Mar 24, 2013

Batam, Indonesia

23 (Sat) - 24 (Sun) Mar 2013

Lodging: Mercure Batam

Day 1

It all started from the purchase of travelling vouchers from All Deals Asia (SGD43 per pax), for this 2 days 1 night getaway to Batam, Indonesia.

We departed 6am in the morning from NUS to Singapore Cruise Centre for the half hour cruise from Singapore to the island of Batam. Apart from the voucher purchase of SGD43, we still had to pay SGD20 for fuel surcharge, SGD7 for Batam Terminal fee and SGD2 for local guide and driver tipping.

Our tour guide is a female Indonesian Chinese. Surprisingly she speaks Mandarin better than English. Even more surprisingly she speaks a couple of Chinese dialects.

As we're following the tour, we had to stick to their schedule before our free and easy session. Our first stop was Polo Ralph Lauren boutique shop. Well, apparently I ain't gonna spend any cents on those overpriced T-shirts which are not even fashionable.

Second stop - Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist Temple. Only Susan and Chern Yik entered the temple, and there's entrance fee.

Next stop was Batam Layer Cakes (Jalan Sumatera Blok A No. 1 Bengkong Laut). We tasted their layer cakes and thought they're delicious. Chern Yik and I shared an order of a box of Mocha flavored layer cakes (placed into two separated smaller boxes).

It's lunch time and the restaurant where we had the 8 course seafood lunch is just within the vicinity of where the layer cake shop is located.

Golden Prawn 933 Restaurant

Batam Miniature House
The next attraction was an interesting spot - a park with miniature houses.

I guess initially Wilsen was asking the tour guide whether we can sit on the houses, in a joking way. The answer turned out to be an astonishing 'yes'. LOL~~ And some of us just turned into savages by putting weight onto the houses.


The next attraction was the Pondok Wisata Cultural Show which made us bite fingers - coconut peeling with teeth, fire eating, glass eating and fire hoop jumping which kids shouldn't imitate at home.

Chocolate House
Chocolate House was where we the cheapos spammed all the sample chocolates. Haha...

Only Susan made her purchase there, for a chocolate bar.

The shop has this interesting looking chocolate container made of aluminum in the shape of a book.

We're brought to Batik & Factory Outlet and Batam City Square after that, which we spent time there stoning and waiting for time to pass. Can't help with that as we're following the tour before being free and easy.

And finally, the last stop before free and easy - 1 hour traditional body massage, and it's included in the package. We all had to strip to our underwear and put on their pants before the massage. I was one cubicle next to Wilsen's, so we just opened the curtain partitioning our cubicles so that we could talk and see each other. We had a good massage service from our respective masseuses, but I couldn't stand when Wilsen kept flattering his masseuse.

It's a practice to tip the masseuse or masseur in Indonesia after the service. I initially tipped IDR5,000, but I got this 'HUH' look from my masseuse and was told 'this is not even SGD1', besides feeling embarrassed, I was really stunned by her explicit way of demanding more. So I gave her another IDR5,000.

We went downstairs and were served ginger tea. It smells nice but well to me, taking a few more sips is really like wanting my life.

And finally we've reached the hotel (Mercure Batam). We went swimming after depositing our bags. At the swimming pool, somehow 3 of us the guys turned into monkeys by performing cheerleading stunts.



Before even boarding the cruise this morning, we bought a bottle of Absolut Vodka for tonight's drinking game. Everyone was sky high, I enjoy the companionship and the secret sharing. Alcohol is indeed magical, but I only find it fun when drinking with friends to drive an effective heart-to-heart talk.

It was my most drunk drinking time, by far. Not that I couldn't remember things that happened that night, but I couldn't really walk in a straight line. I believe so did Wilsen and Calvin.
*INTERNAL JOKE OF THAT NIGHT: So the kerupuk dissolved in the vodka?!*

Day 2

We still didn't forget to wake up for breakfast despite last night's drinking session like no tomorrow.

It was really crowded at the dining place and we only managed to get seats from those who left.

Meanwhile after breakfast, Calvin, Wilsen, Emilia and I was playing bridge (card game) in the room for a few rounds, and Calvin suggested a brilliant idea that we play under the blanket.
Apparently there's no way it's brilliant, there's nothing we could do other than rushing to an end of that round of the game so that we can flee from that suffocating enclosure for some fresh air, seriously. LOL~

Before leaving the hotel (with Calvin's Dōmo-kun)

Time to leave Batam. The lower deck was filled when we boarded the ferry, so we ended up sitting at the top deck.

What you can expect from the top deck is strong wind. Cool in one way, but it's quite a pity that Emilia was wearing very loose top and the swaying and wobbling of her top kept making her zao geng that she had to keep holding and grabbing it.

Emilia's hair reminds me of Astro Boy

A good getaway I would say, when you get to spend memorable moments with your crazy friends.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Batam, Indonesia on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

1 comment:

  1. Batam is a beautifull

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