisfy hungry tummies. Best part? You can watch Chef in action as he kneads and pulls the dough!
The Blooming Tea which is a signature at Neydles House is quite a treat to watch. The tea comes with a "ball of grass" that lies at the bottom of the glass. As time passes, the "ball" opens up and a flower is released.
After a really filling lunch, we went on a Ninebot tour around the resort. Ninebot is a self-balancing machine that can take you up to quite a fast speed. The resort is huge so prepare yourself for the sights and a relatively long journey.
Halfway through the Ninebot tour, we arrived at the Flying Fox Tower. We first climbed all the way to the top to lock two locks together at their rendition of "love lock bridge".
The view is quite amazing up here. Next, we descended to ground level to put on our harness and safety equipment before doing the flying fox. Activities such as archery, air rifle, water sports, horse-riding and more are available too.
View from their 3 bed-room villa. Breathtaking isn't it?
Before dinner, we popped by Calypso bar for their signature drinks. At that moment, I felt like I was right where I wanted to be. With the wind in my hair, a tasty drink in hand, and a view of the gorgeous sunset, my heart was full.
A seafood feast waited for us at the adjoining Kelong Restaurant.
The freshest seafood spread lay before us and I was surprised that this entire feast, which can feed 10 people, goes for just less than $50 per pax.
After dinner, we were treated to a quick tour of the Lantern Park, which is out of the resort. Our guide, Maradu, brought us around. We went on odong odong cars, which were kinda like bicycle-cars. We were blasting our own music, singing at the top of our lungs and cycling at top speed. It was simple, but so much fun. The cars were really cute! They were dressed like Mini Coopers or Volkswagen Beetles.
The night concluded with a traditional massage session back at the resort. We were brought to the Anindya Spa which is located near the bowling alley and table tennis tables. You really won't run out of things to do at the resort.
After a good night's rest, it was time for breakfast at this poolside restaurant. The spread is quite attractive. There are a couple of live stations dishing out eggs, waffles, pancakes, French toasts and more.
Next up, a mangrove tour awaits. That's Maradu, our guide! He's super funny, I really enjoyed talking to him. He seems really passionate about animals, just like me! So we went on a boat ride that brought us through the mangrove swamps.
It was high tide so it was particularly exciting as we had to duck under branches hahaha. There were a few stops along the way and we managed to see a snake, three monkeys, monitor lizard and pitcher plants! Super exciting, I was so excited about the baby monkey and his mummy haha. If you're keen to go on the tour, I will suggest doing the night tour because you can see fireflies!
After an hour out at sea, we had lunch at Warung Yeah before we made our way back to Singapore.
This was my first trip to Bintan, and it was truly an eye-opening trip. I never knew that there was so much to do there. I definitely had no idea that Nirwana Gardens offers so many types of accommodation and such a large variety of activities. My trip was way too short and I would have loved to have at least one more day there! If you're thinking of getting away for just a couple of days, I will really suggest that you check the resort out. I'll love to stay at the villas the next time I pop by!