Monday, June 4, 2012

Batam Trip - Weekend getsaway from Singapore

Last minute decided to go for a weekend gateaway to the nearby place, Batam, Indonesia.
No Visa needed for me - Malaysia Passport (To check you need a visa to entry Batam).
We planned to go Batam on Friday morning and will be back to Singapore on Saturday. To secure our ferry tickets (since now is school holiday season), we decided to drop by to Harbour Front Terminal to buy our tickets (I did called to check the availability of the tickets before hand) on Thursday night.  My friend suggested we go for BatamFast, one of the Batam Ferry Operator (BatamFast Ferry Schedule) We bought two way tickest (go and back) which cost us SGD47 per pax and we got the 9.20am Friday morning tickets to Sekupang, Batam (Yeah!!!) and the counter girl remind us to reach the terminal before 8.40am. (Good thing about this, the entry visit card was printed once you purchase the tickets, manual fill up the form is not required which really good for lazy people like me, remember to check all the details printed, they did printed wrongly and luckily I spotted that before I left the place).
After secure the ferry tickets, with my friends help, we successfully book the hotel via online Agoda and we go for Harris Waterfront Resort Hotel. I was never been to Batam before, but based on my friends experience, she mentioned that this place is better where at least there are land activities and water sports there. For other places, you may need to travel for the games and activities.
On that day itself, we reached Batam at 9.20am EDT. Yes, 9.20am, as for Batam is 1 hour behind Singapore time, so we took 9.20am SGT, reach Batam exactly the same time. :D
We thought that we will need to take taxi to the hotel (as we never book for those hotel package where all the transport will be included but it cost more). But surprisingly, there were a guy with the orange Harris hotel sign in hand, asking us, Harris waterfront, please proceed to the Orange van. WoW, we got free ride.
Along the journey to the hotel, well, no view actually. Batam is just a small place and the view there remind me of my childhood kampong life where along the road there are a lot of small wooden stalls. We reached the hotel earlier than the checkin time and luckily there are room available and allow us to have an early checkin. The hotel check-in was pretty fast and I like their cookies served in the lobby counter :D (I took quite a few pieces). After the checkin, the staff told us to proceed to a side table near the corner to book for our way back ferry schedule. This really surprise us, as we thought that the next day we will need to go to the terminal earlier to grab for our tickets. But now, they will arrange that for us. We just need to past them the tickets and tell them what is our favourable timing and we were told to come back to the counter on the next day about 1 hour before the ferry time to collect our tickets and there will be a shuttle service bring us to the terminal. (This is really a good services).
The Harris hotel equip with swimming pools (adult and kids pools available). There are 3 main buildings. Two with hotels rooms and another one is the activities building. Where you can get your spa, massage,jacuzzi, karaoke, shooting games there. We were so lucky to get a room with the seaview. 
One thing bad about the trip, the food is not cheap. A can of coke cost us SGD5 or Rp32,000. (feel like we had been robbed). Since all the food is so expensive, we pick the most value money meal. Pizza which is about SGD20 (that is better than picking a bowl of chicken rice with about the same price). The barbecue chicken pizza is really nice and I like the barbecue sauce and the pizza was freshly baked just infront of the cafe. Before the dinner, we went for the massage and we picked the Shiatsu 60 mins massage which is SGD50. Lucky we went there on Friday, where during Friday 10am until 2pm, there are 35% discount, since we were there at night, we supposedly can only get 20% discount but the counter girl gave us 35%. The massage is quite ok. But make sure you pick the right person as not all the staff is good in that.
Well, Batam does not have really nice, clean beach and quite boring actually with limited activities. Luckily we took this hotel or else we still need to spend money to get taxi to travel for activities.
Overall, it is still ok for first time trip or for water sports activities or weekend gateaway.
For the Harris Hotel Available activities, please click here. Please take note there were two Harris hotel in Batam, one in Batam center and another one in Waterfront.
Sea View, Batam
The Sea View during Ferry journey
Harris waterfront hotel, Batam
The Hotel (Harris Waterfront, Batam)
BBQ Chicken Pizza from harris waterfront, batam
The Food (BBQ Chicken Pizza)

chicken chop from harris waterfront, batam
The Food (Chicken Chop)
Harris waterfront, batam
The Food

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