Lying less than one hour by fast ferry from Singapore, the islands promise a completely contrasting environment from that of busy metropolitan Singapore. Batam and Bintan are only two of the more than 2,400 islands that make up the Riau Archipelago province, stretching from Sumatra, rounding north east all the way to the Anambas islands in the South China Sea. The island of Batam today is the third busiest entry port to Indonesia next to Bali and Jakarta.
Situated so near to Singapore, it is a favorite resort for residents and international tourists in Singapore who wish to get closer to nature, relax for a short vacation of golf or sailing, enjoy mouth watering fresh seafood, luxuriate in a traditional royal spa, go shopping or just for family fun. With no less than six ferry terminals, wide roads criss-crossing the island, an international airport and clusters of industries, hotels and housing estates, Batam still promises a leisurely weekend getaway offering reasonably priced freshly caught seafood, fine golfing, plenty of duty-free shopping or an escape to a remote island ideal for trekking, diving, snorkeling and lazy fishing.
The easiest way to travel around in Batam is by taxi or rent a car which are best called from the hotel’s desk, or have a travel agency arrange your stay and transportation in Batam. Public buses are rare.
By Ferry to Batam
There are frequent daily ferries connecting Singapore’s Tanah Merah port with Batam as well as between Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and Batam. The journey from Singapore takes a pleasant 45 minutes. The island of Batam has six ferry terminals, they are at Sekupang, Waterfront City, Batam Center, Harbour Bay, Nongsapura and Telaga Punggur.
Batam Center receives the most ferries from Singapore and Johor. Ferries to Harbour Bay carry passengers wishing to go to Nagoya, Batam’s business centre, while the terminals at Waterfront City and Nongsa serve mostly tourists visiting resorts. At Sekupang are ferries that ply between Batam and the main island of Sumatra and to the Karimun islands. While Telaga Punggur is the terminal for ferries plying between Batam and Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island.
Batam’s Hang Nadim’s international airport, located in the eastern part of the island, receives mainly domestic flights direct from Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Pekanbaru, Jambi, Palembang and Bandung.