I did not picture this.
I was at Nikoi Island for 3 days and 2 Nights to EXPERIENCE everything for myself; all thanks to Asia Pacific Breweries for this sponsored trip worth a total of $50,000! Wohoooo!
As I'm writing this entry, I'm STILL having my Post-Nikoi-Island-Holiday Syndrome; the longest I've had so far.
Nikoi Island(Indonesia) is about everything being peaceful, serene and embracing yourself completely in the arms of mother nature: My Dream Escapade. *Seriously, why isn't Nikoi Island like, next door?!*
This eco-resort opened in 2007, consists of 15 Non-air conditioned villas as of 2010. You don't need the air-cons anyway. You get plenty of sea breeze and enough ventilation.
A white sandy beach, coral reef off-shore, solar-heated water for showers, driftwood-made architectures, the developed side of Nikoi Island is so cosy you can complete walking around the resort by FOOT within an hour. The rest of the island is covered with Banyan Forests; home for plenty of flora and fauna like the eagles, monitor lizards, turtles etc.
There's no mama-shop, 7-11, convenient stalls or even supermarkets. But I guarantee that the food they prepared will not let you down. You will look forward to every meal and finishing all the food, leaving you perfectly satisfied and nothing but compliments for the chef, especially their desserts!
To reach Nikoi Island, you need:
+1 hour ferry ride to Bintan from Tenah Merah Ferry Terminal
+1 hour of bus ride to a small town in Bintan known as Kawal
+15-minute boat ride to Nikoi Island
We took about 3 hours to reach, inclusive of a short rest and toilet breaks during the transit.
Hot Milo to prevent seasickness.
Hello, we're taking FIRST CLASS Ferry ride!
1. We get to wait for the ferry in the VIP Lounge with free flow of drinks & entertainment.
2. We get to board and alight the ferry BEFORE the other passengers.
3. We were being attended to while on board the ferry!
My travel mates: Calvin, Yongwei, Shaun and William. Not to forget Alfred(APB) too!
==== Colourful Playground Alert ====
Everyone, place your bets!
Racer No.1. Goh Yong Wei
Stallion: Dark Knight
Odds: 1: 80
Racer No.2. Calvin Timothy Leong
Stallion: Fury Superior
Odds: 1: 30
Racer No.3. Mint Leong
Stallion: Ze Couch
Wait. Looks like we need to board the ferry now. The race will be postponed till further notice.
There's an open area, perfect for me!
See you in 3 days' time!
We had barely sailed out at sea, and everyone has completely switched to their holiday mode.
Polaroids given by APB, neat!
Wearing my brand new Crocs Tone shoes for the first time!
It's so easy to match with any outfit!
I'll be giving away TWO pairs of Crocs Tone Shoes worth $90/pair in my NEXT ENTRY, so stay tuned as I tell you how much I adore my new shoes. *Grins*
Bintan, I see Bintan!
He's a real person, just in case you ask. He's there to welcome and direct us to the bus to another pier.
I took a 3-seats-per-row bus for the first time in my life. On the bus, we were offered beverages and light snacks: cakes and homemade sandwiches(YUMMY!)
This young lady going around with a box of cakes is Grace, a friend of mine whom I met at Mediacorps when we filmed for Crimewatch2008. She's working for an events company now, the company in charge of organizing the activities for our Nikoi Trip. I've not seen her for about 3years and staying on a private island together actually bonded the two of us even closer.
Seriously, whoever made this Sandwich should consider setting up a sandwich stall after your retirement!
Sight-seeing scenes captured in Bintan:
We reached the other pier, FINALLY.
That's their 'carpark'.
While we're waiting for our luggage and bags to be uploaded onto the boat, the guests went for their toilet & smoking breaks. Again, free drinks were served.
I know I shouldn't be afraid but tiny boats are scary.
They speed really fast and when they tilt to a side, you can see part of the boat submerged into the waters. I was hyper-ventilating with fear as I imagined how the boat is cutting through the rough waters and planning out my escape route should it capsized.
My fear immediately vanished as Nikoi Island came into view...
Hurry up already, I need to feel the earth beneath me!
Got a shot of Layna, APB's photographer, and find it rather interesting.
Villas spotted, I can't wait to be in one of those!
WELCOME TO NIKOI ISLAND!
These are naturally-formed rocks. You ought to know this: Guests can do their rock climbing activity here. Yes, not the artificial ones that we see in Singapore. Climb REAL rocks for a genuine rock-climbing experience!
The water is crystal clear!!!
Welcome greetings from Tiger Beer.
My Crocs Tone are still going strong.
It's waterproof and easy to wash when sand enters. In addition, it dries almost immediately.
To access, you are required to walk along these cooling sandy paths, well shielded from the sun by the canopy of banyan trees.
Their 'reception' area where you check-in.
Welcome service: Wet towels and fresh watermelon juice.
The staff at work are extremely hospitable and friendly. Definitely willing to pose for pictures upon your request.
One taste of this and you'll know it's 100% fresh watermelon juice; rich in pulp, natural sweet.
This is their dining area in which they call it their 'restaurant'. When one of their staff invited us to dine 'behind the rock', I was expecting a open-space picnic area where we have to sit on picnic mats.
To my surprise, it is a pleasant eco-hut with a full seaside view, equipped with fans, long tables and spacious chairs--elegently simple.
Lunch was duck meat curry, steamed rice, veges and papaya salad.
Tiger beer is FREE FLOW, by the way.
Here's their clubhouse where we'll be partying. During the day, it;s a lounge for you to sit back and read some books if you want to.
After lunch, we headed to the long-anticipated Villa, where we'll be staying for the next 2 nights and day.
We, bloggers, were directed to Villa Number 6.
Villa 6 is probably the most happening villa amongst the rest. On the 2nd night, we even got DJ Shawn to come to our villa and spin for us.
This place is big enough to accommodate at least 20 people! Then again, there aren't enough beds to go around unless you share.
Our villa has a FULL seaside view, 3 bedrooms(huts), 1 kitchen, 1 living room, 3 bathrooms, 6 single-size beds, 1 king-size bed, 1 pavillion, 4 sun-tanning beds.
Each bed comes with a mosquito net and a ceiling fan.
You don't need a key to open the main door because it's an open concept villa, which means you can walk right in anytime of the day, just like that. Still, it's really private because there's NO ONE ELSE on the island except you.
Although there are power points, there are no other electrical appliances except for a radio, not even a kettle or hair dryer. Everything is natural, like I've mentioned. So bring your own.
There's WI-FI on the island. But you must stay near to the 'restaurant' to receive the best signals. Nevertheless, the staff will switch it off when they head to bed.
Enough said, let these breath-taking pictures do the talking!
The door on the right leads to Bathroom 1.
Stairs behind our couch leads to the linkway to other bedroom, upstairs & Bathroom 2.
Shampoo, Body soap, Conditioner is provided.
Our 'fridge' filled with cans & cans of Chilled Tiger Beer, miraculously topped up in the mornings.
You'll need these umbrellas to get to the other rooms should it rain:
Linkage to Bedroom 2 from the living room:
This was Yongwei and Alfred's room.
The interior of BOTH bedrooms look identical with a couch and 3 single-size beds:
Bathroom 2 to the right of the linkway:
William and Shaun stayed here.
As for me, I got the room on the 2nd storey ALL TO MYSELF!
This. is. Second. Storey.
So Loving it.
There are 2 cosy couches, a study table, a king-size bed, 3 balconies, a shelf and a private bathroom in my room. Also, my bathroom is the ONLY bathroom with solar-heater. The guys ended up using my bathroom as the common toilet to shower and do their businesses.
DUMB YONGWEI, GIRLS MIND.
Fortunately, I'm boyish enough to except the fact that you poo-pooed in my bathroom. :p
Similar balcony on either side:
My seaview balcony:
The pavilion downstairs:
The rest of the afternoon was drizzling so we played Monopoly Deal to pass time. And boy, do time pass! Alfred was super hooked onto the game that he didn't even realize we were late for dinner.
We had Casar Salad, Steak and Dory Fish for dinner. The dessert was superb!
Chocolate and cheese topped with mango syrup.
It's Tiger time everybody!
By dinner, everyone had finished more than a hundred cans of Tiger Beer, how's that?
Cheers to Tiger!
Oh yes, did I mention that APB even hired our very own private DJ to spin for us? (I think I did) He can be anywhere and at anytime, doing spinning for us.
Everyone, DJ Shawn is in the house!
And of course, more Tiger beer!
By about 10pm, which is 11pm(Singapore Time), everyone had dispersed and gone back to their Villas. It was a natural cooling night after the drizzle in the afternoon. We had more rounds of monopoly deal and talked about pirates. We hit the sack by 12 midnight to get enough sleep and to catch the sunrise the next day.
That's Shaun and I, waiting at the balcony while William was taking his shower.
The thing about travel mates is that we look after one another. I'm very blessed to have a group of travel mates who looks after me very well. They are patient, kind-hearted and we all help one another throughout the trip.
With the pleasant smell of sea, William had tucked me into bed and placed an umbrella next to me in case
Thinking I was dreaming about myself in Nikoi(But it's real!!!), I finally dozed off into dreamland....
Day 2 is going to be super outdoor &; exciting, bright and sunny!
I'll be bringing you around Nikoi Island to check out their facilities.