they sell birds nests for the Bird's Nest Soup here at the Golden Prawn Restaurant where assorted Dried Bird's Nest from cave swiftlet birds are harvested by adventurous pickers from nearby caves along the Riau Islands (since the bird's nest are located high in the caves) and the birds nest are primarily from Bird Saliva and is an aphrodisiac for the chinese. a small box of Bird's nest here will sell about 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah for a small 50 gram box.
address of Golden Prawn Resturant Bird's Nest Shop is: Jalan Bengkong Laut, Batam, located in the Golden City Complex owned by the Golden View Hotel.
cheap roadside fruits at fruit stalls and you would see lots of these local food stalls all around Nagoya Area selling or hawking various kinds of tropical fruits and goodies like mangoes, durian, Star Apples, Jack Fruits and other kinds or fruits whether fresh or dried or picled or preserved and they cost really cheap from 4,000 Indonesian Rupiah up to 20,000 Indonesian Rupiah depending on the type and number of fruits you will buy to munch on.
a massage parlor in Batam offerinf thai style and indonesian style Bali Type Massages andit cost really cheap. The massage center offers traditonal Tha Massage and the Balinese style massage and other services like a foot scrub and hand and nail polish. A typical balinese style whole body massage will cost about 80,000 Indonesian Rupiah or about 12 Singapore dollars excluding the tip and will last about 90 minutes.
address is: Sawadika Komplex Top 100 Blok C no. 7 (Top 100 Shopping Center), Pasar Nagoya, batam Indonesia
tel no: (62) 0778-450-616
There are 2 or 3 other citings in the virtual tourist that wrote about the southern part of the island beyond Barelang Bridge. The reports are vague and intrigued me to hire a taxi paying the taxi 500,000 Rp (say USD$55) to go from Nagoya to the South passing the Barelang Bridge. It was a huge letdown.
There is nothing to see just bushes and trees along the 2 hours ride until you come to the end of the paved road. The taxi would not go any further onto unpaved dirt mud road.
I was roped in by the unspecific report about bridges pass the Barelang bridge and later was told the normal fare to reach the Barelang bridge was only 15,000 Rupiah. It wasted my time and money (half a day).
My advice is for you to go to Barelang bridge, after stopping at the middle of the bridge enjoying the sight and then drive pass the next bridge, you will see an entrance to the a "Golden Fish" restaurant on the left hand side of the road. Drive towards the restaurant and have a meal and enjoy the spectacular view (you would not regret the view).
Unless you have plenty of time to burn then you wanted to venture south of the Barelang bridge and look at the forest on both side of the road.
If you wanted to reach isolated part of the island, there are better alternative like hiring a boat where they will take you to a more scenic and isolated place. Luckily the road condition was OK (some pothole and fairly straight and little traffic). Little traffic was because it was a dead end road leading to nowhere.
Get off from the ferry terminal, approach any of the "ojeks" aka motor taxis, and negeotiate a price to rent his motor. I paid Rp 150,000 for a day(those guys hardly earn Rp 40,000 daily). If you're paying more than that, I would suggest you not to. Remember, never deposit your passport to them!!
The entire highway is about 80km long. It is very interesting in the first half, the other half is just downright boring. The Barelang Highway is a "highway" that links 4 islands to Batam. The bridges are very nice.
That is a very useful website, it has maps and stuffs that you will need.
If you have time, you should venture to the islands south of Batam Island such as Pulau Sekikir, Pulau Rempang and Pulau Galang. These islands are connected to Batam Island via bridges and the scenery here is very beautiful.
This is a typical shop that the locals normally frequented. It sells, cigarettes, drinks, instant noodles, soap, etc. Going around is not cheap by the Indonesian. So, shops like these really helps with daily needs.
The local shops are very bright and colourful to see by car. There are many local shops in Batam.
If you notice along the streets, you'll probably see people repair tyres and car services. Though illegal, this can be seen widely. Equipt with a portable generators, they could assist with your flat tyres or other related problems of your cars. I would say it as very convenient.
If you have time, you should venture to the islands south of Batam Island such as Pulau Sekikir, Pulau Rempang and Pulau Galang. These islands are connected to Batam Island via bridges and the scenery here is very beautiful. More photos of these islands are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
It is rather easy to move around the island and the taxi (cabs) are cheap. So you can ask a local guide to bring you to some nice and off the beaten path places on the island. However, you have to be careful of your belongings as there are pickpockets on the island, especially the busy city areas.
As you make your way around the island, you can still see examples of Kampong (village) living with basic facilities in some cases set in these tranquil settings. The shower was a covered set up between some trees.
Singapore is situated really close to Batam and you can see in my photo`s the view of Singapore from my hotel.
This is the skyline of Singapore when we are approaching from Batam. Looks grand. Manhatten of Singapore you may call it.
aah! These monkey really come close to our car! Look at that one with the big arm. I think the locals must really love their company : ) Directions: Galang island