Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 Journey Recap - Batam Trip

On March 2003, we took a short holiday to Batam. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Waterfront City, Batam. We took the Penguin ferry from the Harbourfront Centre ferry terminal in Singapore, directly to Waterfront City (Teluk Senimba) ferry terminal in Batam. The ferry terminal is surprisingly clean and efficient, compared to the old and disappointing ferry terminal in Sekupang. From there, the Holiday Inn shuttle bus would pick us up and bring us to the hotel, which is only a stone's throw away from the ferry terminal itself.

Holiday Inn is a very nice hotel, with a lot of facilities especially for the kids. They have very nice swimming pools, with a slide and a small "lazy" river. Unfortunately, the kids are still too afraid to use the slide, even though I managed to persuade Irza to use the slide even though he had to sit on my lap while sliding. :) Too bad, there was no pictures while we were taking the slide!

We met Ene (grandma, my mother) who took a flight to Batam from Jakarta. She came to Batam on a special occassion to meet her grandchildren. :) She was actually supposed to follow us to Singapore, but due to her health condition, she decided to go back to Jakarta and didn't follow us back to Singapore.

We spent most of the time there swimming and enjoying the hotel's facilities. Even though, we also spent quite some time outside the hotel. Once we took a cab to Baloi area (just south of Nagoya, about 30 minutes taxi drive from Waterfront City) and visited one of the shopping malls there. Unfortunately I can't remember what's the name of the shopping mall, but it's quite big and right in the heart of Baloi area, even though most of the units are still empty. We had a nice "early" lunch at a fried chicken fast food (KFC-style) restaurant there, as well as a "late" lunch at Ayam Goreng Fatmawati somewhere on the road between Baloi and Batam Centre (again, I can't recall the area name or the road name).

Going back to Singapore is also quite efficient and painless. The hotel arranged for the booking of our return ferry trip to Singapore, including our fiscal tax free (bebas fiskal) arrangement. Our Indonesian departure immigration cards are also being filled in automatically by the ticketing staff. Hassle free and very convenient.

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