Over the weekend, I took a short getaway to Batam with the hubs. It was quite impromptu & booked late Dec. Anyway, I guess it could be sort of like an advance birthday celebration since it’s just round the corner. I’d booked a hotel at Harris Waterfront for around S$70+ but silly me went to book ferry tickets to Batam Centre terminal instead of the Waterfront terminal. It made no sense to have to travel another 30mins from Batam centre ferry terminal to the Waterfront hotel. So I had to waste an additional S$50+ more to cancel the Waterfront hotel and book the one at Harris Batam Centre instead.
The last time I went to Batam was 8 freaking years ago! But I guess nothing much has changed. Our hotel, the Harris Batam Centre, was located just 200 meters away from the ferry terminal and that made it very convenient.
This is how our hotel room looked like, I didn’t take any photos of the room so the above photo was taken from agoda.com. It is quite a spacious room and they even provided a yoga mat since the theme of the hotel was all about healthy living.
Check out the sea view from our room, it was pretty nice!
This is the view from the other side, I think that’s some kind of sports stadium because people were jogging around the track and doing exercise.
There was also a shopping mall, the Mega Mall Batam Centre, which was located just opposite the hotel. However, we chose to spend the whole day at Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre instead because it is the biggest mall in Batam. Cab fare from our hotel to the mall was approximately 70,000 IDR. I noticed that most cabs do not have meters so you would have to bargain with the cab driver.
The main attraction of batam malls are counterfeit goods. There were shops selling fake luxury bags, watches and shoes, mostly grade A stock from China. Some so blatantly fake like a handbag in a Chanel boy design but with an YSL logo plastered awkwardly on the front. I saw their counterfeit Chanel caviar leather collection and the dead giveaway were the “gold hardware”. They were light like plastic and the gold looked like it would peel off during the first use. But it was fun and educational as I touched and felt the fake lambskin. I spotted a Miu Miu clutch that looked pretty “real” until I felt it’s “leather” texture.
We had our massage at SWADIKA family massage centre and it only cost S$16 for a 90 minutes long aromatherapy oil massage. Freaking cheap and the service was not bad too. There were 3 massage beds in each section, all separated by curtains. Of course, for S$16 you can’t expect a swanky treatment room. After that, we had our tea at A&W, I guess that was the main motivation for this short trip.
I think every mall has an A&W, it is like our Macdonald’s over there. The cheeseburger was horrible but the curly fries… oh my goodness… the curly fries…!!! I even tabao-ed some back to Singapore but finished it up on the ferry ride back.
WHY DID A&W EVER LEAVE SINGAPORE!?!?! WHY!?!??!?!?!
We had our dinner at this place called the Kangan Cafe (IIRC) and the dishes were really cheap. You get this whole Asam Fish dish for just S$7. The salted egg crabs and beef hot plate were around the same price too. I’d ordered a veg dish but it didn’t turn up. The food was good and the price even better!
I don’t usually fancy hotel breakfasts but the one at Harris Batam Centre was surprisingly delicious. I enjoyed the egg omelette and laksa noodles especially. I also had some congee and this simple dish did not fail me either. I guess you can say that I’ll be back but probably with my girlfriend the next round. I hope I won’t miss Asher too much too.