Batam Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
This was our most ambitious family trip ever...4 generations to an Indonesian island 45 minutes away from Singapore. Now getting schedules for 15 working adults, 2 school going kids & a 2 year old was not easy. My poor sister is a housewife, yet she was like a travel agent for 2 weeks..LOL!..I felt for her being a former travel agent, especially when your passengers are not sure whether they were coming or going....:)-
Anyway, it was a success, after loads of work from my sister. We came in batches due to work & school over 2 days at different timings on the ferries that ply the waters between the 2 countries. Many ferries leave several times a day, either from Tanah Merah ferry terminal or Harbourfront. The hotel, Batam View Resort really did have the best view in Batam but was too far away from everything else.
We had the traditional Padang food for lunch, plates full of food were piled up at the table, a variety to choose from. Dinner the first night was at a kelong( a stilted restaurant out at sea), location was good but food was not. It was very mediorce fare. The following day we had the best meal ever on the trip, it was a Sundanese restaurant. They served rice mixed with glutinous rice, along with local fresh veg like a salad with a fantastic chicken cooked slow.
Shopping in Batam would consist of fake goods, from wallets to DVDs...LOL!...local prawn, fish & veg crackers that you'll need to deep fry, delicious as an accompaniment with any meal. Being an island with no particular resource they import things from other parts of Indonesia. Hotels tend to charge in Singapore dollars as it's close & plenty of us come to Batam. That means not such great value for money, it's still cheaper than Singapore but your money would go a longer way in Bali or Jakarta. Many Singapore based companies do incentive or team building trips for the weekend. Our hotel were overun by fellow Singaporeans...so much for getting away from oursleves.
Now the problem with such a big group travel is the logistics....the hotel had us all one on floor with rooms in a row, all with sea view. But the Singapore agent got a little confused with all the different arrival times :)- so at 10.30 at night after coming back from dinner, we had to figure out why one of us was without a bed....if I was in a neighbouring room I'd file a complaint...LOL!!! It was noisy! We were of course the ones making all the noise....finally we sorted it all out...sigh......not to mention waiting for one another to turn up......it's almost as if their watches didn't work..LOL!
Anyway on the last day we had a small lunch and celebrated my brother's 48th birthday.
The sea was choppy on the way back, when we were finally docking at the terminal, the line broke! The ferry had to make it's way to another berthing area & finally it was tied to the dock. But as the waters were rough, the ferry kept lurching, it was not easy to disembark as it was rocking so badly. We got off safe & sound albeit a little dizzy from the crazy lurches. The little one declared that he was going to take the bus to Batam next time instead of the ferrry...LOL!
It was a good trip for me, nevermind the not so perfect weather & minor dramas...I was happy that we have managed in our busy schedules to fit some good family time together...wonder when we'll be able to do it again....