Do’s & Don’ts
Keeping you safe and welcome.
Do’s & Don’ts
- Do remember that Batam is one hour behind Singapore in the Standard Time Zone GMT/UTC + 07:00 hour.
- Do note that 62 is the international dialling code for Indonesia and 77 is the city code for Batam.
- Do note that prepaid mobile SIM cards are on sale at ferry terminals, local telecom storefronts and shopping mall. Major telecom providers include Telkomsel and Indosat.
- Do note that the residential electric voltage and frequency in Batam is 220V and 50Hz respectively. Generally, power plug adapters are not needed as three-pin sockets are commonly found.
- Do buy medication from Singapore before leaving for Batam. Local drug stores may not carry the brands Singaporeans are familiar with.
- Do look out for taxis with yellow plates as they are licensed public transportation. Popular taxis that charge fairly according to the metre are Blue Bird and Silver Cab. Licensed taxis that may not charge by the metre include Black Horse. Do compare the fare of taxis at the hotel before entering a bargain. Hotel taxis generally charge between Rp10,000 and Rp15,000 more.
- Do note that taxis in Batam can be rented by the day. Travellers are advised to exercise caution before entering a bargain.
- Do note that money changers are available on the ground floors of shopping malls like BCS Mall, Kepri Mall, Mega Mall and Nagoya Hill Mall. The currency used in Batam is the Indonesian Rupiah abbreviated to Rp. Banknotes in circulation are: Rp100 000, Rp50 000, Rp20,000, Rp10,000, Rp5,000 and Rp1,000. Coins in circulation range from Rp50 to Rp1,000.
- Do note the regulation in Indonesia prohibits foreign currencies, including the United States Dollar, from being used in domestic transactions.
- Do ask if a venue is “family-friendly” if you are unsure if a karaoke lounge or massage centre is suitable for children.
- Do stay hydrated in Batam! With relatively high temperatures throughout the day during the dry season, do watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.
- Do tap on the wi-fi facilities offered by many of Batam’s F&B establishments, spas and cafés.
- Do remember to ask for a “lilin” if the houseflies get overwhelming at a local coffee shop. Locals light a lilin, a candle to get the buzzers to bug off!
- Do note that tipping is practised and considered polite in Batam.
- Do carry a packet of tissues before entering a public toilet. Not all public toilets supply toilet paper.
- Don’t raise your voice at the ferry terminal immigration checkpoint. Passengers are advised to behave respectfully while in the queue and not chit chat unnecessarily. Also refrain from using handheld devices while queuing.
- Don’t drink the tap water in Batam. Buy bottled water from the many local convenience stores and supermarkets. It’s common practice for hotels and guesthouses to offer bottled waters.
- Don’t take “local taxis” with black car plates if you are looking for licensed public transportation. These are private vehicles often found offering pick-up services to tourists.
- Don’t leave your belongings unattended and beware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Travellers are advised not to drink directly from taps in Batam. Bottled water can be bought from local convenience stores and supermarkets. It’s also common practice for hotels and guesthouses to offer bottled water.
Batam offers a range of dining options from restaurants to cafés, fast food outlets, kopitiams or coffee shops as well as open-air and air-conditioned food courts. The majority of F&B providers offer halal dining options.
The currency used is the Indonesian Rupiah abbreviated to Rp. Banknotes in circulation are: Rp100,000, Rp50,000, Rp20,000, Rp10,000, Rp5,000 and Rp1,000. Coins in circulation range from Rp50 to Rp1,000. You can exchange Singapore dollars and United States dollars at money changers available on the ground floors of shopping malls like BCS Mall, Kepri Mall, Mega Mall and Nagoya Hill Mall.
The predominant language used is Bahasa Indonesia. English is fairly well understood and taught in many academic institutions. With a significant population of Indonesian Chinese in the community, Hokkien, Teochew and Mandarin are also spoken on top of Batak, Minang, Javanese and other Indonesian dialects originating from other parts of the archipelago.
Islam is the predominant religion in Batam, with Muslims constituting 77% of the population. Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism also contribute to Batam’s religious diversity.
Batam is one hour behind Singapore and Batam is in the Standard Time Zone GMT/UTC + 07:00 hour
The residential electricity voltage and frequency is 220V and 50Hz respectively. Generally, power plug adapters are not needed as three-pin sockets are commonly found.
The major telecom providers include Telkomsel and Indosat and prepaid mobile SIM cards are sold at ferry terminals, local telecom storefronts and shopping mall.
Many F&B establishments offer free wi-fi access for customers to stay connected.
- Visitors must have passports or travel documents with at least six months validity.
- Visa-free entry (for a maximum of 30 days) applies to passport holders of the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam.
- Travellers are advised to behave respectfully and not chit chat unnecessarily while queuing. Also refrain from using handheld devices whilst queuing.
Taxis in Batam have yellow car plates, while private cars have black plates. Popular taxis that charge fairly according to the metre are Blue Bird and Silver Cab. Licensed cabs that may not charge by the metre include Black Horse. Do compare the fare of taxis at your hotel before entering a bargain. Hotel taxis generally charge between Rp10,000 and Rp15,000 more.