Indonesia in a Day

Batam Island - view from the ferry

I was with two of my girlfriends on a trip to Singapore. It was a only four-day trip but we want to do a side trip visit. We were choosing between a town in Malaysia or a town in Indonesia. Eventually, we chose Batam, Indonesia. We also thought of Bintan but we can still have a spa and wellness trip there next time. We opted for Batam since we want a more culture-type of trip. We consider this as an adventure trip since none of us have gone to Indonesia and Batam is less popular than Bali and its capital Jakarta. So we just relied on brochures and the internet to plan a spontaneous day trip. We arrived at Harborfront Singapore at around 7:30am (yep. that early!) to catch the earliest Penguin ferry to Batam. Armed with our instincts and courage, off we go. Penguin ferry cabins are clean and decent. We traveled for a about an hour to the Island of Batam. We are a bit of worried with the hassle of passing through immigration (just like any port to port transit)  but process was quick. Upon arrival at the Batam port, we decided to rent a cab for the rest of the day. Luckily, the cab driver was nice and suggested places for us to visit. First stop is at Maha Vihara Duta Maitraya, a buddhist temple. A place where you can learn more of the Buddhist culture. It was also a Sunday so we were hoping that we could also visit a Catholic church. To our pleasant surprise, the cab driver is a Roman Catholic. We were amazed at how diversed the people in the small island of Batam is. From a Buddhist temple to a Catholic church. After visiting Santo Damian Church, we decided to visit another Buddhist temple with the Golden Buddha - the Thao Puak Temple.
Santo Damian Church

 To cap off our Batam tour, we visited the Mini-Indonesian Village which reminded us of our own Nayong Pilipino. The village fetaured the different types of villages and houses of Indonesia, based on the different cultures and in its history.  Our culture road trip and stopovers even reminded us of the Indonesian character in "Eat, Pray, Love" - Ketut. :D  We finished the tour in around 3pm. We just waited for the schedule of our ferry ride back to Singapore, in a mall near the port. We also went pasalubong shopping and ate our ate lunch while killing time. And yes, we survived our Batam adventure.

Maha Vihara Duta Maitraya

Travel Thoughts:

Penguin Ferry

- Penguin Ferry Round Trip Ride costs around 2,000 in PHP or 60 SGD (exchange rate 1 PHP is to 33 SGD)
- Earliest trip to Batam is around 8am. Take this schedule if you want to maximize a day tour to the island. Be at the Harborfront 30 mins before, if the tour is taken from Singapore.
Thao Puak

- Batam is a place to learn other cultures. Keep an open mind and always Respect the various cultures you will discover
Mini Indonesian Village

- If one prefers to rent a cab, we paid about 3000 php for the entire day which is about 91 SGD.



eth said...

I remember this trip..! It's like amazing race-feeling-1-day-tour with no tourist guide whatsoever help but we actually had fun..! I haven't realize it had cost us that much but it was definitely worth it and it is cheaper than booking a tour w/ a travel agency.(Well just make sure your cab driver knows how to speak English.) All in all, I enjoyed visiting a small part of Indonesia and learned a lot from it.- d gal in green dress;)

Anonymous said...

I had so much fun, this is a trip worth remembering! :) Good job with this blog dear 2 thumbs up! :)- Faithy

princesalakwacha said...

Eth: Thank you Ethel! aka the Gal in Green Dress hehe! wow, and you added some tips too ah! love it! :)

Faithy: thank you! we should do this again, so that i can also blog more :)

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