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Batam

3.9 / 5 37 votes

Country rank: 6 out of 9 Places To Visit In Indonesia

Sub-Region: Riau Archipelago, South China Sea.


Weather:

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best time: February - August (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Batam (Check Flights)

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"An adventure-filled retreat."

Batam Tourism

The island of Batam is one of the most picturesque islands in the Riau Archipelago, and also one of the most modernised areas in Indonesia. Tourists from usually flock here for a retreat, and some fresh ocean air.

Batam is one of the more breathtaking areas of Indonesia, with beautiful vistas, lush forested coasts, sprawling resorts and golf courses, large malls, and some great opportunities for adventure. It is the perfect tourist destination,filled with places for recreation, beautiful scenery and great, cheap food and drink. Batam is most famous for its beaches and water-themed adventure sports, and of course, its large, immaculately maintained golf courses. It also is home to the largest Buddhist temple in South-East Asia, and has perfect bike and hike trails along its northern coast. Thus, Batam is an all-rounded experience for any tourist.

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There are no strict dress codes, for the island is primarily a tourist destination, but certain Indonesian customs are respected, like not touching the heads of people or using your left hand for business.

Indonesian is the main language of the area, with Malay, Javanese and Hokkien Chinese also frequently used. English and German are also important languages, mainly used by European or American expats.

The Chinese settled in Batam as early as 231 A.D, due to its location along the East-West shipping trade routes. Since then, till the 18th and 19th century, it was ruled by various different kingdoms and then colonised by the Dutch. During the Second World War, it was occupied by the Japanese. In the 1970s, it underwent a major transition, with industrial development and the start in tourism. Now, Batam is mainly known for its free trade zone area and various tourism option.

The nightlife in Batam is primarily centred around Nagoya, with bars, clubs, arcades, karaoke bars and the occasional strip club. The drinks are cheap, but hotel bars are slightly more expensive.

Nagoya is the nerve-centre of all shopping, with a large number of malls. Other souvenirs can be bought near the Barelang bridge and the Buddhist temple. Commodities may be priced higher, because Batam is so tourist-oriented.

IDR is the official currency of Batam, but Singapore Dollars (SGD) are used almost everywhere. SGD and IDR are used interchangeably at various places in Batam.

The best places to exchange money is at the airport, and at large hotels and commercial banks. ATMs accept cards from all around the world.

Excluding accomodation, travellers on a shoestring budget should not need more than about IDR 15-20,000, and travellers on moderate expenses can operate on IDR 30-35,000, while more expensive travellers may spend any amount more than IDR 40,000.

Most of the island is Muslim, with other religions including Protestantism, Buddhism and Hinduism.It is also home to the largest Buddhist temple in South Asia.a

Freshly caught seafood at affordable, even cheap prices is the highlight of all cuisine at Batam, with many varieties of it. Fine dining, cheaper restaurants and fast food outlets are also available. Many types of cuisines are also available primarily Japanese, Chinese and Korean food, with no dearth of vegetarian restaurants. At Nongsa, tourists can eat in a "kelong," a restaurant built over the sea on stilts, which serve varieties of spicy king crab and sambal fish (steamed fish dipped in sambal, a spicy local sauce).


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How to Reach Batam

Batam can be reached either by flight or by ferry, depending on the place. (Read More)

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