Batam On Wheels

Hari Raya Raji came on a Friday this year (1st Sep), which gave us a long weekend for  a quickie holiday again. As we have a bigger trip to Japan coming up, we somehow decided on Batam Island for a cheap getaway. It’s probably our 3rd or 4th time here now.

I do like Batam for its close proximity being just a 30 mins ferry ride away. We tried so called ‘business class’ ferry with Horizon Ferry this time just to experience what we’ve been missing out the last couple of times.

Whilst we did get leather seats, and priority boarding, all we got onboard was a bottle of water. So don’t expect anything fancy like you do in a business class flight!

The value of ‘business’ class wasn’t that apparent until our return trip from Batam back to Singapore which I will talk about later. Once we arrived, we made a ‘rookie’ mistake of eating food at the ferry terminal.. it was overpriced and ‘nasty’..

Once done, we took a 60,000 IDR (~SGD $6.00) ride to BCC Hotel. Not a fancy hotel, but it is joined to a major mall next door called BCS Shopping Mall. As we arrived too early for check-in, our first stop was straight to the mall! As one would expect of these malls, it is rather touristy although not as crowded as the larger Nagoya Hill Mall not far from here. We did what we normally do when we come to Batam.. go to arcade for cheap games!


Unlike arcades in Singapore/Australia, I believe arcades here are pseudo casinos. Full of smoke. Full of adults with large piles of tokens, ‘donating’ them to games. Games are cheap though, like about SGD $0.50 per game, which meant our tokens usually last a LONG time.

There wasn’t too much else for Ethan though, apart from a few toy stores full of imitation toys. We learnt that you can definitely buy bubble tea just about everwhere, so that’s a relief for Ethan. And as Ethan doesn’t seem to eat anything apart from Japanese, we were relieved when we discovered ‘Sushi Tei’ was just a short walk from the hotel.

Once we were checked-in, it wasn’t long before Ethan wanted to pop into the swimming pool for a quick dip. It didn’t last very long though, as the water was a tad too cold. Next day, after some waiting around, we got our cheap scooter around 11am, complete with helmets!

I know.. most parents looking at this photo probably will shake their head in disgust just how ‘dangerous’ this is. Anyway, it was going to be a day trip to a waterpark at Waterpark Top 100 Batu Aji. Ethan seems to love his scooter rides, and was quick to let go his iPhone (which is a BIG deal by the way) to jump onto it.

It was definitely no Adventure Cove like the one in Singapore. Ethan enjoyed it anyway, and was done in probably 1.5 hours.

For the afternoon, we intended to ride to Nagoya Hill Mall except we had a bit of a problem when Ethan fell sleepy on the bike. There was no way we could make it all the way. So, we had to pop into a random shopping centre nearby (Kepri Mall). I was glad we stopped by, because we discovered a nice little Indonesian restaurant for lunch, while Ethan gets to nap!

Once he got up, there’s even time for a ride…

Eventually we made it Nagoya Hill mall later on in the evening, where we managed to squeeze in a massage for mummy and bubble bath for Ethan at Sakura Massage & Spa.

For the last day, we skipped breakfast at the hotel and went to a local joint not too far away from the hotel. Yes, we essentially had Indomie for breakfast.. and dare to say it’s better than the breakfast we had at the hotel.

Then it was a short ride to the top of a hill somewhere where we got to enjoy a view of Singapore. For a moment there, I was amazed just how close Singapore is, and just how much more developed it is being just 40 mins ferry ride away!

Then it was straight back to the hotel just after lunch to checkout. We found out the hard way that Uber was technically illegal there and is only allowed to pickup passengers away from taxi ranks! In the end we had to fork out twice the amount we would have had to pay to Uber for a cab to take us to the ferry terminal.

Anyway, once we got to the ferry terminal, it was where we got to experience the benefits of ‘business class’ ferry tickets, where we get lounge access, and priority boarding to get back home to Singapore just that little bit quicker. Was it worth it? I think so!

And THAT concludes our little quickie weekender to Batam. I doubt this will be our last one. We always end up here in Batam when we are a bit disorganised with holiday planning, it seems!

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