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Monday, June 4, 2012

Taking the Pacific Ferry to Batam

In February this year, the boy had to go to Batam and I tagged along since I didn't want to be the only Singaporean to not have been there. Okay, I exaggerate, but where else can you go for a day trip in this getting to be oh-so-boring country.

Knowing that this is the only time I'll probably ever be going there, I decided to catch the ferry at 8:20am. The ticket costs $40+ per person and can be bought from the counters on level 3, Habourfront Centre. As there was ample time before boarding, we decided to pop into Hans for a breakfast of cheese omelette and butter toast. Sad to say, that was probably the highlight of the trip.

Pacific Ferry to Batam

On the way to board the ferry to Sekupang.

Pacific Ferry to Batam

We chose to sit on the lower deck instead of the upper one.

Pacific Ferry to Batam

In just 45 minutes, we reached Sekupang Ferry Terminal.
Batam Sekupang Ferry Terminal

I didn't like Batam. It's kind of similar to the outskirts of Malaysia. Reminds me a little of Bali too. There are no upmarket malls and even the newer malls were not fully tenanted, making the place seem somewhat like a ghost town. I never thought to bring a mosquito repellant, and suffered at least six bites on my legs, causing me to worry about contacting malaria (as opposed to the less serious dengue) upon my return to Singapore.

We were in a rather big group and a lady who had been working in Batam for years suggested this place below for lunch. It is built over the sea and you definitely need some form of transport to get there. The food was pretty good and moderately priced, though in a place like this, you'd definitely see a couple of flies buzzing around the tables.

Packets of homemade crackers as an appetizer.

Spicy otak.

The fried calamari was bleh.

Spicy squid rings.

Stir fried green vegetables.

Beansprouts with salted fish and red chillies.

I was glad I did not have to spend an hour halving this plate of sambal petai!

A huge fish fried and covered in sweet and sour sauce.

Nothing you couldn't get in Singapore.

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