Car

The View from the walkway adjacent to the beach

Holiday Where-to: Batam Island

I had previously travelled to Batam City for Business. However, it seemed that the island had so much potential for a holiday that I just had to try! Well I tried it recently and the holiday was pretty awesome!  Here are some things about Batam City, for those who want to travel there!

 How do I get there?

Location:

Batam City or Batam Island is in the Riau Islands, in Indonesia. It is part of a few Islands that are “tax free” 0% tax on all goods and services offered in the Island. There are two ways to get to Batam, Flight or Ferry.

Visa:

Citizens from the following countries do not require a visa, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore.

For more information on Visas for Indonesia visit: imigrasi.go.id

How do I get around?

Batam City has multiple taxi operators and “private” taxis that are un-licensed. A good car rental and private passenger carrier that I have personally tried is http://www.batamrental.com. I would recommend a private operator as the comfort and driver familiarity of the roads are often better. The local taxis are usually dirty and uncomfortable; a pretty terrible ride.

What is on the island really?

Resorts, Hotels, Shopping Malls, Temples and many other attractions and sites to see!

Resorts

The Resort that I stayed at Turi Beach Resort (Agoda Link: Agoda.com) in Nongsa was pretty awesome. Good service, Attentive Staff, Large rooms and most of all, a private beach and pier.

Other Facilities provided by Turi Beach resort:

Island Bar, Spa, Outdoor swimming pool with pool bar, Tennis courts, Rock wall climbing, Water sports, Yacht Club, Conference rooms, ballroom, business center

Some pictures from my stay there:

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Shopping

You can choose from various shopping Malls in Batam City Center, including Nagoya Hill Mall, MegaMall and other malls in the area. Sadly, I have no photos of the malls. Might take some when i’m back there again.

Other Attractions

Batam is also home to the largest temple in South East Asia, the Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple, (Trip Advisor Link: Tripadvisor.com)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Midori

Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple

All in All Batam is a great experience to relax, unwind and is not as crowded as other tourist destinations such as Bali, Indonesia or Phuket, Thailand.

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Words: PRC’s and Singaporeans, are we really that different?

So these PRCs are now entering Singapore by the hundreds and thousands, and as one writer and close friend of mind puts it,

‘It’s crystal clear. The government is directly responsible for the degree of immigration in Singapore and the nature of the immigrants. ‘ – http://www.visakanv.com/blog/2012/04/pm-lee-worry/

‘Implying that Singaporeans are selfish and mentally unsound because they feel stifled byextent of the consequences of Government policy is like insulting someone’s mother, and then “worrying” that they can’t take a joke.’ – http://www.visakanv.com/blog/2012/04/pm-lee-worry/

I hate it, I really do, when I get short-changed by my own country, and I cannot feel that sense of national pride that these PRCs do, where even if they are in a foreign land, they still have the “zhong guo” or Chinese identity. Even if that identity is shit, sometimes, I feel that it is better than being in a country where short-changing of its citizens is evident.

There is this ever growing gap between the locals and the PRCs, due to many issues of different natures. Though, I feel that personally, it is the values and social properties that create that large divide. Here’s the thing though, Singapore does not have any better values, as a society, we are labelled as ‘self-centered’ by our own Prime Minister. This says quite  enough about our society and government. Many Singaporeans dislike or even Hate the PRCs whom are working and studying in Singapore, due to their values, but no one really asks, where did that strong, pungent, value set come from? It would come from the thousands of years of governance that they have undergone. Then we have to reflect on ourselves, we are not the best, kindest people around as well, often we are known as the “Ugly Singaporean”. Again these values are projected onto us from birth by the older generation whom developed these values, from where? From the governance that they have undergone. So Perhaps we are really no different from them. What we often think when we think of PRCs in Singapore or even in general, self-centered, annoying, unhygienic? Yet, we do not see, that we ourselves carry negative connotations to our society, that also creates divides. PRC woman crushed by bus after she refused to leave road to extort compensation from earlier accident. Perhaps it is just me but the Chinese Civilization are the oldest in the world, no?

‘The ancient Chinese civilization—one of the world’s earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain.[19] China’s political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (approx. 2000 BC) and ending with the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912.’ – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China

This appalling attitude, where the woman lies down in the middle of the road just to claim compensation is silly. Why exactly is it silly, you might ask.

This kind of stinking attitude/behavioral issue is exactly what I’m talking about, where people can be so foolish as to inconvenience others, put themselves in danger, for what? All just to gain a higher compensation sum. There is no motivation for the other party to pay compensation to the ‘victimized’ person lying down in the middle of the road like a spoilt brat. From my experience with PRCs in Singapore, a large number of them, especially the ‘richer’ ones, those who come here as students or are working in more professional careers are often spoilt and annoying to deal with as people.

Under Chinese law, an accident victim who suffered from ‘permanent’ injuries as a result of the accident is entitled to compensation for life while only a token sum needs to be given to the families of those who were killed.’ – From Article

The law over there does not make the situation better. Though it would make sense that at the very least, one should be responsible enough for his or her own health and wellness to NOT LIE DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I feel that many Chinese tend to outsource their morals, ethics and even to the very core, their motivations, to their “rulers”, be it the emperors of yesteryear or the presidents of today. In doing so, they are one united China, but really? Is that so? Everyone has some capacity for self respect, but the Chinese? Their Capacity for self-respect is as small as the capacity of their cars, Cherry QQ.

PRC woman crushed by bus after she refused to leave road to extort compensation from earlier accident

Simply put, if you cannot find it in yourself to have some form of self-esteem, you cannot find it in yourself to respect others. It seems that even self-esteem over there is outsourced, at the bare levels, to the “Pride of the Country”. It creates a mass-produced identity much like their mass produced fake i-pods and fake Victoria Secrets Lingerie.

Both in the context of Singapore and China, when goods are concerned sometimes, maybe just sometimes, price and quantity out-sells quality. Though, in humans? Quality is the utmost importance in any society or culture. Mass producing a lump of mindless zombies might make good industrious worker-bees. Though the countries social well being will start declining, like a festering maggot-infected wound. Perhaps, it is time to make a change. Create an esteem for yourself that everyone will hold with regard. This benefits both you and the society you represent.