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Lazing in an Indonesian Paradise (photos)

March 20 2003 at 1:42 PM

MTF  (Login MelvynTeillolFoo)
AP Moderators

Banyan Tree Bintan Spa and Resort, Bintan Island, Indonesia.

Just 45 minutes by fast ferry from Singapore, one is whisked away to a slower pace of life. Here, one could indulge in doing just about... nothing. Despite the exhorbitant villa rates, they do NOT have access for computer connections, e-mail or Internet. The only Internet access is one (count 'em) desktop computer in the lobby/reception building. Thats what you pay for at the Banyan Tree.... peace

There are a number of hotels and resorts on Bintan Island but Banyan Tree Bintan is, by far, the most exclusive. Built on former plantations on the edge of primary jungle by the South China Sea, this all-suite only resort with just over 70 villas, has garnered accolades from the likes of American Airline's Platinum List, Condé Nast Traveler Gold List and Zagat Survey.

The 3 main activities are sleeping, spa treatments and golf. There are four championship golf courses on the island designed by and named after legendary golf greats - Gary Player (27 holes), Greg Norman (18 holes), Jack Nicklaus (18 holes) & Ian Baker-Finch (18 holes).

Laguna Bintan [Bintan Lagoon], South China Sea

Sunset, Laguna Bintan

Coconut trees on tropical sands

Refreshments by the ‘infinity’ pools, which seem to stretch into the sea beyond...

The 'Rock' pool

The 'Beach' pool

Villa on stilts built over the rock shore, with gentle lapping waves to lull one to sleep.

Private sundeck and Jacuzzi

Rattan chair or Day bed for lazing.

The rattan chair had swing-out double arms for putting your feet up in a most undignified but relaxing pose.

View from the 4-poster bed

View of the 4-poster bed

Even the shower and sunken marble bath had a view; "au naturel anyone?"

Mosquito net holder was a carved ‘Garuda”

Garuda is a mythical bird with the head and wings of a phoenix and the body and limbs of a man. He is said to be the vehicle (avatar) of Lord Vishnu. He plays an important role in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

In countries like Thailand, where the national religion is Buddhism, Garuda is revered as a deity. The Thai Garuda is a mythical figure with a human torso and arms, a demonic face and a bird's legs, wings and tail. It is dressed in gold, with a crown, bracelets, armbands, a necklace and a girdle or loincloth. The lower half of the legs are also gold.

Thai Garuda, Royal Palace Bangkok

Thai Garuda, Royal Palace Bangkok

In Indonesia and Malaysia, Garuda plays an important role in Malay folklore although the two countries are mainly Muslim. This is because the Malay Archipelago used to be Hindu before the coming of Islam (Srivijaya & Majapahit dynasties). The Garuda is the logo of the Indonesian national airline.

Enough about mythology. Let's return to Bintan, where one could spend time on the bed just looking at the ornately carved ceiling and thatched roof.….

Or just gazing wondrously at Nature...

“What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?” – William Blake

What or Where is your Paradise?
Banyan Tree Bintan has got to be a contender.

Photos and Text Copyright Melvyn Teillol-Foo, 2003

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