It was a quick getaway planned within a week, because my sister had gifted me with 2 open-date ferry tickets that must be utilized by 31 Dec 2014, and I only had 1 free weekend in Dec. So chop chop curry pok is the way to go and I got logistics settled quickly.
After I shared my Batam plans with my colleagues, they advised me to quickly book my ferry tickets in advance, rather than leaving it up to chance and rocking up to the counter on the day I plan to leave. I didn’t want to be stranded at Harbourfront and wasting time waiting for the ferry to have some available seats, so we went to the counter one week in advance to book our tickets. The counter staff needed our passports to reserve the seats and since we were there after work on short notice, we definitely didn’t have our passports with us. Luckily, I have a habit of keeping images of our passports in my phone (so I can book air tickets quickly or for situations like this), and we managed to get our tickets eventually.
Bright sunny day when we arrived!
I had arranged for massage for 2 at Go!Massage before we arrived in Batam, and also got complimentary pick up services from Batam Centre ferry terminal. I would definitely recommend this place (tip: look for Anna!) as it’s so convenient to make bookings, the staff spoke reasonably well English and prices are reasonable. We took the promotion package of either (massage + scrub OR aromatherapy 120 mins) and ear candle 30 mins going at Rp400.000 each. (tip #2: try to pay in Rupiah since their SGD rates are not favorable to us now). Loved how Anna ended the massage by cracking my neck, upper and lower back, and also using her elbows on my tight shoulders.
For our accommodation, I was on TripAdvisor and found Amaris Hotel. The location seemed convenient – according to the reviews, Nagoya Hill shopping mall was across the road. Should be better than I Hotel, which was already in a very good location! Of course, the quality and rating of I Hotel is much better than Amaris, but for one night, I can live with that! Checked the price on Hotels.com and the price sealed the deal: only S$48! Onz lah!
Seafood is sorta a must-eat while in Batam! Super cheap prices compared to Singapore so I. MUST. EAT. We went to this placed called Wey Wey Seafood (again, I did desk research and found this place. The only other seafood place in Batam that I know of is Golden Prawn 933 and it SUCKS). Anyway, there are 3 Wey Wey restaurants at Harbor Bay (all owned by the same boss, no worries) but I chose to go to Wey Wey 1. Just tell the taxi driver “Wey Wey Seafood in Harbor Bay”, they should know where. It’s like super famous, apparently.
We ordered salted egg sotong (Rp 52,000), cereal crayfish 500g (Rp 150,000), steamed prawns (Rp 65,000), sambal kangkung (Rp 25,000), 2 plates of rice (Rp 10,000), and 2 teh tariks (Rp 20,000). All these for only S$34.50 (my exchange rate was 1SGD – 9300Rp)! So good!
I also did shopping at the hypermart in Nagoya Hill. The fashion… ugh… nevermind the fashion. You can skip it without regrets. At the hypermart, ZH and I were awed by the prices! My sister tompang-ed me to buy toothpaste and feminine wash for her, while my helper asked me to help her buy sanitary pads. LOL!
Sensodyne was Rp 33,475 per 160g tube, the feminine washes were Rp 10,200 each, and *wait for this* the sanitary pads were Rp 11,825 each and panty liners Rp 7,525 each. SUPER CHEAP CAN? So auntie Daph swept the shelf while ZH stood back and dropped his jaw. We also got ourselves a bottle of Bintang Radler (Rp 15,850), a pack of Yakult (Rp 8,000), a carton of Indomee original (40 packs, Rp 81,900), Chitato chips (Rp 12,400), Lucido hair oil (Rp 25,880), Pantene shampoo (Rp 15, 480) and Nivea facial wash (Rp 12,483).
I was calculating our savings and it was about the cost of our ferry tickets… Ok la. Worth it liao.
I also bought loads of kueh lapis home because my sister loves kueh lapis! Once again, I ordered them before I reached Batam, and it was convenient to order over Whatsapp! I got ourselves prune lapis, original lapis, chocolate lapis (super yummy!), rainbow lapis and kueh ambon. It was about S$80 for 2 big boxes, and 4 small boxes. So much cheaper than Singapore – I think Bengawan Solo sells the big cakes at close to S$60 each!