Friday, March 27, 2015

Nikoi Island: Tropical Paradise in the South China Sea

The island of Bintan in the Riau Islands Province never ceases to amaze visitors with its enchanting natural landscape. The smooth roads on this island, accompanied by spectacular sceneries are ready to take you to some of the amazing splendors beyond your imagination. One of these roads will  lead you to a secluded small island off the coast of Bintan: Nikoi Island, a tropical Paradise in South China Sea.

Located less than 85km from Singapore, Nikoi is a 15 hectare exclusive island 8km off the east coast of Bintan. To reach the island, one must take a fast boat from the Kawal Pier at the Agro Beach Resort Bintan or a Ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Port in Singapore.

Long regarded as one of the most stunning islands on this relatively unspoilt coast, Nikoi is fortunate to have retained its pristine condition. It is ringed with white sandy beaches and coral reefs of spectacular color and diversity and has  a coastline studded with granite boulders that seemingly defy gravity. Rising to a height of 30m, the island also boasts a rain forest where giant  trees, including native Banyan trees, provide a sanctuary to a diverse population of local birds.

The island is managed by a small group of expatriates who have lived in Asia for most of their working lives and share a passion for the outdoors, nature, food and wine. The name Nikoi is a local variation of the Chinese Hokkein word for papaya (paw paw) – a fruit that was originally grown on the island.

Today the island resort features beach houses that reflect both traditional Indonesian architecture and contemporary form.  Using driftwood and ‘alang alang’ grass roofing to blend into the environment, each beach house incorporates a modern ensuite bathroom.  Thus, provides a “simple barefoot luxury” in a superb  setting.

A spectacular pool has also been built in amongst the granite boulders on the north-eastern side of the island and provides a destination within a destination.  Set high above the sea it overlooks one of the prettiest beaches on Nikoi and provides an uninterrupted view over the South China Sea.  There is also an adjacent wading pool for young children and a bar.

The ability to hire out the entire island for groups of up to 60 is also attractive for corporate groups wanting to focus on team building or smaller style conferences. The island has also become popular for groups of friends celebrating milestone birthdays and other occasions. In May 2007 Nikoi was opened to the public and has fast become a popular destination for Singapore expatriates and visitors from further afield. Many of these guests have already returned for their second, third and fourth visits.

Nikoi Island is fully booked on weekends months in advance. With weekday bookings filling up fast it appears the secret of Nikoi is well and truly out.

To Do
There is nothing more comforting than lying back on a quiet beach and absorbing its serenity accompanied by spectacular sceneries under the bright blue sky. Relaxing benches of  soft white sands along the coast are ready to indulge you in this tropical paradise.

The island also offers diverse activities for those who wish to have that ultimate tropical experience including swimming, sailing, snorkeling, massage, nature discovery and island hopping, windsurfing, standup paddle boarding, kayaking, tennis, croquet, and boule . Those who wish to explore the underwater splendors around the island can also dive into some of the coral reefs. However the current here are relatively strong, so only advanced divers with appropriate qualifications should  dive here.

More information available at: 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Superb Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua - Mgallery Collection

Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua - Mgallery Collection features spacious villas with a private pool and free Wi-Fi. A 3-minute walk to Nusa Dua Beach, the property also offers a fitness centre and restaurant.

Each villa features a private pool, dining and seating areas. Air-conditioned bedroom includes a flat-screen satellite TV, wardrobe, telephone and minibar. Private bathroom comes with a shower, bathtub and toilet.

Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua - Mgallery Collection is a 5-minute walk to Bali Collection and a 15-minute drive to Ngurah Rai International Airport.
A 24-hour reception offers safety deposit boxes. Laundry services are available at an extra cost.
Indonesian and International cuisine is served in the privacy of guests’ villas.

Address:  Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua BTDC Resort Lot Blok B, 80363 Nusa Dua, Indonesia Show map

Bedroom Wardrobe/Closet
View Pool view
OutdoorsOutdoor pool, Garden, Terrace, Sun terrace, Private Pool
Activities Fitness centre, Spa and wellness centre, Massage, Indoor pool, Private beach area
Living Area Seating Area, Sofa, Desk, Dining area
Media & Technology Satellite Channels, DVD Player, Flat-screen TV, CD Player, Telephone
Food & Drink Bar, Breakfast in the room, Restaurant (à la carte), Minibar
Internet Free! WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.
Parking Free! Free private parking is possible on site (reservation is not needed).
Services Room service, Car hire, Shuttle service (free) , 24-hour front desk, Tour desk, Luggage storage, Concierge service, Private check-in/check-out, Babysitting/child services, Laundry, Meeting/banquet facilities, Business centre, Fax/photocopying, Gift shop, Wake-up service
General Newspapers, Safety deposit box, Mosquito net, Hardwood/Parquet floors, Air Conditioning, Safety Deposit Box
Languages spoken Indonesian, French, English

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bali by the Numbers: No Sign of an Australian Boycott as Bali’s Arrival Figures for February Increase 21%

Tourists arrivals through the end of February 2015 continued to demonstrate strong growth in arrivals with 335,469 foreign tourists coming to Bali – a 21% improvement over February 2014 when 275,795 arrivals were recorded. news, bali news, bali update, bali informations news, bali news, bali update, bali informations news, bali news, bali update, bali informations
Click Image to Enlarge

Seen on a cumulative basis for the first two months of the year, foreign tourist arrivals to Bali totaled 637,217 - increasing 14.8% when compared to the first two months of 2014.

No Sign of an Australian Boycott Yet

Vigils and threats of a boycott of Bali in connection with the imminent execution of the two ringleaders of the Bali Nine aside, arrivals statistics for February provide no evidence of any downturn in Australian visitors to Bali.

Australian February arrivals hit 71,365 - up 13.85% over February 2014.

Australian arrivals for the first two months of 2105 are also up 16.76%.

China Boom Underway

A concentrated program of special charter flights between China and Bali operated by Garuda Indonesia and other airlines boosted Chinese arrivals by 64.49% to 93,922 in February. Year-to-date arrivals from China for January-February 2015 are up 33.71% as compared to January-February 2014.

Japan Looking Better

The Japanese market is, despite a recession, showing marked improvement. January-February 2015 arrivals ex-Japan are up 32.32%.

Malaysia and Singapore Arrivals Down

Malaysian arrivals for January-February 2015 have declined 15.77% while Singapore arrivals for the same period declined 9.65%.

Europe Performing Strongly

Arrivals from the United Kingdom for January-February 2015 increased 25.25%, with The Netherland up 21.26%, and France ahead 9.48%.


India is proving itself a real player in Bali tourism, quickly moving up to a position among the top ten inbound markets. Indian bookings boomed 47.52% for January-February 2015 over the same period in 2014.

Russian Market Ailing Badly

Russian arrivals to Bali are sick and getting sicker. Arrivals are down 42.36% for January-February 2015. Russia now ranks 14th among Bali arrivals, sliding from 9th in 2014 and 6th in 2013.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jakarta to host the 4th Asia Golf Tourism Convention

The capital city of Jakarta will welcome Asia’s golf tourism industry when the region’s top golf tourism convention heads to the city on 27th to 30th April for the 4th Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) 2015 to be held at the Jakarta International Convention Center.  Recognized as a dynamic  city with fantastic golf courses that offer some of the best hospitality in Asia, Jakarta is considered as the perfect venue for the golf tourism industry’s premier event in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Golf Convention  will bring together golf resorts and destinations from across the Asia Pacific region and golf tour operators from all over the world. More than 4000 meetings will take place between golf tour operators and golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels, inbound operators and tourist boards over two days. The AGTC attracts over 500 delegates from 32 countries including some 150 golf tour operators, all selling Asia Pacific golf destinations, from all leading markets.

At the start of the first business day, suppliers will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to all buyers during two hours of speed-dating with buyers. This is followed by 9.5 hours of meetings over two days where golf resorts, golf clubs, hotels and other suppliers can have up to 38 appointments of 15 minutes sessions  with buyers/golf tour operators from over 30 countries.

All delegates are invited to enjoy the Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner and can participate in the AGTC Golf Tournament.

Organized by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), AGTC has expanded each year since its inception in the  Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in 2012. The 2014 event was attended by a record 556 delegates, with over 200 tour operators drawn from 32 countries - an increase of over 30% on previous year's event in Pattaya, Thailand.

At the unveiling of the 2015 venue, IAGTO’s President, Peter Walton, said “IAGTO carried out the golf tourism strategy for Jakarta in 2011. That was my first visit to the city and I was staggered by the quality of the courses within a short distance of the buzzing capital’s hotels, shopping and entertainment district. All of the courses stood out in terms of their fantastic hospitality, highly trained and multi-lingual caddies, great clubhouses and fantastic restaurants. Jakarta is a wonderfully friendly city and, as Indonesia’s capital, is easily accessible.”

For Registration and more information, log on to:

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Hidden Gem of Ecotourism in W. Kalimantan

Betung Kerihun National Park

Betung Kerihun National Park is the biggest conservation area in West Kalimantan province, covering 800,000 hectares of Kapuas Hulu district.

The park is directly adjacent to Sarawak, Malaysia, and is part of a joint cross-border conservation area with Lanjak Entimau Wild Life Sanctuary (LEWS) and Batang Ai National Park in Sarawak. Embaloh and Tekelan are merely two of the hundreds of rivers flowing through the TNBK, while its vast expanse of tropical rainforests provide a safe haven for countless species of flora and fauna, including many that are endangered, such as the orangutan and black orchid.

The national park is also part of a conservation initiative called the Heart of Borneo (HoB), a program established in 2007 by non-profit organizations and NGOs from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

Visitors can reach TNBK through the town of Putussibau in West Kalimantan or Kuching on the Malaysian side. The latter route involves a five-hour drive along a smooth highway to the Nanga Badau border crossing. Putussibau is closer, but the journey takes just as long because the roads are an obstacle course of potholes and loose gravel.

The Indonesian side of Nanga Badau is littered with empty, decaying buildings that were meant to house immigration officers. However, lack of access to water has driven many of them out of the area, according to the border office.

In striking contrast, the Malaysian side of the border pass is fed by a modern highway that automatically records the number of vehicles passing through. Here, the immigration checkpoint is equipped with state-of-the-art fingerprint scanners and computers. Its Indonesian counterpart, meanwhile, still uses traditional record-keeping methods with a manual form.

Another notable difference between the individual parks that make up the multinational conservation area lies in the number of visitors.
Muhammad Wahyudi, the manager of the TNBK, says the park hosts 20 to 30 visitors each month.

The three national parks of Sarawak, meanwhile, are visited by five millions tourists every year.

The majestic beauty of Betung Kerihun National Park has sadly remained unknown to both domestic and foreign tourists. There is more to the park than its rich collection of unique wildlife and flora; the area is also home to the indigenous Dayak tribe.



 Contents Feed

 Comments Feed

Blog Archive

Bali Expat's Guide