"The other side of Batam" Pulau Batam by yukisanto
Pulau Batam Travel Guide: 405 reviews and 1,058 photos
No resort life for us. We choose a different route. Although we did lived in a golfers' chalet in a golf club. But that was all. We ate at local places, like Chomp Chomp and Golden Prawn Seafood.
The seafood place is actually made up of 2 areas - the halal and non halal (or known as 933). We were told by our driver that the halal side tasted better. Anyway, if you do go, the best time to go is during evenings, and you can view the sunset while having dinner. Because the place overlooks the sea, it is quite a beautiful sight.
We went to Sport Massage for massages and milk bath. A 2 hr massage cost only 100,000 rupiah, which is like less than S$20. We're not sure if it's the culture, but we did tipped them around 5,000 rupiah.
We clubbed at Pacific, one of the hottest club on the island at the moment. The security was really tight, with a metal detector and scanner. I guess it's coz it's in the rougher part of the town. My friend's uncle even arranged for a bodyguard to accompany us into the club, so that no one would disturb us. Wow, I feel like a princess. Heheh..
But don't expect the club to be hip. I even saw the locals wearing T-shirts and 3/4 slacks into the club. The music was alright, a mixture of cantopop and electronic spin. I think most people go there to drink and people watch rather than dance, and the huge dance floor was rather empty. From the way some of those people who were constantly moving on the dance floor, I did wonder too, if they had taken drugs.
When we breakfasted at the southlink golf club in the morning, we realised we were the only gals around. And the best part of, the batam people there sang "Xiao wei" for us, with their guitar and bass while we were having our breakfast. We even got to select a song, and we chose "country road". A really leisurely breakfast, and wonderful vocals. I guess they don't see many gals in that club, mostly male golfers.
For shopping we went to DC mall, where there was this large factory outlet for branded clothes. There were esprit, mango,mexx, moschino etc. But the selection wasn't very varied. This place would be best for the guys, what with half of the store dedicated to shirts and T-shirts for the guys. Rest of the shopping mall was not much to look at, and we saw a few other malls in a couple of hours.
Oh yes, and how did we get around? We hired a taxi driver to fetch us around for the two days we were there. He's really a nice person, and came highly recommended to us by my friend's aunt who worked in batam. He really looked out for us, even reminding us to be careful etc. We paid around 370,000 rupiah (around $50-60 SGD I think), and since we hired him, we didn't tip him. But we bought foodstuff for him and told him how happy we were to have him as our driver. We wanted him to eat with us at the seafood place, but he declined. I wonder where he ate for dinner. Normally when we shopped, we'll tell him to meet us at a certain time later, so that he did not have to hang around and wait for us. Next time if I go back, I'll be sure to find him again.
But if I do go back, I'll want to visit the other islands, and see the cliffs and the coastal beauty. I won't spend much time in town again, except for massage. ^^
1) Batam, beyond the resorts, is a rough town, as the people I know over there keep reminding me. So take extra care of your stuff, and stay out of trouble areas.
2) never go anywhere alone, for gals. It's just not done.
3) Currency wise, it's SGD in the resorts and Rupiah in the town. Some shops in town accept both SGD and Rupiah, though they are by far few.
4) As for shopping, it's not really my cup of tea. The styles are behind Singapore and Malaysia, but it's a good place to look for cheap basics like T-shirts and shirts.
5) Your aim should be the massages and spa. not forgetting the seafood. They're really good.
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