The island of Batam, Indonesia can be visited via a short ferry ride away from Singapore and remains a popular destination for Singaporeans for a weekend getaway. Batam, a tropical island located in the Riau Archipelago, offers attractions such as beaches, natural landscapes and a fascinating mix of Malay, Chinese and Indonesian cultures. Our guide to Batam highlights the sights and attractions, with tips on transportation, accommodations and more.
Traveling from Singapore to Batam via ferry (45 – 60 mins) is a convenient and popular option for crossing the waters between these two destinations. Several ferry operators provide services between Singapore and Batam such as BatamFast, Sindo Ferry, Majestic Fast Ferry and Horizon Fast Ferry. Most ferry services operate from two main departure points in Singapore: Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and HarbourFront Centre. Travellers should consider the location that is most convenient, taking into account factors like proximity to accommodation and transportation options. We travelled to the Sekupang Ferry Terminal in Batam from Harbourfront terminal in Singapore.
We used Gojek, the indonesian equivalent of Uber, to get around in Batam. For tourists preferring to avoid the hassle of ride-hailing or taxis, they can consider getting a private car with driver for travels in Batam. Our accommodation in Batam was Da Vienna Boutique Hotel Batam (about SGD 50 for a base room) which was merely passable as the rooms were dated though the buffet breakfast spread was good. The weather was unbearably hot and humid at times, not unlike our Bali trip – therefore, travellers should dress light.
Attractions and Places to Visit
1. Batam Miniature House
Batam Miniature House is a popular tourist attraction located in Batam. It is a charming miniature village that replicates the traditional Indonesian architecture and showcases the cultural diversity of the country. The miniature houses in Batam Miniature House are meticulously crafted and scaled-down versions of different architectural styles found across Indonesia. Each house represents a specific region or ethnic group, capturing the unique characteristics and features of their traditional dwellings. Visitors can explore the miniature village and get a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia.
2. Wey Wey Seafood Restaurant
Wey Wey Restaurant is a seafood restaurant in Batam which is very popular with tourists looking to experience seaside dining. Beware though, as sitting at a table next to the seaside can be an issue as the area reeks!
3. Pasar Penuin Market
Pasar Penuin is a bustling (and very rustic!) traditional market. It is one of the largest and most popular markets on the island, offering a wide array of goods and attracting both locals and tourists alike. One of the highlights of Pasar Penuin is its extensive selection of fresh produce. Apart from fresh produce, Pasar Penuin is also known for its clothing and textiles section. Here, you’ll find a wide range of traditional Indonesian fabrics, batik prints, sarongs and clothing items. The market is ideal for those seeking traditional Indonesian textiles and souvenirs.
4. Nagoya Hill Mall & Surrounding Areas
Nagoya Hill Mall is a prominent shopping destination located in the city of Nagoya, Batam, Indonesia. The mall features a modern and spacious design, housing a wide range of retail outlets, entertainment options, dining establishments and other amenities. It is a multi-level complex, offering a diverse shopping experience for visitors. Along the streets surrounding the mall, there are a vibrant mix of shops, hotels, restaurants, cafes and local businesses. There are numerous street food stalls and local eateries where you can sample authentic Indonesian cuisine or grab a quick bite. Many of these establishments cater to both locals and tourists, offering a wide variety of dishes to suit different tastes.
5. Cheng Ho Mosque
Masjid Cheng Hoo, also known as Cheng Ho Mosque or Masjid Cheng Ho, is a unique and culturally significant mosque located in Batam. Named after the renowned Chinese Muslim admiral Cheng Ho (also spelled Zheng He), the mosque stands as a symbol of the historical and cultural ties between China and the Muslim world. The architecture of Masjid Cheng Hoo is inspired by traditional Chinese and Islamic design elements, creating a distinct and visually striking red appearance. The mosque features a blend of Chinese pagoda-style roofs, vibrant colors and Islamic motifs, resulting in a fusion of cultural influences.
6. Golden Prawn 933 Restaurant
Similar to Wey Wey Restaurant, Golden Prawn 933 is a well-known seafood restaurant located in Batam which is popular with locals and tourists. It is built on a kelong, an offshore platform constructed mainly with wood. The restaurant is situated in a spacious and inviting setting, offering both indoor and outdoor seating options. Popular seafood dishes include cereal prawns, black pepper and chili crabs.
7. Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple
The Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia and serves as a spiritual and cultural center for the local Buddhist community. The temple’s architecture is inspired by Chinese Buddhist traditions and showcases a grand and ornate design. The entrance is adorned with colorful Chinese-style gates and intricate decorations.
8. Mega Mall / Batam Center Point
Batam Center Point is a commercial and recreational complex situated in the heart of Batam. It serves as a central hub for various activities, including shopping, dining and entertainment. The complex features a mix of retail outlets, ranging from local boutiques to international brands. Visitors can explore a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, electronics and household items. Mega Mall Batam Center is a large shopping mall located adjacent to Batam Center Point. It is a popular destination for shoppers seeking a comprehensive retail experience. Mega Mall offers a vast selection of stores, ranging from fashion and beauty to electronics, home decor and more. Be sure to dine at Ayam Penyet Ria – a nice restaurant with a nice view serving local ayam penyet dishes.