Last Chinese New Year, I took advantage of our long holiday. Me and my hubby thought of taking a mini vacation to Batam, Indonesia. It was also perfect because I was on my 18weeks of pregnancy which is already the 2nd trimester so this is the right time for a ‘babymoon’. No need for passport for the baby, a bag of nappies & milk bottles and a trolley, hehe. I am carrying a trespasser in my belly, hehe..
I was lucky enough that a friend in my workplace told me to buy our tickets in advance since we are taking our vacation on a public holiday and a lot people will be taking trips to Batam too. Initially, I was planning to just buy our tickets when we get to Habourfront Terminal on the day of our trip.
Batam, Indonesia is a 45-minutes away from Singapore and you go there by a ferry from Harbourfront Terminal found next to Vivocity to either three of the ferry terminals in Batam: Batam Centre, Sekupang Waterfront City and Harbour Bay.. I bought our ticket two-days before our intended trip and my friend was right, most trips were fully-booked. But luck was still on my favor when I get 2 seats for a 10:30AM trip from Singapore to Batam Centre.
On the day of the trip, Harbourfront Terminal was so packed and the queue was extraordinary long. It looked like three-fourth of Singapore were going to Batam for the weekend. If I don’t buy our tickets in advance, I don’t think we have made the trip.
The ferry we took was filled with passengers that some of us, me and my hubby included, were seated on the open-air seats of the ferry, enduring the harsh sun and humid wind but I didn’t mind anyway. I spent it napping while my hubby went to the deck for fresh air.
45 minutes of ferry ride, we arrived at Batam which is 1-hour behind Singapore time. I managed to have our Singapore dollars exchanged to Indonesian rupiah before our trip. We took a taxi to our hotel which I booked online with a early-bird discount. (Yehey for discounts!) Taxi fare from Batam Centre Terminal to our hotel costed 60,000 rupiah which is around 6 Singapore dollars.
I picked the I-Hotel for our accommodations because I read it from a Singaporean blogger and it is where she and her boyfriend stayed during their trip in Batam. (I apologised I forgotten to take note of her name and blog.) I also checked it out in Tripadvisor and it was highly recommended. Me and hubby didn’t regret staying in their hotel. The hotel is strategically located near the Nagoya Hills Mall. The hotel was surprisingly big because I was expecting a modest-sized hotel. Their staff was very courteous and helpful.
The hotel’s rooms are clean, spacious and homey. We even have our own terrace. We are so loving this hotel. We will definitely book our stay here in I-Hotel if we will visit Batam again. We even got an orange and ang paw envelope with an Indonesian coin inside to greet us a Happy Prosperous New Year.
Our room was in the same floor as the hotel spa as well as the gym, the swimming pool and jacuzzi. Unfortunately, this little mama is not allowed to go into jacuzzis until I give birth. But I wasn’t able to try their pool too. Maybe if we stayed another day, I would have taken a dip in the pool since I brought my bathing suit with me for the trip.
After a few minutes of rest in the hotel, we headed to Nagoya Hills, just a few minutes walk from the hotel for our lunch. I wanted to try the famous Ayam Penyet Ria. Me and my hubby had a hard time finding the restaurant. After 35 minutes of roaming around the mall, we found the restaurant at the Food Street part of the mall.
We ordered the famous Ayam Penyet (Smashed Chicken) and krupek (prawn crackers) with peanut sauce in it.
The Ayam Penyet was too small for me, though, and not impressive as I thought it would taste. I have tried a better and bigger Ayam Penyet at the NUS medical building canteen. But then again, I couldn’t complain with a price of 16,000 rupiah (2.290 Singapore dollars). But fans of Ayam Penyet Ria in Singapore can get a taste of this chicken at Lucky Plaza, they have a branch there.
When we were done with our late lunch, we went to the massage place I made an advanced booking. I picked Isabelle Massage House which is nearby Nagoya Hills. It has relocated from its previous spot and it was a bit confusing at first because outside the new location, there is a small tarp that said Isabella Massage House but inside its says Majesty Spa. But it is one and the same thing.
The spa offered cookies, juices, coffees and teas before and after your spa experience. My hubby and I got the the Bali Traditional Massage which is a relaxing massage using cream or oil. I know some would question if a pregnant woman should be getting a massage. Well, I did researched before I booked the appointment. It is safe to have a prenatal massage as long as you are already in your second trimester, the therapist must be an experienced prenatal masseuse, some aromatic oils should be avoided and during massage the ankles and the spot between the forefinger and thumb shouldn’t be massaged and should be avoided because these pressure points can induce contractions of the uterus and pelvic muscles
We were ushered to a couples room a few floors up. I got an experienced prenatal masseuse and we chose cream instead of oils. I was positioned sideways with me hugging a pillow to cradle my slightly bulging belly and one of my leg was propped up on the same pillow too. My abdomen was never touched during the whole course of our 60minutes massage. I never felt so relaxed. My hubby loved it too.
The massage was at 450,00 rupiah (50 singapore dollars) per person. We spent the rest of the day roaming around Nagoya Hills and then bought some pizza at Pizza Huts and donuts at J.Co (it’s way cheaper in Batam, of course) to take back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the day lounging around, eating and watching T.V.
The buffet breakfast the next morning didn’t have much variety but since I was still having my preggy food squeamishness, I enjoyed my make-your-own porridge and the fruits they offered. I was one happy pregnant woman. While my hubby feasted on their different types of pasta and omelettes.
Then shortly after our brunch, we headed to Nagoya Hills to buy some groceries. We took advantage of the price in Batam compared to Singapore and bought some stuff usually found in Indonesia. We got some yummy Chitato chips and Indomie Instant Mee Goreng.
By lunch time, we got famished again and went to one of the tourist destination for seafood lovers : Golden Prawn 933. The place was packed with tourists.
The rice was served in a big cointaner similar to the one that is being carried by the waiter in Mang Inasal for unlimited rice. It’s impossible for two people to finish it all. Waaaahaha!
We got some black pepper crabs and cereal prawns for our lunch. I also got a fresh coconut for drinks.
One thing we failed to try in Batam is the A&W root beer float and waffle ice cream. We were so full already. But I managed to take a snap picture of their rootbeer float. The queue in the A&W restaurants can be really long too. They have two A&W restaurants in Nagoya Hills. I learned before that Singapore used to have A&W branch but eventually closed. We will come back for you, A&W!
After our massage the day before in Isabella Massage House, we ordered from them a box of kueh lapis. Batam is know for their yummy kueh lapis. Kueh Lapis is a layered cake made of egg, butter and sugar. Though one of the best kueh lapis can be bought from Layers Speciality Layers Cake found in kiosks in malls, we decided to try the one from Isabelle Massage House, a homemade kueh lapis to be delivered freshly baked in our hotel with a free transport to bring us to the terminal. We got it for 200, 000 rupiah ( 25 Singapore dollars). The kueh lapis smelled so good and yes, it was really yummy.
Jl. Teuku Umar
Tel. No.: +62 778 431111
Fax No.: +62 778 431999
Isabella Massage House
Nagoya Hill Shop House Block G No. 5 Nagoya,
Batam – Indonesia
(Tel 1) Call by your handphone : +62 778 749 3692
(Tel 2) Call by your telephone from Singapore : 001 62 778 749 3692
(Tel 3) Call by your phone from Batam Hotels : 0778 749 3692
Operating Hours 09.30 AM to 10.15 PM ( Last Order )