Batam: Low-Cost Weekend Getaway

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January 15th 2011
Published: September 11th 2011
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Yes, everything is cheap in Batam compared to other cities in Indonesia. A quick comparison, you pay IDR 5000 in Medan for parking in a shopping mall, but in Batam you only spend IDR 1000 for parking in a major shopping mall. That's 5 times cheaper.

This was not the first time I went Batam, but there are so much places to visit and so many cheap things that I would love to come back anytime soon. This is a 2-day 1-night trip. We booked the hotel online coz it's cheaper to do so rather than booking on the spot. We also rented a car for 1day and booked our ferry ticket a few days before departure.

Saturday morning, our group of 5 people gathered and had breakfast at Food Republic, Vivocity. The ferry we took was Batamfast. It was 1 hr journey from Harbourfront (Singapore) to Batam Centre. After checking into the hotel, our driver drove us to a Minang Restaurant, I can't remember its name, and it was quite nice. Total bill was IDR 305,000 for 5 people, thus IDR 61,000 a person (less than SGD 10!!)

After lunch, we went to the famous bridge called Jembatan Barelang, which is a short form of BAtam, REmpang, and gaLANG (the islands that the bridge connects). It took almost 1 hour drive from our hotel in Nagoya area. scenery around the bridge consists of smooth roads with red-soil on the road side. We called the red-soil area "Grand Canyon" of Batam. The bridge itself is fantastic, I never expect there is such nice bridge in a city like Batam. We called this bridge "San Francisco Bridge" of Batam, lol.. The roadside snacks include steamed crab! We didn't buy any though. The wind was so peaceful, it felt like paradise!

We continued our journey to a beach by passing through 2 more bridges (with less amazing design). The beach is called "Pantai Melayu", conveniently translated as Malay beach. It was a quiet beach with no tourist. We walked down the beach and found so many baby crabs and baby snails. It was really a nice beach. The toilet service is IDR 2,000. From the beach, we drove back towards city, but we stopped before Barelang bridge at a Dragonfruit farm. The juice is sold at IDR 9,000 a cup, and it tasted so nice!! It was my first time drinking dragonfruit juice, but I fell in love at the first taste! They also sold other type of food n drink made from dragonfruit, but we didn't have chance to try.

It took us another almost 1 hour ride to the city. One of our main mission in Batam is the massage. In shophouses near Nagoya Hill mall, we found this place called "Everyday Spa" which offered freaking cheap massage with nicely designed interior and relaxing music. My friends took aroma-therapy massage (2hr) for only IDR 120,000 while I took the package of foot bath, traditional massage, body scrub, sauna, and milk bath (also 2hr) for IDR 230,000. This is freaking cheap deal!

We had our dinner of Sate Padang at the roadside on the mainroad. The price for a plate of 10 sticks with rice cakes (lontong) is IDR 12,000 which is a standard price for sate in other cities. Sate padang is my favorite food since I was a little kid living in Medan, therefore finding sate padang in batam is like dream comes true for me. After sate, we went to hypermart in Nagoya hill to buy some drinks, and then we had donuts as dessert. A dozen of Jco donuts is approx. IDR 60,000 (again, less than SGD 10!!).

At night, we went to No Name Club, but we were stopped at the entrance because we wear slippers. Sigh. Yeah we were not prepared for club, it didn't even cross our mind to go to club, it was a last-minute decision because we weren't feeling sleepy at 11pm. Hence, we walked around the area, peek into a few pubs, and eventually settled at KFC (beside Harmoni Hotel). After late-night supper, we went back to hotel and dozed off.

Sunday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel, and it tasted awful. After that, we checked out from hotel and set off to Cable Ski Park near Harris Hotel. We spent a whole day there. The price was SGD 105 (include ferry ticket and whole day cable ski). The park closed at 6pm. We took bath and left the park at 6.30pm. We took the complimentary minibus to go to Sekupang ferry terminal, then took Batamfast back to Sg.

I will come back for the massage and sate padang 😊


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