Emak mertua tanya, “Batam macam Singapura?” Tentulah tidak. Even Kuala Lumpur is no match to Singapore, kan? Bapa pula tanya, “Batam macam Pekan Baru (Riau)?" Tidak juga kerana Pekan Baru (tempat asal arwah atuk saya) itu adalah bandar kecil yang sedang membangun. Batam itu seperti antara Jakarta dan Medan; tidak terlalu moden dan tidak juga terlalu mundur. And unlike its other counterparts, Batam bersih dan bebas dari pengemis jalanan.
Batam, Indonesia initially gained its popularity as a gamblers haven, which explains the 200 (++) hotels around the city. Tapi kini Batam telah mengalami operasi pemutihan lalu sudah tiada aktiviti perjudian secara berleluasa. But thanks to its seafoods and shopping malls, it remains as a tourist attraction in its own class.
Yawn! Enough already with the intro/brief history of Batam! Here goes the travelogue:
If you’re coming from JB, boleh ambil ferry from The Zone, Stulang Laut. The (return) ticket costs RM110 per pax and the ride mengambil masa sejam setengah. Fret not, botnya bagus lalu tak akan adalah masalah sea/motion sickness. At least I didn’t experience any-lah, alhamdulillah. But if you’re not a fan of boats, you can always fly from KL directly to Batam. Haha my mom was initially agitated that I was going to travel there by boat tapi dia kata, “Suka hatilah, asalkan bahagia.” Haha. But my MIL told me that dia tak senang duduk all the time. Ish ish, Ibu dan Emak jangan risaulah, saya baik-baik saja tau.
The picture was taken in our gorgeous suite room. Hotels are inexpensive there. Sangat menggembirakan that we got to stay in a gorgeous, huge suite in Swiss Inn Hotel and it cost us merely SGD100. Yes we paid in SGD, baki from our last visit to Singapore. Oh and yes, they accept SGD everywhere there in Batam.
After checking in, freshen up, solat and what not, we headed out for late lunch of Nasi Padang. Oh kami di sana dipandu arah oleh Pak Nordin; he charged us Rp500K for 2 days, which is boleh tahanlah considering that he drove us everywhere and there was no extra charge for gas or parking fees. And he is a nice, soft-spoken fellow.
Before and after. We were so tamak, we makan almost every lauk dia hidang. Ngeh. And oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, Nasi Padang Sederhana adalah terlalu lazat! I kecur air liur okay, as I’m typing this. Lunch for 3 (Pak Nordin included) cost us Rp149K only. Freaking cheap!
The first mall that we visited was their newest mall, Batam City Square. Ada rupa Sungei Wang sikitlah. Not my personal favourite, but I did get myself a blouse there. At Rp80K, I just had to buy it lah kan? Haha. The other 2 malls we went to were Nagoya Hill and Megamall. Kedua-dua ini saya lebih suka, lalu saya recommend, okay?
Oh an irrelevant fact for you: The pink t-shirt I was wearing adalah dari Dorothy Perkins and I got it in Singapore for merely SGD13! Terlalu suka sebab material yang selesa, i.e. materialnya stretchable for my perut and tak panas for my suhu badan yang pelik-pelik saja sekarang. Menyesal sebab beli 1 lalu bila pulang ke Malaysia lebih menyesal setelah mendapati ia dijual di sini dengan harga RM46, harap maklum.
We were so full from the scrumptious Nasi Padang lunch that we had no energy to jalan-jalan. Lalu jalan-jalan sekejap and then we just melepak minum-minum at their famous kopitiam, Coffee Town & Kaya Toast; an equivalence to our Old Town lah.
Go get yourself the latest copy of the TIME magazine; it was so good, I spent one hour immersing myself in it. Like seriously. Tak terasapun menunggu lama.
Later we headed to Indo-Thai Massage; the man got himself an aromatherapy body massage while I waited patiently for sejam setengah, watching TV and reading magazines.
Batam is famous for its seafoods hence it is a must. Pak Nordin brought us to the outdoor (seaside) seafood place near the Pacific Hotel for late dinner. The foods were good (read more about them HERE) and it cost us somewhere around Rp250K. Sea breeze, good foods, fireworks, and the love of my life; I truly had a great night.
We celebrated New Year dengan melepak di bilik menonton Dark Knight dan menjengah tingkap menyaksikan bunga api (or kembang api, in Indonesian term). Like a pair of old couple. Kah kah.
The next morning, after hotel breakfast (which was good), we packed our stuffs and went to melawat the beach. Kemudian kami ke Nagoya Hill, jalan-jalan habiskan wang. Checked out at 1 p.m. and Pak Nordin sent us straight to Megamall, which is situated next to the ferry terminal (within walking distance). Had lunch. The man went for foot reflexology and I shopped around by myself. Later we boarded a 4.30 ferry and slept all the way back. We had so much fun but it was also good to be home and melepak like nobody’s business. Ngeh.
Mark Twain pernah berkata, “I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Indeed, Mr. Twain, indeed. Ngeh. And you surely know how I feel about you, Encik Mohd Daud :)