Travelers to Asia find themselves in Singapore for many reasons. The Southeast Asian city-state is one of the world’s most important financial and business capitals; it has an efficient and well-served airport; it also offers superb food and a distinctive culture.
On my most recent trip, however, I decided to take a preliminary break beside the sea to recover from the long flight from North America. The Sanchaya hotel, a sumptuous new property on Indonesia’s Bintan Island, is just a 45-minute ride by comfortable high-speed ferry from Singapore. So less than two hours after we’d landed at Changi Airport, we were sitting on a veranda overlooking landscaped grounds, a white-sand beach and the ocean.
More than three times larger in area than Singapore, Bintan Island has only 118,000 inhabitants. This statistic explains why the island is currently being developed as a weekend and second-home getaway for Singaporeans in search of space and tranquility, as well as a beach resort for foreign visitors.