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.

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