Asia's Most Comprehensive Guide to Batam
Our comprehensive guide to Batam has been a hit with many Singaporeans and we want to thank everyone for all the questions that have been constantly pouring in. In this blog post, we will be sharing with you some recent key updates and developments in Batam and some of the new and interesting places that we have just visited last weekend.
Apart from that, we will also be addressing some of the most common questions that we get from our readers about Batam.
To begin with, here are some common questions that we have received about Batam:
How much do you need for a 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam?
For a 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam, you don't exactly need to bring a lot of money unless you intend to buy a lot of things back. In fact, changing SGD$250 to spend in Batam is more than sufficient.
Do you have any contacts for Traditional Kueh Lapis (Layered Cakes) in Batam?
Yes, we often buy our Traditional Kueh Lapis (Layered Cakes) from Diana Layer Cakes Batam and you can contact them via the phone at +62 778 466906. In our previous post about Batam, we mentioned that Diana Layer Cakes Batam accept Singapore Dollars but do note that as of last year, they have stopped collecting Singapore Dollars and they only accept Indonesian Rupiah now. The reason why we always buy from Diana Layer Cakes Batam is because they offer free delivery to our hotel and their layer cakes are the best that we have tasted so far. A 1KG original Kueh Lapis cost 250000 Rupiah (SGD$26) and a 1KG prune Kueh Lapis cost 300000 Rupiah (SGD$31).
Is it easy to get around in Batam?
Yes, it is easy to get around in Batam. Taxis are abundant but like we always say; don't flag off the taxis that are plying the roads. Always book a taxi or approach a taxi counter to get a taxi. Do note that taxis have a minimum fare of 25000 Rupiah (SGD$2.60) and taxis from Silver Cab or Blue Bird can no longer stop at Nagoya Hill . There are taxi counters available at most hotels or shopping Centres and you can just probably go there to pay for your cab fare in advance. It's more expensive but better than having to haggle the prices.
So last weekend, we went on a short 2 Days 1 Night trip to Batam and we visited some new dining places (at our own expense) and tried doing some new stuffs like watching a movie at their local cinema.
We arrived in Batam at about 0915, cleared the immigrations that took about 45 minutes (weekends are always the peak season), and the very first thing we did was to make sure that we got a prepaid mobile line at the counter.
With a prepaid mobile line, getting around Batam is a breeze because the taxi is just a phone call away.
We walked to our hotel (Harris Hotel Batam Centre) which was nearby the ferry terminal to pick up the Kueh Lapis that we have ordered just 2 days before and since there weren't any rooms available just yet, we headed to the nearby Mega Mall Batam Centre to walk about. By the way, if you plan to book a room at Harris Hotel Batam Centre, it will be cheaper to book through Agoda than via the Hotel Website direct and opt for just the room only because the hotel's buffet breakfast isn't that fantastic as compared to the food you could get at the nearby shopping malls.
For lunch, we went to Barletta Dining and Lounge at Da Vienna Boutique Hotel and from the table setting to the personalised service, we could tell that it was somewhat a place for fine dining. The food however, was a real disappointment. An online search revealed some positive reviews about the restaurant but seriously, we won't want to dine there again because the quality of the food is so-so and isn't value for money.
After lunch, we booked a taxi to Nagoya Hill where we spent the entire day there. Contrary to what most people would plan to do in Batam (go-karting, sea sports, and the likes), our plan was to simply eat, shop, and relax.
At Nagoya Hill, we went to catch the movie, "Independence Day: Resurgence" at Cinema 21 and the price for a movie ticket is just 35,000 Rupiah (SGD$3.50) per ticket! The fabric seats are comfortable and the theatre is not as run down as we thought it to be.
The cinema is located at the top floor of Nagoya Hill Mall and here's a picture of the entrance leading to the cinema.
There is a small arcade corner located near the tickets counter but I wouldn't suggest having a go at it because the (shooting games especially) controls are faulty.
Since we had a lot of time to kill, I decided to be more adventurous and went for a haircut at Willy Salon in Nagoya Mall. The haircut which includes washing cost me 120000 Rupiah (SGD$13) and I must say, it was overall a pleasant experience!
Bule, my hairstylist; is pretty good and if you happen to go to Willy Salon, look for him!
That radiant and fresh look after a refreshing haircut.
For dinner, we went to Taste The Crab @ Hill Cafe Batam which is within walking distance from Nagoya Hill. The food there is pretty awesome and we had the medium seafood combo which consist of prawns, clams, squid rings, and crab. In case you're wondering, the medium seafood combo cost 190000 Rupiah (SGD$20) and the portion was actually rather small for us. The next time we visit, we will definitely get the large seafood combo which cost only 220000 Rupiah (SGD$23).
Oh, and having a pint of beer is a must because it really goes well with the seafood and it cost only 40000 Rupiah (SGD$4.20)!
The dinner pretty much concluded our first day in Batam.
For our second day in Batam, we booked for a half-day spa package with Spa Central Batam which cost SGD$88 per person for 3 hours. It was our 2nd time visiting Spa Central Batam and there are quite a number of changes since the last time we were there. Even the spa package and service menu has been updated and we were quite surprised to learn that the ownership of the boutique spa has been taken over by a Singaporean (yes you read that right).
The half-day spa package included a foot bath, our choice of 3 different categories of treatments (1 x 90 minute massage and 2 other treatments (one at 30 minutes and the other at 60 minutes excluding Galvanic Facial) from their spa menu. The half-day spa package also include free transfers to and fro the spa by taxi (only if you have a minimum of 2 people taking up a 2-hour treatment session).
The treatment room is very comfortable and clean. For couples, couple room is available as well.
If you plan to visit Batam on a free-and-easy basis and have the intention to include a spa treatment package on your itinerary; I would suggest that you book your ferry tickets directly with Spa Central Batam because it cost SGD$38 nett 2-way instead of the usual SGD$48. That is SGD$10 off in savings which you can use to spend on sumptuous food in Batam!
Needless to say, we ended our trip to Batam with our usual ritual of having an A&W meal!
For more information about Spa Central Batam, do visit their website where you can find more details about the various kind of spa package they have and the costs for the different treatments as well.