Monday, July 25, 2016

Batam Beach Getaway

It's been awhile since we traveled and my itchy lakwatsera feet needed a quick getaway. We also had not gone to the beach yet this year so we decided to finally visit Batam.

Batam is an island just 35-minutes away from Singapore. I could actually see the island from my desk at work on clear days. After doing some research I found out that there are several areas in Batam you can go to. We chose to visit Nongsapura because it had more options for beach-front resorts and we really didn't want to go shopping.

Booked "Turi Beach Resort" based on ratings from Expedia and it was affordable (it was cheaper to book via Expedia rather than directly). I also booked our ferry ride through the Batam Fast website. We could have gone via Harbourfront Center though, but the trip would have been longer so we just went via the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal trip to Nongsapura.

As from our Bintan beach experience we decided to stay put in the resort and not go out. We plan to explore the rest of Batam when Kuya June is available for a day trip. Our trip theme was, "Chill and eat". Here's what we did --

Day 1 Late Afternoon: walk around the resort

Day 1 Evening: dinner and use the internet at the lobby

Day 2 Morning: breakfast, get stranded in a hut waiting for the rain to finish, swim at the beach and the pool

Day 2 Late Afternoon to Evening: movie marathon and dinner

Day 3 Morning: attempt to swim at the beach (low tide), move to green swimming pool; eat breakfast, chill then head home

A few things to know:

1. Internet - there's no roaming charges if you use a Singapore sim, BUT I ended up connecting to telcos in Malaysia since I couldn't connect to Indosat. No roaming charges too. Resort internet is very expensive at $20/day
2. Resort usually provides free shuttle service, they also offer free shuttle services to the mall.
3. Taxis are available.
4. You can bring food to the resort, but they don't allow cooking. Try to bring your own water if you are picky.
5. Seats aren't assigned in the ferry, if you don't want to sit in the open area make sure you get in the ferry early.
6. No need to get local currency if you don't plan to buy anything. We just ended up using our cash for tips, buying water and ice cream.

Hotel - SG$50-SG$1,000 (our beach front room was $216/night and had to pay for extra person for his breakfast, extra bed and other services)
Ferry - for three it cost us $138 (already includes terminal fees)
Food - resort resto meal for three average of SG$80-100