Adventures in Indonesia - Batam, Indonesia

Batam Travel Blog

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Batam, Indonesia - Notre premier hôte en Indonesie

So, we’ve finally step foot in Indonesia, though Batam wasn’t exactly the place we wanted to find ourselves at . . .

Had NO intention of finding ourselves stuck on this island, but we really had no choice!!  And what a dump!!  Quite the sudden change from the cleanliness and order of Singapore, for sure!!!

In any case, like I’ve already said, we had no plans of getting stuck here, but due to travel restrictions, we had no choice!!

We left Singapore, as planned, and were pretty pumped about finally getting to Indonesia.  Boy, were we in store for a shocker!  There we were thinking that we’d zoom off from one island and arrive at our place of destination, just like that.

Batam, Indonesia - Hospitality's grand in Indonesia!!

That’s how things work in lovely Singapore, but in Indonesia, things work differently!!

We ended up arriving at Batam, at about 11am, with plenty of time to get our hands on an "Upon Arrival" visa of 7 days.  With that out the way, we hurried up to try to figure out the schedule for the next boat out of Batam, to Sumatra . . . Can’t believe we actually thought we’d be able to sail off to Sumatra that very same day . . . Nope!! 

Unfortunately for us, there’s only one boat per day that goes to Sumatra, and we had already missed it by a few hours!!  We had no chance, really, of making that boat, because it sailed off at 8am!!!  That’s the time we had arrived at Singapore’s Marina!!!  Go figure!

So, there we were, stuck in Batam, with nothing else to do, but fiddle our thumbs!! 

First things first, though .

Batam, Indonesia - Le seul blanc . . . encore!!
. . fill our bellies!  So, we set out straight for a local food stall on the street.  And as soon as we step foot outside the port, there were loads of men asking us where we were going.  "Need a taxi?", "Need a hotel?", "Need a taxi?" . . .  I think those were the only phrases they knew, because as soon as we started speaking to them, they had no clue as to how to reply!

It’s a good thing we remembered some of the Malay, we’d picked up in Malaysia; and lucky for us, Indonesian and Malaysian are somewhat similar!!  So, we got by ok with our broken Malay, and managed to make them understand that all we wanted to do was eat!!!  "Makan, makan!!!"

And after getting ourselves fed, we were ready for a very long day of waiting!!  What fun!  So, being that we had no intention of staying at a hotel, Arnaud got straight to work and found us a place to sleep, just like that! 

Quite impressive, I must say!  He left and minutes after, he tells me, "Let’s go!"  We ended up staying right up the street from the port, the perfect location, really.

Pekanbura, Indonesia - Having an Indonesian feast with our first hitchhiking experience in Indonesia
 And though, communication was quite the problem, we got by and managed to spend an ok evening.

Our hosts insisted that we sleep in their home, as opposed to setting up our tent, so why hesitate!!??  We took them up on their offer, but eventually found ourselves back in our tent, in their very living room!!

The mosquitoes are mean suckers here, and were eating us up alive!!  We couldn’t take it any longer, so we just had to put up the tent.  Fortunately, the living room was just big enough for it though!!  Our hosts must’ve thought we were strange, the next morning when they noticed we had set up the tent in their home!!  Anyway, after that, we slept much better, so oh well!!

And despite our short stay in Batam, I must say a BIG thank you to the young woman, who was so generous to us.  For our first day in Indonesia, the hospitality we received was grand!!  This woman prepared us a delicious meal, and even made us a filling breakfast the following day, already ready for us before leaving.  Just what we needed before setting off on a long journey in a boat!!!

YUM!!  Nothing better than a spicy Indonesian meal to fill your belly!!  And off we went for Pekunbaru in Sumatra!!

Nos premiers pas en Indonésie ont été plutôt un choc par rapport à Singapour. Un bordel dans ce pays, les gens qui crient, qui courent dans tous les sens, qui parlent tout sauf l’anglais...

Il a fallu tout d’abord prendre le bateau pour aller sur cette ile de Batam. C’est ici que l’on peut faire le visa, on décida qu’une semaine était suffisante pour visiter l’ile de Sumatra. On saura par la suite que ce ne fut pas une très bonne idée !!

En sortant du bureau d’immigration, notre but était de trouver un autre bateau pour aller sur Sumatra. Malheureusement on apprit qu’il n’y avait qu’un seul bateau et que c’était le lendemain. Vu qu’il était 11h du mat, on avait donc toute la journée et toute la nuit à attendre ce fameux bateau !!

En sortant du port les taxis commencent à nous agresser : « je vous amène où ? » et « vous venez d’où ? », « je connais un hôtel pas cher ! » Allez après leur expliquer que vous dormez dans une tente et que vous recherchez un quartier avec des maisons pour la planter dans le jardin.

Je décidai de laisser les sacs dans ce petit restaurant et commençai la recherche d’un petit jardin. L’attente ne fut pas trop longue pour Juanny. Il y avait une seule maison derrière le restaurant et ce fut la bonne. Après avoir fait quelques dessins basics, le mec accepta ma proposition de mettre ma tente sous son préau pour la nuit.

Il vivait avec son frère et une famille aussi qui était de l’autre coté de la maison. La maison était partagée en deux parties. Tout le monde fut extrêmement gentil et généreux avec nous.

Anislaila says:
I went to the island with my cousins and our hotel Batam( was close to the beach and the view was stunning especially during sunrise and sunset.
Posted on: Jun 21, 2010
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photo by: planisphere