Actually we had been to Batam Island some 20 over years ago from Singapore. At that time, Batam was just a small town scarcely populated. As there is now ferry service plying between Stulang Laut Johor Bahru to Batam, we decided to visit this island again.
Arrived at Stulang Laut ferry terminal at around 8.30 am. Immediately we bought a to and fro ticket to Batam Center for the 9.00 am trip. The price is RM 126 per pax.
The trip took about 2 hours along the Straits of Johor. The boring 2 hour trip was made up by the beautiful coastal line of both Singapore and Johor especially when the ferry was approaching Changi Airport. Here you can enjoy the taking off and landing of aircrafts. Along the way, you get to see some fishermen trying their luck to get some catch. There are also a lot of ships anchored near to the port, both at Singapore and Pasir Gudang.
Arrived at Batam Ferry Terminal after a two hour ride. Batam has actually developed tremendously with a lot of hotels and shopping malls, not to mention a lot of restaurants.
Immediately we took a taxi to our hotel, I hotel Baloi. It cost us 70K Rp for the 15 minutes ride.
We were not allowed to check in as it was still early as check-in time is at 2.00 pm. So we left our luggage at the concierge and walked to Batam City Square (BCS) which is just a few minute walk. We surveyed around to look for restaurant for our lunch. Finally we decided to try the authentic Indonesian cuisine at D’Penyetz Restaurant. We had ayam penyet asli, Balinese grilled duck (bebek bakar), French fries and the chocolate cheese fried bananas. The fried bananas blended well with the chocolate cheese. Real good I would say. The duck was well grilled and very crispy. It’s really delicious together with the sauce.
We also tried the signature dessert, Es buah mixed fruits ice. It was really yummy, highly recommended if you are in Batam Island. All in it cost us 140k Rp. We also shopped around the Mall to get some clothes and shoes for Kimberly!
After lunch we went back to check-in. we were delighted that the hotel is very new and clean.
After taking a shower, we took a cab to Nagoya Hill shopping centre which is about 4.5 km from our hotel. It costs us 60K Rp one way. Nagoya Hill Mall is more crowded and congested. I find it is more comfortable to shop around at BCS. We bought some clothing at Matahari Departmental Store. In fact I like to buy local Indonesian made apparel than those branded ones. Then we took a cab back to Baloi again.
Then we went to the wet market just opposite our hotel to look for some fruits, especially the snake skin fruit or ‘buah salak’ which is a very popular local fruit. We managed to get some, but not cheap.
Attracted by the promotion banner at Reborn Reflexology Centre opposite our hotel, we decided to try out the massage at this parlor. I thought it was fabulous to rejuvenate ourselves after walking for hours. We opted for 1 hour foot massage and 1 hour Balinese massage.
The massage itself was okay. However this cannot be said about the level of hygiene at this massage parlor. After 2 hours of massage, instead of getting rejuvenated, I ended up having itches at some parts of my hand and back! The facial towel was also quite smelly!
Dinner was simple. We just took noodles as it was quite late already.
Woke up early in the morning, wanted to go for a swim at the swimming pool at the 5th floor. Too bad, it was raining! So we changed our plan. Instead of swimming, we went to the gym for a light workout. We tried the tread mill for about 20 minutes then went for breakfast after resting. Breakfast was good. We had a long breakfast as we were not rushing for time. By the time we finished our breakfast, the rain had stopped. So we decided to go for a swim after resting! Expectedly we were the only ones at the 25 m pool. Water is clean and visibility is good! We swam for half an hour and the sun began to shine on us. So it was time to leave.
We checked out at around 11 am and proceeded to Batam Ferry terminal for departure.
We went to Batam Centre for our lunch.
After hunting around for gurames, finally we found one at Baresto Café gurames is a very popular dish in Indonesia. I always try it whenever I go to Indonesia. We opted for gurames cooked in mango sauce, long beans in XO sauce, [not XO liqour] and ayam kriuk [fried chicken with some local spices]. The fish gurames was really crispy and not over cooked. The mango sauce was superb and appetizing. But the chicken was not so delicious. [117k Rp]
This restaurant is big and spacious. From the restaurant, you can get a panoramic view of the sea as part of the restaurant is facing the sea.
We didn’t order any drink as we had found one dessert outlet there. Yes it’s 77 Es Teler, a franchise out let selling noodles and the popular es buah, a mix fruits blended ice. I was elated to find it here as I first tried it when we were at Malioboro Mall at Yogyakarta.
We really liked it very much. In fact we went back the next day to try again. After that we tried to find the same outlet in Surabaya and Bali, but were disappointed not to find there. Over here we found it again. so must try! It’s a mixture of jack fruit and avocado with coconut milk and milk blended with ice.[30k Rp per bowl] The only complaint is that the ice is not fine enough. Else it will be perfect match!
We walked around the Mega Mall to look for anything that is worth buying. But we didn’t find anything to buy back!
Then it was time to bid goodbye, another 2 hours ferry ride back to Johor Bahru!
p/s : Rm 1 = 3200 R