Going on holiday is Singaporeans’ favourite past-time, and sometimes it can seem like the further and more exotic the destination, the better. Except that your wallet will be squealing in pain each time you take out your credit card to book that flight to Iceland or Peru. But those who are broke but in-need-of-a-holiday can now turn to Batam.
Now, before you sneer and turn away, know that there are many affordable things to do in Batam. Best of all, Batam is only under an hour boat ride away.
To get cheap ferry tickets to batam, you can use websites such as easybook.com and batamfast.com.sg. Return-trip batam ferry ticket prices are around $50. You depart from either Harbourfront or Nongsa, and arrive at Batam Center, Nongsa, Sekupang or Habour Bay.
Here are the 7 things you can do:
1. Stay at a beautiful resort in Batam
Batam is not only near to Singapore, it is home to some beautiful resorts that faces the sea. Some of the best resorts in Batam include Turi Beach Resort and Montigo.
If you’re looking for a Batam hotel with private pool, Montigo Resorts Nongsa‘s Premier Villa offers that luxurious experience for $320 a night. It’s a perfect family accommodation as children under 13 years get to stay for free. Within the premises, there is also a spa, an outdoor tennis court and a kid’s pool.
If you rather your very own private beach, you can go to Turi Beach Resort, where you can enjoy water sports such as jet ski and banana boat within the premises.
2. Get massages from $20 per hour
Batam massages are very affordable. Where in Singapore you can get massages at $60 for an hour, it’s not difficult to find quality massages at $20 for the same service.
In fact, 90-minute massages are more common. Shiok!
GO! Massage Batam near Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal offers treatment prices from $20 per person for a 90 minutes massage, ranging from traditional Indonesian massage, Thai massage and signature massage.
The Yume Shima Batam Hot Bed Spa is a Japanese-themed spa, which charges $15 per person for a combination of full body massage, hot-bed spa and foot reflexology for 90 minutes.
3. Go wild shopping at Batam shopping malls
Batam shopping centres are clean and well-stocked. One of the best batam shopping centres is the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, where you can find many retail stores, massage parlours and eateries. Note that although the name sounds Japanese, there isn’t anything really Japanese about it.
Others include Batam City Square, Diamond City Mall, and the Mega Mall Shopping Centre, which is directly connected to Batam Centre, a popular port where tourist disembark from.
4. Do water sports at nearly half the price in Batam
Fans of water sports such as wake-boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and cable skiing should make a beeline for Batam, as it’s generally much cheaper to enjoy all these activities there than in Singapore, or Bintan for that matter, which has practically become a Singaporean tourist trap.
For comparison’s sake, Singapore Wake Park offers walk-in rates at $32 per hour for weekdays and $42 per hour for weekends. Batam Cable-ski Park offers walk-in rates at $25 per hour and $40 for two hours. This means that it’s almost half price if you’re comparing weekend rates.
You might also be able to find a tour package which includes your activity of choice. For instance, some packages include a day at the Batam Cable-ski Park, as well as accommodation and transportation to the park.
5. Feast on seafood in Batam
While many Singaporean visitors don’t even leave their hotels, you should take a cab to the atmospheric open-air Windsor Food Court, where you can pig out on seafood, including the super popular salted egg crab with man tou, at much lower prices that you’d pay in Singapore.
There are quite a few other famous food spots in Batam, such as Nagoya Hill Food Street, Harbour Bay Food Court and A2 Food Court, as well as restaurants and cafes in malls such as Batam City Square and Mega Mall Batam Centre. There are also numerous famous seafood restaurants such as Golden Prawn Restaurant and Rezeki Seafood Restaurant.
6. Play a round at value-for-money Batam golf courses
Want to practise your golf swing but can’t afford an exorbitant country club membership in Singapore? Then head to Batam on a daytrip or weekend golf package. These packages will take care of your ferry transfer, transportation to the golf course and, if you wish to stay overnight, accommodation.
There are many golf courses including Indah Puri, Padang Golf Sukajadi, Palmsprings, South Links, Tering Bay and Tamarin. If you’re really nuts about golf you might want to consider a annual membership—some clubs such as Tering Bay will let you have a membership for as little as $1,500 a year.
7. Visit Batam stilt houses or kelongs
Some of Batam’s fishing communities still live in kelongs. Venture along the coast and you might find some of these rickety stilt houses suspended over the water.
While there are several kelongs to choose from, one of the more well known ones is Tanjung Uma. You can rent a river taxi, which will be propelled by the leg power a local fisherman, for less than a dollar, to enjoy a tour of the village.
Have you ever been to Batam? Share your experiences in the comments!