Batam is a small island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago in the South China Sea. A short boat ride from Singapore, it’s a free trade zone with multiple busy ports. It’s also known for its beaches, nightlife and malls offering duty-free shopping. Bustling Nagoya is Batam’s main city. Upscale resorts in the shoreline area of Nongsa offer golf courses and water sports, including windsurfing, parasailing and jet skiing. The island is famous as a place where people come to relax and get away from it all and as such it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. You won’t find a huge array of ‘attractions’ like historical sites as such, but you will find a number of resorts, spas, restaurants and cafes, and the nightlife here is lively with a good range of choices if you are looking for some entertainment in the evenings. Another reason why people flock to Batam is for the diving or snorkeling opportunities as the waters here are incredibly clear and visibility is excellent if you want to explore the underwater kingdoms in this part of Indonesia. Let’s explore the best things to do in Batam:
1. Enjoy the water sports
One of the signature attractions in Batam is the water sports as it is located right next to the water. In other places like Singapore the coast of water skiing or wakeboarding can really add up but in Batam you can enjoy these for a fraction of the price and one of the best places to do this is at the Ranoh Island. Just some of the activities on offer here include canoeing, jet skiing, or even snorkeling or you can check out other famous resorts like the Batam View Beach Resort.
2. Dine on seafood
Batam is also known for its seafood which again is far cheaper than Singapore or other parts of Southeast Asia. Some of the top picks for seafood in the city include the Sei Enam Seafood Restaurant as well as the Rezeki Seafood Restaurant and Harbour Bay Seafood. If you are looking for signature dishes then try the chili crab which is famous in the region as well as black pepper crab and snacks like crunchy calamari. Other underwater delights about here such as juicy prawns and even dine on freshly caught lobster which is usually simply grilled and served with white rice.
3. Watch the sunset at Barelang Bridge
Barelang Bridge is one of the most iconic sights in Batam and people flock here in the late afternoon for the photo opportunities. The bridge actually links main Batam Island with adjacent Galang Island and the bridge is a marvel of engineering as it majestically spans the water between these two islands. If possible try to go around sunset for the best vistas across the water.
4. Try a massage
One of the reasons that people come to Batam is for rest and relaxation and as a result there are a wealth of spas here where you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a range of soothing treatments. One of the most famous places to get a treatment is the Eska hotel Massage House although there are a huge range to choose from scattered across the city which will mean that wherever you go you will leave rejuvenated and relaxed.
5. Go shopping at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall
Batam is an island but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a wealth of shopping malls to visit and actually shopping is the number one pastime for many visitors here. The Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall has the claim to fame of being the biggest mall in the city and you will find a full range of items here such as branded clothes and accessories.Other malls include Mega Mall Batam Center and BCS Mall. Lots of malls also sell a wealth of typical handicrafts such as wood carvings and textiles so if you are looking to pick up some gifts or souvenirs then you can do all your shopping under one roof.