Batam City is the largest city in Riau Province. This city is made out of three islands, Batam, Rempang and Galang connected by the Balerang Bridge. This city is located strategically on the international shipping route passing the Malaca Strait near Singapore and Malaysia. Batam is known well for having various ethnic groups and for its significant development. Many languages are used in this city, mostly Minang, Batak and Javanese language. Indonesian language is still the main language, though.
Things to see
There are many things you can find in this island, one of them is former refuge camp in Galang Island, Batam. Here you can see pictures, tombs, wrecked ships and other historical things. You can also see the majestic Masjid Raya Batam located at Batam center. This middle-eastern architectured masjid is unique. You won't see any pillar here, making it look very spacious, and the dome is like no other: it is in a shape of a pyramid.
There's Maha Duta Maitreya Temple, the biggest temple in Southeast Asia. This temple is located in Sei Panas. Sei Panas is so close to both Singapore and Malaysia, making the temple is usually visited by both country's citizen to do prayer or just look at this temple's majesty.
Things to do
As Batam is close Singapore and close to the busiest shipping route in the world, the city is very much international orientated and very good for shopping. There are several shopping centers such as Batam City Square and Mega Mall which will offer you many international products from well-known brands. There's also Lucky Plaza in Nagoya, the biggest in Batam, which will offer you various kinds of electronic devices.
Batam also offers you some nature like Nongsa Beach and Waterfront City. You will be able to do water skiing, parasailing, wind surfing, canoeing, etc.
Things to eat
If you're in Batam, don't forget to taste the most favorite food in the city, Gonggong. Gonggong is typically from Batam, made of white snail and served with nut condiment. If you want to bring souvenisrs for friends and family at home you can buy many kinds of banana cake, dragon fruit cake, roasted bingka and bilis cake.
Getting to Batam
Flying to Batam: Batam is served by Hang Nadim Airport. Hang Nadim Airport is located about 15 km east from Batam. A taxi into the city from Hang Nadim Airport would cost IDR 100.000. Read more about Hang Nadim Airport or look for flights to Batam