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Batam F&E Day 1

We wanted to go for a short getaway over a weekend and decided that Batam would be an ideal place to go because:

- The food there are real cheapppp!
- A simple 2D1N is sufficient for touring Batam and it is affordable!

So we came across Batam ferry ticket deal on and decided to give Free&Easy (F&E) in Batam a try!

Batam wavemaster Ticket deal on
The ferry to Batam is operated by Berlian Ferries Pte Ltd, while the ferry is called Wavemaster which probably is more familiar to all. The normal price of a ferry ticket ( to and fro ) cost $48 however it is now selling at $38 nett. Meaning it is ALL INCLUSIVE OF FERRY TAXES. The deal which we purchased was by Singa Travel & Tour. It can be a little tedious to get the actual ferry tickets, but I guess the discount is worth it! :)

1. First, we need to print the deal voucher, and head down to Singa Travel & Tour at People's Park centre to redeem our ferry vouchers

ferry vouchers
The ferry vouchers contain the departure and arrival pass. Though it is written that it can go to Batam centre or Sekupang however we were only entitled to purchase ferry tickets to and fro batam centre and not sekupang. 

2. next up, we have to head down to Berlian Ferries company at Harbourfront Centre to exchange for the actual boarding pass. But this, is a little tricky. We were not sure how soon we can exchange it for the actual boarding pass. So we actually contacted Berlian through Facebook and the PR said 1 month before departure is fine. 1 month means 21st November. Yes, before you start labelling us as kiasu, we have our reason to want to obtain the boarding passes early.

1. we stay quite far away from Harbourfront Terminal, and we hope that we do not need to reach the terminal early in the morning of departure day to collect our boarding pass
2. Our travelling time - 21st-22nd dec is the weekend before christmas, and we expect festive crowd. 

So nearing the end of November, we called Berlian to confirm that we are able to get our boarding pass already and also to check what are the documents we need to bring down with us, and the person advised us to head down to Berlian in December instead. 

So yup, its kinda annoying as our family can only make it on 21st-22nd december, and if the ferry operator were to tell us that it is not available, the vouchers would have gone to waste. 

So in the end we managed to head down to Harbourfront - Berlian ferries to collect our ferry tickets in mid december. Prior to that, we managed to reserve the seats online via email with the operator in harbourfront and operator at Batam Centre. They are separate. 

boarding pass
We got our boarding pass and white card. We only got boarding pass for the Harbourfront -> Batam Centre leg, but not the return journey as we have to get the pass for the return journey at Batam centre.

Our departure time is 10.30am. It's at full load. No more vacancies when we went to collect the boarding pass, luckily we had reserved it earlier.

On the day itself, we reached the ferry terminal at 9.45am. We are supposed to reach 1 hour before. I would say if you are not first time going Batam via ferry, 45 mins is more than enough. We went through the immigration - passport gantry and reached the boarding gate.

screen that reflects which gate to go to
Ours is the third from the bottom of the screen - 10.30am to Batam Centre on Wavemaster 6 - Gate 2 and due to arrive. There are in total 3 gates only however not all gates are functional, most of the times from what I see, they only open 2 gates at one time.

We reached the boarding gate at around 10am and we waited for our turn. Sigh. The crowd control there at the boarding area REALLY NEEDS GREAT GREAT IMPROVEMENT. No any better. People jostling through their way, there's no clear instructions. Everything is chaotic there. 

At around 10.15am, by right we should have boarded or about to board the ferry. Then there came the announcement that our ferry - wavemaster 6 is being delayed as a result of late departure from its previous port. we waited... and waited till around 10.40am and we finally get to board our ferry.

on the way to board our ferry on the right!
TAKE NOTE! Always pay attention to the screen above. Due to the delay, our gate for boarding was changed from Gate 2 to Gate 3. NO announcement was made to the change in gate.

At the berth area, we had to still wait for a little while as the passengers were still alighting from the ferry. The ferry company really had its schedule packed until so tight!

The interior is somewhat similar to the pacific ferry we took back in our trip to Batam in July.

We sat at the area where its more catered to 'groups/family'. There's like 6 seats around a table.  Not too sure if it applies to all wavemaster ferries or just that particular ferry, but the engine motor seem just below and throughout the whole 1 hour journey, we just feel the vibration of it which is quite irritating. The intensity of the vibration is pretty immense to be ignored.

Upon boarding, the ferry attendants seem to be adding fuel to the ferry / carrying out some maintenance work, theres further delay and we only departed at around 11.15am. A total delay of close to 45minutes from the original departure time of 10.30am! :(

Batam is one hour behind Singapore. So it seems like you 'earned' an hour time by going Batam! but when u come back Singapore, you 'lost' an hour too!

We reached Batam Centre at 11.15am Batam time. We proceeded to the wavemaster counter to purchase our return boarding pass. There were a few agents obtaining the boarding passes for their tour groups. Best not to queue behind them as they will take a longer time.

Wavemaster booth at Batam centre
The booths are quite easily visible since its just within the terminal area. There are other ferry booths too. As we have reserved our seats with them earlier, we printed the email confirmation and passed it to them. Not much communication with them throughout, and they passed us back with 4 paper boarding passes. Rmb to give them the other portion of the voucher ( pink ) showed earlier unless you are paying for your tickets by cash!

It didnt take long for them to process and issue it to us and we proceeded to the nearest mall - Megamall which is connected by a sheltered overhead bridge from the ferry terminal after that for our lunch and jalan jalan a bit before check in.

sheltered overhead bridge
We were hungry by then and we decided to look for a place to eat in the megamall. There's the normal restaurants like - Gadeno that we see in almost every shopping mall in Batam. We have some craving for chinese food and we eventually settled for a meal at D'Cost Seafood restaurant.

Image courtesy of D'Cost Seafood Restaurant
D'Cost Seafood Restaurant is very big - can host up to around 100 people. It boast large viewing panels overlooking at the sea port. Its located at the top level of Megamall. It isn't exactly by Chinese but it offers ala-carte dishes selection and the prices arent too pricey. In fact it is considered cheap for Singaporeans I believe, but maybe not for in Batam.

interior of the restaurant ( it is NOT mirror reflection. it is really that big )
kitchen area and more seating spaces
view from the viewing panel at the restaurant - overlooking the carpark of Megamall
Yup. There's a hypermart at Megamall!

view from the panel - overlooking at A&W and Harris Hotel
Harris Hotel seems to be the nearest hotel to Batam ferry centre!

can you spot that wavemaster ferry in the background?
There wasn't a lot of people in the restaurant ( It is barely half filled) although its during lunch time (12-1pm).


Though it boost as a seafood restaurant, you dont see live tanks around. It is more of a 'budget' dining of seafood restaurant.

You can go to their website for more detailed menu.

We shortlisted a couple of dishes and called out to their waiter. Ordering is a little tricky, similar to other shops in Batam, they are not very well conversed in English. For ordering at this place, you have to first tell them your name and they will jot it down on their phone. We couldn't really quite get what he was saying, but luckily a customer beside us told us that the waiter wanted our name.

Then we can start ordering ( which was mainly done by pointing out on the menu ).

We ordered 4 dishes + rice +  drink in total.

rice + tofu + kailan
1. Rice (  Free Flow ) but charged per pax
2. Baby Kailan in Oyster Sauce
3. Japanese tofu in Oyster Sauce

The kailan can be cooked in either oyster sauce of Garlic. While for the Japanese tofu there are three ways of cooking it - either in tiram ( Oyster Sauce ) or Padang (chili) or Telur Asin ( Salted egg ).

The next day ( Day 2), we had our lunch here again and we ordered the japanese tofu with salted egg and we thought this tofu cooked in oyster sauce is much better!

Their rice is really too generous! They gave too much which eventually constituted to waste :( We were not the only table to have rice left.

The kailan is a little disappointing. The vegetable doesn't seem and taste fresh. Wouldn't recommend this to any!

teh + fried chicken
4. Teh Manis ( tea with sugar )
5. Fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce

The fried chicken can also be cooked with black pepper sauce.

The fried chicken is worth trying and as for the tea, it could be the water source of the restaurant which resulted in the tea having a weird smell. hmm...

6. steamed carp in soy sauce

The steamed carp can be cooked in bawang putih (garlic sauce) too. There are two sizes to choose from - medium or big fish, but apparently the waiter told us there's only big left. And yup thats the size of big! Suitable and sufficient for small families of 4!

The carp is VERY fresh! Do recommend people to get this as it is really very worth it! But the soy sauce given is a little too much haha!

So our bill totaled up to be....

our lunch bill

Yes a horrifying hundred thousand lunch bill, but heh, its in Indonesia! A exchange rate conversion to SGD means it is only SGD $16.15!! For 4 pax! You certainly can't find this kind of deal in Singapore's restaurant setting especially even where fish is being ordered!

So for a further interpretation of the cost:

1. Kailan Muda Saus Tiram ( Baby Kailan in Oyster Sauce ) IDR 14,000 ( SGD $1.50 )
2. Teh Manis ( Tea with Sugar ) IDR 1000 x 4 glasses ( SGD $0.11/glass )
3. Nasi Putih ( White rice w/ free refill) IDR 2000 x 4 pax ( SGD $0.22/pax )
4.Tahu Japang Saus Tiram ( Japanese Tofu in Oyster Sauce ) IDR 20,000 ( SGD $2.14 )
5. Ayam Fillet Saus Asam Manis ( Fried Chicken with sweet and sour sauce ) IDR 31,000 ( SGD $3.32 )
6. Ikan Gurami Tim Kecap Besar ( Steamed Big Carp in Soy sauce ) IDR 60,000 ( SGD $6.43 )

There's government tax/service charge too. So the total bill comes to IDR 150,700 which is the equivalent of SGD $16.15 for 4 pax! Super worth it for Singaporeans since a simple meal like this in Sngapore might cost a lot more, considering it is of restaurant setting. The dishes are not too bad either! Acceptable! Highly recommend people to try it!

We wandered around the mall but there isn't a lot of shops thats suitable for shopping though. Restaurants are mainly on the upper levels. There is a counter selling Batam Layer cake in the mall. We thought of coming over on the next day to get some layer cakes before heading back to Singapore. 

We left at around 1.30pm for our hotel - Nagoya One hotel. We took a taxi from the taxi stand at Megamall. Yes, its definitely a little more expensive than calling for one along the road, but its definitely safer. 

However, that particular cab experience wasn't exactly good :(

We had a little communication breakdown with the cab driver as he do not really know how to converse or listen English. We showed him our hotel address and it seems like he knows where to head to. So he drove for around 15-20 minutes and we are at Nagoya area. We saw Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. Along the way, we passed by Harmoni One Hotel ( the hotel that we stayed during our trip to Batam ) and we realised that it is soooo near to Batam ferry centre!

Nagoya One Hotel is situated at Nagoya area, and by right we should be near already. We even saw a huge billboard advertising Nagoya One hotel. However he couldn't find the hotel location despite repeated attempts in asking the natives there. In total he get off his taxi and asked for directions for a total of 5 times. And lastly after some detouring here and there he finally brought us to our hotel location. We passed by triniti Hotel, which is popular with group buying deals online. 

Firstly, he is a native there, shouldn't he be at least familiar with the roads there, considering we did provide him with the full address and he even repeatedly asked others for directions and from the car, we clearly see people giving him directions ( like pointing here and there ). We only arrived at our hotel after like 30-45minutes when the journey could be so much shorter and we even pointed out to him the billboard with Nagoya One Hotel advertisement which gave a brief direction to the hotel from that place where the billboard is situated. 

nagoya One Hotel name card
If you happen to be staying at Nagoya One Hotel, perhaps its good to give the taxi driver this name card with the direction on it, for him to better allocate the hotel!

Ultimately we gave him the benefit of the doubt that this is a very new hotel and he might not know how to get there and it is true that this hotel is a little 'ulu' - deserted. The original agreed price of the cab fare is IDR 70,000 ( SGD $ 7.50 ), considering his effort and petrol fee, we gave him extra tips. However now that we think of it, and taking reference into what we read from fellow travellers' blogs, could it be possible that he did it on purpose so as to earn the 'tipping fee'?


Nevertheless, we are a little surprised to see that Nagoya One Hotel is really situated at a very deserted area. It is like a very out of place developed building among rural villages. but still, the exterior is exactly what we have expected!

Nagoya One Hotel main entrance
There's ample parking space and I believe its free parking.

parking area
surroundings of the hotel front entrance
Yup its sort of like villages around the hotel. We explored more of the rural area the next day (Day 2) morning.

check in done at reception area
There were 2 receptionists and they were able to converse in English :)

As we booked our hotel through Agoda, we only showed them the Agoda booking form. No payment is made but as we decided to request for extra bed ( impromptu decision ), it cost IDR 100,000 (SGD $10.71).

We were given the top level ( level 4 ).

Free Shuttle Bus

At the lobby, we saw this banner that advertise its shuttle bus service. This is an extremely positive plus point for them! We love the free shuttle bus service provided by them. If I were to come back to this hotel, it would be because of it being low priced and its convenient transportation to shopping mall. We double checked with the receptionist for the shuttle bus availability and decided to catch the 3.30pm bus. That left us with around 1 hour of idling time!

Along the way to our lift, we saw that they provide free massage too! Whoa this hotel does really goes all out to provide extra add on free services to their guests!

Here comes our family room! ~

1 queen size bed + 1 single bed
Though Nagoya One Hotel keep saying their family rooms are equip with 1 king size and 1 super size single, but oh well...

As such we asked for an extra bed and it was eventually placed at the empty area between the desk area and beds.

flat screen tv
door area + wardrobe
Actually, their family room is pretty big considering it is a budget accomodation. There's quite a lot of walking space!


The toilet could be better I guess. I have no idea what's the full length glass pane dividing the toilet bowl and showering area for. There's no door that can block water from flooding to the toilet bowl area. So when you shower, the whole toilet is practically flooded.

Oh and did I mention, when we first check in, the toilet was already wet. The towels on the floor is wet too. the floor of the hotel room is a little sticky and oily.

No doubt, for the price we paid for is pretty meagre, but ultimately the main aim of a hotel is to provide clean rooms to the guests? I guess room service could be better.
If you are thinking of where to spend your rupiah ( since bringing rupiah bakc to SG may not be a good idea given that it has been depreciating badly ), you can order from their room service dining menu too!

dining menu ( found in our hotel room )
Not sure about the taste though!

Or if you are not hungry and in desperate need to spend your rupiah, you may consider buying their equipment! Prices as follow!

selling list of the hotel
We went down earlier to the hotel lobby for the shuttle service to Nagoya Hill Shopping mall at 3.15pm as we have read on blogs before that once they have reached the maximum occupancy in a van they will not accept more guests.

We went down early, expecting a crowd but there isn't. Cos we weren't informed by the receptionist that it is full house for the hotel on that day. Earlier on, we went agoda and search, and indeed there's no more room available for booking just a couple of days before our arrival to Batam.

At around 3.35pm, there's still no shuttle transport in sight, we asked the receptionist about it and she called out to the driver from outside. Apparently, we are the only guests he drive to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall at that time. The whole hotel is pretty quiet, we were a little sceptical as to whether the hotel's business is really as good as whats said.

Nagoya One Hotel's van
The van is pretty new! I guess they really invested in it. Oh, and this hotel is pretty new too. It's just celebrated its one year anniversary opening!

The drive from Nagoya One Hotel to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is very near. Just around 15 minutes inclusive of jam. Yes traffic is pretty bad in Batam especially Nagoya.

It is quite nice of the driver to ask us what time will we be taking the shuttle van service back to Nagoya One Hotel. The drop off point is at the front entrance of the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. 

Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is the largest shopping mall in Batam. It is a famous shopping place for Singaporeans too. Do look at our July trip to Batam for more pictures of Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. 

During our this trip to Nagoya Hill shopping Mall, we even spotted a fashion apparel shops that sort of cater to Singaporeans! They sell plenty of 'blogshop' clothes and priced them at Singapore dollars!

Despite Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall being a touristy place, the prices there are still somewhat similar to the other malls - Megamall and BCS mall which we will be going on Day 2. There is a hypermart there too. 

Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall sells a lot of imitation goods too ( Chanel, Prada, LV, Gucci) as the popular brandings for bags, wallet, luggage trolley bags...

Since the shopping mall isn't exactly new to us as we went before back in July, we tour around and headed for dinner at a chinese restaurant as recommended on the cyberspace at around 5.30pm.

The chinese restaurant is called Grand Duck Restaurant and is situated at the food street of Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre. One of the restaurant partner is a Singaporean. 
Grand Duck Restaurant
Yeah. I wouldn't say it is exactly 'cheap' in Batam, but definitely it is cheaper than what you can get in Singapore. The food is good too! But in terms of taste, we missed the Chinese ala-carte food that we had at Harmoni One Hotel's Lim Garden when we went in July.

Despite it being a total chinese restaurant, we did not see any chinese speaking staff. But definitely the food are 100% chinese!

There's quite a lot of people in the restaurant already despite it being early at around 5+/6pm. Mostly Singaporean families.

So here's what we ordered ~

Claypot tofu with XO sauce
The claypot tofu with XO Sauce cost IDR 46,800 ( SGD $5.01 )
Do note that the sauce is a little spicy which we didnt expect it. There's chili inside the gravy. Its quite tasty and there's plenty of ingredients in it! We love this dish! Thumbs up for it!

1/2kg roasted duck and spinach w salted egg
It is a must to order this roasted duck since it is the chef speciality at the restaurant. We love the vegetables too! 

The 1/2 kg roasted duck cost IDR 130,800 ( SGD $14 ). Highly recommended for its cost and taste!!
While the spinach w salted egg cost IDR 44,800 ( SGD $4.80 )

Spring Roll + chinese tea
One set of spring roll ( 3 units) cost IDR 19,800 ( SGD $2.12)
While the free flow of chinese tea ( in the sense you can ask them to refill boiling water for you ) cost IDR 18,800 ( SGD $2.01 ) for a pot

Do not expect to find the conventional turnip / raddish in spring roll, this is a special kind where by its filling is chicken. The ingredient inside is practically like the ingredient in wanton/xiao long bao. Personally, we prefer the traditional kind where its turnip inside instead of meat.

Fish maw soup + siew mai
We ordered 2 of the Fish maw soup and 1 set of siew mai ( 4x ).
Fish Maw Soup cost IDR 28,000 ( SGD $3 ) for 1
1 set of siew mai cost IDR 19,800 ( SGD $2.12 )

The fish maw soup is not bad while the siew mai is pretty hard. I guess dim sum isn't this restaurant's forte.

So the whole total bill adds up to...

IDR 386,760 which is the equivalent of SGD $41.41 ! With the amount of food we ordered, $41.41 isn't something you can pay for that amount in Singapore. And afterall, the quality of the food isnt compromised by the low price! So do patronise it if you are looking for chinese restaurant in Batam. Alternatively, we recommend Lim Garden @ Harmoni One Convention hotel too!

After our dinner, we went to the hypermart to get our drinking water supplies since the hotel only provide three bottles of water and we have until the next day to last.

We were left with around 20 minutes as we want to catch the 7.10pm shuttle bus. We decided to just buy from the convenience store at the entrance however the price of the water is real expensive! 5 times the one sold in hypermart! We decided to get to the hypermart and buy drinking water instead.

There are various brands and we bought 4 ( 2 each from different brands ). One of the brand cost IDR 2,950 ( SGD $0.32 ) and the other at IDR 4,650 ( SGD $0.50 ). We bought the 1.5L range of water. 1.5L for $0.32! Water is realllly cheap !

Personally we feel all bottled water are the same, as such we did not choose the more expensive ones but we bought from 2 different brands to verify our opinions. And yup true enough they taste the same, just that the cheaper alternative has a 'weaker' plastic bottle than the other. Definitely not suitable for reusing.

The van came at around 7.15pm, and this time round, there are plenty of passengers that alighted from its van. However once again, we were the only ones who board his van back. Perhaps people are all heading out for dinner instead of us, going back to the hotel at that time!

Back at our hotel room, our extra bed has yet to be delivered. We called the front desk and they said there' no more available extra beds. However, we actually paid for it already. Luckily we asked for receipt for our payment earlier, and when we showed it to the recepionist, she run a check on her computer and tell us that the extra bed will be delivered soon. And soon enough after 5 minutes, it was delivered to our room.

So I guess moral of story, it's always good to ask for receipt for the payments you have made! There were plenty of noises in the hotel at night around 9+pm, and when we were at the lobby using the wifi, we saw a whole bus of guest performing check in at our hotel. Looks like full house is really true!

Speaking of wifi, there is room wifi however the signal strength is pretty weak. It gets disconnected easily. I guess it depends on where your room is situated at, if its near the router ( quite visible on the ceiling of the level ), then good for you! ultimately, lobby wifi is stronger!


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