The plan for today was to head to Batam Indonesia since it's only an hour ferry ride away from Singapore. We hadn't really read much about the place but it would be fun to say we went to another country. We booked our tickets and got on board the ferry. We thought it would move pretty fast but it was extremely slow going. It was also raining the entire trip over there which was unfortunate since we wanted to spend some time on beaches.
We got to Batam and didn't realize we needed to buy a visa on arrival so we had to get back out of the customs line and get our visa then had to wait in line again. The next issue was figuring out what to do. There were some really good reviews for the Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Monastery so we flagged down a taxi to take us there. We thought it would be pretty straight forward but the taxi guy said there won't be any other taxis there so he'd have to wait.
We ended up paying him to hang around with us for 3 hours while we toured the monastery and he'd also be able to drive us around some more. As we were walking around we saw that there was a huge vegetarian restaurant there that was packed. Since we hadn't eaten lunch yet we decided to eat there. It was a really good choice. They had a lot of good food and the sauces and spices used on the fake meat products made it taste really good.
We got back in the taxi and had the guy drop us off at Turi beach resort. It was also a highly rated place online so we figured it would be a good place to hang out and relax by the beach. Unfortunately when we got there they wanted to charge us S$30 per person to have access to the pool and beach area. We weren't about to pay that so we walked around to the next beach over and then cut back through it to the Turi beach area. The resort we cut through was absolutely dead and looked pretty rundown. The area was definitely not the tourist destination that people online made it out to be.
The beach itself was full of trash and wasn't very big. We hung out there for a little while then walked around and out to the pier at Turi beach resort before having the resort call us a taxi back to the ferry terminal. We were originally supposed to leave Batam at 8:30pm but there wasn't anything else to do so we were able to catch the 4:30 ferry back.
On the way back the ferry stopped due to blockage in the jets or something so we had to go pretty slow the rest of the way back to Singapore. Once we got back to Singapore and through customs we came back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We decided to check out another one of the huge hawker centers at Old Airport Road. This one was really nice. There were a lot of stalls with a bunch of different types of food. I got some black pepper chicken and a chicken curry steam bun and Mike and I split some fried wontons and beer.
It had been another long day so we came back to the hotel to do some work and relax before heading to bed.
For anyone who might stumble across this blog post and are thinking about going to Batam while visiting Singapore, I'd strongly recommend not going. Spend more time in Singapore or go somewhere else. There isn't really anything to do there that can't be done in Singapore 10x better.