lee n i were 1st timer to Batam. what attracted him wasn't the Woman, Massage or Branded Goods. a $300 pair of spects he made in a famous spects shop in sg spoilt in less than 1/2 a yr! no replacement or repair by that shop! same when he approached other shops even in Bangkok would cost him a bomb! his fr Lau, a bachelor in his 40s n a regular to Batam made for lee a new pair over there for less than $50! lau told lee about all the good n cheap things of Batam. lee invited me along n on sep 8 we set sail to the Island of Fun.
2-way air-con Ferry from harbour front costed $48. about 45 mins ride. it's sat quite crowded w loads of Men. lee n i left all the arrangement to lau the old bird. Harbour Bay was the terminal point at Batam. taxi from there to Hotel Hallo Batam costed $4! a 1-star hotel near the famous district Nagoya. $19 nett per night per room. size of hdb masterbedroom. very simple. TV channels were good. staff were friendly n keen to intro you to the famous 'Massage'.
in the 3D 2N trip lau brought us to major shopping malls n massage centres. on the avg good decent massage costs $5 an hr. impressed by some of their upmarket malls. but Shocked that most shops including those not in the malls sell mostly locally made Branded Goods range from Watches, HandBags to Fashion, eg Rolex, Prada, Gucci, LV etc etc. No QC! Batik stuff quite costly.
thought we're hv lots of Indonesian Food eg Nasi Padang, Kuey Lapis.... well lau chose s'pore food instead. lee n i followed our leader's choice.
Kopi-0, Coffee-Town, upmarket mall, $1 (coffee shop 1/2 price). Marlboro $1.50. Pork Ribs + Pig Organs Soup with Rice, Coffee Shop, $4. Nasi Ayam Penyet set with soft-drink, upmarket mall, $3. Roast Chicken Congee, upmarket mall, $2.
although lee is a Christian, i Buddhist, lau brought us to the famous Taoist Temple, Tua Pek Kong Bio. we'd the wonderful coconut $1.20 n traditional freshly brew coffee 60cts.
it's a fruitful trip for lee as he managed to get 2 pairs of glasses repaired at $80 (800 deg). a roadside watch repair stall brought back Life to his badly damaged Seiko auto watch (markers, second-hand came off, not working) for $5. the same big optical shop got my 26 yrs old Rodenstock frame to have new lens (300 deg) with Photogray for $60. Never Can You Get Such Prices in S'pore! i went just to accompany a good friend.
exchange rate is better there. S$ widely accepted. hokkien, teochew n mandarin oso boleh lah.
Some Disappointment are lau didn't bring us to see The Other Side of Batam! Taxi official n unofficial ones always move by your side n horn for business! Motor-Bikers came often to see if you want Girls! 1 shop at the ferry point sells Kueh Lapis for $21 per 1 1/2 kg (didn't buy when she told me same as your Bangewan Solo). couldn't find it elsewhere. Hard to find Smoke Free Hotels, Restaurants n Malls.
This part of Batam we went surely not for the family esp with kids. If you don't like locally made branded goods, fun massage n ktv, n women, why should you go? No sign of public bus or mrt. 1st n last day by taxi to hotel n ferry point, other time by foot!
will i go again sayang? maybe to other parts of Batam. or if good friends in need. otherwise..........
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