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Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Singapore
posts: 1
Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

I arrived in Batam on Thursday morning with very little information about the city or places. It was recommended by a few friends and since I am in Singapore for a while, I thought I'd hop over to explore - I was in Nagoya the whole time.

I'd like to note that I am a student on quite a tight budget. I was previously told online to avoid taking one of the taxis waiting at Harbor Bay as they tend to overcharge. However, I wasn't familiar with anywhere in the city and still needed to find a hotel so I took my chances. Great luck for me. I was approached by a driver and we agreed on a rate of 50000 rupiah (7.30 SGD) - almost nothing. For this amount, he was my driver for the whole day. I am just one person and had only one small bag. He was a very helpful and friendly man by the name of Sofyan (+628127788414)

HOTEL

We drove around checking a few hotels after I explained my budget to Softan. Sentosa Hotel was ok for budget but I wanted to see what else was available - apparently they have a pool. Golden View Hotel was a little nicer and not expensive but still more than what I wanted to pay so I didn't go up to see the rooms. The third hotel was this Hotel Goloris or Gloris - whatever. The rates here were very budget friendly at 140 000 rupiah (20.40 SGD) for a superior room. The room was old but clean with a TV, double bed, two chairs, a table and a private bathroom - no bathtub. I stayed here. I'd probably stay here again just because the rate is quite good for what you get. There was no breakfast in the morning but room service was available 24/7. However, all the names on the room service menu were in Indonesian and I found it difficult to know what was what. Also, the staff's english was very limited but I didn't need them for anything more than the room. There was no safe in the room but the only valuable thing I had with me was my camera which I was allowed to leave at the front desk when I went out. No problems there. Recommended if you're on a tight budget or are just looking for a basic room at a cheap price.

MASSAGE

After leaving my stuff at the hotel, I got back into Sofyan's taxi and asked him to recommend a place for a massage. He insisted on IndoThai Massage place. If you had a certain place in mind or don't like what he shows you, just tell him to go somewhere else. He will - no problem. Anyways, IndoThai Massage was good. I went on both days. The first time I went for the IndoThai combination massage for 1.5h for around 140000 (20.40 SGD), I can't remember the exact price but it was around that. It was good, the masseuse was strong and applied too much pressure sometimes but insisted that you told her if there was "pain". Again, it was good but nothing too special. The second day I got the Hot Stones + Chocolate oil massage for 280000 (40.80 SGD) for 2h which was a much better. I would recommend this place. It was clean and inexpensive (I think) but I'm sure there are other good places as well. Again, my driver insisted on this place saying that he tested out the massage for himself but he will show you others if you tell him to.

TRANSPORTATION

I would highly recommend getting a driver if you don't know your way around or will be hopping from place to place. Sofyan comes highly recommended. He knows his way around and will take you anywhere you might be looking for. He speaks good english, not fluent of course, but quite good - better than anyone else I met on the island. He agreed to 50 000 a day - I gave him 70 000 although I think he was expecting at least 100 000. He deserved it but I was confused with the exchange rate, you will be too once you arrive. He'll help you out a lot. He also took me to change money for a rate better than what I was getting in Singapore: in Singapore, $50 - 333000; in Batam, $50 - 340000. I did however buy him food when I went to eat which isn't a problem at all because food is quite cheap and he would have waited for me to finish anyways. Again, he didn't ask. I offered. If I was hungry, he probably was too.

Here is Sofyan's number again: +628127788414. He is very reasonable, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Call him before you leave Singapore to meet you upon arrival. In addition to the 50000, he did ask me to help him out by recommending him to friends and on the internet since he doesn't know how to use a computer. I told him if his services are good, then I'd be happy to help him out. They were so here's me keeping my word. I doubt you'll be dissatisfied - just agree on a rate before he drives you all over the place. Feel free to call him anytime of the day or night.

OVERALL

Overall, Batam is a nice place for a weekend. It is a little poor and dirty and there is a strange unpleasant smell at the Harbor Bay when you get off the ferry. It was there both upon arrival and departure. You won't have much to do in the city for more than 2 days. I actually booked the hotel for 2 nights but only stayed for one and decided to go back to Singapore. I would have loved to try some of the water sports available on the other side of the island, especially jet-skiing at the Waterfront area but the weather wasn't too great. That'll have to wait until next time. I was told it's about 30-45 min drive away so if you ask your driver to take you from the city, pay him more. Batam is considered a "rich" part of Indonesia as I was told but it is still very poor and most people are simply trying to get by on very little. Also, there are very very few foreigners (non-asian) here in Nagoya so you will get stares everywhere you go - everywhere. They were not threatening stares or anything, simply people looking at you since they don't get very many outsiders, I'd assume. It was more funny, not really uncomfortable.

I hope this review proves useful. Unfortunately, I didn't take the number for the hotel but they should have free rooms if you just want to drive by with taxi. If not, there are plenty of other choices. Keep in mind that I went on Thurs/Fri - apparently it gets more crowded on the weekend when the Singapore crowd comes in. I still don't think it should be a problem then.

Enjoy your trip, those of you that decide to go. Definitely check it out for a weekend. Hope the post isn't too long - I tried to put in anything that might be useful to the first time traveller. Enjoy.

New York City, New...
posts: 53
reviews: 3
1. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Hi Faafz,

Thank you for your kind review of Batam island. It was pretty adventurous of you to go around the island (although not too far from the city) to explore places you don't know about.

Unfortunately, Indonesia has been a poor country for too long time despite it's vast number of resources (labor and natural). It is actually considered one of the richest city in Indonesia in terms of unemployment and purchasing power.

I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit Batam again in the near future!

posts: 4
2. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Helo im sofyan thx for the post u made for me. I replay this,got help of some friends. If u at batam dont be avraid to call me. Once again i want to say thanks again .see u at batam...

posts: 4
3. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Helo im sofyan thx for the post u made for me. I replay this,got help of some friends. If u at batam dont be avraid to call me. Once again i want to say thanks again .see u at batam...

posts: 4
4. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Helo im sofyan thx for the post u made for me. I replay this,got help of some friends. If u at batam dont be avraid to call me. Once again i want to say thanks again .see u at batam...

Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 1
5. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

helo dear friends im new at batam so i call softyan to be my driver

im so happy righit now im stay ing at hotel Goloris

like your advice. next i will be going to thai masage

just be pepare^_^ i love this taxi driver he so frindly and help ful

dont. hey softyan its nice to have u at my side ^_^

Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 1
6. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Hey guy,how come Sofyan ask for 200000 for whole day?

Johor Bahru...
posts: 2
7. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Hi All,

Im Alan from Malaysia visited Batam on "" Feb.2011 with guide from internet.

Got some contact number from this web but im disappointed with

this taxi driver called Mr.xxx.

We already told him book hotel four days earlier before arrival

for hotel range between Rp150000 - Rp20000 which easily

can find around batam. He said oh "Ohh..this easily can which S$20".

Once we reached on saturday morning the Taxi_driver brought us to a

Hotel with rate Rp294000(S$42 / RM105).

When we ask him where is hotel which he told S$20 but ohh..today all full can't find hotel. Im confident i can find cheaper hotel since we tired & dont want argue with with fcuking driving we just accepted the & told him it's.

We went out around batam town for lunch & at the same time surveyed for hotel rate & availability on that day. There were so many rate Rp150000-Rp200000 some even better then the hotel we were staying & so many are available.

So moral of the story this fcuking driver bul*l_sh*it to us to earn better

commission offered by the hotel where we were staying.

This driver wanna bu*l*lsh*i*t 2nd time ??? No.no..no!!!!

We wanna him to take "boarding pass" earlier from ferry terminal as we dont want want any delay when go back malaysia further we booked his

full taxi service until we go back to Malaysia follwong day.

When we ask him how much is the Port Tax when take boarding pass he

told not sure told "let me call my fren & check the tax". This is really acting bu*l*l*sh*i*t !!! He has been taxi driver so many years but telling he not sure. After confirmed with his fren he said it is Rp115000 (RM40).

We willing pay though we knew the real tax is around RM20-RM25 for his fren bu*l*lsh*i*t we(me & my fren) plan to teach little lesson so we ok are coming too to the terminal to take borading pass. Once reach we we went straight to boarding pass counter & it was Rp65000(RM22) he the taxi driver were standing beside when we paid. It was nice to see his bu*l*l*s*h*it face when we were paying. Foreigner are not stupid like Singaporean

Ha ha ha...

Good luck ever for all we will be visiting soon.

Nice play to find girls/ Masage/ SPA.

Food are expensive here.

So those budget_er pls check the price when u offer for with menu_price.

Johor Bahru...
posts: 2
8. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

He is Ok & taxi rate really good make sure talk about (FULL/Total/lump sum) rate before you get in his taxi. My total cost for travel RM30000-RM350000 to use him saturday morning till evening depature to malaysia. He is OK can bring you where ever u want to go & will suggest the place to visit but careful as he is like aligator when come to earning commission.

Singapore
posts: 1
9. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Dear Alan,

I think you are quite gullible not to suspect that Faafz and Sofyan, are either in cahoots or the same person. And I am not insinuating that all Malaysians are gullible, it is just you.

posts: 4
10. Re: Batam Trip Report - 2D1N - Oct 2010

Hei im sofian frinds from batam. Dont make sofyan name bad why u do tht . If u got problem with rate or cost u can ask hin nicely dont be rude. Go call him don make insult in public say u want to make sofyan name bad like u. Thx for the suport for calling sofyan i help softyan coz he so frindly