I had a birthday back in April, which we celebrated with a short stay at Club Med Bintan. We were there for four days and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I've got lots of photos to share so this week's posts are all going to be about the trip. Let's get to it!

Here we are checking in our luggage at the ferry terminal. Incredible Hulk and Hello Kitty are making sure everything is in order!

A privilege of travelling with kids - you get offered a buggy ride to the ferry!

Here we are, ready for our Club Med experience!

Our room was relatively far away from the main complex, so we had a good stroll to and fro each time. The route was very scenic.

Every meal was a buffet, yum yum.

Club Med Bintan is dancing, dancing and dancing some more. The littles took to the dancing without any hesitation! Richard and I have stayed at Club Med (Cherating) before but that was pre-kids and we kept to ourselves, so this Club Med dancing thing was unknown to us. There is dancing everywhere and all the time - in the disco, outside the disco, before they do the limbo, after they do the limbo, before and after they do their nightly stage show, next to the pool, in the pool, on the beach - everywhere! The littles had lots of fun learning all the moves!

The next morning, we checked out the Mini Club for kids. The Mini Club programme is actually for parents to drop off their children for a day of fun and games but we didn't want to do a drop off. I only wanted to let Ryan try the trapeze, and of course, I wanted to be there to watch him in action!

Ryan definitely didn't want to be separated from us and was quite panicked at the thought that we were leaving him there. He kept telling me that he wanted to go swimming instead and he even tried to run off while we were talking to the Mini Club staff! Family time means a lot to Ryan, and I think he was really disappointed and sad thinking that we would abandon him while we went off and enjoyed ourselves without him (which we had no intention of doing). Fortunately, the trapeze was the first activity of the day, so we could just tag along with the group to the trapeze area and leave after that. So we didn't sign in to do a drop off - we just followed the group and stayed with Ryan throughout the activity.

Ryan was spectacular on the trapeze - I'll write more about it separately. It wasn't that he did a stunt or anything like that. It was his courage that impressed me.

After the trapeze, Richard went back to our room to get babydoll into her swimming gear. While waiting for them, Ryan and I tagged along with the Mini Club for one more activity, which was making dumplings.

Ryan didn't enjoy his Mini Club experience. I mean he enjoyed the activities - the trapeze and the dumpling-making - but I don't think he enjoyed being with the group. He looked like he was the youngest one and, besides, from what I observed, the children weren't really socialising with each other. For example, there was one girl who kept singing, at the top of her voice, "Let it Go" (the theme song from "Frozen"), over and over again. Even if Ryan wanted to make friends with her, he wouldn't have had the chance to get in a "Hello, I'm Ryan" before she started up again. I'm not trying to be mean here, but the thought that was going through my mind was, no wonder her parents dropped her off! Similarly, there was another boy who refused to do anything the instructors told him to do. He was a constant blur of energy - always moving, jumping, running and yes, talking and shouting. He was definitely not going to slow down to make friends with Ryan and, in fact, I was a little concerned that he might bully Ryan. Then there was the other extreme - the really quiet kids whom I suppose were dropped off because their parents hoped they would have a chance to make some friends. It's good that children have opportunities to socialise but for very quiet and shy kids, dropping them off like this can be scary and stressful, which was obvious from the look on their faces. At the end of the day, this was not preschool where the children have months to settle in and make friends. It was make or break, now or never.

Don't let this discourage you from trying out Mini Club. I think the experience is dependent on each child and on the particular group. Unfortunately, it was not going to work for Ryan that day. Ryan was only too glad to leave for the pool when Richard and babydoll came back. He was so relieved! The next day, he made me promise him that I would not take him to Mini Club!

Here's Ryan, having a late lunch after our swim while Richard put babydoll down for her nap.

When babydoll woke up, the lunch buffet was over so we walked over to the other restaurant in the resort so that Richard and she could have a bite. They serve an ala carte menu there, with a dessert buffet.

And yes, we made it to the beach!

Babydoll - fearless as ever. She would have gone further into the water had Richard not held her back.

Here's Richard swinging babydoll in one of the hammocks around the resort, as we made our way back to our room. Ryan was originally in the hammock next to her, but when he realised her clothes were wet from the sea and her legs were sandy from the beach, he hopped out. That's Ryan for you.

After dinner, we watched the stage show which was hilariously funny. Then we played some fun games that were set up by the staff around the pool (the theme was Sports Night). We strolled down to the beach to listen to some guitar music. The guitarist was a guy named Buddy whom we'd met at lunch. Ryan asked if he would sing "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz , and he did, so that was a sweet treat for Ryan.

Ended the night with some HBO in our hotel room!

Ok, stay tuned - more tomorrow!


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