Batam Island (Chinese New Year Weekend)
So the weekend started early 🙂 – Wednesday night. Went to city for Chinese new year and checked out the scene in Chinatown. Sat around a huge screen watching a concert that was happening live right behind us but because the streets were closed off we were too lazy to make a big circle around town to get to the stage.
Then we went to Ministry of Sound club (aka MoS). “Studio 54” on the 2nd floor was tons of dancing and fun.
Next morning (Thursday) early wake up and going to Waterfront to catch our 9am ferry to Batam Island (about 40 mins away from S’pore).
We had a resort booked for 10 ppl and so after a shady process of “visa on arrival” we were picked up from the ferry terminal and taken to resort (2 mins away) via shuttle.
Holiday Inn Batam is a beautiful resort with all the necessary things you can imagine… saunas, spas, huge pool, restaurant, bar, etc…even a waterslide yeeeey! ..ahm.. its only a bit in the middle of nowhere. There was another resort nearby called Harris. There was a cable wakeboarding, as well as go-carts. We did both. Actually we only had about 30 mins for wakeboarding because we arrived at 5:30pm and they were closing at 6, but we did get a chance to try it out. It was hard but I was able to get on water couple of times. Afterwords a local worker asked if we wanted to jump into the water from the cable tower. The obvious answer was YES. Thrilled and scared I climbed up and jumped from about 6m high tower.
Staying in the resort was fun and relaxing, but we really wanted to see the “real” Batam so with the help of our buddy Mukti (guy in charge of activities at the resort) we took two cabs to the city on Saturday afternoon. In Nagoya (center of Batam) we went to a massage place and a few of us received a reflexology (foot massage) for about S$9. really cheap compared to the S$80 or 90 at the resort. Then we went for dinner and finally arrived in NoName Cafe – really nice bar with live music. There was a band from Jakarta performing. Just good live music and very good pub ambiance. The place was decorated as if you were under the trees, so you can see structures that represent roots of a tree, kind of a darker “Alice in the Wonderland” atmosphere.
Sunday we headed back to Singapore. Again the stricking difference in the way things are organized here… order and structure stands out. It is actually nice when you come back from a more chaotic place because you know that here (S’pore) everything will go as expected, the bus, the taxi driver, the server at the restaurant will just perform their function in the society and thus make your life easier. Comforting, but when ‘consumed in excess’ becomes annoying. I guess we as people need some chaos in our lives.