bintan – part 2

After 2 nights at Yasin, we decide to step things up a notch, get hoighty, and head to the ‘Resorts’ district. It’s  a whole other world in here… Our rickety bus passes through a security checkpoint, complete with barbed wire and armed guards. One guard seems to have the very important task of pointing a running hose at each vehicle that passes through. That’s not a euphemism. It was a rubber hose. With water coming out.

We drive for about 20 minutes until we enter the hallowed gates of the Bintan Lagoon Resort. IT’S WEIRD!!! There are people sitting at the side of the road picking weeds out of the grass. There is a golf course. THERE ARE MONKEYS!!

The foyer is ENORMOUS. We are welcomed with iced tea. And hot towels. And the promise of wifi. How bougie are we??

Our room has air-conditioning. And NO MOSQUITOS!! Rich and I are both very excited at the thought of a full nights sleep without that squealy whine in our ears and the opportunity to give our bodies a rest from being eaten alive.

There are 12 restaurants here, all essentially serving the same Western fare, along with a nightclub!!! And a karaoke lounge!!! Flaps up, gang. On Friday night, during Happy Hour in the main restaurant, the barman makes cocktails WHILE JUGGLING FIRE!!!! A sight to behold, and certainly a very different world from what we’ve just experienced on the other side of the island.

The music here is also awesome, but again, in an entirely different way. There is a band (four singers, guitar, keys, and I’m guessing there’s a drum machine in there somewhere as well) who sit in the foyer, singing earnest covers of Metallica and Faith No More. It’s really loud. And the singers are really off key. But it’s still totally incredible and hilarious.

Aside from all the crazy decadence oozing outta the perfectly manicured lawns and air-conditioning vents, my absolute favourite thing about staying here is that you can swim in the ocean. And it seems that none of the other guests know that they are staying on a beach, with most of them choosing to sun it up (and burn baby burn) by the pool. The beach at Yasin was too polluted and stink to swim in, and nearly all the beaches we passed on the way here were too rocky to get down to, and too litter-filled to properly enjoy. The beach here is calm, but with enough little waves to make it feel like you’re in more than a giant’s bathtub. The three times we’ve been to the beach during our stay here, it’s been pretty much deserted, and amazing.

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