I was planning for Batam long time ago. This very place, interest me a lot. Months, i have been looking for a budget place to visit and this is one of the top spots to visit , like just for a short vacay.
Both of us(me and my girl buddy) looked around Groupon and Ensogo Sg for cheap tours . Too many tours popped out, I just couldn’t make up my mind. I did lots of surveys and read up blogs from which to choose from. Batam isn’t a place to stay long. This is like a day tour or 2. People usually go for the seafood and massage and tour like a day just to relax and chill. Looking across for 2 months i finally found one package that suits my timing and budget. I mean come on. To me i love to travel, but more of a cheaper way so that i can save more and travel to see other countries. If i would to waste up all my savings just for a place , might as well i don’t travel. Talking about proper financial and management planning.
I bought the groupon(BATAM) and proceeded to making plans. It was a weekend away. We went on the 1st of May 2016. Thankfully 1st of May 2016 falls on Sunday,so we Malaysians and Singaporeans and i bet some of the countries ,all had holidays on the Monday which was the following day. I arrived on the 30th of April in Singapore right after church. We stayed on Moni Gallery Hostel for the night before leaving to Batam the next day. This particular hostel was kinda near to the Harbourfront Ferry Terminal. That was why we chose the hostel . And it was way cheaper. Ferry timing was at 8.50am and we were required to check in and get our boarding passes at 6.30am. That was why i needed to stay somewhere nearby to the terminal. If i would to travel on that day itself , it would be super tiring and i wouldn’t enjoy the tour. I would be dead sleepy..hahahaha.. 😀
We had breakfast at one of the kopitiam nearby the ticketing counter. Unfortunately , the counter wasn’t open when we arrived(so-called Malaysian timing). We decided to eat and wait till the counter was open. Breakfast was good and filing. We had two half boiled eggs, coffee and toast. All in 3.50$. Not bad for a cheap start huh??hahahaha…Such a cheepo you would say i am, but who cares, I am the one paying right??HEHHEHE….anywayssss…yeah, so the counter opened and we took our boarding passes and headed straight to the waiting place, we were supposed to wait to board on. Boarding time was at 8.30am.
Our ferry company was the Majestic Fast Ferry. Once we reached, we went to look for our tour guide and got into our bus. The tour guide was an Indonesian Chinese and he spoke pretty well . Thankfully , we could understand his accent. The first stop was go kart. We didn’t book for it but other people did. So, be prepared as this tour has many perks(go kart,massage,shooting) that you can choose from, but if you plan to not join it, they will still bring you to all places as some other people might have chosen one perks in their package. Its a tour and you can’t decide much where to go. Just follow the flow. When it is your turn to play, others might also need to wait.
Just beside the go kart , there was like shops selling layer cakes and bird’s nest. The shop wasn’t appealing much to me and the workers didn’t even came to entertain the customers. Layer cakes are famous in Batam.,but unfortunately this is one sad shop.
The bird nest shop was the other way round. Very friendly and happy to see us. Even we didn’t buy any soup or bird nest, they were smiling all the way. Next, we went to buy all the crackers and chips and local snacks around the corner. It was very not that cheap but the taste of the snacks and sambal belacaan(chilli with shrimp paste) was off the hook. We bought almost 300,000 rupiah.,it was like 31SGD or RM98 . It was worth the money although it was expensive.
The tour guide took us to a local place where we could watch a kuda kepang show.
The duration of the show was about 5mins . They started with the dance on a horse and then ate glasses, jumped over a fiery rope and peeled coconut using their teeth without any faults. Such talents. We were told that they had no income so all of us tipped them for their talent and kind entertainment.
Next was the shooting game. I just took pics of it and laze around. My stomach was super hungry and needed food .
Anyways after that, we hit back on the road and headed straight for lunch.Lunch was served at one of the restaurant nearby, like a 5-10mins drive. This tour is kinda good as the traveling time is like 5-10mins from everything. We got an Indonesian lunch buffet and the place was packed with all tourist from different nations. Stomachs were full, happy we are..We started to feel sleepy..hoho…Still we couldn’t check in into our hotels as the check in timing was at 4pm. So, the tour guide brought us to few place to shop. Branded Polo tees for only 600,000rupiah(about RM180) without tax was the theme of the day. Everyone went mad over the POLO tees.hahahha..talking about sales huh…
After shopping, we headed straight for our an hour and a half massage. The masseur was really good and it was only 180,000 rupiah. Once you are done with the massage, they will serve you a ginger tea drink to treat the sore muscles and legs and hands. They can really massage you like a dough. I kid you not. Later that evening, we headed back to our hotels to rest and then dinner.
We had a simple buffet breakfast and were needed to check out at 11am. So we decided to walk around the town a little bit and see what else we could explore. After that, we got into our transport and they took us straight to Sekupang Terminal as Batam will be highly jammed.
I would say i enjoyed the trip and the company. Wanted to actually do more but time was limited. More to come. Look out for my next travel blog.