Immigration

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.

Johor Bahru Malaysia & Singapore Customs Jam Time!

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Photo taken: 11/05/2013 18:29

Been looking around the web for a list of bad timings to enter Malaysia from the Singapore Customs. Can’t find any, so I guess I will compile a list of timings for jam periods and their intensity, because as we all know Singaporeans and Malaysians working in Singapore often enter Malaysia for their great prices for (2.20 RM per liter for 97 and 1.90 RM per liter for 95) petrol as well as food! 😀

These are the bad timings for going in:

Monday  to Thursday 4:45 – 7:30 p.m Squeeze
Monday  to Thursday 9:30 – 10:30 p.m Slow
Friday 3:45 – 8:00 p.m Squeeze
Saturday 7:30 – 12:00 p.m Slow
Saturday 5:00 – 8:30 p.m Squeeze
Sunday 7:30 – 12:00 p.m Slow
Sunday 5:00 – 8:30 p.m Squeeze

This will be updated and soon it will include the timings for coming back as well! =d stay tuned.