Among the 2,400 islands in the Riu Islands province of Indonesia lies Batam Island – location of a very busy yet charming city of the same name which is one of the biggest cities in the Sumatra region, conveniently located across the Strait of Singapore. In recent years its night life, shopping malls and water activities have been attracting tourists from countries around the world. Singaporeans especially like to visit Batam Island as for them it is a quick and easy escape.Don’t Miss
If you are a water sports enthusiast, then Batam Island is for you. There are plenty of options to choose from. Visitors can head to the Waterfront City area and try out waterskiing and jet skiing or hop on a banana boat for a thrilling ride. Waterfront City also has a football field, a fishing pond and a racing track.
Water sports might not be for everyone. Those who are looking for a little bit of culture and sightseeing can visit some of the many temples in Batam. Tua Pek Kong Temple is the oldest temple in Batam with architecture heavily influenced by Chinese culture. Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple is believed to be the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia, and maybe in the whole of Southeast Asia. After sightseeing it is possible to have a relaxing massage at one of the many massage parlours in the city.Restaurants and Bars
Batam Island is famous for delicious and fresh seafood that is available on every corner and includes crabs, prawns and sea snails. Buffet style local restaurants are common throughout Batam Island and diners can mix and match their food for a very low price. Alcohol is cheaper here than in Singapore and is widely available.Shopping
Batam is a duty-free zone, so the prices are lower here than in Singapore. There are a couple of shopping malls here, with the most popular being Diamond Mall, Nagoya Hill and Mega Mall Shopping Centre. The latter is especially popular with foreign tourists and expats as it offers some international brand items at affordable prices.