Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Batam 1-Day City Tour 巴淡岛一日城市游
Early Sunday morning, together with some elders, I boarded a ferry to Batam island, Indonesia. We were going to spend a night there as we would be attending the anniversary dinner of a Hainan community that night.
The journey from Singapore to Sekupang Ferry Terminal (located on the western side of Batam) is only 45 minutes. We booked a city tour. Together with another 9 mainland Chinese tourists, the 18 of us with 2 tour guides began our Batam trip with a 30-minute stop to the famous Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple, Batam Centre.
It is a huge temple (flawlessly clean compound) dedicated to Maitreya Buddha (also known as the Laughing Buddha), and also has two halls dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy and Guan Gong. Scattered around the spacious temple ground are many stone sculptures of the Laughing Buddha. There are adorable statues of baby Maitreya Buddha carrying a Chinese zodiac animal, I snapped only a few photos due to time constraint.
The Maitreya Vegetarian Restaurant situated within the temple has an awesome and delicious spread of vegetarian dishes. Looking at the mouth-watering dishes, I would have loved to eat here but a seafood lunch was scheduled. Looks like I would have to come back for another visit with hubby.
An elder bought some vegetarian buns, some with coconut filling and some with peanut fillings to share with us. I like the fluffy bun with coconut filling (6000 Rupiah each). Maybe on my next trip, I will try the rest of the buns that have a variety of fillings.
After our temple visit, it was shopping time at various factories and fashion outlets. It seems that a tour to Batam is incomplete without buying the most popular and well known cake of Batam Island - the Kueh Lapis (layer cake).
Available in 4 flavors and costing 290,000 Rupiah each, my travel companions bought quite a few boxes to bring home. Although I love to eat the Prune Lapis and Mocha Lapis, I chose to avoid for health reasons.
We visited shops selling Indonesian coffee beans, chocolate (discovered the chocolate are manufactured in Malaysia, LOL), local products (crispies, snacks and Indonesian sambal chilli) and dried seafood.
There was a type of chilli paste called "Sambal Belacan Gila" (Insanely spicy), it was fiery hot and made hubby jumping mad. hahaha.....
Lunch was served at a Chinese seafood restaurant situated over a huge pond. This restaurant caters to tourists, the food wasn’t anything to shout about in terms of both quality and variety, I would not visit here if I am on my own free and easy tour.
After lunch, it was more shopping but my elderly travel companions and I chose to have naps on the coach, leaving the young mainlander tourists to shop and even went go-karting. haha.....
An hour later, the tour guide brought us to a massage parlour. Except for 3 elderly members, all of us went for either a full body massage or a foot reflexology. I didn't enjoy my "massage" because my masseur was not skilled and I felt she was merely applying baby oil on my body -_-
My massage session, my masseur taking rests in between to go toilet and to wash hands, ended earlier than the rest. *sighs* After getting dressed, I walked over to the hawker stalls opposite the massage parlour and bought a delicious chicken curry puff (10,000 Rupiah each).
When every one has completed their massage sessions, we boarded the coach and those who were on a one-day tour package were sent to the ferry terminal for their journey back to Singapore. The rest of us who were staying overnight on Batam were sent to our respective hotels.
Our hotel was on a hill overlooking the city. Not in a convenient location, as there is no shopping malls and a lack of good transport network. Was told that it belongs to a fellow Hainanese kinsman and that it was renovated not too long ago. Our dinner invitation would be held at the ballroom of this hotel. We checked in to our room. It was clean and spacious. We washed up and changed before going to dinner with our elders.
At the time of traveling, 1 Singapore Dollar is roughly equivalent to 9,500 Indonesian Rupiah.
星期天清晨我与几位海南宗亲们搭渡轮出发去巴淡岛, 准备参加巴淡岛海南宗亲的周年晚宴。参加晚宴之前, 我们先来个城市游。星期天的人潮不多, 天气也不热, 我们这趟旅游还愉快。
我们和另外9名大陆旅客乘坐旅行车, 连同两名导游, 第一站参观了离巴淡岛轮渡中心非常近的天恩弥勒佛院。这里有很大的佛像，观音像和关公像。 寺院的后面是一家素食餐厅，供应的素食菜肴种类繁多。听说这里的素食好好吃, 我下次再来试试, 因为旅行社安排了海鲜午餐。
旅行社安排的行程相当紧凑, 由导游带领着光顾食品店、 衣服工厂店、 千层糕店、巧克力商店、干粮店、等等。
我这次重游巴淡岛, 去千层糕店都懒得尝，总算在干粮店能买点鱼饼、虾饼。大家几十万、几百万的花费, 绝对土豪！试吃印尼辣椒酱, 辣死人不偿命啊!!
终于逛完了购物点，吃午餐了! 怎么还是旅行团必到的团餐地点?！餐馆全部建筑在水上, 海鲜不新鲜, 只有辣椒酱好吃。 哈哈。。。
吃过午餐, 继续逛购物点。宗亲们在旅行车上睡午觉, 年轻的团友们都下车走走, 还玩了卡丁车。喜欢按摩的团友们, 导游介绍了按摩院。我预定了90分钟点全身按摩 (200,000印尼盾), 年轻的"按摩师"带我去荷兰! 付了钱让她涂油! 气死人!
终于到了酒店，我们住在远离市中心的山上酒店, 环境优美。房间虽然大, 但是交通不方便, 也没得购物, 晚上肚子饿附近没有卖吃的。