The Shady Shack

Since the concert Mike and the siblings-in-law were supposed to watch in Singapore was cancelled, SIL decided that a beach trip would be the perfect antidote. So we went to the Shady Shack for some much needed R&R and much enjoyed Indonesian fried chicken!

SIL had already been there quite a few times, so she already knew that drill. We took the 10am ferry from Singapore's Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia (about 2 hours). After passing through Immigration, we were greeted by a smiley man who whisked us to our taxi (a Toyota Revo).

First, we dropped by the ferry office in town to claim our return tickets to Singapore. Then it was an hour long drive to Shady Shack in Trikora Beach where we had fried chicken for lunch!

Don't they look like worm houses from Japanese cartoons? Cute!

The Shady Shack is a quaint resort with a few handmade huts. Everything was rustic and basic. Our hut had a Queen bed with 2 pillows and clean sheets and a mosquito net (although there were holes big enough for insects to get through! hahaha). The comfort room had toilet without a flush (you need to pour water into it) and an improvised rain shower head! Parang probinsya talaga!

View from the shack

The Beach
We loved it! It rained the first day we were there, but it was ok. We enjoyed the cool weather, read books on the patio, slept, and played Scrabble after dinner.
The rain clouds did not dampen our mood. We were there to rest and rest we did.

The food was the best part. Simple, home cooked meals that more than satisfied our hunger. Meals are about S$5 each. Drinks (including beer) are about S$2. Not bad at all.

The menu is simple and the food takes some time to be served. I noticed that every time we ordered meals, a member of the staff would zoom away in a motorbike. Apparently, they were buying supplies from the store down the road! Haha!

Ayam Goreng aka Fried Chicken

I really enjoyed the fried chicken! So simple yet delicious. I think they marinate it in some kind of turmeric mixture. I enjoyed it drizzled with sweet chili sauce (prepared by the waitress) and dipped it in tomato ketchup with sambal.

We enjoyed plates and plates of these simple fried potatoes.

Other items we ordered off the menu: Sauteed Veg, Barbecue chicken (with some sort of turmeric spice topping), Steamed Fish and Hot Noodles (the instant kind but topped with veg, shrimp and egg for breakfast)

Oh and I even got to be a pescetarian for a day! I enjoyed a vegetarian breakfast of tempeh (fried soy beans) which really tasted like Spam, omellete and rice. We ate seafood once we got back to Singapore but more on that later!

My DIY vegetarian platter: Tempeh, omellete and rice. In the background are their version of pancakes (it had pineapple and papaya) and omellete.

It was a really great trip! The place was rustic but comfortable. No TVs, no hot shower, no airconditioning, no annoying banana boats, loud speakers, advertising material and peddlers on the beach. The electricity tends to go on and off at night, but we managed, and for sure you'll manage. The place feels secure and the staff are really accommodating. We were a bit disappointed that they turned on the videoke during dinner though. But we felt that they were disappointed that we didn't want to sing so they turned it off eventually. I think they think of videoke-ing as English lessons and were excited to see and hear some action!

The island and the people felt familiar in some way. As the Thais put it "Same same but different!" It felt like we were just in Pampanga or somewhere in Mindanao.

We kept on saying "Akalain mo ba naman, naka-beach pa tayo sa ibang bansa!" (Who would have thought we'd end up in a beach in another country?!)

We'll definitely be back! Hopefully, we can still book some shacks! We hear that this is quite a famous place for backpackers from all over the world. Luckily, we had the whole place to our selves that weekend!

Here's to more spontaneous trips in 2012!

- Contact Mr. Lobo for reservations. Tell him if you want to be picked up at the ferry terminal too. Our taxi ride was S$80 two-way for 6 people.
- The Shady Shack accepts Singapore dollars.
- If you want to go island hopping, Mr. Lobo can arrange trips for you.
- You will need to pay a terminal fee when departing from Tanjung Pinang. They accept SGD too, I think.
- We took the IndoFalcon going to Indonesia, and The Penguin going back to Singapore. The Penguin was nicer, so I suggest you take that boat instead. For ferry tickets, I think you need to call the company a day ahead then pick up your ticket at the terminal an hour before boarding. In Indonesia, it's best to claim your ferry tickets once you get into town.
- You must be at the terminal 1 hour before your trip. There's a cafe inside the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Meals for less than S$6. The terminal at Tanjung Pinang is old and dark, but there are some snacks for sale at the waiting area.
- Bring a flashlight, insect repellant, and ingredients for s'mores.
- Click here for more useful info

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