"Travel Notes from Batam" Pulau Batam by gdilieto

Pulau Batam Travel Guide: 415 reviews and 1,075 photos

A different world a short ride away

The good thing about Batam is that, at only 45 minutes speedboat from Singapore, the change is so drastic that it truly feels like vacation. You leave behind the efficient and orderly Singapore and in less than a hour chaos becomes king and it feels like you have reached a different continent.

Batam is an industrial hub whose ambitions of turning into a tropical tourist destination have failed to materialize. Far from a tropical paradise, the island serves as a destination for cheap shopping and eating to weekend trippers mainly from nearby Singapore. There are, in my experience, no sites worth seeing and literally what you can do is setting yourself at slow pace, mingle with the local crowd and eat and shop till you drop.

Singaporeans and citizens of few other selected Asian countries may enter without visa; other international travelers will need an entry visa issued at arrival for a 10 US dollar fee.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cheap (if you live in Singapore...) shopping and eating
  • Cons:Basically it's all about shopping and eating
  • In a nutshell:At 45 mins from Singapore, it feels like vacation!
  • Last visit to Pulau Batam: Dec 2011
  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2012
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