Mar 14

Me & the makan gang went to Nagoya Hill in Nagoya, Batam for dinner… at the top floor of Nagoya Hill there’s a food street with all sort of local as well as fast food outlets. We decided to try traditional Indonesia food, known as Sundanese (don’t get confuse with Sudan) at Rumah Makan Pak Chomot.

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Bahasa Indonesia is a bit different from Malay, so here are some of the stuff we ordered, Cumi Pete (sotong with petai), Garume Goreng (type of fish fried), Kepiting Lada Hitam (crabs, cooked with black pepper sauce), Sate Kombinasi (mix satay), Gado-gado (Indonesian rojak), Baby Kailan, Ayam Chomot (funny fried chicken), Kerang Bakar, etc.

I also ordered my favourite drink, Es Jeruk Kelapa. Es is ice, Jeruk is a citrus juice, Kelapa well coconut. So it is coconut in a citrus juice, very nice ;).

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The whole meal is ok and quite interesting, the crabs portions are small, people here don’t eat crabs like how we do in KL, here its a bit of crabs and lots of rice, where else in KL, all crabs no rice, we all really spoilt.

It was an interesting experience for most of us, trying something Indonesian and traditional, overall food is good here and all the above cost us about Rp. 377,000.00 for 8 persons. Not bad la… worth trying if you are ever in Batam, plus the place have aircond and good friendly service :).

Mar 14
Johor-Batam Ferry from Zon
icon1 Cupnoodles | icon2 My Travels | icon4 03 14th, 2009| icon3Comments Off on Johor-Batam Ferry from Zon

During my last trip to Batam, I traveled to Singapore before heading to Batam on ferry from there since AirAsia had stopped flights from KL to Batam (pity). This trip however, we are going from Johor. There are ferry services from Zon in Stulang Laut, Johor Bahru directly to Batam Center in Batam. The ferry schedule are available here.

We parked at the indoor multi-level carpark in Zon, it cost about RM45 for 3 days 2 nights of parking which is not bad and quite safe we got our car back in 1 piece ;). From the carpark, we need to cut across level 2 of the shopping complex to the ferry terminal, signboards in the complex are helpful, its about 5-10 minutes walk (with all the stuff we had to carry).

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At the ferry terminal, we went to the counter for tickets. You are required to hand in your passport for them to manually key in your details to get a printed ticket out and this process really takes time! We were quite worry we gonna miss the 2.30pm ferry, after 20-30 mins waiting, we got our passport back with the ticket. The return ticket cost RM120.00 inclusive of seaport tax.

The immigration and custom is quite fast and the ferry usually departs late as we made in no sweat after 2.30pm to get on board the ferry. Depending on the different timing will be different ferry as its operated by 3 different companies.

The ferry ride was a choppy as it was raining and it took 1 1/2 hours. Ferry is aircond with blurry TV as the only source of entertainment.

When returning from Batam, you are required to pay Rp.110,000.00 tax again… so make sure you keep so rupiah for the return trip. You have to go to level 1 of batam center to your return ticket confirm as its an open ticket.

Oct 30
Weekend Trip to Batam
icon1 Cupnoodles | icon2 My Travels | icon4 10 30th, 2008| icon32 Comments »

I was a mad rush for the week to make sure that I settle all my stuff at work and although I was tired, I felt good on Friday morning as we make our way to Batam via Singapore. Its been a while since we had our family trip and this time I have my two nephews with us as well.

We decided to travel by Aeroline to Singapore as it stops at Harbour Front where we could convinently change to our ferry to Batam (no choice la since AirAsia cancelled its direct flight to Batam, what a pity!). The only problem I had taking Aeroline is that Sunway Pyramid decided to hold a fire drill exercise that morning and sort of block off the road to the Aeroline stop, we had to do a tour to the service basement and took the lift up with 2 kids and a whole bunch of luggages, it was havoc but we made it!

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This is my first experience on Aeroline and we got the double deck, which is a 30 seaters with seats pre-allocated from my online booking. Downstairs is a small lounge that fits 6 and a light usage toilet and pantry. The seats are really comfortable and spacious and there’s power socket at the both sides the bus on every row making charging of notebooks, phones, PDAs, etc. easy. Too bad they don’t have WIFI like how Oddessy does.

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For the journey to Singapore, the service was really good and we were pampered with subway sandwiches, bottomless hot drinks and mineral waters. Only problem was the LCD screen showing the movie wasn’t bright enough and there’s no individual earphones, so volume had to be kept low to avoid distrupting other passengers :(.

Anyhow, it was an enjoyable ride but our coach captain was taking a bit too long and my nephews really lost patience in Johor, I kept getting “are we there yet?”, “how many more hours?”, “why so long one?”… you can imagine the rest. The only hassle of taking a bus to Singapore is having to depart to get go through immigration and when going through Singapore we had to carry all our luggages down to crossover. Maybe driving isn’t that bad the next time *wonders*.

The bus stopped at harbour center and soon we were met by the representatives from Indah Puri Golf in Batam whom helped us to arrange for our tickets and we just left our luggages with them to check in for us. So we finally can move freely and decided to grab our late lunch before taking a short stroll in Vivocity.

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We went to the Tuck Shop on the 3rd floor and I ordered the Dry Ramen for S$4.00, portion is small but its very tasty! The coffee here is excellent, very thick, not too cheap and rich with flavours.

Tuckshop in Harbourfront Center, Singapore. GPS: N1 15.843 E103 49.213

After the quick meal, we hang around Vivocity a little then boarded the ferry, its quite systematic as per how they do everything in Singapore. First you are presented with a smartcard rather than holding a ticket upon check in. You will need to scan your smartcard before going through Immigration to exit. In the waiting lounge, its still a bit confusing but the smartcard are colour coded based on different ferry and departure. They will call out the ferry name when you can board and you have to scan your card again and if you miss the boarding, they can check the computer and announce the pending passengers, pretty cool ;). Then just before boarding the ferry, they will collect the card and scan it again to make sure you really board the right ferry.

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We boarded the Sea Princess ferry to Batam, its really a small ferry and most of the Indonesians in the ferry will book their seats by placing their bags on the seat and go off smoking. Some of them will just put their bags on the seat next to them, so although its half filled, you still have to find place to sit. This ferry is slower too, from my GPS, its moving average of 30-33km/h and took about 45 minutes before reaching.

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In Batam, we are greeted by Indah Puri staff and got an “express” passing through Immigration and transfered to the resort. TIm’s place is pretty neat, facing the sea with the view on one side Singapore and the other side Batam town. Since its the ground unit, just open up the glass doors and its windy throughout the day and balcony makes a perfect place for bbq or a nice morning and afternoon tea ;).

That night, we head to Golden Prawns Restaurant for seafood, there’s 2 of them, one is Golden Prawns 555 and the other is Golden Prawns 933. I read in some blogs that they serve the same food, about the same price and taste too. We went to Golden Prawns 555 and ordered a host of seafood, unfortunately we are seating outdoor on wooden tilts by the sea, so its too dark to take pix of the food.

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The oats prawns here is good, fresh and everything fried to perfect crisp, I just ate the whole prawns without having to border to peel off the skin or head. One of the crab style I have yet to taste in Malaysia is Black Pepper Crabs which I had here. Its really nice, the crabs are fresh firstly (what am I talking about, all the seafood are live here!) and its fried with a light coat of black pepper sauce but cooked out dry. ITs superbly tasty and you will just get addictive with it. The other good dish here is their garoupa fish, the taste are just so so but the fish meat have this “qq” bouncy taste. Accordingly to my dad (who was a fish farmer), this fish are caught from the sea and not those farmed in kelong judging from the texture of the meat. Plus a few regular dishes and drinks, bill come up to about 700,000 rupiah, that’s about RM260.00. Is it cheap, well, it could be cheaper in Indonesia but then again, this place are spoilt by willing to spend Singaporeans, so by that standard, I would say it was ok :).

Golden Prawns 555 Seafood in Batam, GPS: N01 09.629 E104 02.225

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The next morning we had a good breakfast of home baked breads, muffins, cakes and jam by my sis, all of them are great good especially love the bread and banana cakes. It was really relaxing just sitting facing the sea and enjoying breakfast, then… “suk suk, are we going swimming?”… aiks… time to bring the little monster for a swim. The swimming pool is located next to a driving range overlooking the sea and tennis courts. There’s a small gym by the pool and the pool itself is huge, with 4 different pool and depth joining together, so its for kids as well as adult.

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We have our lunch at the coffee house in Indah Puri and the view here is just amazing facing the entire golf course. The food and drinks here are priced in Singapore dollars. It cost from S$6.00 to S$10.00 for a meal here. The food is not bad, I had a sup buntut goreng, basically its the cow’s tail cooked in soup then having the meat fried in sauce serving it with rice and some crackers. There’s a spa below the club house offering traditional massages at about S$20.00 1 hour.

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We head to town for some shopping after that, Nagoya is the most developed commercial area for shopping here and we got down at Matahari @ Nagoya Hill. Its a big hypermart here and most of the things are available here, expect for one thing, we just can’t seems to find fresh milk anywhere, strange. We got our food, drinks and seasoning for the night’s bbq and drop by a Polo outlet on the way back. The prices at Polo here is not cheap, after 50% discount, it still cost RM120.00 for a shirt. We could get much cheaper prices in Bandung and everything here is money, even the tour bus outside parked by the roadside needs to pay the store’s guard.

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That night, we had a nice and simple bbq and I was dead tired by the end of the day (partly taking care of the kids too). The next day, I got an early ferry back to Singapore for my morning bus back to KL to attend good buddy Kevin & Ashley’s wedding dinner. The ferry back was a bigger one, Batam fast and its more comfortable, bigger and faster, clocking about 40-43km/h on my GPS.

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It was a good experience, I am glad I went and I definitely look forward to another trip there, but perhaps allocating more time to just relax and unwind there ;).

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