Batam is a small island, part of the Riau Islands, that is located near Singapore and Malaysia. Its strategic location is the city’s selling point, either as a tourist destination or an investment destination. This has also been supported by the presence of five international ports, which in time have made Batam the gateway for the most foreign tourists to enter Indonesia, after Bali and Jakarta.
Thanks to its status as a Free Trade Zone, Batam is also known as the place to go to get luxury goods at low prices. Here, finding electronic goods, cars, fashion items, and snacks is very easy. There is no wonder that tourists often come to Batam for a shopping spree.
Aside from being a luxury shopping paradise, there are many more reasons why Batam is worth the visit. First-timers are encouraged to visit the Barelang Bridge on Jl. Trans Barelang, Bulang District, which has become one of Batam’s icons. It consists of six bridges connecting Batam Island, Tonton Island, Setokok Island, Nipah Island, Rempang Island, Galang Island, and Galang Baru Island. From the top of the bridge, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the sea and the beautiful small islands surrounding it. In addition, tourists can also book a history tour in Galang Island, which was once a Vietnamese refugee shelter in 1975.
For nature lovers, you can head to Kampung Tua at the Nongsa District to enjoy the beach. Here, tourists are welcome to swim and relax by the beach or visit the nearby Putri Island. From both Nongsa Beach and Putri Island, visitors can enjoy the scenery where ships drift in the middle of the sea. Aside from the beach, Nongsa is also known as the area where hotels, resorts, and high-end golf course are located–another reason why the area attracts many foreign tourists.
Also, make sure not to miss visiting the Nagoya area for another round of retail therapy. This shopping paradise is very famous for its multiple shops offering electronic goods, clothes, bags, perfumes, and various authentic Batam souvenirs–all in cheap and negotiable prices. Not only does this business district host a number of shopping centers, but it also offers many restaurants and hotels, making it a complete package for tourists.
In addition to being a shopping paradise, Batam’s sea is also very rich, driving many restaurants, hotels, and resorts to offer great seafood dishes. However, for a different dining experience, head to Mentarau Seafood in Patam Lestari area, Sekupang. Here, a delicious meal is completed with a beautiful view of the sea. Be sure to taste gonggong, a type of snail found in the waters of the Riau Islands.
Once satisfied with Batam’s seafood, set off to relax at Ombak Bar, located at KTM Resort Sekupang. It is a perfect spot for some quiet and private time. Nibble on some pizza, burger, or a steak dinner accompanied by the calm sea and the view of the Singapore landscape in the background. Reservation is recommended as the number of visitors is limited daily.
Last but not least, get your caffeine dose at Anchor Cafe & Roastery. This coffee shop is located at Ruko Dermaga Culinary Paradise Blok RF No. 11, Sukajadi. Using coffee beans bought from local farmers, the cafe roasts their own beans, burns, and grinds them until they are ready to be served to customers. Anchor Cafe & Roastery also offers delicious Western cuisines to nibble on while visitors their cup of joe.
To continue stimulating the growth of tourism, a number of flights to the island are now available to give easier access for tourists. The Hang Nadim International Airport, located at Jalan Hang Nadim No. 1, Batu Besar, has become the pride of the people of Batam thanks to its runway, which has been recorded as the longest runway in Indonesia. The airport also provides complete facilities to ensure the convenience of its visitors.