Frequently asked questions

Welcome to our FAQ page. We are an unusual, exotic, secluded and private island resort and hence attract some unusual questions. We think we have most of them answered…

We have over 100 questions answered below.

SUBMITTING A QUESTION
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GENERAL QUESTIONS
What is the weather normally like?
The weather is the same as in Singapore but remember you will be ‘on the beach’ ie outside. The ‘winter’ months can be pleasantly cool after dark.

What is the best time of the year to go?
Anytime is great! Being 30 miles north of the equator means that the weather doesn't change that much throughout the year. The winter monsoon (very mild at our latitude) blows from the north, starting at the end of November until early February and brings cooler temperatures. The summer monsoon – very gentle and from the south - starts in April/May.

Is the beach good for swimming?
We have a fantastic white-sand beach on the west of island. Even at low tide it is possible to walk through a channel in the coral to reach deep, clear water and, should you desire, the swimming pontoon.

What happens when it rains?
Rain does happen! If a squall comes through (a ‘Sumatra’ - presaged by lightning over Bintan Island) it will normally last about 45 minutes. Our staff will drop the blinds. We have foul-weather gear on the boats.

I've heard of your resort before but I thought you were in Malaysia?
There is an island off the west coast of peninsula Malaysia called Pangkor or Pangkor Laut to be exact. We are called Pangkil or Pulau Pangkil Kecil (Small Pangkil Island) in full and we are in Indonesia, very close to Singapore.

I have a nautical map of the Riau islands and there appears to be more than one Pangkil?
Correct. Our full name is Pulau Pangkil Kecil. ‘Pulau’ means ‘Island’ in Indonesian. ‘Kecil’ means ‘Small’. Pulau Pangkil Besar (‘Big Pangkil’) is 2 km away from us and can be visited. Another Pulau Pangkil can be found 12 km south-west of Tanjung Pinang and there could well be others! As far as we know, ‘Pangkil’ is just a name and doesn’t mean anything in Indonesian.

I own a 42 foot yacht berthed at Raffles Marina. Are you considered to be a good cruising destination and can you handle visiting yachts? Can we dine on-shore without staying overnight?
The area is outstanding as a cruising yacht destination and yachts have visited. We discourage anchoring to avoid damage to the coral, however we do have anchor points. Unfortunately we are not able to provide meals unless you have hired the whole island. As a private island we do not allow visitors ashore without prior permission.

How far is Pangkil from Singapore, Bintan and some of the other places you mention?
The straight-line distances (ie ‘as the crow flies’) are, from Pangkil:
Bintan 6 km (the closest point)
Murbai 8 km (our picnic island)
Pama 9 km (one of our jetties)
Kawal 11 km (one of our jetties)
Mapur 11.5 km (a large island with good diving)
Kijang 12.5 km (the southern port on Bintan)
Suka 12.5 km (our other resort island)
Lina 13 km (another one of our islands)
Tanjung Pinang 29.5 km (the largest town on Bintan)
Lagoi 49 km (the northern end of Bintan)
Singapore 93km

ACTIVITIES
What activities do you have on the island?
Pangkil is ideal for relaxing: reading in a hammock, sun-bathing by the fresh-water pool, having a massage, kayaking around the island, walking on the beach or swimming in the sea. We do have a volleyball court and a boules set as well as two Lasers (sailing dinghies). The numerous secluded beaches, jungle paths and unusual rock formations are often woven by parents into elaborate treasure hunts for kids which have been known to include the swimming pontoon and tree house. The more adventurous have been known to kayak, sail or even swim to neighbouring islands. We encourage guests to use the speedboats or launches to explore other island or even have a picnic on Pulau Murbai a tiny deserted jewel that we own just for such trips. After dinner, relax with a coffee and a glass of wine around a beach bonfire or turn up the music to kick-start your fancy dress party!

Do you have a wakeboard?
No and nor do we have a banana boat or jet skis. Our guests overwhelmingly prefer the Pangkil tranquillity as it is.

Do you have a football or a frisbee?
No, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Is it feasible to bring my windsurfer to Pangkil?
Yes. We are more than happy to transport windsurfers however your limitation may by the public ferries (from Singapore to Bintan). We suggest you check with the ferry operators as to the feasibility of transporting bulky equipment.

I am a certified diver. Is diving possible?
The region is not known for its diving, and if your last diving trip was in Grand Cayman, Truk Lagoon or Palau, you will probably be disappointed. Pangkil is not geared up for diving and the water can, at times, be a little murky. Having said that, there is a reasonable dive, at the top of the high tide, off the rocks at the northern-end of the island. The diving off Pulau Mapur is supposed to be quite good and you could certainly use Pangkil as a base to reach Mapur and other island in the region. We can, and have, organised tanks before but you will have to supply your own weights and divemaster/buddy. If you are really keen and experienced we can set this up. Please contact our reservations team for more details.

What type of fishing is available and should we bring our own rods?
We discourage fishing from the island as we try and keep the fish for the snorkellers. You are however more than welcome to take one of the speedboats or the launch on a fishing expedition. The boat crew may be able to show you some good fishing spots off Pangkil or neighbouring islands or rocky outcrops. The Indonesian fisherman often fish just off Pangkil. We have a few rods, but Indonesian-style fishing usually involves dangling a line and hook off the back or side of a boat! If you’re a serious angler we suggest you bring your own rod and tackle.

Do you supply bait?
Yes, we’ll supply squid and shrimp at no extra cost.
Is television provided?
We do not provide television reception on the island. The majority of our guests prefer it this way. For special events (Olympics, World Cup Soccer etc) we are able to arrange for a temporary installation at a cost of $400 for the weekend. Please enquire in advance.

ACCOMODATION
How many people can you comfortably fit on the island?
This depends on the composition of your group and how well they know each other ! We have 10 separate dwellings (‘driftwood palaces’) including the gazebo by the pool and the tree house, hence we can accommodate 20 adults in complete privacy with each of the couples in a king-size, four-poster bed. There are however 19 double beds across these 10 palaces. We also have 6 wooden-framed single beds which can be moved around and many of the palaces with 2 double beds have magnificent wooden benches which can be made up as comfortable single beds. There is more overflow accommodation in the form of numerous floor mattresses with linens. So it’s not uncommon to see groups of up to 40 or even more adults. A typical family group might be 7 or 8 families, 16 adults and their kids. INSEAD MBA students regularly squeeze in 70 people.

Which house would be best as we will have an infant with us?
Driftwood Palace Number 2 is the closest one to the Main House (where most of the meals are served and where people tend to congregate). If you have a baby monitor it will be in range to the Main House. This palace has 1 double bed and a small adjacent room suitable for cots or mattresses for small children.

What are the check-in and check-out times?
Provided there are no guests before you, you are generally free to arrive on Pangkil as early as first ferry from Singapore arriving Pangkil at 1100 local time. If there is not a group arriving on the day you check out you may stay as late as after lunch leaving the island by 1430 to catch 1735 ferry from Bintan. In the rare event that there is an overlap, we’ll allow two groups on the island for an hour or two, usually over lunch for 2 groups at different venues. In general, weekend groups have precedence over weekday groups.

Do the villas have air-conditioning?
The driftwood palaces have ceiling fans as well as smaller fans mounted inside of the mosquito netting of all of the four-poster beds. Additionally all the palaces are on stilts, well above the ground, and close to or on the beach and so take full advantage of the prevailing breezes. Our guests find this more than satisfactory and often use the blankets provided. We recommend that guests bring a long-sleeved shirt as the evenings can be refreshingly cool.

Are there en-suite bathrooms?
The Big House and the Merifield House have en-suite bathrooms. The rest of the 8 palaces have their own flushing toilets and fresh-water showers in detached bathrooms at ground-level, no more than 5 paces from the individual palaces.

The houses in the photos do not appear to have any doors?
The driftwood palaces are, by way of their construction and orientation, extremely private. No one can see inside and they can be closed using the blinds and canvas flaps for privacy or to keep out rain. Some of them actually do have proper doors.

Can I rent your villas individually?
Yes starting 2019 Pangkil island offers the opportunity for individuals to book with us in addition to large groups that intend to reserve the entire island. Individual booking availability will be limited to Monday through Thursday and any unoccupied weekends with a minimum of a 2-night stay for a minimum of 4 adults priced at S$330++ per adult S$120++ per child (4-13 years old) per night (++ is 10% government tax and 5% service charge).

Is there hot water on the island?
Yes. All showers have hot water.

Are the palaces with 2 king-size double beds in separate rooms?
No.

TRANSPORTATION
How long does it take to get to Pangkil?
From Singapore to the Pangkil beach has been done in 3 hours (via BBT Bintan). Ferry ride from TMFT (Singapore) to BBT (north part of Bintan) is 1 hour. Please note there is one hour difference between Singapore (GMT +8) and Bintan (GMT +7). Upon arrival at BBT ferry terminal please meet our resort representative holding PANGKIL ISLAND sign at the entrance of the ferry terminal. Land transfer from BBT terminal to our private jetty takes 1 hour 20 mins plus boat to the island 20 mins.

Where is Lagoi?
Lagoi is a geographical area encompassing the north-west part of the island of Bintan around the Bintan Resort Ferry Terminal (correctly known as the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal). Lagoi also includes the village of Teluk Sebong as well as the Bintan Resorts such as the Banyan Tree. We use ‘Lagoi’ to refer to arrivals and departures at this end of Bintan as opposed to journeys to and from Tanjung Pinang, the largest town on Bintan and a different ferry terminal entirely.

Can we travel at night?
Yes except during north monsoon season. Our launch crew are competent night sailors and regularly navigate the short trip to Pangkil in the dark. Arrivals on Pangkil close to midnight and departures before dawn are not uncommon.

I have a flight leaving Singapore on Sunday at 11:50 am. Can I make it or do I have to leave Pangkil on Saturday?
The first ferry from Bintan to Singapore is currently at 08:35 (local time, GMT+7). Factor in a 1 hour time difference and a 1 hour ferry ride and you should be at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) at 10:35 (Singapore time, GMT+8). TMFT is very close to Changi Airport and you could easily be there by 11:00 or 11:15. You will unfortunately have to leave Pangkil at about 05:45 (06:45 Singapore time) which will of course hurt.

Can I arrive from Batam or Jakarta?
Yes. There are regular ferries between Batam and Tanjungpinang (west of Bintan). There is 3 daily flights from Jakarta to Tanjungpinang airport. From Tanjungpinang ferry terminal to our private jetty is 50 mins and 30 mins from Tanjungpinang airport.

Is your launch safe?
Yes. Our launches are sturdy Indonesian vessels. We have a crew of 2 to run each launch. We have life-jackets (adults and kids sizes) and a GPS system. The crew have mobile phones (which have signal all the way to the island) as a back-up measure. We also have a covered speedboat in the fleet as well.

Are additional transfers possible to Pangkil?
A single land and launch trip from a ferry terminal on Bintan to Pangkil and back is included in the Basic Island Rate. We are more than happy to pick up your group in two parts, AM and PM for example, but each additional one-way trip costs S$200 (for the group, regardless of the size).

You’re meeting the first wave of our group at 5pm. Could we have a second pick-up at 8pm?
Yes. We need at least 2 hours between transfers.

What happens if we miss the last ferry back to singapore?
Our staff will give you plenty of warning as to what time you should leave Pangkil. They are not however trained to nag and it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you have packed, settled your bill and made it out to the launch on time. It happens less than once a year that a group misses the last ferry. The choices are to return to Pangkil and stay a night if it is available, to stay in Tanjung Pinang or at the Bintan Resorts. It is possible to catch a bum boat to Batam and from there a taxi and then ferry to the World Trade Centre in Singapore as the last ferry from Batam departs later than the last ferry from Bintan. Be warned: This is an expensive option so its best not to miss that last ferry!

Is it possible to charter a helicopter to Pangkil?
ST Engineering in Singapore runs a helicopter service. They can fly from Seletar to Kijang Airport (Bintan) where you would clear immigration before proceeding to Pangkil. The bad news is this costs about S$5,500 return (for a 6-seater).
How can we reserve the ferries?
Please go to www.brf.com.sg for online booking. There is economy and emerald class. Please note that ferry ticket is not included in the island rates.
What happens if we miss our ferry back to Singapore?
Our staff will give you plenty of warning as to what time you should leave Pangkil. They are not however trained to nag and it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you have packed, settled your bill and made it out to the launch on time. We have not had this happens before. The choice is to wait at BBT terminal for 8pm ferry.

PRICING
How much do you charge for two people for a weekend?
If there are only two of you, it will still cost our 'basic' rate which assumes a minimum of 10 people. You will get the entire island to yourself but this is obviously not as cost-effective as having 10 people. If however you are part of a larger group, then you should speak to your group organizer and see how she/he is splitting up the total cost.

How much do you charge for maids?
S$200++ for a weekend. For example, if there are only 8 adults and 2 maids, the maids and the other adults are considered to be part of the 1 to 10 person basic charge and there is no additional cost.

Are there any extra charges?
You will need to pay for:
- Ferry tickets from Singapore to Bintan and back
- Visas (waived for 169 nationalities). Please ask the full list from our reservations team.
- Drinks. We have an extensive collection of beer, spirits and wines, all at reasonable prices. We charge for alcohol and soft-drinks, but not tea, coffee or water. Please ask the price list from our reservations team.
- Massages, fireworks (if any)
Three meals per day are included, but there may be a nominal charge for an additional meal if your group arrives before lunch on the first day. We also charge an extra S$200 (per additional one-way land/launch trip) if your group does not arrive and depart together. There are also additional accommodation charges (over and above the basic island rate) if the size of your group is more than 10 people.

What is included in the price?
You are free to make full use of the island and its resources. This is all included in price. We can organise a picnic on a neighbouring island, a sunset fishing trip or even a bonfire on the beach! A non-exhaustive list of what’s included in the Basic Island Rate is as follows:
- Accommodation for 1 to 10 people
- All land and launch transport from Bintan to Pangkil (one return trip per group is included)
- Welcome drinks
- Three meals per day (everyone loves our food!)
- Coffee, tea, snacks and water
- Use of all of the driftwood palaces (bathroom towels and linen is supplied)
- Use of the fabulous fresh-water pool
- Beach towels
- Use of the tree house and viewing platform
- A volleyball court
- A boules set
- Use of our sea sport equipment
- Snorkeling equipment
- Indonesian-style fishing trips. We will even supply the bait!



I would like to bring my family of four to your island for two nights during the week. Do you have a special rate for such a small group?
We have opened individual bookings for Pangkil island starting 2019. It requires minimum 2 nights stay for 4 adults between Monday to Thursday.

What currency do you use?
Singapore Dollars (SGD). You should be able to travel all the way from Singapore to Pangkil and back without having to use Indonesian Rupiah.

Is the charging done on the lowest-cost basis?
Absolutely. The basic (and minimum) island cost covers 1 to 10 people (usually). The most expensive categories of guests are used to ‘fill up’ the basic ‘pool’ of guests. The remaining adults, maids and kids are then charged at the prevailing rates. For example if you have 10 adults and 10 kids, we will not apply the Basic Rate to the 10 kids and then charge you incremental rates for the 10 adults. Rather, the 10 adults are covered by the basic rate and we will charge for the additional 10 kids as this is the lowest-cost option.

We have booked Pangkil for the weekend. Two of my group can only make it on Saturday morning. How will they be charged?
The first 10 people are charged the Basic Island Rate. This assumes a two-night stay. Additional guests are only charged for the number of nights stayed. We have a single night, weekend, adult rate.


BOOKING
Can you hold the island for me until my friends get back to me?
Yes, it is possible please contact our reservations team. Booking is only considered confirmed once deposit has been received or at least the proof of transfer is shown.

But you held Pangkil for someone else we know without a deposit?
Even our regular guests are required to put down deposits. At our discretion, we will sometimes record ‘expressions of interest’ particularly for bookings 6 to 12 months out. In effect you will then have a ‘non-binding, first right of refusal’ over the island and we may be able to email you when we receive another request for your particular weekend or dates. Please note that this system is neither perfect nor guaranteed and you are still encouraged to send your deposit as soon as you can.

I am trying to organise a weekend on Pangkil but have never done this before. Can I ask my proposed group to send you their individual deposit cheques?
No. We require a single deposit cheque or transfer of funds (which may obviously come from someone other than the Group Organizer).

Is your website up to date?
The website is updated weekly.

Do you accept credit cards on island?
Yes. We limit to 3 credit cards to be used in one trip.

How will I know when my reservation is confirmed?
Your reservation is only certain when we have received your deposit (and if it is a cheque, after it has cleared). We will notify you at this time.

Can we visit the island before we book it?
Yes it is however subject to our availability. Please contact our reservations team for availability.

Do you have any brochures?
There are a number of ‘soft copy’ brochures you can download from this website. We don’t usually stock printed brochures.

Can we meet with you to discuss booking the island?
We do not have office in Singapore. We do have an operations office in Tanjung Pinang (Bintan) but it is not open to the public. The best option is by email, which will be replied to quickly.
Can we increase or decrease the number of people after the deposit has been paid?
Yes. Indicative numbers at the time you book are useful. Final numbers are needed a week before your trip.

Can we increase or decrease the number of people after the deposit has been paid?
Yes. Indicative numbers at the time you book are useful. Final numbers are needed a week before your trip.

KIDS
Do you cater for children?
Absolutely! We are set up for children (of all ages!) and have them on the island all the time. We have cots and high-chairs as well as spare beds for the bigger ones and children’s life jackets.

Do you have a special children’s menu?
Our cooks are used to producing less spicy (or even non-spicy) food for children. We have two dining tables in the Main House. Some families seat the kids separately. Others organise an earlier sitting for the kids.

Can the children eat at a different time to the adults?
Yes.

How many cots do you have?
Six. They come complete with mosquito nets.

Do you have babysitters or should we bring our maid?
We have a number of female staff who will volunteer to baby-sit. We charge S$30 per child which goes directly to the babysitter. You are also welcome to bring your maid. We charge $100 per night for maids.

Do you charge for children?
Infants (less than 3 years old) are free of charge. Children (3 to 12 years old) attract the children’s rate and anyone older than 12 is charged as an adult.

Do you have buckets and spades for the kids?
Yes.

Am I able to sterilize bottles for my infant?
Yes.

FOOD
What type of food do you serve?
We normally serve Western and Indonesian-style dishes. These include grilled or barbequed fish, squid, prawns, beef and chicken as well as curries of all description. There are side dishes which include fresh garden salads, pasta salads, boiled/steamed leafy greens and grilled aubergine/egg plant (an island favourite). Prawn and tofu kebabs appear from time-to-time as do satay sticks. Our home-made salad dressing is much appreciated as is our freshly-baked bread. We serve fresh fruit, mango sticky rice and sometimes sago as well as home-made cakes for dessert (the almond cake has now been perfected). Everyone is uniformly complimentary about the food.

Can we cook ourselves?
You are quite welcome to cook for yourselves if that is what you want to do, but our cooks are pretty good, so you might as well sit back and enjoy the sunsets ! We welcome visits to the kitchen by people with food allergies or guests who would like to teach our cook a new recipe. Try us with requests but it would help if you speak Indonesian otherwise you’ll have to work through one of our translators.

Can you serve Halal food?
Yes. Our cooks are all Muslims.

Are meals included in the price?
Three meals are included in the daily rate. They can be any three meals (for example dinner, breakfast, lunch OR lunch, dinner, breakfast). You can eat as much as you want and when you want. If you arrive before lunch on the first day and leave after lunch on the last day you will have had one more than three meals per day. For this there is a nominal charge.

Do you provide snacks?
You can effectively raid the kitchen whenever you want. Banana fritters, rice cakes, prawn crackers, spring rolls and other fantastic snacks will often appear at the pool or the main house in the afternoon. There is usually a large jar of cashews or almonds at the Main House. If you’re after the healthy option ask for fruit. Just let our staff know if you’re hungry and when and where you’d like your snacks and they’ll do their best. There are no extra charges.

Do you cater for vegetarians?
Absolutely. Give us some advance notice and we promise to delight.

May we use the fridge?
Yes of course. If you’re planning on bringing a French Camembert to go with your Waterford Crackers, then you are most welcome to store it in our industrial-strength fridge.

Can you cope with a nut allergy?
We have had adults and children with nut allergies on the island before and they survived. This being Indonesia (a country famed for the use of peanut sauces), the best way to ensure that there are no nut derivatives in the food, is to work with our cook. You're welcome to go right into the kitchen (in fact we suggest this before the preparation of each meal begins) and see what they're preparing. You’ll have to take our English-speaking Customer Service Manager with you as our cook does not speak any English. Our staff are very good and will try their best but with the language difficulties we suggest you remind them before every meal and double check on everything.

DRINKS
Can we bring our own wine?
We have a reasonably-priced wine collection but we will waive corkage charge one bottle per adult. Please note that Indonesia customs are only allowing only one bottle (up to 1 liter per adult) to be brought individually. No outside beer or soft drinks are allowed to the island.

We have a few drinkers who are worried that there may not be enough spirits/beer for the long holiday weekend? Should they be concerned?
There is no need to worry about the beer running out! We stock plenty on island as it is available locally. For wine, champagne, and/or spirits please ask for our list with stock level. Pre-orders can be arranged with few weeks notice.

We drink a lot of Vodka Tonics and Bloody Marys. Do we need to bring any mixers?
We stock soda water, tonic water, ginger ale, pineapple juice, orange juice and tomato juice. They tend to be local or regional brands (eg Schweppes tonic water).

Should we bring our own beer or soft-drinks?
No. We stock most of the major soft-drinks including diet colas. Soft drinks cost IDR 25k ++ per can and beer IDR 40k ++ (Bintang, Tiger, Heineken & Carlsberg).

Is there a real coffee maker on the island or do you use instant coffee? We have a few coffee snobs coming (me being one of them) and I can bring my own press if needed?
We serve strong plunger-style Indonesian coffee. Everyone seems to like it. We do serve tea, however if you’re a tea snob our selection is limited and you may want to bring your own.

Should we bring bottled water?
We offer complimentary drinking water produced in Indonesia.

Is fresh milk available?
We do usually carry soy milk.

My son is allergic to milk. Should I bring my own soy milk?
Yes. If in doubt bring what you need. We don’t usually carry soy milk.

SAFETY & MEDICAL
What do you do if there is a serious injury?
There is an excellent well-staffed hospital in Kijang (the southern port on Bintan). Our speedboat can reach Kijang in about 20 minutes if necessary. Our staff members on Pangkil and Bintan have mobile phones (and two-way radios) and will arrange for the hospital staff to be ready to receive the injured guest. We have been extremely fortunate to date that the only serious injury requiring a visit to the hospital was a boy who cut his foot requiring stiches.

Is it safe to swim?
Absolutely. Open-water swimming is encouraged off the beach near the Main House. Naturally common-sense suggests that parents supervise their kids, that no one should swim after having consumed alcohol and that swimming at night is not advisable. If in any doubt, have your friends (or our staff) follow you in the kayaks or a speedboat. Stone Fish are found all the way from Australia up to the South-China Sea. We suggest you do not step on the coral or rocks and stick to walking on the sand to get to open sea. At certain times of the year there are jelly fish. The seasons are short and we have jelly fish ‘wipes’ in our first-aid kit. We have never had a serious injury from the jelly fish. We recommend that you always use reef-shoes to walk on the reef.

How far is it safe to swim?
Guests swim out to the swimming pontoon all the time. A few have swum around the entire island before and some extremely fit guests have swim to Pulau Pangkil Besar (‘Big Pangkil’) about 2 km away. We don’t advise either of the latter-two options, but if you insist, please alert our staff and have them follow you in one of the speedboats.

Do you have security guards on the island?
Our male staff members patrol the island at night. We have a purpose-built light tower with an intense quartz-halogen light used to illuminate our boats and the main beach throughout the night. This has worked well to date warding off curious fishermen.

Are there pirates in the area?
Rest assured, we are on top of security arrangements. The whole of the area to the south and west of Bintan is quiet and there have been no disturbances or any hint of unpleasantness. We are known to the Indonesian Navy (which has a base at Kijang) as well as the Chief of Police. Our General Manager is Indonesian and was born in Bintan and hence has his ear to the ground (or should that be water) with regards to maritime security in the area. If there was the remotest possibility of harm to any of our guests at any time we would immediately advise you not to travel.
There certainly is ‘marine thievery’ in the Riaus (for example the Philips Channel to the west of Batam), but this is a long way from Pangkil. Violent attacks on ship are rare and many of those reported in the media happen many hundreds of kilometres from Pangkil. Increased cooperation between the governments and navies of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as some recent victories by the Indonesian forces in capturing ‘pirates’ will lead to improvements in the safety of the entire region.
We have prudently developed contingency plans in the highly unlikely event that there are attacks at the ferry terminals, on land en-route to a ferry terminal, on our launch at sea, or if there is civil unrest in Bintan while guests are on the island. We do not expect to ever have to activate these plans as the area really is very safe.

Do we have to worry about malaria?
There is no malaria on the island. We are fortunately also free of sand flies. There are a few non-malarial mosquitoes, but we provide mosquito coils and insect spray in the driftwood palaces as well as mosquito nets. We also regularly ‘fog’ to keep the mosquito population under control. We do however suggest that you bring your own preferred brand of insect repellent.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP & ISLAND STAY
We were hoping to arrive early but the Bookings Calendar shows that there will be another group on the island?
If there are no other guests checking out the same day, you may check-in early. Please contact our reservations team.

We’re having trouble getting visas in advance as the Indonesian Embassy is demanding proof that we’ve booked. Can you help?
Certainly. Some nationalities need visas in advance from an Indonesian Embassy. The bureaucrats sometimes demand a letter from us. Let us know your Full Name; Passport Number; Nationality; Group Organizer’s Name & Trip Dates and we’ll send you either an email or a Word document composed by us. Print this out and take it to the Indonesian Embassy and it will keep them happy. It does not have to be signed by us.

I need to receive an important telephone call on the island from my company. What number should they ring?
We are proud of the fact that we do not have a fixed-line telephone and a fax. We do not have a radio and certainly no daily newspapers. Mobile phones do however work provided you and your carrier have roaming agreements for Indonesia. We have a mobile phone booster on top of the kitchen and you may need to be at this end of the island to initiate or receive a call. Sadly we bowed to pressure and installed a 32" LCD television screen and satellite TV in May 2010.

Do you have satellite TV?
No.

What voltage is the power supply? What are the connection points or plugs like?
The power is 240 volts from UK/Singapore 3-prong power sockets.

One of our group will not know if she is able to come for the weekend until the Friday of our trip. Can she confirm on the Friday, or do you need more warning?
Last minute additions are fine. In this case, if she is planning on being on the same ferry as the rest of you, you can let us know on the Friday. If she needs an extra transfer (because she is on a different ferry to everyone else), you will have to let us know on the Thursday at the latest as it takes time to reorganise our land and launch schedules. If she is vacillating between a late Friday and early Saturday ferry, you can sort this out on Friday on the island.

Who will meet us in Bintan?
One of our English-speaking "Meet & Greet" staff members or our Customer Service Manager will meet you at the entrance of the ferry terminal. That is the designated pickup point as we are not allowed to go further in.

Should we buy duty-free goods?
We don’t sell anything on the island except cigarette. There is no duty free shop in Bintan.

Should we buy snacks and drinks for the journey?
The ferry to Bintan has a selection of food and drinks. Don’t get your expectations up though. The good news is that the food on Pangkil is outstanding. We will provide a hot meal even if you arrive at midnight, so try not to spoil your appetite for your first Pangkil meal. We usually provide complimentary water on the launch. We will often also do this on the bus.

One of our group is prone to sea-sickness. Should he be worried about the launch journey?
No. The launch travels through sheltered water for much of the trip and the water is rarely rough. At all times land is visible. Our intrepid boat crew sometimes fail to appreciate that large swell (which is rare) can frighten guests and so they may forget to hand out the life jackets. Please ask for them if you feel you need them.

How do you break down the final bill for each family?
How you sort out the costs amongst your group is up to you. It really is swings and roundabouts. The Tree House, the Main House, the Big House & #1 are different in size and style to #2 to #5, however they all have their own unique charm. If you want to make minor adjustments in how you charge each person, couple or family, it is entirely up to you.

When is the final bill presented?
The final bill will be presented to the Group Organizer an hour or so before your departure.

Is it possible to charge the drinks to each room or family?
Not really. We have an honesty system. You and your group may help themselves to soft-drinks, beer, wine and spirits at any time, day or night. At the end of your stay we count the number of cans and bottles consumed and measure the number of centimetres of spirits consumed (in their bottles). We don’t have bar people as such mixing or dispensing drinks. How you divide the drinks bill is up to you. Our staff will help you draw up a paper-based ‘tick’ system for the individuals, families or Palaces, but these systems rarely work exactly and the Group Organizer may have to do a little ‘horse trading’ with her group to reconcile the individual consumption patterns with the total. You may choose to have all alcohol and drinks removed from the bar areas and placed in the kitchen (where we have staff around the clock). The staff could then serve the drinks upon request. To date no one has ever done this as it would, in our opinion, detract from the simplicity of Pangkil.

Can we hand over the remaining accommodation balance in Singapore to someone before we go? Then all we’ll have to settle on the Sunday is the bar bill?
It is mandatory to pay the balance of your accommodation charges one week before you leave Singapore. We also suggest you transfer a 'kitty' to cover drinks. This will show up as a credit on the island. It minimizes the need to carry SGD cash to the island.

What time do we have to leave?
3 hours before your ferry departure time. It can be earlier if you have huge group or with lots of kids. During weekends boarding pass collection and luggage check-in queue can be long unless you are buying emerald class ferry.

Can we decide to stay longer on the island when we are there?
Provided there is no one staying after you that week, then yes you can (with about 24 hours notice) decide to stay longer on the island.

Do you have a shop on the island?
No. So if you want marshmallows or chocolate to go with your coffee around the fire you’re going to have to bring such items yourself.

Do you have live music on the island?
Yes, we can arrange live music at extra cost. Please contact our reservations team.

I have a birthday surprise in mind. Do you have a microphone and a music system (or even a karaoke system)?
Some guests have managed to work out how to plug MP3 players (including iPods) into our sound systems. We do have a microphone but do not have a karaoke system.

Do we need to bring our own towels, soap and shampoo or do you operate as a hotel?
We provide towels and there should be liquid soap/shower gel in the bathrooms, but we recommend you bring your own toiletries.

Are the staff on the island there to wait on us hand and foot? Will a butler be provided for each cabin?
Even for large groups there will usually be more staff on the island than guests. They are there entirely for the benefit of your group and will follow you in the speedboat if you go kayaking, take you on picnics to other islands, clean the driftwood palaces each day, prepare and serve you meals and work behind the scenes to keep the electricity working and the island stocked with fresh water. They are however trained to be discrete and will not disturb you unless you have asked for specific help. Remember - you have hired the whole island and what you say goes!

We have a colleague who injured his leg while mountain climbing. We want to ensure that facilities are easily accessible to him. Which Palace would you suggest that we put him in?
All the accommodation is above ground and requires the navigation of ten or so steps. The steps are however wide with sold hand rails. Our staff can if necessary help carry your colleague to his Palace. The only vehicle on the island is a small tractor which tows a small cart. While not designed to carry guests with limited mobility, our staff would be more than happy to improvise by strapping a solid chair on to the cart for trips from the Main House to the pool area.

How far apart are the palaces?
Far enough apart to be very private!

When I visited the island last year your staff put on a wonderful firework show at the lagoon. Is this a possibility?
We are usually able to procure fireworks. Packages range from S$150 onwards with advance notice.

Could you tell me if you have blenders to make frozen drinks?
We do have a blender. Please ask the staff if it is not out on the bar.

Can we ‘trust’ the ice?
Yes, it is bought from local restaurant.

Are beach towels provided?
Yes. All laundry is done on Bintan so we ask that you use no more than one beach towel per day.

Is it possible to have a campfire?
Usually. At certain times of the year a combination of high tides and sand patterns mean that there is nowhere suitable for a fire. This happens rarely.

Is there a sound system on the island?
Yes, most music devices may plug it into our sound system by audio jack cable. We do have adaptor if your device does not have audio jack.
Can we be invoiced for the balance after the trip?
No. Unfortunately we aren't set up to invoice guests after a stay. We require your company pays the full accommodation amount before the trip and that one of your group then settles (and expenses) the final amount.

CORPORATE
Can you provide a corporate trainer?
No.

Can we be invoiced for the balance after the trip?
No. Unfortunately we aren't set up to invoice guests after a stay. We accept SGD cash or a single SGD cheque on the island. We suggest your company pays the full accommodation amount before the trip and that one of your group then settles (and expenses) the final amount.

What time are meals as I need to plan our conference program?
We suggest that you knock up a program schedule for your stay to suit your needs, including preferred meal and coffee-break times and include any special requests. Our staff will fit in with your program.