The Grand Mosque (Masjid Raya Batam) is the most remarkable religious site in Batam. We came here in our attempt of doing some sightseeing and the mosque was listed as one of the top sites in the island.
Built in 1999, the mosque is the largest in the Riau Archipelagos Province: it can accommodate 2,500 pilgrims inside the building and additional 15,000 in the outside field. Unlike usual mosques, the roof is pyramid-like shaped and does not have a dome. In few photos I have seen in the internet the night view is quite impressive; we visited instead in the morning hours and this in the photo is how it looked.
It takes about 20 minutes taxi to come here from Nagoya. If you plan going to the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet shop, you may combine since the mosque in nearby.
At the time of writing (Dec 2011), Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall in downtown Nagoya is the hottest hangout place in Batam to the point that if you lose sight on anyone in the island you may just come here and wait for him/her to show up. And even without tailgating anybody you will end up here anyway since there is no much alternatives for killing some time if you are in Batam and are not locking yourself up into some kind of resort in the middle of nowhere.
This website provides a good description of the Nagoya Hill Mall for a general introduction. As a matter of fact the whole area surrounding the mall is being developed as a prime retail center with modern buildings and shop spaces which at time of writing yet have to be filled up. A couple of blocks off, the downtown area with local shops and eateries, a good place to wander during the day hours for some people watching and local-goods shopping. It is likely you will do as we did, wandering downtown area and then head to the Nagoya Hill Mall in search of air-con relief from the steamy heat of the day.
It not all about sun, sand and sea in Batam. There're lots to do on land too. Get the helmet, put yourself in the driving seat, and off you go.
If you do not have a driving licence, fret not! This drive will not require it. Though it's not as fast as normal driving, it still thrills as you feel the full wind on your body and there's nothing between you and the natural surroundings.
Land of a thousand island and a vast array of cultures. Part of the Indonesian culture was on show a short walk from the Golden Prawn Restaurant.
We were treated to show stopping stunts - from peeling coconut with bare teeth, to having a meal of glass and hot coal. Something that would generate a shriek from parents saying, "Please do not try this at home!!!"
After showing us all their stunts, the performers went around to collect a small fee from us. I'd say that this is worth watching.
My colleagues and I talked about having a game or two, but at the end, what we did was just shooting bottles. I guess they wanted to try out the paint-ball guns, but not on bare flesh.
Shooting bottles was not too bad; totally cathartic!
The last time that I've done any target shooting was during my army days. So naturally, I was excited. We were given about 20 shots in all and the most I'd brought down was 7 bottles.
I thought that it would be boring because it was really all about miniature houses and what's more, it was in the middle of the day and the sun was blazing!
The entire park was devoid of people and it seemed that my friends and I were the only giant people in existence in this miniature setting. The was great as we could take our time to visit the different houses and try to squeeze ourselves into them!
It was a 30 minutes ride from the resort to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. First thing I'd wanted to ask was, "Why is it called Nagoya Hill when we'ew not in Japan?" No idea.
But we were there to eat, shop and take no prisoners, not to ask questions!
We took a look at a couple of shops and all in, I bought just one round neck-t for S$12.
Food-wise, there is really alot to choose from - KFC, A&W and even J.Co
The busyness of life sometimes stop you from taking time to smell the roses. It's the same for observing sunset. For all of God's creation, we missed all these lovely scenery until we are forced into having holidays.
All you gotta do is to sit back, take in the view. If you wanna take a picture, simply click and you get the most lovely sunset ever.
Ideally, a good body massage would suffice though I'd really wanted to give my body as much pampering time that I could give.
So I continued my sojourn with a 1-hour foot massage. The cost is totaly reasonable - S$17. The messeurs did not try to break my leg or anything; the foot massage was indeed soothing.
There was one minus point though. The entire world can see that you're having a foot massage as it was glass doors all round.
It was our first day in Batam and the wifey and I had wanted to just relax our tired bodies.
Prior to this, we had done all our last minute packing and by the time we finished packing, it was already 3am. So all in all, we only had about 3 hours of sleep. So the massage came in at the right time.
We had wanted to book a 2-3 hour package but as we did not make prior booking, we could only do 1-hour as the rest of the slots were taken. Collateral damage - S$50 per person. Not too bad I'd say.
Lying on the bed and with the kneading of the muscles, I fell in and out of my sleep. Only really moving when the masseur asked me to turn around. Till now, I can't really recall how it all started and ended.
There are seven Golf Courses in Batam. Batam is touted as a rest and recreation paradise hence there are a number of resorts and golf courses around the island although nearby bintan island has more beach resorts and golf courses than batam Island. Some of the One day tours of Batam offer a photo stop to a golf course in Batam also some fast swimming at a beach resort so be sure to see what is included in the batam day tour package you will buy before paying if you want to have this included (in my recent revisit, it was not included in the day tour package). Most of the Golf courses and Beach resorts are on the Nongsa Area of Batam about a 45 minute drive away from batam center.
again old and new pictures. Althoug nearby Bintan Island Has eclipsed Batam as the Premier Beach and Leisure destination for Singaporeans and Tourists, Batam Still has a fair share of the holidaymakers. The main area of the Beaches and Beach Resorts of Batam are in the Nongsa Area in the northeast of Batam Island and about a 45 minute drive from Batam Center, The area also has a separate Nongsa Ferry Terminal from Singapore for Holiday Makers just wanting tp have rest and recreation and to to beach activities here. Ask your travel agency is the batam day tour package inlcudes this option or not or just browse the Nongsa Website below.
old pictures and new pictures of Pasar Nagoya Area of Batam Island. Pasar Nagoya is the main City of Batam Island and is the largest city of the Riau Province and archipelago of Indonesia. The city is also known as Lubuk Baja and where the main center of activity in Batam where most of the Duty Free Shops and Malls and shopping areas are located and where the assorted Polo Factory Outlet Stores are also located and the Batam City Tour will pass by here specially at the shops where you can buy assorted stuff.
Not all Batam Day Tours offer cultural shows so before booking a Batam City tour from your travel agency or tour agency, be sure to read what is included and since our lates Batam City tour has no cultural show included, I am forced to show my old batam cultural Show Pictures of my last visit in 1999. The cultural shows are located in Batam City or at Pasar Nagoya and features acts such as glass- or fire-eating and cultural dances (the place of the show is Pondok Wisata) and again the fee is incuded in the day tour package.
Part two of my Maha Vihara Duha Maitreya Temple Tips with more pictures.
One of the Largest Chinese Temples of South East Asia and the difference here is that both the Buddhist and Taoist Deities are present side by side since usually the chinese buddhist temples and taoist temples are not located in the same area. The temple is located in Batam City.The Temple is included in any Batam Day tour package from Singapore and the entrance is free, you will see an assortment of Chinese Buddhas and Chinese Buddhist Saints in the complex for assorted Taoist Deities and you can buy religious stuff at the religous stuff in the complex and also try the Vegetarian Restaurant in the Complex (pls see my separate vegetarian restaurant tips in the restaurant section).