How About A Budget Weekend Getaway To Batam?
Let’s face it, there is only so much you can explore in our island state before you start looking for other places to visit but you have your bank balance screaming at you.
While you can plan for long vacations once or twice a year, you probably crave for short weekend getaways to break the mundane routine of work, eat, and sleep. A popular destination for weekend getaway among Singaporeans is Batam as it is just an hour boat ride away from Singapore.
Believe it or not, a weekend getaway to Batam is well within the affordable range and we have come up with affordable ways to make your weekend in Batam a blast!
The island at a glance
|Currency||Indonesian Rupiah (IDR 3421.60 = RM1)*|
|Visa requirement for Singaporeans||No Visa required for 30 days|
|Main port/ ferry terminal from SG||Harbour Front in Singapore to and from Batam Center in Batam
Harbour Front in Singapore to and from Sekupang in Batam
|Official language||Bahasa Indonesia|
|Electricity||Electricity in Indonesia is 230V, with a frequency of 50hz. Power plugs and sockets are of type C and F.
8th Floor, Sumatera Convention Centre
Jalan Engku Putri, Kav. 01, Batam Centre
Batam 29461, Indonesia.
|Cost of round trip ferry ticket||Approximately S$50, depending on the type of ferry**|
|Cost of food||Meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs S$3.43***|
*Exchange rate as of June 2019
**Note: Book return trip early to avoid delays
Popular things to do in Batam
Known for affordable massages, local food and shopping, Batam is a place where you can stretch your dollars to the maximum.
1. Indulge in affordable yet authentic massages
When you are in Batam, you will need to put away your preconceived notions that affordable means low quality or inauthentic experience. While you need to fork out around S$80 for a 90-mins traditional Balinese massage in Singapore, you only need to spend around S$20-40 in Batam for the same type of top-notch service and authentic experience.
Due to the high demand for massages in Batam, it is quite easy to find an authentic spa in Batam. All you will have to do is stroll around and pick the one that suits your needs the best.
Besides being affordable, a massage session in Batam will also give you all the relaxation you need after all the bustle and hustle in Singapore.
2. Grab the street food
All across the world, local food are mostly affordable. More so in Batam where Singaporeans have the advantage of higher currency conversion rate.
A dish named Sate Tarempa (chicken satay with a fine peanut sauce) costs only about S$0.20, gado-gado costs around S$1.60 and Milo Susu Peng is about S$0.80. A dish of Mie Goreng Sapi (Stir-fried yellow noodles with spicy seasoning, beef slices, and beef stomach) costs only S$1.80. A pint of beer at Batam’s only microbrewery, Batam Fresh Beer costs only around S$1.50 and would make beer lovers go crazy!
Besides being highly affordable, the local food in Batam taste equally good and will leave you full and happy.
3. Shop and earn your penny
Prices of clothes and certain self-care products are considerably cheaper in Batam that many Singaporeans buy these things in bulk to avoid buying them in Singapore.
For instance, facial products like Olay and Garnier are one-third the price in Singapore while medicines such as Panadol are one-fifth of the Singapore price tag. Other products that are cheaper than in Singapore include food containers, toothbrushes, layer cake, stationeries and toiletries.
As Batam is a Special Economic Zone, it comes with low tariffs and shopping bargains resulting in the lower price range even for designer clothing and items.
So, besides having the relaxing trip you want, you would also be saving money by stocking up on the products for several months. Sounds like a crazy deal!
Other interesting things to explore in Batam
Apart from the usual activities that had made Batam so popular among Singaporeans, there are some lesser known attractions that would amp up your weekend getaway.
1. Adrenaline-inducing activities
For those who need their fair share of adventure and adrenaline during holidays, Batam will not disappoint. Water sports such as banana boat, parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking and jet ski come with cheaper price tag compared to other tourist destinations near Singapore. Another attraction in Batam is its inflatable water theme park with slides and swings that can even make adults go crazy with excitement.
Those who want to take their water activities up a notch would be happy to hear that Batam Island also offers snorkelling and diving. Diving is particularly terrific here as the corals and wrecks around Batam at sites like the Lingga Archipelago are visually enthralling. It is said that sunken Japanese “Zero” planes have been uncovered here.
2. Explore the beaches
Blessed with beaches that are yet to be spoilt by mass tourism, Batam is just the right place for you to kick back and enjoy nature. Catch up on some alone time as you stroll along the beach. Make it a point to enjoy the sunset views as Batam hosts some spectacular sunsets.
You can head to Turi beach, Nuri Beach, Nongsa Beach or take a walk along the boardwalk as you spend time with the sun, sea and water. The last time we checked strolling along the beach is FREE!
3. Visit one of the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia
Besides shouting FUN, Batam has a spiritual side as well. The Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple located in the city centre is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Indonesia. With a 5-metre tall Maitreya Buddha statue, the temple has garnered a lot of attention from tourists. A worthy point to note: The vegetarian canteen at the temple serves healthy meals to the temple visitors.
For those who enjoy and crave for inner peace, a visit to the temple would be highly rewarding. It’s definitely one of the finer ways to delve deep into the culture of the people there.
How can you save money in Batam?
While Batam provides a lot of affordable activities and options, it would be great if you could try these practical tips to save some more money. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.