About the Destination
Here are some important things that you need to know about the islands.
About the Destination
Located 20km south of Singapore and separated from Bintan by the Riau Strait, Batam is a municipality of Indonesia as well as the largest city in the Riau Archipelago.
Only a one-hour ferry ride away from HarbourFront Ferry Terminal, the popular getaway destination offers more than just therapeutic spa time and spoils for Singaporeans game to conquer the shopping malls.
For adventure seekers and those after a dose of “vitamin sea”, the island is home to a PADI scuba diving school, dive operators and beachfront sports clubs, making it a winsome paradise for an extensive range of water sports.
Nongsa is the place for golfers to tee off and the lush resorts nestled in the north-eastern tip of the island have been drawing owners on private yachts, glampers, outdoor sports lovers, holiday makers and photography hobbyists looking to escape the hectic pace of city life.
With a population of 1.15 million people, local-born and from different parts of Indonesia, Batam is a melting pot when it comes to food. From popular local zi char stalls to coffee shops, international food courts, pubs and restaurants offering from casual to fine dining options, foodies are in for a gastronomic value-for-money, quality treat.
Lovers of live seafood with a penchant for Indonesian sambal belacan will be delighted to discover that Batam is home to a lashing of lip-smacking finds. Foodies hunting for cuisine choices can pick from authentic Balinese to Javanese, Makassan, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and fusion.
Café culture is hot in Batam and numerous novelty cafés, opened by a good mix of locals and expatriates, offer single coffee blends from different parts of Indonesia such as Mandheling, Gayo Aceh, Toraja, Java, Papua, Bali and Flores to excite the drinker’s taste buds. Wi-fi can be found in most of the cafés in Batu Ampar, Batam Center, Baloi and Nagoya for those who can’t wait to share with their family and friends.
History buffs and older visitors may be piqued by Galang Island’s past. Connected by two of the six Barelang bridges to Rempang and Batam, Pulau Galang is a 50-minute ride away from the south-east of Batam and where the former Galang Refugee Camp, once home to the boat people escaping the Vietnam War, is located.
There is no shortage of hotels, guesthouses and resorts in Batam, which has prospered as an industrial town, part of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Sijori Growth Triangle. The 715km2 island has a myriad hidden gems waiting to be discovered on foot, by car, on a budget or otherwise.