Of course Bintan is not Singapore. But its so damn close that it felt like something only someone living in Singapore (or perhaps Malaysia) would go to. Otherwise, if you are travelling all the way to Indonesia, you might as well go to one of the more popular islands like Bali.
Bintan, and nearby Batam, feel like island resorts that have been built purely for the tourism dollar stemming from nearby Singapore. At only 45-60 minutes away by ferry, its a perfect weekend trip away for locals in highly urbanised Singapore. ‘Staycation’ was a new term i discovered after living here (roughly defined as a holiday at home, such as staying in a hotel in the city, or going to nearby batam/bintan).
One thing i had to keep reminding myself was to bring my Passport, as this was an international trip. That might seem trivial to some but for me, the idea of going overseas whilst not actually jumping onto a plane is very foreign indeed.
To get here, i took a Grab taxi to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in the east. You can buy your ferry tickets here from one of the private operators, or from Bintan Resort Ferries. Be sure to use the official website brf.com.sg and not one of the deal comparison sites like directferries.com, as ordering on the latter option does not guarantee you a seat. Book on the official site for an immediate and confirmed reservation. If you are going on a popular period like a long weekend be sure to book your tickets early. You want to maximise your time at these resorts.
We stayed at the Canopi for two nights. It was only meant to be a single night trip but we booked an extra night beforehand due to ferry availability. Wouldn’t recommend it because we had a dead 3 hour spot between checking out of one room, and into another.
The Canopi is known as a resort for ‘Glamping’ (again a new term learnt in Singapore) which is a combination of the words Glamorous and Camping. As expected, its high class camping where you stay in an air conditioned tent with all of the works (LCD TV, AC, shower and bathroom facilities, etc.)
Once you arrive by bus (The resorts will all pick you up from the ferry terminal after immigration), you will be dropped off to see this in front of you.
Imagine a huge swimming pool shaped like a lagoon. Its quite a sight, and you will no doubt either be taking photos, or seeing people take these types of shots: