One Day Getaway to Batam (2/3)

The travelling time from Singapore to Sekupang Ferry Terminal is just a 40 minutes journey and as we kept ourselves busy on board with all the photo-taking and the admiring of the beautiful sea and clear blue sky, time flies. Unknowingly, we have reached the ferry. Soon after it docked, we got off and proceeded to the immigration counters.

Coast spotted!

Our ferry!

Hello Batam!

Cleared the customs!

A quick visit to the washroom

Our land transport for the day

I had naïvely thought that we would be going to the hotel to unload our belongings first but I was wrong. The day tour will take place first and we would be going back to the hotel after the city tour. *sulk* I had not put on any make up and I was definitely not going to let my nude face tarnish the beautiful pictures I was going  to take so for the next bit to come, there won’t be any of me you will be seeing! Haha…

The city tour includes:

1. A stopover at one of the many factory outlets of Polo Ralph Lauren.

This is different from the local version of a similar brand, also known as Polo. According to the tour guide, the clothing sold at Polo Ralph Lauren are of better quality than that of the local brand. And as with all items of quality, the price of the merchandise sold at Polo Ralph Lauren is also pricier than that at Polo. This is also just one of the many Polo Ralph Lauren shops we saw along our way so in case you decided you wanted to get something from the brand, there are still plenty of chances along the way. There was also one outlet at the Batam Centre Ferry Terminal where we departed from. MH1 bought a hand made drum from the road stall seller on the right at SGD8. We saw it at the souvenir shop (read below) going for SGD25, more than 100% difference!

2. Multi-Layered Cake Shop

This is an interesting place to visit as it is not exactly a shop. The owner of the business has integrated his working area with his living area and the place where he makes the cake is the very same place where he stays. The cakes served were soft and warm, each with an aroma of the fragrant butter used in the making. The tour guide has mentioned that the boss make the cakes daily so one can be assured of its freshness.

Building in progress

3. Shooting Gallery

I have forgotten to mention this but we were surprised to realise through the tour guide that not everyone on the our bus had signed up for the same tour package. There were slight differences. Thus, those which included shooting would be alighted at this place where each player got 15 pellets to shoot bottles strategically placed in an confined area. The rest of us could either wait on the bus or joined in at our own cost. It is definitely a brilliant business plan as those who did not want to wait but did not sign up for the shooting would probably end up paying for a session to shoot. Guess that is how they work so as to maximise the number of guests each bus is carrying.

The Adventure Centre behind the shooting gallery

We were also given the option of stopping over at the go-kart racing course where we could race against each other but there weren’t anyone on the coach who was interested so we moved on to our next destination.

4. Miniature House Batam Indonesia

There were plenty of buildings in Batam, Indonesia made into miniature and placed in this area for display. No doubt it was an interesting sight at first, after a while, I could not really tell the difference between the second house I saw as compared to the sixth one. Perhaps I just lack talent in appreciating architecture. ;P

A house which reminded me of the !Kung Bushman

Spot the plane

Pooh posing as Panda

Trying to show a koala-wannabe who's the better koala

5. Snack Shop/Coffee Place/Lunch at Golden Prawn 933

As some of the tourists did not know the agenda too, they too, like me, did not have breakfast and our stomachs were growling by the time the clock striked 12. The tour guide reassured us we were on our way to lunch and true enough, we were. But not before we visited one more place as part of the tour: The souvenir shop ran by the boss of the tour agency. Not only did the souvenir shop carry souvenirs such as handicrafts made by the locals and batik, there was also a counter selling coffee containing only 3% of caffeine. Interesting isn’t it? We tried it but could not quite distinguish its taste from other coffee. I’m just a loyal Starbucks addict. Haha!

Lunch at Golden Prawn 933 was just a stone’s throw away. It was sumptuous but perhaps just not suited for our taste. The crabs were a little stale while the conch was not really to everyone’s liking. The rest were passable though.

A stage fit for the karaoke-crazy tourists!

Makan Time

There is something I must mention though, and that is the coconuts we ordered. They were HUGE!!! Each was bigger than my palm.

6. Cultural Show

After lunch, we popped by the cultural centre for the performance by the locals. Initially I had thought it to be just another dance put up by the different ethnic groups but it turned out quite different from what I expected. In fact, I found it quite unbearable to watch as one of the men swallowed burning charcoal while another ate glass. The performance had me thinking about how fortunate we are in Singapore. If you thought this performance was going to cost us a bomb, then you will be surprised. Not only was the performance free, the audience were encouraged to give an amount they thought the performers deserved, no restrictions and no touting. Perhaps this is their way of living. They have my utmost respect. *Salute!*

7. Tua Pek Gong Temple

Our next stop was the Tua Pek Gong Temple where devotees prayed to the deities and wished for health, perhaps wealth and other divine blessings. There are two stone lions guarding the door, the male had a ball under its feet while the female had a cub under hers. For ladies who wish to get rid of their bad luck and gain some good ones, pet the male lion on its head 3 times and pat its buttocks 3 times. For guys, do so to the female lion.

Our tour guide had told us to try the satay noodles and the lor mee at the side of the temples but after the heavy lunch, we could not afford to eat anymore. 😦

8. Random Snack Shop

We were also brought to another snack shop where Yan found out she had paid way too much for the snack she bought in the souvenir shop next to the lunch place. Guess whoever took up this tour should just try to look around a little more before buying things from the boss’ shop. :p

9. 1 hour Massage

As part of the tour, we were entitled to an one hour package. It was refreshing but I’m suffering from a sore back now. 😦

Perhaps I was just too tensed during this activity:

MH1 enjoyed hers totally.

10. 1st Factory Outlet

There were some interesting pieces from Zara and Gap but definitely lacked what the factory outlets/streets in US had.

11. Batam City Shopping Centre

This shopping mall is quite comprehensive for anyone to get what they want to. Unlike shopping malls in Singapore which probably resemble one another due to the foreign brands they carry, in this mall, there are plenty of independent shops ran by locals. The things may looked similar but each shop can be selling things which are unique and one-of-its kind. As we were quite engrossed in exploring it, there is no pictures of this place. Haha!

After the city tour ended (at 6:30 pm!!!), we were finally escorted back to our hotel!! Yay to finally a hot bath and getting my face made up! 😀

Til the next post! 😀

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Comments
4 Responses to “One Day Getaway to Batam (2/3)”
  1. Yatin says:

    Interesting Place

  2. malik says:

    5. Snack Shop/Coffee Place/Lunch at Golden Prawn 933 now have original wild civet coffee, must try ^^

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