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.