You know what they say; first impression lasts forever..and it is so unfortunate that Batam has failed to impress me in many ways. Last weekend was our first time to really explore Batam. Heard a lot about the places like Nagoya Hills Mall, Batam City Square, City Walk, Harbour Bay and Barelang Bridge so we planned to pay a visit to at least one of them.
Compared with the area where we live right now Batam is a much bigger city where you can find almost everything you barely find here. Obviously it was in our intention that we were going to use the time to shop and explore the malls.
We left home at around 7.30am, which means we wouldn’t be able to catch the first ferry. Turned out we couldn’t catch the second ferry either and ended up waiting for nearly 3 hours for the 11am ferry. Everybody was hungry by the time we reached Batam so we stopped by at the first mall we passed: Kepri Mall.
queuing for the ferry
cute spot at our hotel
It wasn’t too bad, really. We didn’t really explore because honestly we haven’t heard people talking about this mall. Later, I would say I liked this mall better than Nagoya Hills Mall.
got this at Kepri Mall, super love the color!
Nagoya Hills Mall
Forget luxury when you think of this mall despite the name. The way people talk about it had really mislead my perception. I thought I would find a huge, elegant mall with high-end brands but on a contrary, it was nothing more than just a big over-crowded and un-organized shopping centre with small boutiques and mobile phone vendors. The only thing I like was the ACE HARDWARE, a local version of IKEA, where we finally found boosters for K and little A.
Oh we also bought some hoodies, jeans and costumes for the kids. Little A refused to take it off after the fitting. He was really proud of his Spidey-wear!
In my mind Harbour Bay was a place where you can lounge and relax over coffee while embracing the ocean breeze and the stunning view of the ocean. Instead it was just a super mall with a lot of empty space. It seems like the construction is still going on.
I imagined this like at least Cihampelas City Walk of Bandung, West Java, or like Souq Waqif in Qatar or the part of Dubai Mall. Well, it was nothing like it..really far from what I have pictured in my mind. We went there to find an Italian Restaurant, which was ranked number 1 on TripAdvisor. Not bad!
Some tips for you who plan to come to Batam for a leisure:
- I cannot believe you would be going there for leisure. Come to Bintan instead!
- For shopping? Please! You’d rather go to Jakarta or Bandung.
- Bring a lot of wet wipes, ladies! Toilets there are not nice.
- It’s a haven of counterfeits so be careful when you want to buy something.
- I didn’t try any seafood restaurant but I heard their seafood is good and cheap, so it might be worthwhile to try.
- Went to Bella Italian Restaurante, which scores number 1 on TripAdvisor. Foods were great, pizza was awesome but the staffs were gloomy.
- Google map works here, the road is very easy…there is no way you would get lost, even if you were a poor navigator like me.
Have you been to Batam, Indonesia? What’s your tip to share?
K and little A have their own fashion sense these days. I have decided to start featuring what their style look like on this blog from time to time. Here’s the first one
Outfit: Grandma’s buy..yes the entire thing including the shoes haha!
On Friday night we decided to treat the kids with a day trip to Singapore. K’s birthday is on Monday the following week so we took this as a birthday trip for him.
After considering few options our choice fell on Science Center. A friend told me about the place and I thought it would be fun for the kids. It was indeed.
One of the things that the kids love the most about visiting Singapore is the transportation. They love taking buses and riding on an MRT. I love the walk. Taking a taxi is the last option. Hence Singapore trips are always full of entertainment for them; begin with a favorite ride (bus and MRT), enjoy the activities (this time was the Science Center) and end up with a new toy. Oh, not to mention the ferry ride is also exciting for them.
Science Center offers a lot of attractions on which the kids can get their hands on. It divides the section into different halls featuring marine life, robot zoo, and many more. An exhibition of Human Body was taking place when we were there.
Basically what happens at Human Body is that you enter the venue through a giant mouth as if you were a food. As a food you would slide down through the throat all the way down passing by the lung, the heart, to the intestine, and end up at the rectum where you would come out from as if you were a poop. I totally liked the idea but the place was so congested, too dark with weird smell and definitely uncomfortable to stay long. It gave me a headache too!
I am grateful that the weather was so great on that Saturday. We had a short stroll at Orchard Road before going back with the last ferry to Bintan.
Sunday was the independence day of Indonesia. We celebrated it at a food court in the neighborhood where little A performed a song with his classmate from preschool. It was a bit chaotic but overall was great experience.
What did you do this weekend?
August is the time when summer is in full swing. Here, every day (except yesterday) is a sunny day. The sun shines brightly, the sky is blue, clouds are cotton-white and even the breeze feels hotter than usual.
An islander now, I am okay with the beaming sun though I try to keep myself in door as much as I can Yes, stay indoor is probably the most effective way to survive the UV light but definitely the least stylish one. Wanna know about surviving summer in style? Keep on reading!
Probably summer dress won’t give your skin total protection but it surely can melt the heart of people who look at you. Instead of wearing just one bright color, go bold by picking up that yellow-red-orange-green colored dress you saw the other day.
My favorite hat has been always the floppy one. It just fits my round face perfectly and it protects my skin stylishly. That feeling of being like a princess…
Strolling on the beach would be totally awesome with a pair of comfy flats. Flip flops are probably the best way to dress down your feet during summer but why dress down when you can dress up even at the beach?
SPF45! I like lotion better than the spray one.
If Rihanna used ‘umbrella’ for a spark of fame women in some Asian countries, including Indonesia and Singapore, use umbrella for a spark of skin protection in all season; wet & dry. I used to be one of that “Miss Umbrellas” but these days, I think hats and sunblock are sufficient enough to protect my skin.
What’s summer like without a pair of gorgeous sunglasses? It’s like being naked outside on a snowy day.
Craving for sushi is painful when you stay in one of the most secluded part of a small island like I do. Fortunately down town, with only an hour drive from our pad, there is this quite popular hawker style Japanese food stall named Tomo Ramen.
It is located right in Potong Lembu street, a very modest two story building with a touch of Japanese in its lanterns, Kimono and paper fan displays. People said the owner used to stay in a ramen stall in Japan. When he returned to Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, he decided to open his own food stall serving what he knew best: sushi and ramen.
Their ramen noodle is home made, just perfectly blent with the ramen soup of which level of spiciness is number. I had tried level 3 and 5; according to a waiter to whom I asked what level 10 would taste like, some people who were very bold on trying the level 10 had ended up in tummy ache or hitting a jack pot a.k.a. threw up because their body couldn’t take such spicy.
Btw, on my first visit I finished two portions of Izumi Roll!
If you happen to be in Bintan Island and go to Tanjung Pinang, make sure you stop by at Tomo Ramen. For me it’s definitely a lovely change to daily intake of seafoods and chinese foods.