Thursday, 29 December 2011

Batam 1 day tour

It has been more than a decade since I last went to Batam with my family.  This time, with Groupons' promotion, I secured 3 Batam day tour vouchers and went with my parents.

Here are our ferry boarding passes and departure/arrival cards.


It's time for our ferry on Falcon 5!


I was pleasantly surprised on arrival at this clean and well-maintained covered walkway, as my impression of the quay back then was without shelter.


These roadside stalls are nostalgia...but we were told by our tour guide Harry Porter(that's a humorous introduction of himself) not to eat just anything as our immunity might not be as strong as the locals. 


Harry also told us it is best to spend all Indonesia Rupiah before we go back, as Rupiah will expire when there is a change of government.  He has also shown us a few dollar notes, which are still in use and those that has expired.


We stopped by at a local products store, trust me, it can be really hard to decide what to buy!  We had lots of sampling and have to choose by elimination method before we finally purchased fish crackers, jackfruit and banana chips and coconut biscuits...


We were then showed to a home-made kueh lapis (buttered layered cake) bakery, to do more sampling, and decide if we would like to place orders.


Here we goes for our Seafood lunch, at Golden Prawn 933, Batam.



Our lunch consist of white rice, fishball soup, stir-fried vegetables, prawns, chilli crabs, deep-fried fish, deep-fried squids & steamed gong gong (edible sea snail/conch/whelk).  Before our lunch starts, a man came promoting bird's nest at SG$15/bowl, which was the promotional price that time.  My dad ordered bird's nest double-boiled with red dates, while my mum and I opted for American Ginseng instead.


So much bird's nest that it can be picked up with a fork...


A view of the Kelong (offshore platform built predominantly with wood).


Here's the bird's nest store...


An authentic Polo Ralph Lauren store was spotted nearby, so I checked out for bargains... The sales lady reassured me that these are not imitations.


I randomly checked out the prices of a few polo tees, the prices are around SG $100+ or $89.90, half or 1/3 of Singapore's retail stores.  However, I did not got any...


This store is just next the Golden Prawn 933.


After lunch, we stopped by to take a look at the Miniature Indonesia houses for a quick 10 mins browsing, surprising, not many people wanted to alight to take a look, only a lady, my mum and I went down.


I literately ran like crazy to take all the pictures of the houses, because, other than I wanted to see all the houses in this 10 mins, my mum also complained about the hot sun, which was around 32-33dc that time.

























Then, we visited the Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle) Temple.  Usually, people ask for 4D (lottery) numbers in this temple.




Besides Tua Pek Kong altar, there is also a Lord Buddha Sakyamuni altar.


I saw this interesting sight of children playing on the wooden pulley.  In Indonesia, never touch a child on his/her head, as there is a belief that it will make them stupid.


There is also a Confucius Temple next to Tua Pek Kong Temple but we did not enter.


A Cheng Ho (Zheng He) ship.


Does anyone feel that this statue of the wealth-toad (a fengshui ornament) with a crown feels like a Frog Prince?


We then reached 1st Factory Outlet.  According to Harry, this shop sells rejected branded goods and that a Burberry polo-tee cost as little as $20!  As we were buying a packet of honey-coated chilli belinjo at the roadside snacks stall (in the picture below), we were prospected by a honey-seller, who carried a bucket of honey-comb and separated the honey into a glass bottle right before our eyes, too bad I did not get a photo of him. He was also selling a bottle of white substance which he mentioned it was royal jelly. He initially quoted $15 per bottle of honey, when my family and I don't seems too keen and about to leave, he immediately lower the price to $10 and we bought.


I simply love these roadside stalls, as we do not see them anywhere in Singapore anymore.  As we were leaving, my mum noticed the stalls packing up and scurrying away, probably the policemen were catching illegal hawkers? 


At 1st Factory Outlet, I was so tempted to shop for Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry for my boyfriend, however, I did not bring enough money, thinking that there is nothing much to shop for in Batam.


A Burberry polo-tee cost around SG $27.90 only!


Then, we proceed to the last stop of the day.  60-mins authentic Indonesia full-body massage, as there are many people, we were split into 2 time-slots, 3pm and 4pm.  We belong to the 2nd slot, so we went to the JC Supermarket at the opposite side of the road for more shopping.


Harry told us that, at this massage parlour, only the masseur can touch you, you cannot touch her, they offer only Halal traditional massage, which means, they do not provide sex services.  I would love to have the massage, but was shy at the idea of striping, my mum was not comfortable about that initially too, but after some persuasion, she decided to go for the massage as well. My dad waited for us downstairs. After the massage, you are suppose to tip the masseur SG $2.  Harry mentioned that if you planned to tip them Rupiah 1-2k which is equivalent to SG $0.10-0.20, it is very insulting, rather not tip then giving tips in cents.


This is the parlour.


Home sweet home, on the ferry back to Singapore, due to heavy rain and stormy weather, the ferry jerked furiously that we felt seasick, luckily, it lasted only about 15 mins of the journey.