Bring A&W back to Singapore!
Batam is an island in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. It is located approximately 20km off Singapore, with the ferry journey from Singapore to Batam taking around 45 minutes – the perfect weekend getaway near Singapore.
It is a shame that Batam has been known as the place where dirty old men go in search of sex. To me, Batam is a nice place where you can enjoy fun water sports, fresh seafood, cheap shopping and affordable spa & massages.
Here’s a list of things to do in Batam for a short weekend getaway:
Eat + Shopping + Massage
A&W Fast Food Restaurant
Ever since A&W pulled out from Singapore many years ago, the one in Batam is the nearest option for Singaporeans to satisfy their craving for A&W root beer float, curly fries and ice cream waffle. I love A&W!
Shopping in Nagoya Hill Mall
From what I understand, Nagoya Hill is the biggest shopping mall on the island. You can buy the popular kueh lapis (layer cakes); eat ayam penyet (crispy fried chicken) at Nagoya Hill’s food street; buy Indomie Mi goreng from the hypermarket; and shop around for bargains in the mall.
Cheap Massage in Batam
I highly recommend Isabella Massage House at Nagoya Hills. From the traditional Balinese massage (170,000 rupiah/SGD$25 for 2 hours) to the popular Thai Massage, there are different massage therapies to choose from.
The massage parlour provides free transportation to-and-fro (for the whole day), and I love the fact that they reply email enquiries (firstname.lastname@example.org) very promptly.
Cheap and good seafood in Batam
Golden Prawn Seafood Restaurant and Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurant are the names that most people mention when you ask them to recommend the best seafood restaurant in Batam.
After massage, we had a seafood feast at Harbour Bay, a stretch of seafood restaurants by the waterfront promenade.
I got a little greedy and over-ordered. Between the three of us, we had mantis prawns, salted egg yolk crabs, black pepper crabs, hotplate tofu, deep-fried spring chicken, chilli stir-fried mussels, and sambal kangkong. Cheap and good seafood. What more can we ask for?
Batam Beach Resort & Water Sports
And of course, you can choose a nice beach resort if you are staying overnight. Water sports facilities can mainly be found on resorts throughout Batam.
What’s there not to like about Batam? It is the ideal place for a short weekend getaway from Singapore.