Weekend in Batam

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Batam is the nearest Indonesian city from Singapore, only about an hour of ferry ride away, so when we need a quick getaway, it is one of the obvious choices. People from Singapore generally go to Batam for its cheap goods and services (in comparison to Singapore, because they are actually cheaper in other parts of Indonesia), and we are no exception, although we also relish in the variety of Indonesian foods you do not find in Singapore. I thought l’d share some suggestions here if you are interested in spending the weekend in Batam.

WHERE TO GET YOUR FERRY TICKETS

If possible, find a way to buy ferry tickets for both your ferry rides (Singapore to Batam and Batam to Singapore) in Batam as they cost twice as much in Singapore. We have a friend living in Batam, so he helped us buy the tickets and send them to us via mail.

WHERE TO STAY IN BATAM

There are a few beach resorts in Batam, Montego and Turi Beach being the best of the bunch, but unless you want to stay in the resort throughout the trip, I personally wouldn’t recommend staying there. The resorts are tucked in an area far from the city centre and you wouldn’t be able to find taxis so easily. Most resort dwellers end up paying for private cars and drivers you can book at the resorts, but they are quite expensive. We prefer staying at hotels near the city centre instead, even better when the hotels are within walking distance of a shopping centre.

WHERE TO GO IN BATAM

There are a handful of shopping centres in Batam but our favorite is Nagoya Hill. It is not the most modern or luxurious mall you can find there, but it is one of the biggest and boasts a large variety of shops. It also has a lot of restaurants and food stalls so you’ll be sure to find something you like.

WHAT TO DO IN BATAM

While you’re there, eat delicious Indonesian food of course! Also, go ahead and pamper yourself with hair treatments, body massages, manicures/pedicures. They are very affordable and relaxing. Indonesian salons offer “creambath”, where you basically get a hair wash, a hair mask, and a head and shoulder massage. We never miss this.

Photos by Arnold Hozana

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