For most people in Singapore, the small bustling island of Batam in Indonesia is one of the popular weekend getaways. Located only 20 kilometres away, it is reachable in less than an hour. From there, guests can proceed to cosy hotels and fantastic beach resorts for a nice R&R.
But there’s more to Batam than being a holiday destination.
Here are more incredible facts to know:
1. One can reach Batam through Changi Airport.
Although a ferry to Batam remains one of the best ways to reach the island, it’s not the only option. Aside from flying from Jakarta or Malaysia, you can book a transfer straight from Singapore’s premier Changi Airport.
2. Beaches are not the only go-to places.
Most of the Singaporeans and other foreigners visit Batam for their gorgeous beaches, but the island is also famous for other activities such as golf and relaxing spas and massages. The best spa in Batam, according to WOW Getaways, offers a wide variety of services including a traditional Balinese massage that uses specially formulated essential oils, as well as a free or affordable transport.
3. It has one of the highest foreign tourist arrivals.
Batam is one of the key entry points for foreigners along with Bali and Jakarta. In 2014 alone, more than 1.4 million people reached Indonesia through the island.
4. It is part of the SIJORI Growth Triangle.
The SIJORI Growth Tringle is an economic agreement among three countries: Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The idea is to improve international relations and free trade. The triangle includes Johor of Malaysia and a few islands of Riau in Indonesia, such as Batam.
5. Singapore dollar is a recognised currency.
Don’t have rupiah? That’s fine as long as you have Singapore dollars. Don’t be confused. Batam’s official currency is still rupiah. However, the huge influx of Singaporeans and foreigners coming from Singapore has made the Lion City’s dollars the second, although unofficial, currency.
With these facts, you’ll get to appreciate Batam and even do more than getting a sun-kissed skin by the beach.