Looking back at my photo archives, Batam was one of the first destinations we went exploring outside of Singapore on weekends when we first moved to Singapore in 2013 (just over 3 years ago). It didn’t leave an impression good enough to even blog about. Back then, as an Australian passport holder, a visa fee still applied, so a short trip there was barely worth it, even with a cheap ferry ride there. Now that the visa fee no longer applies, we thought we would give it another shot. After all, it’s only a short hour ferry ride away. With my parents here visiting Singapore as well, it was an opportunity to go somewhere other than shopping centres on a weekend. So, heading out to Vivo City / Harbourfront, and a quick Toast Box breakfast later at about 8:15am…
Off we went to Batam Center using the ferry company called “Batam Fast”. What we didn’t pay in visa fee, we ended up paying a hefty premium for the ferry fare, as we didn’t book it upfront. It was close to SGD$45 per person, for something that is normally half the price.
Once we got there, we hanged around Mega Mall in the morning which we haven’t been before. It’s nice and convenient, located right next to the ferry terminal. Believe it or not, the first place we went to was Timezone on the top floor where Ethan got to play. The games were so cheap (under SGD $1 per game), we can easily hang out here all day. This time, we do have my parents with us, so decided to go find a lunch place not long after. It didn’t take long to discover a place called Moi Kitchen. We didn’t go there because that place was famous. We just went there because Moi is the name of my brother in-law back in Australia. The menu looked ok, so we just sat down.. took a photo of the restaurant..
The food was only ‘so so’… After lunch, it was a quick trip to Nagoya Hill shopping centre about 7km from Batam Centre with a local taxi. Good thing my dad’s Bahasa Indonesia appeared top notch with his early working life based in Indonesia, still able to converse fluently with the taxi driver. At least we think we didn’t get ripped off paying 75,000 IDR (~SGD$7.50) for the taxi ride to Nagoya Hills. Once we got there, we realised we had actually been to the same shopping centre the last time we came to Batam. It’s suppose to be the biggest, but really it wasn’t much to rave about. Of the two, I would still prefer the Mega Mall near Batam Center. It’s less crowded, cleaner, newer and I don’t believe it’s short on choice of shops either.
That was pretty much it. We couldn’t wait to rush back to Singapore after this. We did manage to squeeze in a few drumsticks at A&W which is apparently a must try at one of the outlets at Mega Mall before we left.
The highlight of the day was actually when we got back to Vivo City. Ethan simply couldn’t resist when he saw water up on the rooftop, and ran straight in…
Kids!! As it was grandpa and grandma’s last day in Singapore, more highlight came for Ethan, when they got him an iPad Mini 4 as a present!!
I guess he’ll spending a LOT of time in front of that little screen.
Oh well.. as much as I whinge about Batam Island, we are still planning to go back there, perhaps with an overnight stay just to properly experience the island to its full potential. Maybe a couple of years later? 🙂