Islands of Sumatra Indonesia
Pulau Batam (Batam Island) is closer to Singapore than Sumatra. Part of the Riau Islands, a province of Sumatra, a good entry point into Indonesia with ferries or flights to Sumatra. A ferry can be caught from Singapore to Batam in 45 minutes with on going ferries to Dumai, Bintan, Pekanbaru and Medan in Sumatra.
Batam has a growing number of quiet, beautiful beach resorts and golf clubs to go and relax. These are located away from the main town of Nagoya where the main nightlife and entertainment are (see below for details).
Development on Batam has been fast over the last 10 years building hotels, resorts and golf courses competing against Bintan Island, another Indonesian Island neighboring Singapore.
The main town of Batam is Nagoya which has a good night life of restaurants, bars and massage centres. Nagoya was formerly known as 'Lubuk Baja' which means 'Pirates Waterhole'!
There is a buddhist temple on the southern outskirts of Nagoya called Vihara Budhi Buddhist Temple.
Many places accept Singapore dollars as easily has Indonesian Rupiah as well as many banks and foreign exchange/money changers within Nagoya with competitive exchange rates.
Batam's seaports of Batam Centre, Batu Ampar, Nongsa and Sekupang are exempt for the 100,000Rp exit tax out of Indonesia though there is a S$2 harbour tax which is applied to your ferry ticket. The new airport, Hang Nadim International airport now recieves international flights to and from Kuala Lumpur though all over flights are internal to Indonesia. For airlines that fly into Batam check out the Getting there by plane section.
There are various departures of ferries across to Pulau Bintan, starting at 8am and finishing at 5.15pm. The trip takes around 45 minutes.
The majority of the nightlife is consolidated in a few streets in the center of Nagoya with numerous pubs like The Last Pub, Classic's Pub and Ice Bar. Most of the larger hotels have a disco or karaoke bar.
The Pacific Hotel, 5 minutes by taxi from the centre of Nagoya has a large, loud nightclub, Entry costs 40,000Rp which includes one drink.
There are lots and lots of shopping malls all over Nagoya and other parts of Batam. One of the largest is the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall which is huge with 3 levels of lots of shops selling everything from clothes, jeans, lingerie, jewelry, handbags and electronics items. On the second level is large Matihari Department store.
There is a great selection of places to eat in Batam. Everything from Indonesian food from different regions including great Padang food, as well as many restaurants from around the world. Batam, being an island also has a great selection of fresh seafood.
Kazu Japanese Restaurant is a sensational Japanese restaurant located within Nagoya. It is very plain on the outside within a office block complex at Complex Hamoni, Blok B 1-2. Ph: (0778) 332 743. It may be plain on the outside though it has some fantastic Japanese decor on the inside including traditional private rooms with the sunken table where you dangle your legs under the table. The prices are reasonable and has a great selection of sake.
Sa Rang Bang Korean Restaurant is located in the rear of Harmoni Hotel.
Massage centres and spas
There are many massage centers around Nagoya. Some are pure professional and others a little dodgy. I was recommended by a number of locals the Sport Massage Centre and Spa and had a massage there which was one of the best I've ever had. For a traditional massage it is 90,000Rp for one hour or 120,000Rp for 1.5 hours. It is located a few minutes walk from the Goodway Hotel on Jl. Imam Bonjol.
Win's Spa is a spa centre just for women offering hair dressing, facial treatments, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Located just behind the Harmoni Hotel in Nagoya. www.winsspa.inbatam.net
Isabella Massage House right next to the Matahari Mall offers Balinese traditional massage, body scubs and combination massage. A 2 hour Balinese massage is 120,000Rp (US$11) www.isabellamassagehouse.com
Tempat Senang is a luxury resort/spa set in the hills close to Indah Puri Golf Club. Accommodation and spa packages start from S$330 www.tempatsenang.com
At Waterfront City you can have a half-day package (up to 4 hours) of action packed cable water skiing. Including lunch the packages are only 325,000Rp (US$34.75). You can contact the Cable Ski Park on Tel: +65 9487 5007 or www.cable-ski.com.
On the south sound of Batam Island is the Barelang Bridge built in 1992 connecting Batam to 5 smaller islands. As you enter the last bridge there is a historic site called Galang Refugee Camp. In 1979, 20,000 Vietnamese 'boat people' sailed from Vietnam seeking refuge in Indonesia. After numerous rejections they finally settled at this site which was recognised by the United Nations a refugee camp. For 19 years the refugees developed this area with there own church and temple. Many of the refugees gained entry to Australia or Canada while some were returned to Vietnam. The camp was closed down in 1995 though the camp remains untouched. Entry to the camp is 10,000Rp.
Just outside of this camp are many food stalls offering many different types of Indonesian snacks and drinks.
There are 6 golf course in Batam to choose from.
Tering Bay Golf and Country Club - Nongsa - http://golf-asia.com/indo/teringbay.html
Indah Puri Golf Resort - 15 minutes from Sekupang or 25 minutes from Nagoya - http://www.indahpuri.com/
Batam Hills Golf Resort - Waterfront City -
Southlinks Country Club - close to Nagoya - http://www.southlinksgolf.com/
Palm Springs Golf Resort - Nongsa - www.palmsprings.com.sg
Tamarin Santana Golf Club - Nongsa - http://www.turibeach.com/nongsaresorts/tsg.html
To and from Hang Nadim Airport and Nagoya will take about 20 -25 minutes in a taxi at a cost of up to 90,000Rp.
Hang Nadim Airport has free wireless internet access though at times it is very slow.
There is a 30,000Rp departure tax payable as you enter the departure gates for internal flights or 100,000Rp for international flights (to Kuala Lumpur)
The following are airlines with flights to and from Batam:
Kartika Airlines have direct flights from Batam to Medan, Jambi, Jakarta, Palembang and Pangkal Pinang. www.kartika-airlines.com
Lion Air has connecting flights to over 30 destinations in Indonesia as well as connecting flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City. www.lionair.co.id
Firefly is a new Malaysian budget airline flying between Malaysia and Sumatra. Firefly have direct flights from Batam to Subang Airport Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. www.fireflyz.com.my
Garuda, Riau Airlines and Kartika Airlines
Batam to Singapore Ferry
Ferries can be caught from Singapore to Batam, around a 45 minute trip. From Singapore's HarbourFront ferries go to Batam centre or Sekupang or Batam Waterfront. Ferries from Tanah Merah ferry port in Singapore go to Nongsapura Batam. Although Tanah Merah is the closest ferry port from Changi Airport, Nongsapura is the furthest away from the main town in Batam - Nagoya. Taxi's will charge 100,000Rp from Nongsapura to Nagoya. It is far better to get the ferry from one of the other Singapore ports and arrive closer to Nagoya or directly to Sekupang where ferries can be caught directly to Dumai in Sumatra.
There are several ferry operators to get from Singapore to Batam in Indonesia. There are multiple daily ferries from Singapore to Batam at a cost of around S$30 . The ferry takes about 45 minutes. The first ferry departs Singapore at 7.35am and the last departs 9.50pm. All Batam ports, namely Harbour Bay (Jodoh), Batam Centre, Nongsapura, Sekupang and Waterfront City (Teluk Senimba) are visa-on-arrival ports of entry. 30 day visas to Indonesia costs US$25.
A taxi from Batam Centre to Nagoya has a fixed price of 45,000rp and takes about 15 minutes.
Check out the below links for the departure times and prices:
Sindo Ferry Service Singapore Harbour Front to Batam Centre - Adult tickets S$17 one way - children tickets $12 - plus passenger departure fee $6 and Indonesia Terminal fee & Insurance S$7 - total price S$36 http://sindoferry.com.sg/ticket-fares.html
Batam Fast Ferry - Singapore Harbour Front to Batam Centre - Adult tickets S$47 one way includes surcharges and taxes. Also have ferrys leaving from Singapore Harbour Front to Nongsa, Sekupang and WaterFront http://www.batamfast.com
Wavemaster - www.singaporecruise.com
From Batam a ferry can be caught from Sekupang port across to Dumai in Sumatra 7.30am daily or Batam to Medan weekly on Saturdays operated by Pelni Ships. Check with Pelni for the Batam to Medan as although they are weekly sometimes they do not run.
There are also regular ferries running between Johor Baru in Malaysia directly to Batam. Ferries run every hour between ZON Ferry Terminal Johor Baru and Batam Centre Ferry Terminal. For timetables check out ZON's website www.zon.com.my/ferry.html Prices are one way RM69 or RM110 for adults and RM46 one way or RM69 return for children (plus RM8 per person for ferry port tax).
There are also regular ferries leaving Batam to Bintan island, a trip of around 20 - 30 minutes.
It's fairly cheap to get around Batam by taxi or the many public buses. If you want to drive yourself or have a driver drive you around renting a car can also be fairly cheap at around US$45 per day.
Batam Transport at Batam Centre have a range of cars to hire on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Prices start from S$50 just for the car though you will need an international drivers license or S$68 which includes a driver with the car. www.batamtransport.com
Batam Car Rent Generally have larger cars, 4WDs and RV's which start from S$80 (US$52) for self drive or S$110 (US$72) including a driver. batamrentcar.com
Hotel Grand Palace (6 reviews) is located in central Nagoya, right next to the Entertainment district. All the rooms are air-conditioned with hot water showers. Prices from 100,000Rp. Click here for pictures, prices and contact details.
Lai Lai Mutiara Hotel. (4 reviews) A modern budget hotel in downtown Nagoya with 57 standard and superior rooms. Accept VISA and Mastercard. Prices start from 125,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Sari Jaya Hotel (1 review) Located in Nagoya's Business district, 30 minutes from Sekupang Pier and 35 minutes from Hang Nadim Airport. Rooms start at 185,000Rp. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Mercure Hotel Batam (reviews) a 4 star hotel in the heart of Nagoya, just a few minutes walk to the entertainment district, close to restaurants, food courts and bars. With outdoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, fitness centre, LAN in room internet access and a Japanese restaurant within the hotel. Room prices start from S$40 per night. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for Mercure Hotel Batam click here.
Swiss Inn (reviews) located in the heart of Nagoya Batam, just 5 minutes walk to the entertainment district with plenty of bars, restaurants, massage centres and shops. With a fitness centre, spa, massage, restaurant, bar/pub and free WiFi in the public areas, wired in room internet access. Room prices start from S$42 per night including breakfast. For more photos, online booking and hotel reviews for Swiss Inn click here.
Formosa Hotel (3 reviews) prices from S$55 or 369,500Rp per night, in the centre of Nagoya, Batam. The hotel has wireless WiFi internet hotspots available in public areas. For contact details, prices and pictures click here.
Harris Resort (reviews) A modern resort style hotel located at Waterfront City Marina. With swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, squash courts, fitness centre, motorized water sports and free WiFi internet access. Rooms prices from S$59 per night. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for Harris Resort click here.
Novotel Batam Hotel (reviews) A 254 room 4 star hotel located in the business hub of Jodoh which is just a few minutes from the centre of Nagoya. The hotel faces the sea. With swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre gym, WiFi Internet access and restaurant. Room prices start from S$71. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for Novotel Batam click here.
i Hotel (reviews) is a 4 star hotel in Batam located right next to the Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre. With swimming pool, fitness centre, spa, massage, business centre, bar/pub, coffee shop and restaurant Prices start from S$82 per night including breakfast. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for I Hotel click here.
Panorama Regency Hotel (reviews) a 4 star hotel located in the heart of Nagoya Batam, close to restaurants, shopping malls, food courts, bars and entertainment. With a swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, jacuzzi, spa, WiFi internet access and a restaurant. Room prices start from S$106 per night including breakfast. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for Panorama Regency Hotel click here.
Goodway Hotel (1 review) A modern hotel with 273 rooms and suites with aircon, mini bar, international TV channels, wireless internet access and swimming pool. Rooms from 480,000Rp or S$108. For pictures, prices and contact details click here.
Planet Holiday Hotel room rates from S$90+ www.planetholidayhotel-batam.com
Beach Resorts in Nongsa
Batam View Beach Resort (reviews) Located right on the sea front at Nongsa Batam. A modern resort style hotel with white sandy private beach, large lagoon swimming pool, motorized water sports, fitness centre, massage, tennis courts and restaurant. The hotel has a few golf courses close by. Room rates start from S$70 per night including breakfast. For more photos, online bookings and hotel reviews for Batam View Beach Resort click here.
Turi Beach Resort room rates start fromS$125 + taxes - www.turibeach.com
Nongsa Point Marina Room rates start from S$132+ www.nongsapointmarina.com
Tempat Senang, close to Sekapung, in the hills overlooking the Puri Indah Golf Club is an oasis in Batam, Tempat Senang luxury resort/spa. A choice of 4 different styled rooms, China, India, Indonesian and Thai. Spa and accommodation packages start from S$330. www.tempatsenang.com
Holiday Inn Resort www.ichotelsgroup.com
For more information about Batam and the other Riau Islands check out WalkaboutIndonesia - Riau Islands.
Last updated 15th October 2012
© 2012 Sumatra Travel
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