Bintan Slam

No time to relax when there’s so much to do, the ANZA Office finds.

It’s not common to head to a resort without kids and think ‘I need a holiday after this’ so shortly afterwards. For the ANZA office, we are heading to Treasure Bay Bintan to have a nice team-building trip – though sitting down is not what this place is about, it seems.

While it’s a tad cringe-worthy to adopt the word ‘glamping’ (or glamorous camping) Treasure Bay’s The Canopi is a series of well-dressed rooms made from strong materials you’d imagine would be how a city slicker with no camping experience would want a tent to be – four-pillared queen-size bed, large air con unit, television and al fresco bathroom. It’s easy to forget these are indeed tents and not four-walled buildings. In fact, these 40 tents were initially created for the workers while building the resort, but became the main attraction.

At first, arriving at the 338-hectare resort is not what you’d expect – entering through a brand new building that’ll soon be a collection of shops. It’s once you walk through and see the pièce de résistance – and the main focus of the resort – the bright blue lagoon situated in the middle of the resort. This $14 million crystal blue pool is actually filtered sea water, with the bright white protective flooring of the lagoon allowing the blue of the sea to really shine.


The view from the reception desk.

There’s a little journey to take along the lagoon to the check-in desk at the end of the lagoon, and this is where it gets fun. Hop into a 1920s Ford car replica and be taken down to the front desk, or try something a little more fun. There’s Segways, electric scooters and baby ATVs – you’ll be given a quick lesson on how to ride beforehand. Some of us had never used a Segway or electric scooter before, but we eventually pick up how to steer and turn – and even use the indicator for a bit of flair.

Most of the activities at The Canopi are water-focused. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something that you don’t like. There’s the two-seater electric bumper boats and standing paddle boards to wade around the lagoon.

The intricate inflatable ‘Wipeout’-style obstacle course will let kids live out their wild imaginations of surviving the entire course without falling into the water at least once. Everyone is encouraged to wear a life jacket on this just in case. What looks like two zipline wires is actually a wakeboarding pulley. To save on having to arrange boats or jetskis to pull eager wakeboarders along, these motorised wakeboarding handles can drag eager boarders along the water with ease.

For the more adventurous, brave and hopefully insured – we half-joke about this, as there’s little reason for concern – there’s the Jetovator. A water-propelled ‘vehicle’ that’s linked to a jetski via a water tube, three jets – one by your feet, and the other two controlled by controlling the levers – push the light metal frame you stand on.

It certainly looks complicated at first – and believe us, you’ll most likely fall a few times before getting it – but you’ll pick up the necessary skills to balance the nozzles and your body stature as you’re slowly lifting out of the water and hovering a few metres up. The falls do not hurt – a few of us practiced that part many a time.


The dirt-covered UTVs waiting for the next group to tread towards the jungle.

Those wanting to stay away from sea-based activities will take refuge in the off-road ATV and UTV rides. With a quick lesson beforehand, teams of three are whisked away by a guide on our own ATVs – sitting on an engine powering four wheels with tread deep enough to form piano keys in mud.

From the bumpy cement-dirt path to the red clay road, we head towards the forest – passing the trucks dropping off cargo for construction. The path then leads into a private forest path, and this is where you’re tested on your balance and understanding of gravity.

Hills escalate, and the biceps come a little into play as the four wheels take the grunt work to bring engine and body up. Surrounding us are trees shading us from the sun. The path gets thinner, and as a word of warning for those who aren’t as confident to ride an off-road vehicle, it’ll take some concentration to get through it all.

A very short trip from the main lagoon area is a mangrove that you can take a two-person kayak down. Here is where you’ll face all sorts of different sounds – from the nearby birds to the stream of water pouring over the paddles on each push. We also hear the occasional laughter from friends on other boats trying their best to keep the kayaks straight. The kayaks are not easy to tip – though we recommend not attempting to – and when the current is in your favour, makes for a relaxing paddle.


Paddling down the lagoon.

We weren’t so lucky at the beginning, and a little extra elbow grease was required to keep the boat from either going perpendicular to the current, or heading towards one of the low-hanging branches from the nearby trees. We’re accompanied by trained guides who will happily swing around to help out, though we’re too proud to ask for it during this bit.

Land and sea have been covered, but it’s the nearby Air Adventures ultralight seaplane ride that had us seeing the island from a few thousand feet above. The seaport, around 15 minutes’ drive from the resort, houses the XL-65 plane that will whisk passengers up high – with little to protect them but Stuart the experienced pilot who sits in front of you.

From above the neighbouring resorts like Nirwana Gardens, Laguna Bintan and Lagoi Bay can be spotted – the intensity of colour of the Crystal Lagoon is best seen from above. We are very fortunate to have the plane using the resort’s lagoon to pick us up – the pilot making each landing and take-off from the lagoon look seamless.

There’s a lot in store at the end of the year for the resort as well, with plans to extend the kayaking path and making a mangrove and forest walk.

If there are parents out there looking to keep their little ones occupied, couples looking to have a bit of fun – or work colleagues needing to do some planning away from the office – Treasure Bay Bintan is worth a shot.


One of The Canopi’s tents.

Exhausted from both the physical workout from the activities, and the successful planning meetings we had, the ANZA office came out of the two-day trip refreshed and ready to take on the future projects for this year and beyond.

We’d like to send a special thanks to our host Keith Ng, Treasure Bay Bintan for hosting the ANZA office for our team building trip and to Bintan Ferries for getting us all over there.

ANZA members receive 15{fad86f5e3336133246a213aa2a2588200b27e4ae08b3f6f25405093f2c4991ee} discount to all Treasure Bay rooms and activities – excluding the Jetovator. Click here for more information.