Saturday, July 29, 2017

3D2N: Eat, Stay, Do at Batam

And yea, as some of you may know I am literally the Indonesia Tourism Ambassador, given the number of trips I made to Indonesia this year itself. Today, I thought I will share with a little on what to do in Batam if you ever go there.

It is quite a favourite weekend overseas hangout of Singaporeans because of our strong currency and Batam is literally like a cheaper version of Singapore. And it has lots of activities and facilities which Singaporeans love to do!

1. Touristy Places
So I thought I might start off the post with places that first-timers may be interested. Personally, I don't find all these attractions mind-blowing anything. We were only there because we followed a tour. But if I were to travel solo, you won't catch me at some of the places. :P

a. Welcome to Batam Sign
It is seriously nothing fancy and it is located in some abandoned area. But the guide insisted we had to take some photos before we can move on. So here's some happy smiles, we are on a trip anyway. In fact, I think this place looks way better in photos :D

This park is right beside the factory outlet (which I didn't find them to be great shopping). The discounts are decent just that it is not my type of stuff - Ralph Polo and all, you know what I mean. If you have time, I guess you can visit this park cos it is quite cute and it's free. 
I was actually looking forward to the go-kart. But damn, it was almost as expensive as that in Singapore. It was really not value for money. :(

Hmm, I didn't expect it to look so good in photos, I am now in 2 minds whether to send you there. Well it is actually very near to the factory outlet. Guess, there's no harm going to take a 5 minutes look. Yea, it is really tiny. There's also a statue which I didn't think it was worth getting a photo of. Hey, maybe it will look great.

d. Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple 
Surprise, surprise, I am going to highly recommend this temple, not because it is the biggest or anything. But because of the food. The canteen serve really affordable and interesting vegetarian food. Because the tour included a free seafood meal I didn't get to try out a good deal of their canteen food. And you know what, I am regretting already.

And I am no sell-out travel writer. That's why you hear this must-eat place right here. We tried the po-piah (sorry, no photos cos they gobbled it down too fast!) and dumplings. The dumplings are so intriguing, I never tasted anything like this. Psss, the BF love them!

2. Where to eat?!?
Now that we are on the topic of food, let me share with you the hits and misses I had during my 3D2N stay at Batam. Yea, it's kinda of long cos usually you can finish Batam in max 2 days. Hahaha. If you minus the tour and do the things you really want to do, you don't need that many days. :P

a. Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall Food Street
There is really a lot of variety there and it is a popular touristy spot, maybe because precisely for that reason. We are only tried 3 food along that street and I would probably recommend the Penang Laksa (although I don't understand why we had that in the first place, who goes to Batam for Penang Laksa?!? Sometime I don't really understand the choices my family makes!) and the Gado Gado from Ayam Penyet Ria (even though many people will recommend the penyet instead, they dono the Gado Gado is darn good!)

b. A&W
The queue is ridiculously long. But Singaporeans because nolgastic reasons, we simply just don't care. LOL! Must try only if you are Singaporean. If you are not into A&W, at least drink the Teh Botol, photo in my next travel post :D

c. KFC
Ok, I don't really think this is for all. But I love KFC from Indonesia and Malaysia. Their chicken is always springier and the meat is more tender. Dono, maybe cos the chicken have more space to run around?!? But don't try the float, it was so bad, an absolute waste of calories.

d. Overhyped Golden Prawn Seafood
This restaurant makes me mad because it was recommended by a lot of bloggers, prominent one too as having the best seafood (Now I know they are nothing but sold-outs!) and it is really not that good. The food isn't bad, it is just average.

I just wished the other bloggers have been more honest about it and called a spade a spade and not some other shape. This was where the tour brought us for our free seafood meal and it is nothing more than a tourist bus stop. Fullstop. Not worth the hype.

e. Generic Cafe - Hong Kong Cafe
The service is a little slow and the portion is small (but each dish is like SGD 90 cents so I am not really complaining.) The thing is it is kinda of salty. And by the time I am done with the meal (too salty to continue on), I realise I spent as much as Kangen (the best cafe, read point g.) and not even full. Not worth it!

f. Bistro Godiva
If you are looking for a cheap Starbucks thrill, this is quite a good option. The pasta (it looks a look like fried noodles) was different, yummy but still too salty for me. I love the drink. So value for money and worth every calories! Just Fat ME!

g. Generic Cafe - Kangen Cafe
After a while, you will realise that the shopping malls are flooded with generic eateries and is almost a direct replicate of each other. But this cafe was really a notch above the rest. It was not the cheapest but the food was the best. In fact, it was so good, we came back again for their Bakso.

Their Bakso was like always sold out?!? I guess cos it is better than the one at Nagoya Food Street. :P Beacuse, they were the first generic cafe we had a meal at, so we thought all the generic cafes were good. Guess, we were pretty wrong :(

Things to do 
If you are there for a while or a few days, you definitely need somethings to pass time right. Things I think would have been fun but didn't have time to do were (a) doing pedicure and manicures, (b) singing kbox, (c) doing other seasports, (d) hair-styling and (e) shopping (I thought there isn't much but I was so so wrong T.T).

Next time, next time I will try them all out. I like Batam enough to go there again *Indonesia Tourism Ambassador*

a. Cinema
Each movie ticket is like SGD4. Totally can go there and watch all your blockbusters man!

b. Go for a good massage
I spent around S$25 for mine. There are definitely cheaper ones out there but I went for convenience and I place a lot on cleanliness. I just can't go to a shady shop. This was also the spa of my hotel. And why I even thought of doing mani/ pedi/ hair etc. was simply because this spa provided all this services. It is probably going to be my new daycare centre HAHAHA.

c. Convenience Store Raid
This is now one of my favourite thing to do and should be every seasoned travelers' to do list. I mean if you really know a place here, you should go where the locals hang out right. So I basically threw lots of unknown snacks, seasonings and even cup noodles to my shopping bag. Most of the snacks are of salty. But do try their timtam (not their specialty but I love it) and the sweetened snacks which I dono what they are, but it is nice!

Where to stay - Eska Hotel
Oops, I didn't take much photos of it (the above photo is just to show off my cute minion look HAHAHA), but you can always visit their site for more information. It is quite a new and clean hotel (with breakfast provided)! I really like the fact that we are right next to Kepri Mall and they even provided us shuttle buses to Nagoya Mall. It is a nice place which you don't have to worry about what to eat, where to go cos it is all within the vicinity or a free ride away :D

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