Reviews on The Residence @ Bintan resort stay by Gilbert

Gilbert has saved me lots of time to write about the stay! Here’s his review on the stay, which he has posted onto TripAdvisor.

Please ignore the typo errors!

I seldom write hotel reviews, but this place was really one of the exceptionally good resorts that I have been. Me and my 2 friends stayed 3 days 2 nights at a Deluxe beachfront villa with our own private pool on a weekday and we really had a good relaxing getaway. Budget for spending for 3 days should be around USD170 to USD200 including some paid activities but excluding wine or spa/massage, and we felt it was really worth the whole experience from start to end.

– Room was big, spacious, comfortable and very clean, everything was new as the resort is only around 1.5years old.
– Private pool was very clean as well, including the daybeds and the surrounding area and the plants were big enough to have sufficient privacy without prying eyes from our neighbors, leaving a small opening at the front to have an opening to see the sea from our pool.
– Living room was big and could easily sit 8 person and had a bay window sofa which was really cosy. The hotel booklet and table fruits also had small fresh flowers on it.
– Bedroom had 2 big wardrobes and they also provided 3 bathrobes as there were 3 of us.
– Toilet was also very big and had 2 basins, a bathtub, standing shower area and also my favorite amenity which is a plugged-in hairdryer in a drawer.
– There were also big umbrellas and bicycles provided for each villa and their bathroom slippers are also of very good quality. Every single light was working too, as I have a habit of checking all light switches and test how good is the hotel. Other than 2 mosquitoes on the 2nd day, 1st day and 3rd day didn’t have any, perhaps they can increase their frequency of fogging.

– Housekeeping was good and refilled the bottled water in the room and toilet even arranged our shoes neatly and refilled the tissue in the toilet to full.
– The staff were all very friendly including the cleaners and gardeners and beach staff and you would feel very welcome as they greet you when you roam around the resort.
– Reception at main lobby was very good too as they would usher you to the sofa during check in and check out and bring the documents to you as you sit down comfortably while they explain the details.
– Room service arrived within 5 minutes each time when we ordered for bottled water. When I requested for extra room key, the reception staff delivered to me while I was roaming the gardens, this I consider exceptional service! Not sure is it because we were there on a weekday when there is less crowd.
– I felt that they really extended their service when they asked me on the day before departure on my ferry time and they automatically arranged late checkout for us knowing that our ferry was much later in the evening and picked up our luggage from the villa.
– The bus journey though was 1.5hrs long from ferry terminal to the resort, but when we first boarded they handed us nice lemongrass scented hand towels and served us a small pack of their cookies and a bottle of water. For departure on our last day they also served us ginger which could avoid car sickness and waved us goodbye when the bus left the reception area. When we arrived at the ferry terminal for departure, they staff even got ready our boarding pass and handed to us!

– Beautiful greenery is all round and the design of the resort is very modern. The toilets all around the resort are all very clean with hand lotion and hand towels and tissue provided too.

– Breakfast which was included in the hotel package at the main Dining Room had a good selection of Asian and Western dishes from eggs and noodles stations to cereals to salad and pastries. Their omelette was really good and I was pleasantly surprised by their pumpkin coconut pudding and avocado chocolate pudding, as well as their quinoa fruits salad with kiwi strawberry apples oranges dragonfruit. Their grilled fish with tomato and olives was great too! They also had papaya and pineapple fruit jams.
– Lunch and Dinner at the main Dining Room also had a long selection of food from grill to Japanese food to burgers and other western and Indonesian food, though it is restaurant price from around USD13 to USD30 per meal, but the quality of the food is also restaurant standard and quality including their wagyu burger and unagi with rice and miso soup. Their grilled snapper even had fish roe on top.
– The restaurant staff would pause and chat with you and they also bothered to find out from the chef when I asked them for the ingredients to their carrot gravy. They also provided nice lemongrass scented hand towels before each meal and also served a complimentary basket of different types of bread together with butter.
– Indonesian Restaurant which was the only other restaurant in the resort, served very delicious Indonesian food and they adhered to my request of changing some of the dishes to non-spicy. I was pleasantly surprised by their lemongrass creme brulee and also a complimentary taster drink which was a concoction of ginger and some other ingredients, also a complimentary small cubes of fruits. We ordered wine and they delivered to our room so that we can enjoy later at the comfort of our villa.

– Catamaran was fun and they extended the time to almost an hour as there were no other guests and let us sailed longer at sea though we only purchased a 30min package with instructor at USD55. The staff also introduced the various parts of the catamaran and taught us how to maneuver. The catamaran was very new and clean.
– Pool bar was clean and comfortable, and the staff were also very friendly and they provided complimentary popcorn. There was live band duo in the evening for acoustic music and singing and I have to say that they singer was really powerful as she could sing all the latest songs from The Greatest Showman to other classic songs and even Disney numbers. The staff would dry up the daybeds every time after the rain or drizzle.
– Yoga class which is free is also quite interesting and the instructor was very friendly too and they provided water and towel.
– Beach front water is really shallow so you can walk out to the sea to a structure with 2 swings and other structures with hammocks. There was a very shallow ankle deep sandbar 30 meters out in the sea which you could walk front the beach in waters around waist deep. The seabed had some small stones so you have to walk slowly out to sea to take pictures with the above. The beach had cleaners constantly removing leaves and trash that washed up ashore from the ocean which was never ending and I would suggest for the resort to find a more efficient way to clean the beach or hire more workers or increase the frequency of cleaning.
– Fireflies trip was also very relaxing, they handed out water before we boarded. If you fancy a boat ride to see tropical mangroves and some fireflies, can consider purchasing this trip around USD42 per person.
– Due to monsoon season, the weather did not allow us to have island hopping or snorkelin. However, they are also many other activities that you can purchase such as jet ski, ATV, paintball, banana boat etc

Computer Issue Solved

I bought a new computer… not.

During last year’s March, I left my computer for a while to take a break from work and I returned to my computer being restarted. The windows 10’s updates did the ridiculous restart and it had probably given me a few minutes to halt the action while I was away.

Anyway, what happened next was hell. My automation software started becoming lagging and I had to restart my computer in order to put it back to normal. It couldn’t last for a couple of hours before the software became unresponsive. My internet browsers gave way as well.

Instead of restarting my computer once in a few weeks or months, I had to restart it a few times per day. There were times when I didn’t go home, my automation software was as good as on strike. The only blessing was that Photoshop continued to run normally. I was able to play the online game Team Fortress 2 (TF2) and the issue didn’t seem to pose any problem to the game.

Another ridiculous thing was that my computer was a working beast with 32GB of RAM and running on Solid State Drive (SSD). The CPU and RAM usage had been staying comfortably way below 30%. My internet was running on fibre optical network. I ran speed test for the internet bandwidth when my software were unresponsive and it showed that my internet was actually stable.

I went online to search high and low for solutions. I configured the settings of my Windows 10 (including registries), downloaded special software to update all the drivers (some newer drivers weren’t detected by Windows 10), installed software to detect for errors in both my hardware and software, defragmented my disk drives, ran virus and malware scans, and even opened up my CPU to clear away the dust physically. Eventually, I reformatted my Windows 10. I also consulted some IT experts. Nothing worked.

Having to spend long hours in front of the computer everyday, it was hell for me, especially when I was someone who couldn’t stand inefficiency. For example, I would always try my best to use my computer to reply messages because it was much faster than typing on the tiny soft keyboard of my phone.

Although I kept telling myself to focus on my work, every few weeks or month, I would try to go online to search for solutions for hours. I was trained to find solution since young and I had the never-give-up attitude, or some people would say “stubborn”.

After my elder brother bought a new laptop, I installed my automation software on it and I was amazed that it was running smoothly on the Windows 10 operating system. So, I was able to confirm that it wasn’t the software’s fault (lazy programmers).

I tried “playing” around with some software as recommended in websites/forums, including Microsoft’s. Then, I even changed the LANs cable. I had probably exhausted all the testing and had little luck. The frustration thing was that every changes I made, I had to restart the computer and wait for a couple of hours in order to determine if it was the solution.

Out of desperation, I made a drastic move to uninstall my antivirus instead of temporary disabling it, which I had done before. An hour later, I was very hopeful that my software remained very responsive without gradually slowing down. It was near dawn and I left the computer alone without doing the usual rebooting before going to bed.

How I would describe my feeling was that I seemed to have recovered from nine months of constipation.

吳克群 – 像傻子般爱着

无悔无怨 付出
心跳 呼吸
你的眼神 一举一动 牵动着我
也许我不会是 最后 那个人
也要 化作恒星 守护你左右
爱有多重 伤就多痛 这道理我都懂
你的眼泪 你的难过 全都由我来拯救
我只要你能快乐 的过
剩下的 伤痛 交给我
你的眼神 一举一动 牵动着我
我会像是港口 在这 等你停泊
我要 化作恒星 守护你左右
爱有多重 伤就多痛 这道理我都懂
你的眼泪 你的难过 全都由我来拯救
我只要你能快乐 的过
剩下的 伤痛 交给我
爱有多重 伤就多痛 这道理我都懂
你的眼泪 你的难过 全都由我来拯救
我只要你能快乐 的过
剩下的 伤痛 交给我
像傻子一般的 爱着

Words are Cheap but They still Rule Eventually

People who know how to create opportunities are usually the winners.

There are too many things I feel are hypocrite to do and thus I’m avoiding them. I’m a person who does not over-promise and I believe actions will prove everything.

I think I’m right yet I’m very wrong in another aspect that there may not even be a chance for me to display my sincerity.

Girls love the feeling of being wooed but how many guys can cherish them for long after winning their hearts?

Promises of never-ending loves always come too early and I have yet to lie about it in my entire life; I do not promise things that I’m not certain about yet.

Words are getting cheaper everyday, yet many people continue to buy them.

The world leaves no room for losers but I will struggle to stay alive just to see her being happy.

Happy Father’s Day

Be glad if you are able to celebrate Father’s Day with your dad. I do not have the chance and not anymore.

He was a drinker, gambler and smoker. My dad had numerous bad habits but nothing could beat his love for the family. He and my mum gave me what I had today.

I started my life in a very poor family. At least, I did not have to starve, except for a certain period of time when he was already not around. He took us out for dinner during weekends despite losing money in his gamble sessions and he had never failed to give us money for school stuffs. He got drunk but he did not abuse. He smoked but he kept the cigarette smoke away from us.

The most unforgettable recollection of him was when he was on his hospital bed, asking me if my elder brother and I had pocket money. Would you be worried like him over such little thing when you are suffering badly and about to lose your last breath?

Although he may not be the best dad on earth, he has certainly done his part.

It has been more than ten years since my dad has passed away. None of us has ever forgotten him. We do not cry and in fact we joke using him. A simple teasing of “Are you missing lao ba (father)?” can be heard occasionally. None of us would admit it.

It seems like pretending to stay strong is not the best way to handle things because the tears of saddest can multiple, such that sometimes when nobody is watching, drops of them can overwhelm the eyes.

If you still have a dad, be really happy about it.

A Crazy Night

Sometimes, I do crazy things without thinking when there is no time to even hesitate. I hate to give up chances, which I have been doing. The usual thought “how many ten years’ do we have” has been emerging in my brain a lot.

I held my bladder and dashed through the late night of the crowded town area where people stared at my semi formal attire. I slowed down to look at the map but my heavy head refused to tell me how to use it. I continued in my half drunk state, into the darkness at the unfamiliar place. I was very uncertain of the direction. I had never thought of giving up but I prayed hard to have more time. I did not mind suffering longer as sweat began to drench me and I just wished to get to the correct location. The road names gave me fears and I began to doubt my judgment of the direction. It took me great courage to move on when I did not get any text reply. I saw hope when I finally saw the correct road sign but the bus-stop was empty. I dragged on my weary feet and proceeded but the next destination along the same road damped my short-lived happiness. It appeared to be a never-ending road, which I pressed on.

I reached in the nick of time. There was so much for me to celebrate about. It was one of the most memorable and dramatic stories of my life even though I puked and landed myself with bruises on my hand. Then, I realized my calf muscles had long given up on me. I was nervous and too loss on words, but I felt great.

It was not a story about a prince on a white horse but a smelly chap slightly better than being barefooted. There was probably no charisma or a heroic feeling with the shabby looks, but that was far beyond a normal guy could do.

I tried hard and I did well, but the initial goal might be just wrong that I ended up posing problems to everyone.

My Buddy’s Best Buddies

I have been thinking a lot about friendship over the past few days. I have made many great friends through schools, sports, national service, work and Internet, but my life seems to be empty somehow.

There are many friends whom I trust a lot and I’m prepared to sacrifice for them any time, and there are many who have already benefited from me. I believe in giving rather than receiving but there is always one part of me that is always pinning hope to get something in return; I am not a saint and I just hope to be appreciated.

Friends who have bothered to observe me should at least know that they can trust me fully, whether to keep secrets or to do my best in helping them. I’m proud of myself all these years.

The main doubt I have in mind is whether the friends whom I consider as my best friends would consider me as their best friend as well.

After all these years, how many friends would actually put me in their top 10 friends list?

If a friend has 10 tickets to a show, will I be the eleventh person to be left out of the group?

How would you feel when you assume your buddy would announce you as his buddy until he makes it clear at the most crucial time just some weeks after you have even done him a very great favour that nobody else would probably do? If this is not hurtful enough to you, think about your buddy having you in mind whenever he needs help.

Reality is cruel and most people would never notice little things that you have been doing. You can be nice to your group of friends by saying “yes” to all outing without even questioning “who are going?”, so that the events would proceed. You can always walk at the back to observe everyone to make sure none of your friends feels left out. There are many tiny things you can do help others silently, which none would ever notice.

I have a group of good friends who are willing to send me home by making a big detour despite being tired at night after having a long day; I also have another group of friends who would gather just to celebrate their birthdays and they can even arrange to celebrate belated birthday on my birthday itself. There are different groups of friends I have never wanted to abandon.

But I’m really tired of being the odd-one out whenever someone has to be sacrificed just because I’m easygoing and not ambitious at all. I have to repeat that reality is really cruel because soft people would always be sacrificed. If you are one, your friends would probably feel very sorry towards you but it does not make your life any better. What is the point of saying sorry when you have to repeat it times and times again?

It seems like I need a change in my life and stop bothering about friends since I have not even worked hard enough to improve my own life.

I Need to Blog

I’m seriously ashamed of myself for not blogging for long. Life is never the same as before and I have to neglect some hobbies sometimes.

Ever since I have started working on my tuition agency website, things have changed a lot. I’m a one-man-show for most of the back-end work. After more than a year, it does look like a professional website, but there are many features I have yet to implement or improve on. I have to worry about SEO and spend lots of time on them every week and eventually the daily boring administration work almost turns me berserk.

I’m also working on quite a number of blogs as well, which are either non-profitable or can earn me money in future. There is also a blog for the tuition agency. This makes my personal blog insignificant compared to them. My contents are also diverted to the blogs.

After all, my time management is really bad. It is not that I’m working 24 hours everyday but I’m always drained and thus operating at a lower speed.

It is definitely good to keep my blog running because it is one of the best ways to relieve my stuffed brain. I rarely get in touch with people and it is bad to keep things within myself, especially my frustration.

However, apart from having lack of time, people around me do give me problems as well. I’m not able to type whatever is in my mind sometimes because I have readers who are stalking my friends. Some people with lower EQ can also quote me out of texts to create problems for me. After all, many things have hit my motivation hard.

Another demoralizing thing is that my plan to move my blog from BlogSpot into my personal domain has stalled for very long. Somehow, I’m quite greedy that I want to keep my existing layout and structure, such that I would need to spend time learning how to edit WordPress template. Recently, updating WordPress for some of my blogs have also given me problems.

I have been tweeting a lot, which auto forwards the statuses to my Facebook, but the limited characters are pathetic. I have tried to forward the tweets over to my blog automatically through Hellotxt but it has shamefully failed me.

I’m a person full of thoughts but I do not have the chance to express myself freely. Blogging is almost the only way for me to become myself. Although it allows people with not-so-good intention to find out more about what is happening around me, it also allows people who are truly concern about me to show their support.

I’m always curious who will still bother to read my blog after so long of idling.

On the Verge of Collapsing

Life has become more unpredictable than ever since the beginning of this year.

My younger brother and I were always at loggerheads when we were young. He has, however, grown up to become a very sensible person and we become very close.

As I have been putting stress on myself without taking much rest, I am prepared to die of brain cancer or similar illness at a young age. I used to think that I can depend on him to take care of my mum when I am gone.

When he notified me that his body was acting weird, I was lost.

A few days later, when he returned from Bali, we went straight to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of Singapore General Hospital (SGH). It was one of my most hated places. Scenes over there were nasty, especially when I had to witness foreigners crying over to the lost of their friend.

Half of my brother’s body was experiencing numbness on the right side and it seemed like needles were poking him. Doctors and nurses began to get worried after they conducted X-ray and CT scan. Initial finding was either brain bleeding or blood clot, as we were told different stories by the staffs.

I had to lie to my gullible mum that my brother went over purposely just because he had bought travel insurance and wanted to make full use of it. My acting skill excelled as I remained calm in front of my mum even when my brother was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Perhaps, his condition was not so critical at the moment but it happened that the high dependency (HD) ward was full and he had to be admitted inside the more critical ward.

When my relatives started to find out about my brother’s condition, I had to answer them on the phone besides my mum, pausing for a few seconds to suppress the urge to burst out, before explaining in a relaxing tone. That was what grown-ups had to learn to do.

There was no feeling of festive season. I was glad enough that we could get time-off for him to go out for our reunion dinner. My brother was hospitalized until the second day of Chinese New Year. We did not manage to see the doctor in charge to ask about his condition. We were also disappointed with the management of the hospital.

My brother needs no medication at the moment and we are all clueless about what will happen next. His illness is likely to be “Post Thalamic Syndrome” as researched online. I cannot imagine myself feeling the numbness over half of my body symmetrically and boiling over my leg occasionally.

I’m beginning to feel numb as well. Staying alive is mainly to face hardship. My work alone has already taken away half of my smiles.

Happy Valentine's Day

You were probably out with someone else and had enjoyed your night. On this romantic night, your hand could have felt warm.

True lovers just want their loved ones to be happy.

Are you happy?

On this very same day of every year, I felt the same. Luck was never with me.

It is never peer pressure that has caused me to fall for anyone; I am never searching for anything except the feeling of happiness.

I do not take on a battle that I have no chance to win and I never want anyone to suffer with me before I make my mark. I do not belittle myself but I am realistic about my current situation. I do not make empty promises.

Most girls prefer guys who can promise them the stars even though they subconsciously know that it is impossible. They love flowery words and the feeling of being wooed.

I am a person who “under-promise and over-deliver”. There are always two sides for everything – good and bad. At least, people who appreciate me will trust and feel comfortable with me – they have fewer disappointments and more surprises.

Some people say that I am stubborn but everyone, regardless of any horoscope, has his own insistence on certain things. There are many things that some people, including me, cannot bring ourselves to do, and they are far different from being stubborn.

I am not someone who would get flowers. I would rather buy gold than diamond.

Not many girls would fancy a guy like me.

Valentine’s Day is a joke for me.