Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Batam 2012

I was really lazy to blog about this and it was a TWO months ago trip.
But since it's my first trip to Batam and with my mum I thought I should blog about it.

25 May 2012, Saturday
This is a trip which my mum asked me along with all aunties and uncles.. so not looking forward to it.
It's on a weekend trip and I got nothing on plus never go before so just accompanied my mum. It was a trip organized by Bishan Community Centre. 
I can't really rmb the exact meeting time. It was really early and we had to meet at Bishan CC and a bus  fetched all of us to the ferry terminal.

Is the scene below normal on a Saturday? The crowd was crazy, so many people!

The ferry we took was quite a new one hence explaining the super cold air con!

Very short journey of only 45 mins and we reached at BATAM!

My kind brother lent me his S95 because I'm too lazy to bring my DSLR for this short trip.
But I still love the photos taken using DSLR soooo much more as compare to a compact camera!

The bus which we took throughout this 2D1N trip.

First stop was visiting a temple.

Interesting thing the tour guide told us to do: Go through the coin, don't look back and leave the temple.

Time for lunch
Had traditional Indonesian meal.

How to make this?!

There were fried chicken, corn tofu, egg, fish...
The meal was not to my liking as well as my mum. Probably we are not used to it.

The drink which I liked the best!

Sticky rice in pandan leaf.

Tada! Here's my mum after the meal! :)

After the meal, the bus went around different places and the tour guide explained the culture, living standard and introduced places to us.

We stopped by this "Yong Heng Food..." to get some of their local specialties.
I bought some really nice fish crackers home. In fact, almost everyone bought that and the bus ended up smelling super awful with all the fishy smell!

Followed after was to a place which sells SUPER YUMMY kuey lapis.
We sampled the different flavours kuey lapis and ordered through the tour guide.
We decided on the Cheese and Original flavour! Each cost $25 for a kg.
The kuey lapis were delivered to us FRESHLY BAKED and I felt the heat from the box!
No brand stated on the box and a real pity that I don't know where it is located as we were brought there by the tour guide.

Near to the kuey lapis area was a performance ground for the local.
Of cos, after watching the performance we had to give tips.
Quite a few interesting ones which I only saw on TV but not real life. Check it out below! :)

The first one was just some boring dance...

Followed by biting the skin of a coconut!

I got no idea how can he do that... Coconut skin not soft right?!

And he tore the whole coconut skin using his teeth! POWERFUL teeth he got!

Next up was swallowing fire!!!
Ok, wait... holding or picking up the fire is crazy enough. Putting it in mouth?! Did he had a mini fire extinguisher in his mouth?! How come his mouth so powerful one?

Another man came up to perform EATING GLASS!
He even went to one of the lady and asked her to feed him with the glass!!! O.O

Lastly was to jump through the fire ring.
Not that amazed by this. I believe if you jump through quick enough you won't get burn but of course still can feel the heat.

Golden Prawn should be a quite a popular or well known place to everyone.
I always see this place on Deal/Groupon website for Batam deals! Hahaha :)
I think that place offers seafood or smth like "zi char"...

My mum and I had bird's nest! $15 / bowl.
Not sure if it's considered cheap but since we were there might as well have it plus we don't even drink it when in Singapore! Haha :)

My mum and I were having a hard time with their currency! 
Oh gosh..! Why are the note all sooo BIG?! Minimum note is $5000?! 
We were using a calculator all the time to convert the currency.

Bird's Nest with Longan! :)

Right beside was a bird nest shop selling kind of bird's nest...

Finally, FREE and EASY time at Mega Mall!
Nothing much to shop but Wacoal is selling really cheap over there!!!
We had a little extra time before the meet up time, I suggested to rest at A&W!

Standard order: Root beer float with curly fries! :)
The curly fries is sooo exp! Selling close to $3 for such a small portion but the drink was huge and cheap!

After a long day traveling almost everywhere, we can finally check in to the hotel!
I don't even know which hotel I'm staying before coming. In fact I don't even know it was a Batam tour trip because my mum don't know anything too and she just followed her friend.
I'm soooo happy it was Harris Hotel that I stayed. It's a really new and nice hotel! :)
Haris Hotel is really near to the Batam ferry terminal. Maybe just 10 mins walk and another 5 mins walk to Mega Mall. Will recommend anyone of you to stay at Harris Hotel!

The hotel staff danced when we arrived at the hotel.. hmmm.. okay...

When I see this, I'm so excited for the breakfast next day! 
Tables nicely laid and right behind the dining area is the swimming pool!

OK, crowded. Everyone rushing to go up to their room and there were only 2 SLOW working lifts!

TADA! Our comfy room!
I love the small bolster! So far I've not been to any hotel which provide bolster and the size of it is exactly the same as what I'm using at home! Hehehe! :)

There are music channel, Channel 8 and etc...

A very simple toilet and love it because it comes with a built in hair dryer!
You don't even have to request for one from the recep.

Norm shower area, a little squeezy thou.

The usual complimentary coffee, tea and mineral water can be found in the room too!

The view right down from our room! Swimming pool! :)))

Right in front of our eyes is the sea; the place where the ferries arrived. Now you can tell how near the hotel is to the terminal! :)

View from the lift area.

SEE! Mega Mall is just diagonally from the hotel! Really walking distance to reach the mall!
Super convenient! 

After about an hour half of rest in the room, we headed out to Batam Miniature House before going for dinner.

Not the most interesting and some people didn't even get out of the bus to see these.
I thought I should check out everything since it's my first time there.
What I got after touring the place was a few mosquito bites! DAMN!

Anyway so the whole place were filled with different kind of miniature houses.

Some random "animals" found...

I'm not expecting awesome food after having that not awesome lunch.
The dinner was more like cathering or buffet style serving very normal chinese food!
The dinner were served on a "ship/boat/ferry"?! There was a term the tour guide mentioned, smth like 
郑和下西洋.. I think not my era to understand it.

There were 3 levels and had different performance for each level.
First level was some ahqua singing oldies and telling jokes in dialect.
Second level was KTV area. Of course, the people singing are those aunties and uncles.
It was a boring night for me! I couldn't fully understand dialect. I don't listen to oldies.
The third level was just open seatings for those who are not interested in both activities.
BUT... the outdoor was filled with mosquito! Hais.. terrible night.
The performance and everything went on for nearly 3 hours...

Dinner I had! 

The hotel lobby which is also the place that served breakfast was filled with people! OMG!

The varieties were quite alright. Bread, jams, butter, danish and cakes..

Cereals with milk...

Plain water, orange, guava, coffee, tea.. and the missing one was in the photo was milk.

Soup and porridge were available too. 

There were noodles, baked bean, potato and other dishes too...
And on the left of the photo is my favourite egg and waffle counter!!!
They cooked the kind of egg you request and made waffle drizzled with chocolate sauce!!!

After breakfast, we headed to another temple.

And nearby the temple was this area selling kuey...

My mum and I bought this kuey. We tried one and ordered from the tour guide but sadly it was never delivered to us. I think the tour guide forgot about it and we even paid for it.
Luckily it was just $1/2.. And we only rmb when we were in the ferry on our way back to Singapore.

The different kind of kuey selling there... We bought one of it and tasted quite yummy too! :)

After this, 3/4 of the people in our bus went for massage.
The remaining quarter went shopping at another mall! My mum and I decided to skip the massage since we were not super tired and the massage was not super cheap.

Went to walk around in their supermarket and spot a small tub of Wall's ice cream!
I think it's around 1/3 of the normal size! 

Crepes!!! :)

My mum and I had a hard time understanding what these guys are trying to tell us...

Lunch at Pacific Palace Hotel before leaving Batam.
The hotel exterior looks like a ship! Ok, I took quite a lousy picture here...

The waiter and waitress dressed in sailor outfit.
Food still not yummy but decent.

Last stop to view 观音.
This statue is HUGE!!! And it's facing Singapore and I can see MBS from there.
Spot my mum in the picture and you can imagine how big the statue is.

It was said that if you manage to throw a coin and it lands on the foot of 观音, you will be blessed or your wish will come true. I never have this kind of luck... hahaha :)

So finally time to go back Singapore! Bye Batam!!! :)

That's all for my first Batam trip.
More pictures will be upload on Facebook. Check it out there!
There are quite a few events worth blogging but have yet to gotten all photos and still need to sort it out. Trying to post asap. Look out this space again! :)

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