At the fish market
Oct 2010



Tell any Singaporean that you are heading over the weekend to Batam and surely images of scruffy old men in tacky printed shirts with wallets full of cash hooking up girls half their age will be conjured. But yet, we persistently allow ourselves to be contained in such misunderstandings, to our own detriment.

I cant blame anyone, as I used to feel that way too. But not until my cousin met a Batam local working in Singapore who invited us to a short 2 day trip in Batam. I never realise that the destination which offered the best hospitality and emotional authenticity, after years and thousands of miles of jetsetting, is just be right beside our doorstep.

Batam is approximately 45 mins by ferry from Singapore. A two way ticket to and fro Batam from "Harbor Front Terminal" would cost one approximately $50 SGD.

Indonesia as a country faces multiple challenges - both international but especially domestic. Struggling with corruption, compounded by personal safety issues and domestic terrorism, it wouldn't be a surprise to find it shunned by tour-group-hugging Singaporean travelers. Despite all its challenges, and how the media portrays it to be, Indonesia in its essence is a gleaming gem - especially, for backpackers.

Wipe off the dust from the surface, and join me as we explore the human edge behind Batam.


travelogue | next