Batam — a popular weekend getaway spot for Singaporeans looking for a short break or backpackers looking for a quick stopover. After a long break due to the pandemic, it does feel like the good wanderlust times of travelling from Singapore to Batam have come flooding back. There’s just something about this Indonesian city that converts first-time tourists into regular visitors.
Here’s how you and your circle of tight buddies can sightsee and enjoy the tourist attractions in Batam’s Nongsa for a weekend getaway.
1. Indulge in sightseeing at Batam Botanical Garden
There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in lush greenery – the beautiful landscapes that nature parks offer can have a healing effect on our minds. The wide spaces and natural outdoor air of Batam Botanical Garden will feel absolutely restorative, especially if you’re new to Batam and its wonders.
Known locally as Kebun Raya Batam, the Garden is a relatively new attraction on the island, designed as a blissful conservation area to protect coastal plants. Its presence also helps with the flow of natural oxygen in the middle of the city.
The garden boasts more than 2,000 species of plants collected from the various Riau islands of Indonesia and the region, so there’s plenty to discover. Built on more than 80 hectares of land, the park is conveniently near the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal if you wish to dive straight into exploration mode after arrival.
You’ll be guided along a number of thematic parks divided by regional zones, which adds a fun learning experience to the leisurely adventure – perfect for families looking for activities to do and places to go with kids.
You can take the forested route to feel fully immersed in its lush green trees and do some forest bathing, or just have fun getting lost in its maze garden.
Best of all, it’s completely free to visit, even for overseas visitors from Singapore. Open every day from the early morning to the evening, it will be the most flexible attraction to include in your travel itinerary.
Address: 53CJ+5GQ, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Kepulauan Riau 29465
Operating hours: 8:00am-6:00pm
2. Dive into water sports and activities at Turi Beach Resort
Before we set our sights on other locations on Nongsa, why not make the most of your family vacation where you are?
If you’re staying at the Turi Beach Resort, its facilities are staggeringly well-rounded and packed with exciting activities. While there is much to enjoy from its land activities, let’s be honest: we go to Batam for the warm sand and cool ocean breeze.
For thrillseekers, there’s plenty to surge the adrenaline: wakeboarding and water-skiing – both IDR 300,000/boat (S$28+) for 15 minutes – are the usual go-to activities. Or take the chance to go for a good dive (IDR100,000+/each, or S$9.50+) to push your underwater limits. However, if you’re willing to stretch your budget, tryr a fun jet ski ride for IDR 480,000/jet ski (S$45+) for 15 minutes.
For something more unique but also allows for some family-friendly wholesomeness, hop on a leisurely and scenic River Cruise (IDR240,000+/person for 1 hour, or S$23+) to take in the blissful sights and sounds of the local jungles.
Address: Jalan Hang Lekiu, Nongsa, Batam 29465 Indonesia
Operating hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
3. Unwind with some fishing at Montigo Resorts
Even as these places offer plenty of seaside views, it’s always a good idea to head out into the open waters. So, how about some fishing?
Montigo Resorts offer adventurous fishing trips (IDR3,000,000 for 4-6 people or S$285+). Each trip is three hours long and will be led by a dedicated guide and a local fisherman, both of whom will bring you to the best fishing spots in the area.
It is a little pricey, but nothing beats the joy of catching your own fish so you can go ahead and tick this activity off your bucket list. There will be plenty of chances to take the most fun photos with your family throughout the trip.
If you’re keen on getting the best gear ahead of your journey, the equipment store Ocean Fishing is just down the road for you to stock up and perhaps gather some invaluable fishing tips.
Address: Jalan Hang Lekiu, Sambau, Kecamatan Nongsa, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29465
Operating hours: Time slots are dependent on sea level (fishing trips are permitted to commence during high tide), so best to book your slot two days in advance to confirm the timing. Book by WhatsApp at +62 853-6427-5123
4. Tee off at the Tering Bay Golf and Country Club
If you’re one for the club – the golf club, that is – the Tering Bay Golf and Country Club in Batam provides amazing sights and a vast, open green for your games.
Neatly blending into surrounding rolling hills and lush greenery, the main golfing course was crafted by retired pro golfer Greg Norman. Even though it is a country club – with plenty of amenities for the family – membership is not required.
You’ll need to book a slot by filling up a form here, but there’s an easier way to do it. It actually has a management office located in Singapore, where you can visit to book a slot in person or ask any questions you might have.
You can opt for itsattractive golf packages that carry the magical words: cheaper on weekdays. Aside from its main attraction, its clubhouse also features sauna and massage services, international cuisine, and a well-stocked shop for your pro gaming needs.
Address: Jalan Hang Lekiu No.Km 4, Sambau, Kecamatan Nongsa, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29465
Operating hours: 6:00am-7:00pm
5. Immerse yourself in relaxation at TSpa
Casually known as Tspa, Turi Beach’s spa facilities offer relaxation as you would expect from a seasoned tourist spot like Batam. If you need some time to unwind and centre yourselves, this is the right place.
The spa offers an array of specialised packages to suit different tastes, so you can spend plenty of time poring over and picking which one fits your mood. Their services are known as “massage rituals”, so you know you’re in for something heavenly.
No matter the budget, this spa delivers. For those wanting a simple but fulfilling experience, the Tspa Rejuvenating package (IDR755,000/S$72 for singles, IDR1,360,000/S$129 for couples) offers a 30min-long foot reflexology session along with a 1-hour body massage of your choice.
And that’s starting at the bottom of the Tspa ladder, folks. The two-hour Tirta of Spa package (IDR 1,380,000/S$131 for singles, IDR2,480,000/S$235 for couples) comes with a foot bath, a shoulder-back-neck massage, foot reflexology, and ample time to rest and relax.
But for those seeking something uniquely local, its body treatments offer different scrubs that will completely revitalise your body. The Javanese Lulur Scrub (IDR555,000/S$52 for singles, IDR1,015,000/S$95 for couples) is an ancient treatment reportedly adapted from royal Javanese palaces, with perfumed, soothing turmeric at its core.
The Papaya Wrap (IDR555,000/S$52 for singles, IDR 1,015,000/S$95 for couples) is made from fresh local papaya — a moisturising wrap that helps improve the texture and appearance of your skin while reducing excess toxins and other unnecessary fluids.
These treatments are also included in suitably royal packages that tally up to IDR4,300,000/S$400 for couples. It may be pricey, but the experience is unparalleled. Save it for a true treat-yourself day!
Address: Turi Beach Resort, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Nongsa, Sambau, Nongsa, Sambau, Nongsa, Batam City, Riau Islands 29465
Operating hours: 9:00am-9:00pm
6. Feast on local delights at these Nongsa restaurants
If you’re travelling with the intention to rest, relax and play, it surely isn’t complete without some well-earned feasting. As you can imagine, people in Batam take their culinary game seriously, and there’s so much to explore in Nongsa alone.
If you ask friends who know and love Nongsa, they would certainly bring up Rezeki Seafood Restaurant. Founded in 1983, the establishment is mere minutes away from the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal.
It offers food packages (if its extensive menu brings up too many options to choose from), but you’ll have to try its delectable Butter Flower Crab and iconic Stir Fried Clam With Garlic. With its seaside views, you’ll find yourself with a terrific dining experience.
But if you’ve had enough of the outdoors, you may want a place with ample air-conditioning. That’s where Sanur Resto & Cafe comes in. If it sounds familiar, Sanur used to have restaurants across Singapore. So, if you’re nostalgic for some Sanur delights, you won’t be disappointed.
Itsmenu is a faithful representation of the wide spectrum of Indonesian delicacies. It also reworks its menu every month to shake things up – so when you come back for more upon each Batam trip, there are always surprises!
With staple dishes like ikan asam manis (sweet and sour fish), tahu telur (battered egg tofu), fried rice, ayam kecombrang (torched ginger chicken), you can’t go wrong here.
Rezeki Seafood Restaurant
Pantai, Jalan H. Moh. Saleh, RT.002/RW.001, Batu Besar, Nongsa, Batam City, Riau Islands 29465
Sanur Resto & Cafe
Core Batam Centre, Jalan Sudirman No.1, Teluk Tering, Batam Kota, Batam City, Riau Islands 29400
Rezeki Seafood Restaurant
Sanur Resto & Cafe
Things to note while travelling to Batam
Good news: you no longer need to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before your departure.
Be sure to download Indonesia’s contact tracing app PeduliLindungi and fill up all essential information. This app will be necessary for you to enter public spaces in Batam when prompted. You can verify your vaccination certificate here.
Your COVID-19 vaccine dose must also be administered 14 days before your departure.
Batam officials encourage travellers to keep masks on at all times in public places and practise safe distancing.
Taking a ferry to Batam from Singapore is an experience we’ve missed after such a long time. While the rest of Batam is not yet open to us, Nongsa alone has a wealth of experiences to offer.
But in this age of travelling, planning your trip ahead is the best way to avoid any obstacles. Once you’ve got that all down, you’re good to go. With all that said, happy travelling! You’re in for an absolute treat.
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Best time to visit
The peak season to visit Batam is between February to August as these are periods with less rainfall.
The official currency of Batam is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
You can choose to book a taxi or rent a car to get around Batam. There's also a limited public bus service between Batam Centre and Sekupang.
How to get there
To get from Singapore to Batam Island, hop on a direct ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal or Harbourfront Ferry Terminal to harbours in Batam, such as Nongsapura and Batam Centre. The ride takes approximately one hour. Prices for each round trip costs between S$70 - S$100, depending on which ferry company you opt for.