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Batam advice please!

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Discoverygirl
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Batam advice please!

Postby Discoverygirl » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 9:12 am

Hi

We are looking to go to Batam for the first time at the end of Arpil, our first choice was Bintan but it is fully booked.

we will be taking our 3 year daughter and my parents. Have had quotes for the Harris Resort and Holiday Inn which are very reasonable! Has anyone been and what is their experience.

Would really like a beach but can't find any photos of the Harris Resort beach and understand the Holiday Inn is not on the beach!

Help please!

Thanks

Jeppo
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Postby Jeppo » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:07 am

If you want a beach, you'd be better off going to the nongsa point area on the other side of the island.

http://www.nongsaresorts.com/

Harris/Holiday Inn isn't as nice, plus they have also had problems with dengue in that area.

Whilst you're there, have dinner at Batu Besar (can't think of the restaurant name now, but everyone knows it). It's over the water and very nice at dusk.

Also, take a trip down Barelang for a nice drive and have a look at the refugee camp there if you want a bit of history. It helps if you can speak Indonesian as there are a few staff there that were there when the camp was open and have a lot of stories about that time.

On the opposite side of Galang (from the refugee camp) is a popular place with Indonesians to go on sundays and you can mingle and swim with the locals if you're that way inclined.

one843
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Postby one843 » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:20 pm

The only beach on BATAM is Nongsa. Harris has a beach but not the typical swimming beach. More like just a bit of sand.

We(the faliy) have been to Batam several times. Always take visitng falmily for free and easy weekend.

We alsways stay at Holiday Inn. THey have a nice pool that the kids LOVE. On the weekends there are alot of kids there playing in the pool having a blast.

They also have a great Indonesian Buffet on Sat nights.

SOme tips for you.

Book you mini holiday threw a travel agent here. You can get a package that includes Ferry ride. It will be alot cheaper that paying everything seperate. Book a suite, has 2 rooms and a living room. The wife and I stay in one room the visting family in the other and the kids on the couch and extra bed.

Visit the refugee camp. It is a must if you like history.

Go to DC Mall. Cheap clothes, DVDs, this and that.

When travelling hire a car by the day. If you deal down it should only cost 60 - 70 dollars.

The refugee camp will be all day. 5-6 hours

Be clear of Taxi drivers trying to rip you off. Almost happened to us last trip. Do not hire taxis from anywhere but hotel or Ferry Terminals. They police themselves this way.

When returning do not show up to the Ferry Terminal 1 hour early. We did that and almost missed the boat back for the day.
We showed up an hour ealry for the 5 oclock, it was full. We got the last seats for the last ferry out. Even then did not get back till 1 am.
Book EARLY.

If up for beer drinking it is much much cheaper in town. Leave the kids with the parents and go to NED. Mostly sleezy but a few not so bad bars.

Holiday Inn and Harris are bout 30 - 45 minutes away from anything.
"If you fear change, you fear success"

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:49 pm

Hey one843,

I didn't know they had P. Galang open to the public now. (the Vietnamese refugee camp). That camp brings back lots of memories for me. I spent 3 years working for UNHCR/JVA resettling Vietnamese refugees 2 weeks every month from 1988-1991 when the program was taken over by the local authorities. We always took a ferry from Clifford Pier to Bintan, spent the night there and the UNHCR speedboat would pick us up in the morning for the run to P. Galang. We actually lived in the refugee camp with the refugees for 2 weeks at a time. I've also spent time in P. Bidong in Malaysia and the Refugee processing center in Palawan in the Philippines.

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Postby Jeppo » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:57 pm

The camp in Galang has been open for at least 9 years (when I first went there). Go there any Sunday and you'll be surrounded by factory workers from Batam, and if you're a youngish white guy will be asked by numbers of girls for photos with them (made me feel like a movie star :cool: ). BIDA has also (unfortunately) renovated the place, so if you go now you won't recognise a lot of what was there, especially the temple on top of the hill.

kendo6
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Postby kendo6 » Fri, 11 Apr 2008 11:07 pm

I personally think Bintan is still a better place to go if you want the beach.

They have got quite a few seaside resorts, like Nirwana, Mayang Sari which are not too expensive.

Alternative you could also go to a more local bintan resort like the Agro Beach http://www.agrobeach.com/main.htm I've been there and it's quite basic, but functional

hope this helps.

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Re: Batam advice please!

Postby ronecross » Tue, 15 Apr 2008 1:07 pm

I am an Australian expat that has just returned from 3 good weeks working in Batam and staying at the Harris resort, and eating and drinking socially and a night spent sleeping at the Holiday Inn.
The Harris is WELL suited for families and children and entertainment, in clean safe environs, is there for a family or newly weds to enjoy.
The beach...?? No, there is no beach and it is more of a mangrove mud bay with the usual Indonesian attention to discarding of rubbish. It isn't that bad at all, having said that. If only they realised that there is potential for eco tourism if they kept it cleaner. You would only swim in the excellent facilities at either the Harris or Holiday Inn.
I have eaten every day at the nearby Delima restaurant at Waterfront - located to one side of the ferry terminal and the other side of the Harris.
The Holiday Inn is opulence, for sure. Both are entirely safe in ALL regards but the Harris probably has less of a 'lock yourself away behind closed walls' ambience.
The Holiday Inn is the superior of the two, and a quiet but immaculate time can be had for a mother and family, or honeymooners.
The Harris has the same but less hooty tootie posh, but still (i consider), 5 star in respect to service, rooms and facilities.
The drive to town is 100,000 Rupiah, $14 Sing. There isn't a lot to do for families, but there are good restaurants in known hotels.
I hope that this helps.
Oh, Dengue? Singapore, has dengue, Australia has dengue. I haven't been sick once since i have been there (food poisoning) but i kept the dining down to the superb Delima and the hotels. If you want Honololulu you know where to go. If you an alternate culture and luxury that is unaffordable in Singapore go ahead and enjoy yourself.
Behind every cloud there's a silver lining....

Discoverygirl
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Postby Discoverygirl » Tue, 15 Apr 2008 4:21 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies, I think if we want to get away during the public holiday it is going to be Batam so it was nice to hear the last positive reply!

Thanks

Jeppo
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Postby Jeppo » Tue, 15 Apr 2008 5:03 pm

Okay, let's have a look at this.

rone apparently spent 3 weeks in Batam...I lived there for 6 years.

OP said she "would really like a beach", so the fact that you call it a mangrove mud bay probably doesn't meet their needs. Nongsa at least has something of a beach (obviously not Hawaii, but still some sand on the water) and it tends to be kept cleaner.

Delima might have nice food but I hope that wasn't all that you tried with so much good food in Batam. Did you try Sari Ecco? I always got my sate padang and murtabak telur. Or what about nasi padang? It's much better than the crap they have here in Singapore.

If you paid 100,000 to get to Nagoya/Batam Centre then you paid too much, the going rate shouldn't have been more than about 50,000.

Yes, other places have dengue, but the Harris area is well known to be a hotspot for it. As far as other disease, don't get to comfortable just because it's a fancy/nice place. Over the 6 years I was there I got severely sick once from Pizza Hut (yes I know it serves me right) and the other time with dysentry from a five star restaurant. Ironically I ate street food all the time and never had any problems.

ronecross
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Ron - Batam

Postby ronecross » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 1:00 pm

Ron only passed an opinion to the merit of Batam as a family holiday destination and i think that i addressed the direct question.
As for Murtabak and Martabak etc, yes, i have lived in Balikpapan for the last 3 years and have spent almost a year in Batam.
Fair points you made, but the only stretch of sand on the residential part of the island is Turi beach.... mmm, not that flash, eh? I am not an expert on the island by any means.
I got Giardia in Balikpapan and it took 7 months, 3 full R 'n Rs before i could even look ata beer. I don't go near much food over there. The Delima served very good food that got my interest in eating Indonesian back again.
My comments remain valid. Your opinions welcomed mate.
Chau chico
Behind every cloud there's a silver lining....

ronecross
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Postby ronecross » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 4:56 pm

I am still going Jeppo.... ha, ha.
I know the going rate to Nagoya is 50,000 Rupiah.
I give them a 100,000 because of the distance, wear and tear on the car, fuel costs and they are poor blighters struggling to survive and feed a family.
Anzac day.
Anybody know of anything happening in Batam for Anzac day?
Cheers.
Behind every cloud there's a silver lining....

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chixchix
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Postby chixchix » Sat, 24 May 2008 2:59 pm

any good place for shopping ??


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