An alternative day trip while in Singapore is Batam Island. Batam is both an island and the largest city on the island in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia (Wikipedia). This tiny island, about 45km x 25km with a million people, is only about 20 kms away from Singapore.
To visit Batam Island for a day trip while vacationing in Singapore, the best way is to ride one of the ferries originating from the Harbourfront Centre in Singapore. A full day, small tour package on the island costs about SGD45. This includes return ferry ticket, a guided tour and a lunch. If you’re planning to have a day trip to the island, make sure you arrive at the Harbourfront Centre early to get a ticket. Better yet, purchase your ticket prior to the day of your visit from any local travel agent in Singapore. Travel time from Singapore to Batam Island by ferry is about 50 minutes.
In Batam, must see places to visit include the biggest Southeast Asian Buddhist temple of Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya, as well as the old temple of Thua Pek Kong (also known as Vihara Buddhi Bhakti Temple). You can visit these temples in the morning, before your guide brings you to Golden Prawn Seafood Restaurant where you’ll take your lunch.
Another must-try while roaming the city during the first half of your trip is the local cake knows as kueh lapis, a layered-cake made from flour, coconut milk and sometimes flavoured with pandan. Do not forget to mention this to your guide so that he could bring you to one of the local shops making this delicacy. It’s really worth bringing some of this back to Singapore with you 🙂
Most guided one-day tours of the island include a sumptuous seafood lunch, so be sure to prepare your tummy for the feast 🙂
In the afternoon, you can indulge in other island attractions such as visiting a beach and doing related water sports, karting, playing golf and many others. Of course, all these depend on the time you still have, as well as the amount of money you want to spend further 🙂
If you still have the time, you can indulge further in cheap, excellent local Balinese massage for about SGD20 for an hour of pampering.
Later in the afternoon, you can visit the Polo (Ralph Lauren) and Zara factory outlets for genuine products in factory price, and some other malls for cheap shopping before you head back to Singapore in the evening.
teachers for most of the last 15 years... into educational technology, e-learning and quality assurance. builds scale models of cars and robots, and experiments in photography in spare time. loves to travel and explore new places with family.
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