Thursday, March 16, 2006

Going to Jakarta via Batam (1)

On Saturday, 11 March 2006, we went to Jakarta via Batam. We left home at around 10am Singapore time, and we took a cab to the Harbourfront Centre ferry terminal (previously known as World Trade Centre). We have bought the ticket and got the boarding pass one day before, so after reaching Harbourfront Centre at around 10:30am, we immediately went to the Departure Longue on the second floor to check-in our luggage and clear immigration. No issue while clearing Singapore immigration, and the ferry also departed on time (11:05am).

We took the Wavemaster (Berlian) ferry, just want to try it since usually we always use the Penguin ferry if we go to Batam. We found out that the Wavemaster ferry is newer and more comfortable compared to Penguin ferry. Not too sure why people like to use Penguin (I can see that the queue in front of Penguin ticket counter is always longer than Berlian's), since I think Berlian ferry is better and the price is the same, which is $30 for adult and $27 for child. According to my friend, return tickets are cheaper if we buy it in Batam compared to if we buy it in Singapore.

More pictures during the ferry journey can be found here. The journey to Batam Centre took about one hour plus, a bit longer than the journey to Sekupang. This is because Batam Centre is located further to the east compared to Sekupang, but in return, the land journey from the ferry terminal to the airport or to the city centre (Nagoya, Baloi, Penuin) is much shorter.

Batam Centre is a new, modern and efficient ferry terminal, which was built recently to replace the aging Batu Ampar ferry terminal. It's linked to a mega mall across the street with a covered pedestrian bridge. We reached Batam Centre at around 11:10am Batam time (note that Batam time is one hour behind Singapore time). Even though we checked-in our luggage upon embarking at Singapore, take note that we still have to carry our own luggage while disembarking the ferry.

The queue at the immigration is quite long, perhaps because it was Saturday, quite a lot of people from Singapore visited Batam, eiter only for a day, the weekend, or as a stepping stone to Jakarta (like what we were doing). Nevertheless, there was no issue clearing the immigration. The kids already started to felt hungry since they didn't have so much for their breakfast, so we went to the second floor and had our lunch at Singgalang restaurant, a "true" Padang restaurant, which is different than the usual nasi Padang in Singapore.

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

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