So I went on a short 2 days 1 night getaway to Batam last week. When I plan a trip down there, I would just do the usuals which included eating at A&Ws and getting a massage. If you ask me about the shopping, I would tell you that there is nothing much to get over there. The more popular mall which is at Nagoya Hill is full of stores selling counterfeit products. Then my girlfriend told me to check out the supermarkets instead. And I could not believe myself, as a self-proclaimed bargain hunter who sweeps shelves in supermarkets in Johor Bahru, how could I totally not think of this!?
Unfortunately due to bad planning, we reached Batam in time for our massage and after that it was a race against time to grab dinner and do a little shopping. I had only managed to hit the supermarket the next day before leaving for Singapore. Guess what were my hauls?
#1 Sanitary Pads
If you use pantyliners regularly then this is the place to get them unless Watsons is having the buy 2 get 1 free deal. I bought around 20 over packets of pantyliners and sanitary pads. The pantyliners were around 40 to 50% off the retail price in Singapore. I decided to grab the Laurier pads and Softex Hello Kitty ones just for fun. Anyway, they were really cheap, costing around S$1+ per pack only.
#2 Hair Care
There were rows of drugstore brands such as Dove, Sunsilk, Lucidol, Head & Shoulders and the list goes on. I have not heard of Tresemme but I thought that I would give them a try. These were going at S$4+ only when it is retailing locally for more than 3 times the price! I also bought these ellips hair masks after seeing a Singaporean lady grabbing boxes of them. But I only took around 6 packets to try out and they were really not bad. I have tried a couple of hair masks and none have given this softer feeling. I will be back the next round to sweep the shelves for this hair mask. They were going at probably S$0.50 per packet.
#3 Shower & Bath Products
They had lots of other brands but what caught my attention were the Original Source ones. The shower gels were around S$4-5 while the scrub was only S$3+! Had I known that I would have bought a couple more! I think there was a 20% discount for these, the prices mentioned above were after the discount.
#4 Dental Care
The Oral B toothbrushes were S$1.20 per pack. There was a wide selection of drugstore brand toothpastes on sale. Sensodyne toothpastes are probably at 40-50% cheaper than those sold in Singapore.
These were the bomb! It costs S$4.90 in Singapore for the exact item but it was only S$1.90 over here. I would have bought more if I haven’t gotten that many sanitary pads. We eventually managed to keep everything in our empty trolley cabin luggage which we had lugged along specially for this purpose. Thanks to the heads up of my girlfriend who recommended that I did that.
So the next time you head to Batam, remember there are all these hidden gems in their supermarkets. The one we went to was the Hypermart located in Mega Mall which is just a walking distance from the Batam Centre Terminal.