Pankhil – the private island

Living in Singapore is like living inside a dream bubble – it’s the life of friends from all around the world, lush nature, champagne brunches, fireworks and private islands. Now, imagine having all of that packed into one weekend – that was our Pangkil weekend!

The concept: Pangkil is a private island available for private parties. It’s all or nothing. You book the full island with 6 family rooms, one tree house, one pool hut and all services all included – 4 meals a day in different locations of the island, fully stocked bar 24/7, water sports equipment and extremely friendly staff. We were 12 adults and 4 kids but we could have easily fit another 6 people.

The planning: you need to know you want to go to Pangkil quite some time in advance as their calendar is fully booked with months in advance. Lucky for us we had our ‘lovely super planning woman’ Sorcha in control. She did all the booking, arranged the transfer and made sure all the food requirements and fuzziness were met.

The journey: for most people, paradise is this far away land that takes you many hours or days to get to. With that perspective in mind, Pangkhil is only 4 hours away from Singapore. It is off the north part of Bintan – Indonesia. We took an early ferry from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Penang ferry terminal (2hrs). The island staff greeted us at the ferry terminal, did our immigration process and took us by bus the island’s private jetty (45mins). From there, it was a quick 15mins speed boat ride to get to the island and enjoy one of the most amazing weekend we had.

The island: the set up is very rustic with accommodations made of reclaimed wood and bathrooms on open air – there are only 2 big houses with en-suite. There is no air conditioning but it is quite breezy. There is a nice pool and the sea is beautifully clean and blue. You can hear the sound of the sea from every room.

What to do there: many people asked me what we did during the weekend. The answer is: we relaxed. Breakfast is served from 7am until 11am at the main house. Then we had a massage by the sea, laid down under the sun and swam at the sea. Lunch was at 12 o’clock by the pool where we stayed for most of the afternoon until nap time. We had the tree house which was an amazing little hut set on stilts on top of the sand that only fit one double bed. Napping with the sound of sea with a nice breeze was incredible. At 4pm there was afternoon tea and then we played beach volleyball or just relaxed reading a book waiting for dinner. Dinner was at 8pm after which drinks, music, bonfire and fireworks followed. Did we feel bored: not for one minute!

Recommendability: 10
Returnabiliy: 8 – we would definitely go back but it is quite a hefty price

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