Bintan is a small Indonesian island which is an hour’s ferry ride away from Singapore. Hence, it became a favorite weekend getaway of some Singapore residents.

Superior Room at Nirwana Gardens Resort
We booked our round trip ferry tickets from Bintan Resort Ferries for around SGD 70. We left Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (Singapore) at 2PM and arrived at Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal (Bintan) at 1:55PM (Indonesia Time). There is a one-hour time difference between Singapore and Bintan. Hence, after the one hour ferry ride, we arrived at the same time in Indonesia.

There are different resorts in Bintan which you may choose from and we decided to book Nirwana Gardens due to its homey and relaxed look. The resort setting is actually similar to Crimson Mactan but the space is much more expansive.

From the ferry terminal, a shuttle bus brought us to the resort. The resort ground is pretty huge. There is an internal shuttle which can take you around the resort if you want to explore. 

We opt to book our stay at the hotel as it is closer to the pool and breakfast area. The room that we got has a garden view and was very cozy.

The next day, we decided to take the shuttle from the resort to Pasar Oleh Oleh, which is a quaint marketplace. Since it was raining while we were there, we were only able to have lunch and not able to properly walk around the place.

Garlic Chicken

Sweet and Sour Fish
We spent most of the time lounging by the pool as there was nice weather while we were there.

Pool area
Beach front
It was one relaxing trip indeed!

Helpful Tip: No need to change your Singaporean Dollars to Indonesian Rupiah as most of the hotels/restaurants in Bintan accepts Singapore Dollars.

Nirwana Gardens
Jalan Panglima Pantar, Lagoi 29155
Bintan Resorts, Indonesia
Telephone: (65) 6323 6636
Fax: (65) 6323 7717


Last summer, my family and I went on a weekend getaway to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.

Las Casas showcases a collection of heritage houses, mostly from Luzon, which are carefully dismantled and reconstructed, brick by brick and plank by plank. This idea was conceptualized by Mr Jerry Acuzar, who is a businessman and developer. 
Path to the old Manila

It became controversial as there were some heritage advocates who were against dismantling the heritage houses and moving them to a different location. They said it will not be the same if they are moved from their original locations.

We left Manila around 5:00 am and were already in Bataan by 9:00 am. Since they only allow check-in at 2pm, we decided to take the 10:30 am Heritage Tour. The tour is available every hour; you may want to check out the schedule on their website. For an additional charge, they also offer private tours, which you can book if you are in a larger group, or want to roam the place at your own pace.

Even if you know your history well, being able to step into the houses which became silent witnesses of our history, and taking a peek down memory lane, is very nostalgic. The large capiz windows, wide wooden floor boards, and elegant cornisas (cornices) will surely transport you to the old Philippines that our ancestors lived in.

I won’t go much into details of the heritage tour or the chistory (chismis-history), as it will spoil what they have prepared for you.

We booked a Family Room for an overnight stay. There are three king-sized beds, which can accommodate 6 persons. We added two more extra beds as there were eight of us.

The room, as well as the bathroom, is massive and it was very beautifully decorated. It felt like checking in to a five-star hotel back in 1920s.

After resting, we decided to take a dip in the sea and it was a breath of fresh air.
Overall, it was one summer we will truly cherish.

Batis inspired pool
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan
2107, Philippines
Landline numbers: +63 2 332 5338, +63 2 332 5286, +63 2 877 4501, +63 2 877 4502
Mobile number: +63 917 872 9361
E-mail: or