Thursday, March 7, 2013


For almost 3 years in Singapore, this was my first attempt to visit Batam despite the bombardment of nothing-much-can-be-seen feedbacks and the proximity of the place from reaching (45-50 min. ferry travel). That's because my little brother needed much more time to stay in Singapore and this was one of the starters portrayed at the back of my mind for a menu of closer countries to exit from Singapore.

This recent week, the plan took place Saturday at 2pm departing at Harbourfront Centre Terminal and arriving in Batam Centre Terminal at 2pm (Indonesian time), 1 hour late from Singapore timings. We also booked in advance our return tickets online for the day after to prevent the hassles of fully-occupied seatings.  And to the true purpose of this trip, we bring up the hopes of another 30-day social visit stamp in the disembarkation card on our way back to Singapore which we fortunately achieved in the process. Nowadays, the safest duration of an exit is not less than 5 days below than that you will not be given another full 30-day stay. For ferry bookings, visit: Batam Fast.

BARELANG BRIDGE. The name is composed as an abbreviation of 3 places namely Batam, Rempang and Galang. The cable stayed bridge stands about 40m high above water level, stretches at a length of 642m. Most of the tourist advocates in the web and in the place said that you had not totally hooked with Batam if you never get to see this bridge. So, even if it means paying a cab or taxi for 400,000 Rupiah (53SGD) from our distant hotel in Nagoya (Standard Hotel), we didn't mind the price just to close the issues of regrets in the future. Since I'm doubtful how far Barelang bridge is, I did not go further with my haggling and just made only a 50,000 IDR cut-off. Anyway, the 400,000 IDR covers the trip fare from our hotel to Barelang bridge to Waterfront City to Batam Centre Terminal. Just a tidbit guys, all taxis here don't have meters, so you better agree with the fare first before making a ride. Haggling is a major budget saver of all and again my forte should play the part-the ACTING! The going-to-see-another-taxi is very effective to bait drivers from giving up their fare rates down. The normal fare here could cost you around 30,000 Rupiah for a 1 to 3 km distance. They also have other means of public transpo here like ojeks (motorcycle cabs) and mini-bus fleets but these are hardly elusive to avail in this place that's why we opted for a taxi.

REMPANG-GALANG ARCH BRIDGE. 385m length bridge and span of 245m.

Here's one of the locations you can get a better full landscape view of Barelang bridge just around 300m drive further from the bridge.

Sporting my army look minus the firearms. The bridge is more like a tourist spot than a transportation hub in Batam. A lot of vehicles parked at one side of the full stretch of the bridge for the picture taking. Like this?!? 

NAGOYA SHOPPING MALL. The biggest mall in Batam.

The Road intervening the facade of Nagoya Shopping Mall and the commercial buildings.

The myriad of coffee shops and food chains at the second level of Nagoya Shopping Mall.

STUDIO 21 CINEMA. We get to watch "Jack The Giant Slayer" in  Nagoya Shopping Mall's sole cinema. The tickets' regular price is 30,000 IDR (4SGD), two times cheaper or even greater than the rates in Singapore.

Average meals basing on the food chains we roam around in the mall is around 30,000-40,000 IDR. That would be a complete set finishing your meal with a sip of a refreshment drink.

STANDARD HOTEL. If I were to rate from 1-10, the rate is 5. The features, the good stuffs and the bad, all are in between. The ambiance at day compared to its environment at night is quite far different. We could not distinguish the facade of the hotel on our way back from a day tour as it is being overwhelmed by wet market and food stalls at night.


 1 SGD (Singapore Dollar) is 7500 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) or 1USD (US dollars) is 9500 IDR. The widely accepted currencies here without going to money change it to IDR are USD and SGD. (As of this writing)

The not-so-cozy and not-so-bad entertainment corner in the hotel.

Another corner of the entertainment room and behind the brick wall is a billiard area open for the guest to enjoy for free.

MEGA MALL BATAM CENTRE. The mall is located just outside Batam Centre Ferry Terminal ushering the visitors to its fastfoods and coffee shops. Actually, the terminal and the mall are linked with an overhead bridge for a more convenient access and prevention from the hype of traffic.

Wakeboarding with the murky waters at Waterfront City. For more info click Water Ski.

Almost perfect for a wakeboarding delight if not again for the earth-colored waters. I could be a pro in no time if this will take long  for weeks to settle with clearer waters. This will be a toxic lattes if you stumble at your wakeboards in every turns. 

Again, if not for the murky waters! this outdoor dining is all terrific! I think the condition of waters is the typical state just after a hard pouring rain, this will probably pass in a day or two.

THE HORIZON. Silhouette view of Singapore from midway waters of Batam and Singapore.

THINGS WE NEVER WANTED TO MISS BUT WE MISSED: (1) The Massage and Spa Experience which according to my research and the ones we saw in the malls ranges from 60,000 IDR and above depending on the packages you want. Plus there are hidden charges after for the tip which they implement a minimum fee. (2) Go Kart and Paintball experience (for more details click Go Kart)

REMINDERS: (1) If you are hiring a taxi or private car for touring a remote spot or location and spend there for a period of time, don't pay the drivers upon arrival. They have the tendency to leave the place with the intentions of not waiting for you to fetch you on your return to hotel or terminal. (2) Agree first with the charge of fare before taking the ride and try hard haggling. (3) Ask the hotel crews about ideas on the particulars of fare charges to spots you want to go, for you to know the degree of your haggling. 


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