Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Banyan Tree at Bintan

Figured it was about time that I create a new post with something more interesting than the cab drivers of Singapore.  The picture to the left was the view from my "villa" the last couple of nights - the water in the distance is the South China Sea.  This was at the Banyan Tree resort in Bintan, which is an Indonesian island an hour ferry ride from Singapore.  I can't believe Chris and I hadn't been there yet, having been in Singapore for a year and a half.  It is probably because we hadn't heard of any resort there that was particularly awesome, and didn't want to take a chance on an unknown.  Then some new friends spent a weekend at this resort recently and raved about it.  So, I decided to check it out on my own, as Chris is in the US, and I needed to get the heck out of Singapore.  This was a departure (no pun intended) for me - it's been years since I have traveled solo, but I decided to use this as sort of a retreat.
I arrived on Sunday afternoon and left the following Tuesday, just enough time to absorb a different environment, escape reality for a while and come back rejuvenated.  I read, meditated, had a spa treatment and soaked up the sun (in the shade, that is).  I went on a guided walk through a Greg Norman golf course (this was a resort, after all), to undeveloped jungle, then a small fishing village, ending at a beautiful almost-deserted beach.  We saw rattan growing in the wild, formosa plants that wilt when you touch them, a kingfisher swallowing a fish bigger than it's head and a tribe of long-tail macaques - my first monkeys since moving here.  

Conclusion:  traveling alone is what you make of it.  I have a tendency to isolate while alone, and when I found myself going in that direction, I reversed.  Had a great time, and will look forward to showing the island to Chris.  One more thing - traveling by ferry sure beats the heck out of getting on a plane!