"Batam-nearer to Singapore than to Jakarta" Top 5 Page for this destination Pulau Batam by bkarjee

Pulau Batam Travel Guide: 406 reviews and 1,061 photos

General Info

Batam is a popular destination for fun starved Singaporeans, who find the Singapore's plastic life a bit 'dry'. Batam is best visited from Singapore, where the connecting ferries provide an excellant service and frequency for connecting to Batam, although the ferry fare of S$ 30 for a return fare for a 40 minute ride is quite steep. Batam is a short ferry ride away and belongs to Riau Province of Indonesia. The distance between Batam and Singapore is less than 20 kms. Nature and landscape wise, Batam Island doesnt have much to offer, but if you want to enjoy cheap seafood and do plenty of shopping at very resaonable price, Batam is the place for you. Nightlife is also quite lively, although, sometimes for all the bad reasons. Nevertheless, spa, massage and beer are very cheap here. The hotels are plenty and for food, especially seafood, you are spoilt for choice.

There is not much one can indulge while in Batam. One can try some of these activities
1. Go for a long Drive through the Arch Bridge (Barelang bridges) to neighboring islands and to the Vietnamese refugee camp.
2. Visit Waterfront city area for some sea sports and go-carting
3. Shopping in various malls at Nagoya city of Batam.
4. Go pubbing in numerous bars and discos
5. Indulge in massage and spa

Batam is not famous for good beaches. So don’t expect a lot. But there are a few sea- facing resorts like Turi Beach Resort, Batam View beach resort, located near Nongsa village, which are worth exploring. They offer very good sea view chalets/rooms and Wotif.com (check in Singapore Page) is the best site to book a room in these hotels.

Best part is that in all the commercial establishments, Singapore Dollars are widely accepted as mode of payment, hence no need to change currency for those visiting from Singapore. Exchange rates offered may not be as attractive, but its not poor either.

Visiting Batam

The language poses a problem on the streets sometimes, as the main language is Bahasa Indonesia, but cabs, hotels, bars, pubs are manageable in terms of language problem.

The traffic on the roads is by and large chaotic and it is best to be driven around, rather then self-driving. Roads are in good condition and occasionally; potholes were visible on the roads. Cabs are very easily available and they are comfortable too. One has to pre-negotiate the price before settling in. At the time of my visit, taxi fares for drive within the Nagoya city was costing IDR 20-30K. A full day 7-8 seater MPV Vehicle was available for hire for IDR 450K. In most of these cabs, the driver understands English and hence proves handy.

Dont expect any city/road maps to be distributed at the tourist information centers. In fact, I didnt come across any Tourist information centers

If you are taking a ferry from Singapore, you may have to decide between any of the four ports in Batam, namely Batam Centre, Sekupang, Waterfront city or Nongsa. Depends on where your hotel is located. If you are going to stay in Turi Beach resort or Batam View sea resort, you should be heading to Nongsa Port in Batam.
If you are going to stay in any of the Nagoya city hotels, go to Sekupang Port.
If you plan to visit and stay in waterfront city area, go to Waterfront port.
But best frequency of ferry is found for Batam Centre port. This port meets any international standard ferry terminal standard and there are numerous mega shopping malls around Batam Centre ferry point.

Restaurants and sea food

There are numerous Hotels and restaurants, which stand on stilts over the sea and offer very good view of the sea around it. I came across this restaurant in Nongsa village, which was deserted in the day time. I don’t think there was any name of this restaurant. We had reached this place at 12 noon and even the owner was not there. Probably they get some business in the evening hours, when tourists from the nearby Turi Beach resort and Batam View sea resort come over to have Teh Tarik and sea food. The coconuts served here are gigantic and have at least two glassful of water. And they are very sweet. Costs around IDR 5K.
We didn’t try the food here as they informed us that it will take at least 30 mts to serve. We didn’t have that much time. There were few stray dogs here, but harmless. This place is five minute drive from the nearest main road. Taxis are few and far between around this place. Best would be to hire a car and come here.
There were few boats around here that will take you on a tour to nearby islands. They charge around IDR 20K and the return trip takes around 2-3 hrs. These islands have reasonably good beaches and there are hardly any people there. So you can have the whole beach for yourself.

The Singapore skyline is visible from few places in Batam on a clear day. Harbourfront is one of them.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:cheap shopping place
  • Cons:best enjoyed in singles group-not a place for families
  • In a nutshell:Don't expect a lot-just shop and relax
  • Last visit to Pulau Batam: May 2006
  • Intro Updated May 18, 2006
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Reviews (34)

Comments (4)

  • asianbelle's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2008 at 7:08 PM

    thanks for the tips on Batam... considering to visit soon.

  • Dec 9, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    hi ! great tips. Abt the MPV for 45oK, can u tell em where are they available? do i need to book in advance ?

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2007 at 11:57 PM

    Hello! I enjoyed your tips and photos, very nice - my ratings are definitely with you. Greetings from the desert / Jess in Dubai :-)

  • hassan_abu's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2006 at 7:58 PM

    Seems you had a great time in Batam. I really should try the Sunset Restaurant. Great tips, Abu

bkarjee

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