Batam is more popular as an industrialized city instead of tourism one. Batam enjoy special treatment from the central government, practically making the island as the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for being an industrial hub.
There are lots of electronic factories, ship repairing industries, and even oil service sector. Economically speaking, this island is a wonderland for investors.
Due to its extreme proximity to Singapore and Johor (Malaysia), Batam is often said as the gateway to those countries. The reality isn’t that simple though. This island is also a favorite destinations for Singaporean, especially those who want to shop much more cheaply and a better nightlife. Here are the places in Batam that you need to visit.
World Class Golf Courses
Due to its status as a haven for investment, Batam is one of the places in Indonesia with so many expatriate population. To cater to the corporate entertainment needs, lots of world class golf courses are built in this island. Palm Springs Golf & Beach Resort, Tering Bay Golf & Country Club, Southlinks Country Club, Padang Golf Sukajadi, Indah Puri Golf Resort, and Tamarin Santana Golf Club are available, and all provide excellent experience.
Yacht Haven in Nongsa
After the abolishment of the Clearance and Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT) policy, foreign yachts can enter and exit Indonesia much easier now. All they have to do is registering their intention online. Entry and outward clearance would only require 24 hour notice online. That means that now cruisers can cut lots of bureaucratic procedure to enjoy and leave Indonesia.
All process of getting clearance is done in Nongsa Point Marina. While the authority at Nongsa process all the document, cruisers can enjoy lots of upmarket facilities this marina offers.
Duty Free Shoppings
The central government made Batam as a free trade zone, meaning all items entering this island will not be charged with any taxation. As a result, the imported items sold in this area are 10-15% cheaper than in any other part of the country.
That makes many people flock the malls on this island for cheaper items like high end electronic goods to branded designer fashion. Nagoya Hill, DC Mall, and Mega Mall provides lots of high-end items on cheaper prices.
Island Hopping on The South
On the southern part of Batam administrative area, there are several smaller islands connected by a road and series of bridges. Jembatan Barelang (Barelang Bridges) are series of bridges that connect the islands all the way to the south; Tonton, Nipah, Sekotok, Galang Baru, Rempang, and Galang Islands.
Those islands are also known as Barelang Islands. There are lots to explore in these islands, including wonderful beaches and the Vietnamese Refugee Camp.
How to get to Batam and What to do There
There are several entry points to Batam, especially via the sea. Ferrries from Malaysia and Singapore only took 90 and 40 minutes respectively. They might enter from one of six terminals in this island; Sekupang, Waterfront City, Batam Center, Harbour Bay, Nongsapura, and Telaga Punggur.
Hang Nadim’s International Airport is served with flights from big cities in Indonesia as well as several ports in the neighboring countries. Getting around the islands is a bit tricky. In the city, you can use public transport or taxis. To explore all the islands, you need to rent cars, either with or without the driver.