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Batam F&E Day 2

Breakfast is served at the hotel lobby ( the lobby isn't very big, the restaurant is just opposite the lift area at level 1) from 6-9.30am. We went down at around 8am and there's a lot of people having breakfast already. We had to wait for awhile before we are able to find a seat. By the time we are done with breakfast, there's lesser people.

Many were waiting for tour bus which comes at around 9. For the price you pay for the accomodation, do not expect the buffet breakfast to be wide spread. Not sure if we set out expectations too low or not, as we were aware of the fact that LOCAL breakfast will be served insteadd of the usual international, but the food available sort of surpass my expecations!

Breakfast of Maggi Meee ~
- fried rice
- mee goreng
- kuehs / tarts (  3 variety in total as seen in the image above )
- sausage
- do-it-yourself toast bread w/ jam and butter
- coffee / tea

Yupp! Do get the kuehs/tarts early as it seems quite popular and we dont see them replenishing it. For the fried rice, mee goreng and sausage they do replenish it frequently! Which is good! :)
The fried rice and mee goreng are yummy but do take note that they are spicy! The sausage is a must eat there! Not too hard or 'rubbery', just nice! Bagus!

Overall we would consider the breakfast as satisfying!

After breakfast, we wandered around our hotel vicinity and find a coffee shop ( Kedai Kopi Lai Lai) where it has yet to open for business, but i guess the food there is good if you really want to get authentic local Batam food. but, language might be a huge barrier that you need to overcome when you order the food!
right side of Nagoya One Hotel
We walked towards the path as seen in the image above, and turn in to the right where we discovered more shophouses in rural Batam.

Coffee shop just beside our hotel
coffee shop?
traditional 'mama' store or rather convenience store.
They sell practically all sorts of things, from diapers to packet detergent to food (ice cream).

drink store
bird cages outside a house
We saw children gathering around playing and there's cats wandering around. Everything just feels like back in kampong days.

You won't see these kind of sights on a normal holiday trip, and its seldom that people will want to visit these places for fear of security. It was unexpected when we wonder around our hotel.

While we were making a loop back to our Nagoya One Hotel, we saw this sight!

look at how narrow different buildings are located at!
We saw the hotel where we were staying - Nagoya One Hotel being just beside another residential/hotel premise. The gap between these two hotels are VERY NARROW! This is definitely NOT possible in Singapore!

No wonder we saw people complaining on the cyberspace that there's no window view for their hotel room at Nagoya One Hotel. Similarly for ours, we thought getting a family room will be better however when we peep out of our window, all we see is wall. like at real close proximity, if I were to extend my hand out, I can touch the opposite building.
We were really surprised by the how closely situated are two buildings! Fire safety is definitely a tip top concern as if one building catches fire, the other building has a very high possibility of getting it!

Check out timing at Nagoya One Hotel is 12pm. We checked out at 11.30am as we are heading to BCS mall for some shopping before heading to megamall. They were already busy with room service when we check out.

We passed the card to the receptionist and we told her that we are interested to get a cab to BCS Mall. Cab fee from Nagoya One Hotel to BCS Mall is of a fixed rate at IDR 50,000 ( SGD $5.35 ). The driver was already on standby, and we could get on the cab without waiting for long.

It is quite a short drive and we reached BCS Mall in 10 minutes time.
For more images of BCS Mall do look at our July trip to Batam :)

This time round, our main aim of going BCS Mall is to snap up household goods and food like indomie at the hypermart. We managed to find a photo studio ( Sun smile photoshop ) at level 3,  that do engraving on mugs and also develop passport photo. One of us decided to let them take passport photo. The total cost for 6 passport photos ( capture + print ) is IDR 25,000 ( SGD $2.68). Yes very very cheap! I would recommend it for people who only need one passport photo . If you need a lot for multiple administrative applications, then perhaps its better to pay for a better professional to do it. The quality is of cheapskate material, colour is just manageable. They used normal cameras ( not DSLR ) to take photo where after that, a lady will process it using Adobe Photoshop. You can negotiate with them what colour background you need. The lady was kind enough to do some touching up ( like beautifying of the image, reducing wrinkles ) upon request.

However all in all, this is definitely not for perfectionist or fussy buyers! But if you are looking for something budget, this is it!

There's departmental store there at BCS Mall but once again I wouldn't say their pattern is close to Singapore's style, but if you are looking for basics or polo tees/sport apparels, it would be a good place to get them at a lower price.

Our last destination is the hypermart, where we get ....

They are all sold in individual packaging. You can get a carton of them too!
Indomie - IDR 1,700 ( SGD $0.18 )
Mie Sedap - IDR 1,600 ( SGD $0.17)

Perhaps we bought the wrong kind of Indomie and should have bought the mie goreng one instead, sisnce thats what it is more famous for. The indomie didn't really taste as great as what we expected. Have yet to try Mie Sedap though!

Following up, we got crackers ! ~ Prawn kerupuk!

Qtela prawn crackers / chips
The day before, we actually purchased the blue packaging - Qtela Prawn cracker and Chitato chips from Megamall (Batam centre)'s hypermart and we tried them the night. We love the Qtela Prawn cracker as its not over fried and the taste is just nice. Not too salty. Despite Chitato being quite famous on cyberspace, but we prefer Qtela as we find it a little too salty. The MSG is a little too overpowering.

So this time round, we just grab 6 packs of the Qtela prawn crackers and randomly grab one of its sister packaging - tempe chips ( green ) too! Though the price difference isn't a lot when translated back to SGD, but it is still a difference in price!

Receipt @ BCS Mall
Receipt @ Megamall the day before
It cost IDR 5000 ( SGD $0.54 ) if we purchased at BCS Mall and IDR 5600 ( SGD $0.60 ) at Megamall! Since we bought 6 units of it, we saved a total of $0.36! Not a lot but yeah, you get my point. Ultimately, after our second Batam trip, we feel that BCS hypermart is cheaper. 

For ladies, as seen in our receipt at BCS Mall, we got plenty of our ladies sanitary needs too! They are of the exact same thing that you will get in Singapore, so why not get it at Batam at a cheaper price!

Our initial plan was to settle our lunch at BCS Mall before we head to Megamall to get our Layer cake and then head on to board our ferry back to Singapore. However, we decided to have our lunch at Megamall instead. 
1. The number of smokers in BCS Mall is way too many! Despite no smoking in shopping malls, they just tend to smoke openly especially in eateries in the mall. Yes at restaurants. 

So we decided to head back to Megamall for a satisfying last lunch at Batam before we head back to Singapore.

There is a taxi stand at the entrance of the mall just like in Singapore. However they have people there at the taxi stand to 'take your order'. You just need to tell them where you are going and they will tell you the rate and get you a cab. Alternatively, you can refer to the pricing placed at the taxi counter there. They are pretty transparent about this. Thus despite the higher amount of fare paid, but for us tourists who is quite illiterate with Bahasa Indonesia, its best to get a cab from them.

taxi fare chart from BCS Mall
It cost us IDR 60,000 ( SGD $6.42 ) to get to Megamall which is just beside Batam ferry centre.

It was around 1.45pm when we get there and we went for lunch at D'cost seafood again! Sadly as we were too hungry, we did not have a chance to take photos of the food before we dig in!
But this time round, there's a lot of people in the restaurant. Almost 85% filled. All the waiters were busy and food takes awhile to be served.

We ordered:

1. Tea ( Refillable ) IDR 1000 / glass ( SGD $ 0.11/glass )
2. White Rice ( Refillable ) IDR 2000 / pax ( SGD $0.21/pax )
3. Spicy Kangkong IDR 14,000 ( SGD $1.50 )
4. Mixed Vegetables - includes cabbage IDR 14,000 ( SGD $1.50 )
Veggies lover out there do try this plate of vegetables. Its great! :)
5. Japanese Tofu with salted egg IDR 20,000 ( SGD $2.14 )
We prefer the japanese tofu in oyster sauce that we had in Day 1
6. seafood omelette IDR 26,000 ( SGD $2.78 )
Recommended! Good! As long as you are not allergic to seafood, even if you dont like seafood, you should have a try in this!
7. Steamed snapper in Soy sauce IDR 43,000 ( SGD $4.60 )
The Garumi that we had in Day 1 was better in terms of freshness. There was only snapper left in the restaurant as such we ordered it. Was a little disappointing.

Lunch bill for Day 2
The total lunch bill came cheaper this time round at IDR 141,900 ( SGD $15.19 )!

By then it was around 3pm. We were left with around half hour before we need to go to the ferry terminal. We went to Batam Layer cake counter at Megamall hoping to get Layer cakes home. 

Batam Layer Cake
There is only 1 kg layer cakes but not 500g which was what we wanted. And not all flavours are available. We had to wait for their stock to come in another half hour. We reckon the time might not be enough, and we left without our layer cake. 

We were all armed with our boarding pass and preparing to go to the departure gate at Batam Ferry Centre!

Boarding pass which we collected the day before from Wavemaster counter
And... we received the biggest unexpected shock/nightmare of our life that makes us not want to step in Batam at least for the year ahead.


That is just maybe only 1/8 of the whole queue of people queuing to get into the departure gate. We had to walk one big round ( around the shopping mall level 2 perimeter ) to find out where the end of the queue is so we can join in the queue as there's no way you can get past it.

Elderly seated at a side and rejoins the queue when his/her family calls them back.The queue was horrifying. Instructions were unclear and some even jump queue. There are securities but they are mainly around the departure gate area. The end of the queue when we queued was near the departure gate. You can imagine how long the snake queue was!

AND THE QUEUE WAS MOVING AT A SNAIL PACE. We asked the wavemaster receptionist, and they calmly asked us to just queue despite us being nervous that it is gonna be our ferry time soon.

After queuing for an hour, one of us heard a person shouting 'wavemaster', and we showed him our ticket, he nodded and we faster follow him. With that, we were granted a place in the front part of the queue - nearing departure gate. BE VERY ALERT!! If we had not hear him shouting ( it was too noisy), we would have been queuing and never be able to board our ferry.

However by then it was already around 5pm. It was already past our original ferry timing of 4.40pm. We were supposed to board Wavemaster 10, but the ferry at that time was only like Wavemaster 8 ( I suppose it goes in chronological order ). After getting past the boarding gate, everything was quite in order including at the custom where we need to get our passport stamp.

Once we reach the boarding area, there's a wavemaster ferry there already and we just board. The perssonnels DO NOT even take notice of the ferry timing ticket you bought. Rather, they didnt even look at your ticket and grant you entry. So yup, everything was quite chaotic. The ferry was only 1/3 filled when we board. It didn't depart until awhile more when more people board the ferry. In the end we left Batam at around 6pm Batam time, feeling relieved. We reached Singapore an hour later at 8pm Singapore time.

The whole waiting experience was a bad one. No exaggeration meant, but we felt like refugees waiting to board the last boat to leave the country. No more departures from Batam ferry centre foor us. Sekupang ferry centre, maybe.


happy camper said...

Thank you for the informative writeup! (:

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