NOTHING TO DO & NOWHERE TO BE // Sugi Island, Indonesia

Much like our experience on Bintan Island, Chris and I found ourselves forced to stop and relax in our environment. Both of us struggle to sit still, but we managed to find a balance at Telunas by rotating between reading in hammocks, swimming at the beach, and taking advantage of some of the activities on offer.

On our second day we wandered further down the beach towards the mangroves. The beach wasn’t as long as we thought, and eventually ended in jungle.

The beach, despite being beautiful, wasn’t the best swimming beach. Seaweeds ran thick through the water about ten metres out, and the beach was covered in crabs! We didn’t mind too much as neither of us are big swimmers and were happy to float in the shallows.

Later in the morning we hired a couple of sea kayaks and spent some time paddling along the beach. It was really hard work! Not to mention a week of eating, drinking, and generally being in holiday mode meant whatever fitness we possessed beforehand was beginning to decline. We were asked not to go too far, so we came back in after 45 minutes. Not to mention the beating sun was frying us!

Around lunch time the boat returned from Batam Island with a number of families and couples, bringing our time of having the resort to ourselves to an end.

Telunas offers a number of guided activities, one being a low ropes course hidden in the jungle behind the beach. We had to be guided there by a host, and we tested out terrible balance skills.

It was great to see the jungle, and I wished we could have also done a larger jungle hike that the resort had on offer. However, it required a minimum number of people to do it. Most people don’t come to a beach resort to go hiking, I guess!

The above photo shows the ‘bell’ that is used to signal meal time (7am for breakfast, 12pm for lunch, and 6pm for dinner). It was not really a bell at all, but rather a hollow wooden sound – but it got our attention at meal times!

The next morning we had to return to Batam, but we had time to squeeze in some reading on the beach before our boat left around 9am.

The boat ride back was just as magical.

I still can’t believe we managed to find this little slice of paradise hidden among the Riau Islands! For a resort experience it was quite affordable, and a great place to disconnect and relax in a simple environment. If you are ever in Singapore, this is a perfect getaway that is close by!

But for now, back to Singapore!

– Reanna

*** I should also mention at this point that all these views are totally my own – I have never had my experience or accommodation at any holiday destination paid for. I just genuinely want to recommend some places!

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PARADISE // Sugi Island, Indonesia

Our final island destination before returning to Singapore was a bit more of a ‘resort’ option. Somehow during my holiday research I stumbled upon a blog post about an elusive resort, hidden along Sugi Island. A few more clicks later and I found myself on the website for Telunas Resorts and the rest is history.

The resort is mainly targeted at people coming straight from Singapore, however we were able to arrange to meet at the ferry terminal in Batam as we were already on the island. Batam has several ferry terminals, so thankfully our hotel was able to arrange a driver to take us to Sekupang Ferry Terminal. From there, we were to take a private boat to the resort. We were met by one of the hosts from Telunas, as well as a few families coming from Singapore. For the first time since arriving from Melbourne, we were hit with rain! It was quite torrential and made boarding our small ‘fishing boat’ a bit of a task!

Soon the clouds cleared up and we were able to take in the views of our hour and a half trip to the resort. The number of islands in Indonesia is mind-blowing, and we must have passed hundred just going to Sugi Island! We sped past mangroves, fishing villages, and uninhabited forests. I was frantically trying to take photos on my camera, whilst Chris was focused on working on his tan.

Telunas is actually made up of two resorts – the more popular (and more expensive!) being the Private Island, seen above. Everyone else on the boat disembarked here.

Then it was over to the Beach Resort, above. We were greeted enthusiastically by our hosts, who provided us with a ‘welcome drink’ (some strange but delicious lemonade/juice/mocktail) and lunch.

After we had stuffed our faces at the buffet we were shown to our room. There were a variety of options at the resort, but we opted for the smallest and simplest ‘Deluxe Room’, which featured a double bed and a private bathroom. I should note here that Telunas is not a fancy resort by any means – there is no air-conditioning, and no wifi! It is all about simplicity and taking in the island life – quite like Bintan!

Who would have known it was bucketing rain two hours earlier?!

The main attraction of the resort is the beach, which was beautiful. We spent most of our time rotating between swimming and reading in the hammocks.

You can see the ‘fishing boat’ we arrived in above, and the Private Island in the distance.

Besides one small family, we seemed to be only people at the Beach Resort for the first night of our stay. It was so blissfully quiet and beautiful. Everywhere you looked was breathtaking!

The room rates at the resort were reasonable, however they did not include the additional mandatory tariff for all the meals. The food was far better than I expected for a buffet, ranging from local Indonesian dishes and desserts, to more Western options. It changed with every meal, each day, so we were never sick of eating the same things.

The beach also included numerous activities, ranging from darts and badminton, to soccer and some other ball games we had never heard of. We attempted to play badminton but realised we were both absolutely terrible at it! Back to reading and swimming it was…

– Reanna