Friday, January 23, 2015

6 Things To Do in Batam That You May Not Know About

My office did an office trip to Batam sometime last year and about 40 people joined with the exception of me. They didn't actually sleep there, but made it into a daytrip from Johor into Batam via ferry.

Almost all of my office-mates told me that there was NOTHING to do in Batam except do some shopping. So why stay longer? OK, I got the longer part and decided to prove them long by spending one fine weekend in Batam.

Did I do any shopping?


With a struck of good luck, I happen to know a good friend in Batam named Mukhlis whom I fortunately met during my backpacking trip to India the year before and decided to pay him a visit.

Hold on... you might be actually asking yourselves.. is there really ANYTHING to see in Batam? Lemme give you a teaser picture before I continue on with this blogpost.

Guess where this is? Nongsa beach at Pulau Purti Batam. Pictured with Mukhlis. Spot at number 3 in the list!
I really didn't have much budget planning for this trip so I only set aside about RM200 for my personal expenses (if any), excluding the ferry and bus tickets as blogged already here..

Below are the things you could do in Batam.... besides the usual shopping. :)

1. Take a ride to iconic Barelang Bridge

The Barelang Bridge (Jembatan Barelang) is a chain of 6 bridges of various types that connect the islands of Batam, Rempang, and Galang (Indonesia), giving the system its name. It became an icon of the local area and is a popular tourism site. Sometimes called as Jembatan Habibie (Jusuf Habibie) by the locals, as it was he who oversaw the construction of the bridges thus transforming the smaller islands into industrial sites. However, the bridge site has grown more into a tourist attraction rather than a transportation route as visitors like me tend to take pictures there! Hehehe!

Mukhlis introduced me to two of his friends. One of them is cute Poppy as seen in the picture.
2. Eat hot and spicy grilled corn near the bridge. 

What? They even make their corns taste "hot" with chilies! I never tasted a hot corn before and this was my first time. Hot corn with hot tea can be enjoyed at any food stalls you find near the side roads near the bridge. Do check them out! 

Mukhlis helping me by cutting off the bits from the corn so that I can easily bite them. So nice of him! (Braces-problem. haha)
3. Take a pompong boat to Pulau Putri (Princess Island)

It takes about 13km of swimming to reach Changi, Singapore from here and 16km to Johor, Malaysia. But I doubt anybody does that. Haha. This island is among the Indonesia's 92 outer islands and also called the Riau Islands. It can be reached from Batam via pompong, a special kind of boat, exclusively in Batam for Rp15,000 per person (return trip).

I especially liked the rocky beach. Locals can be seen swimming and picnicking here with their friends and families. Camping here is also permitted and I heard that you could watch a beautiful sunset here. Too bad we didn't stay that long to see if it.s true.

Enjoying the morning breeze at Pulau Putri.
4. Enjoy a Sunset at Coastarina

This is a relatively new tourist area which opened in 2009 and has a likeness to Ancol of Jakarta. It is said to be constructed to hold miniature islands that will follow The World Dubai. And also on the making are some interesting complexes such as the Kampoeng Indonesia, Water Game, Youth Activity, Warong Jimbaran, Beach Walk, Water Sport, Pantai Festival, Ocarina Junction, Kampoeng Seni and more. Hopefully the mega project will be developed soon and I'll pay another visit to Batam. Hehe.

I only came here to join a local backpackers' gathering and watch the sunset. Haha.

Sunset at Coastarina
5. Meet the backpackers' community of Batam

The backpackers' community in Batam are an active bunch, conducting activities almost every weekend! Mukhlis, my host was a very active member. That particular weekend, I was invited to do a sharing session on my previous trip to Russia and other countries with tthem at Coastarina and I was damn nervous! Hahaha! Imagine giving a travel talk in another language; Indonesian language for that matter! Am very grateful that the people were sporting and showed great support and interest with what I was saying. I do hope they understood it. :P

A photo group with the Batam's backpackers community.
6. Take a pompong ride to Pulau Belakang Padang

The next day we went to another island called Pulau Belakang Padang (Island behind padang). It is also known as Pulau Penawar Rindu. Ehemm..

The reason we went here was to eat the famous Mie Lendir and teh tarik. These culinary treats have originated from this island and best eaten there, as said by my host. Hehe. Surprisingly there are many Malays living on this island and even the streets were named after the Malay warriors of Malacca.
The peaceful port of Pulau Belakang Padang.
And this is the notorious Mie Lendir... ohhhhhhhhhh sedappp gilakkkkkkkk!!!!

Mie Lendir.. best eaten with teh tarik. 
We ended out trip to Batam with short stop at a megamall that I didn't recall as my travelmate, Anne wanted to buy new pants to change into as it got wet during a pompong ride to the island. Mukhlis however had to get ready for his work at noon.

After sending us off at the ferry terminal, we said our goodbyes and headed back to Malaysia via ferry.

So after reading this post.... would you now think that there's more to Batam then shopping? Hehehe.

Safe travel peeps!


Farikica said... [Reply]

What is pompong? Boat eh?

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ farikica.. yess.. it's kinda of a long boat but slow.. tapi boleh muat ramai org dalam tu.

fanny fristhika nila said... [Reply]

Oh my.... You make me feel ashamed not knowing much about my own country :D

I've been to Batam, many years ago, maybe when was still in elementary school ;p .

btw, mie lendir is also known in my hometown medan. But it's known as mie kocok :D , for its thick gravy

Meidiana Kusuma said... [Reply]

I will visit Batam next month, thanks Jard for your Batam experience :D

Now, it's lil bit clear about what I'm supposed to do in Batam *yeaayy*