Our itinerary included a visit to Vihara Buddhi Bakti Temple. We didn’t go inside the temple because taking photos is prohibited so we just took photos outside:
Another stop was at a factory outlet of branded RTWs. The place wasn’t really big as I expected but the prices are maybe the same as in Greenhills (in Manila) . I didn’t buy anything because I still find the items expensive. I told myself to just wait for sales in Singapore. Across the factory outlet was a Batik shop. It wasn’t that big but it was a good place to buy cute souvenirs.
The building in the photo below is right across the Batik shop:
We moved from one place to another by bus provided by the travel agency so I didn’t have the chance to travel in “Batam” way. I noticed many vans and motorbikes though. I wonder if people use vans as public transportation, just like in the Philippines?
The last stop was at the Batam City Square (BCS). We were given about 2 hours to shop but my friends and I opted to splurge on food. The prices on the menu looked intimidating with many zeroes on it. I had to remind myself again and again that 1SGD is about 7,000 Rupiah!
I was still so full from lunch so I just ordered pasta and iced cappucino. When we got our bill, we were surprised and delighted because we only had to pay about 7SGD each! Here in Singapore, a meal at a restaurant would cost you at least 15SGD, without drinks!
I actually felt at home in Batam. In many ways, it reminded me of Tagbilaran City in Bohol.
Close to the Golden Prawn seafood restaurant is a covered area where unusual performances are done. There was dragon dance, a guy eating glass and another guy eating burning coal! Good thing I didn’t sit at the front because I would have chickened out if the performer asked me to put a glass into his mouth. They always ask someone from the audience to do this.
You might find the sound irritating while watching this video but listening to it while watching the show live made my heart beat faster.
At the end of the performance, a guy collected some sort of donation from the audience. I knew it took years and maybe dozens of injuries for them to master this so giving something was not hard to do. And seeing that performance made my visit to Batam a unique experience.
Maybe all one-day tour packages for Batam, Indonesia include the (Batam Folk Culture Villages Miniature) Taman Mini Indonesia. In there, you can find dozens of miniatures of local houses in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure Shaynna would love it if I take her there. She will definitely see them as doll houses!
Even if our schedule didn’t allow us to visit the Golden Beach, these miniatures made up for it. How I wish I can explore Indonesia more and see the real ones.
My friends and I found a great deal online for a day tour in Batam, Indonesia months ago. Sorry, it took a while for me to sort out the photos. Lunch was included in the tour package, at the Golden Prawn Restaurant. I love sea food so I enjoyed the lunch a lot! That seafood feast would have cost us more than 30SGD per person at a restaurant here in Singapore! Of course there were prawns, fish and others (sorry I don’t know the names). However, this one was the closest to me so I was able to take a photo.
And while we were busy trying to consume everything served on our table (which we failed to accomplish), I enjoyed watching the live performance:
My visit to the Golden Prawn Restaurant wouldn’t be complete without taking a photo here:
It’s been more than two years since I arrived in Singapore. Yet, as opposed to my friends, I have never visited another South East Asian country. From Singapore, the easiest and cheapest destination would either be Johor Bahru in Malaysia or Batam, Indonesia.
Thanks to new colleagues who were with me in the trip and the package day tour that was on sale. I could now cross out Batam, Indonesia from the list of places I need to visit! I would now be able to contribute to my friend’s discussions about this place. I don’t know when I could write a post for this travel, so here’s a preview: