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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.

Cyclists: Self-Centered Road-Hogging C***S

Recently, on the roads, there are a new breed of annoying hazards. They are… Cyclists! you guessed it. The “trend” these past few times, are for people to buy stupid peddle bicycles, and peddle them around with their friends on public roads, BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SAID ITS ALRIGHT.

Let me get this straightened out, I do not have a problem with people cycling on the roads, I have a problem with people cycling on the roads in an annoying fashion. I understand its a healthy lifestyle activity and it is good to pick up. Please, though, do learn some road safety before you actually ride out. You are sharing the roads with vehicles, so please keep in mind that you should ride responsibly, and not expect people to cut you slack.

The main annoying thing that cyclists like to do is: Take up an entire lane, sometimes even taking up a RIGHT TURN POCKET. It is a Saturday afternoon, cloudy, perfect weather, I am riding along a nice stretch of road, which is a single lane dual carriageway. Suddenly I am faced with a group of people peddling their bicycles blocking up the whole lane. Do I overtake on the outside, which is on opposing traffic? Some people on their bicycles, even take up the right turn pockets. In a country that is right-hand drive, we make right turns across the opposing traffic and you have the audacity to block up the traffic behind?

As a cyclist, do you know why you should give way to cars, motorcycles and other vehicles on the roads?

The main reason, you do not pay road tax/Congestion Tax (ERP)/Certificate of Entitlement (COE). A bicycle is not a motor vehicle, you do not pay road tax, you do not contribute to the construction of the roads and their maintenance. Yet, you are contributing to the congestion that occurs on everyday roads. Safe to say, a bicycle takes up almost as much space in terms of length and width as a small motorcycle. So, before you say anything else to the driver that you are in an argument with, think of this.

The article from Stomp:
ARE CYCLISTS SUPPOSED TO TAKE UP A WHOLE LANE ON THE ROAD? AM I RIGHT TO HORN AT THEM IF THEY DO?
Is it legal to horn/honk at cyclists who cycle on the road if they take up a whole lane? Is it legal to cycle on the road?

Using the horn at cyclists on the road may not be illegal in itself.However, the Singapore Police Force’s Road Safety Advisory advises that using the horn unnecessarily may alarm or anger other road users into making unpredictable moves which may lead to accidents; the use of the horn should be to warn others of danger and not to express frustration.

According to information in the news article “Hit by bike, then beaten by cyclist” (The New Paper, 6 September 2011), cyclists are required to ride their bicycles on the road.

The article states that “bicycles are classified in the same category as motor vehicles.

They are to be ridden on the road and cyclists are required to abide by all relevant traffic rules and regulations.”

In a reply by the police that was published in the Straits Times (“Your Letter; Police clarify rules on cluster cycling”, The Straits Times, 8 January 2012), Rule 8 of the Road Traffic (Bicycles) Rules specifies that “that cyclists should keep to the left-hand edge of the roadway and not in a manner as to obstruct other vehicles moving at a faster speed.”

The reply further clarifies that “cyclists who cause obstruction or endanger the safety of other road users will contravene the cycling rules.”