Sunday, October 2, 2011


Holiday !
So where to go for the weekend? Batam!!!!!
For some fun, I decide to join SG Trekkers for their Photography excursion.

We met at Batam Fast for our tickets which cost $34 I think. - 2 way for adult.
Wavemaster which was one floor above cost $48 i think - 2 way adult.
Most importantly is that Wavemaster stops at a different terminal which is Harbor Bay - where it holds a big mall and also good food alongside it.
The trip was an hour from Singapore Haborfront Ferry Terminal.
Don't forget to bring your passport.

And if you went on a holiday, remember to go to the counter at Batam first to get your return ticket otherwise, you might not have tickets. Latest time to go back to Singapore is the 930pm (Batam time) _ 1030pm (Singapore time)
Singapore is one hour ahead of Batam so adjust your watches.

The good thing about being Singaporean - Most of the countries we go to, we do not need a visa. Thank you Singapore! :)

Visa-free entry countries
Nationals of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippine, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Ecuador, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam are given visa-free entry facility for maximum of 30 days

Countries / Nationals that require Visa-on-arrival (VOA) are as follows at Bintan ferry terminal:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monacco, Netherlands, New Zealand ,Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar Republic of China, Russia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa , South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America

The visa on arrival is USD 25 for 30 days per entry

- there is a counter at the side once you arrive at the terminal in Batam
USD 10 for 7 days (minimum 5 persons)

Batam is one of the largest islands in the Riau archipelago, and not long ago it was just another poor island with coastal villages and unspoiled nature. The declaration of the Batam free trade zone in 1989 has turned the island upside down, after just a few years of rapid construction it now has a modern airport, tourist and business centers and a still growing infrastructure that has changed the island completely. The strategic location close to the Malacca Strait and Singapore will certainly help reaching its goal as a port, but like the rest of Indonesia the economy and development here was dealt a major blow during and after the Asia economic crisis in the late 1990's.

Batam is actually one of fastest growing tourist destinations in Indonesia in terms of visitor arrivals. There are several tourist resorts here with luxurious hotels and golf courses and also coming on to be one of the water sports location.

Upon arrival, we made our way to the fishing village Tanjung Sari for some photography. We had to sit a small boat from the port. A good time with the locals and also their daily livelihood.

And look at this sweet entrepreneur. He made the sweet machine himself. There is a stove in that box to keep the malt soft!
He uses solely his fingers to make the petals of the flowers, the pitcher etc.
Stood there watching him for ages!

With our growling stomach, we made our way to the fashion mall Nagoya Hill. Taxi cost around 40- 50 Rupiah (S$6 -S$7) depends on the car condition and taxi operator. It’s about 15 minutes driving from Harbor Bay Mall.

And rushed to the famous Ayam Penyet opposite the A&W. Delicious.
Kampung chicken fried to its crispyness, tempeh soy beans yummy, chili amazing but be careful not to be put too much unless you can take the spice.

In the free time, we also went to do a 2 hour massage at Isabella - A shop outside Nagoya hills Mall. Very good service - Thorough scrub and Aroma Therapy. Lovely! And guess what! They also provide free transfer service - so just let them know if you need them to send you back to your hotel or the ferry terminal at night - let them know the timing and they will arrange - For free! Great right?

After, you can go to the first floor hair salons for hair treatment. Around S$30. It will take around 1.5 hours.

Night time we went to the famous Golden Prawn Seafood - 8 kilometers from Nagoya town centre towards Bengkong. Personally find the food soso~ but it has raving reviews from others.

After dinner, we made our way back to our hotel and rest, preparing for the sun rise pictures at 4am. Though it was rainy, we kept our fingers cross. hoping for sun rise. It did not appear though - but the scene was still 'touching' . My camera was also not good enough to take in the lights in its splendor. - Just standing there facing the sea, letting the sea breeze rustle your hair, in its quietness - just amazing! And as day broke, the blue-ness of the sea and the sound of the rooster announcing day break - loved it!

And after all the photo-taking, we explored the area a little and managed to be in time for the fish net collection period from a kelong.

And also the animals in the open

Reared Eagles - Owner says its for sale and tried selling it to us.

How could we not eat the famous Pempek Palembang "Kolekta" - Fishcake served with Palembang-special sweet and sour soya sauce. You can buy them raw and get them packed for you to cook yourself in Singapore. I brought back 3 packets ! Delicious!

I also love their Tek-Wan. It is a traditional fish soup typical of Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. The fish balls are made from the dough of fish and tapioca. The fish cake is cut in small sizes and presented in shrimp broth with a distinctive flavor, served with rice vermicelli, mushrooms, sliced jicama, and sprinkled with sliced fresh celery, spring onions and fried shallot. I ate 2 bowls! Yummy!!!!!
Before returning back to Singapore, we also took some time to try the rojak alongside the streets which the locals recommend. Their self-made sauce! I like that it has lots of fruits in it.

And together with us, we each brought Kueh Lapis home.They have the prune one and the original one. Alot of Indonesians love their Kueh Lapis, but I still prefer Bengawan Solo one. Taste different? You judge for yourself k :)

You can also do Batam on a one day tour from Singapore. Go in the morning then come back in the evening. For food, massage and hair treatment! Shiok!

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