Located only 20km from Singapore and 25km from Johor in Malaysia, Batam is Indonesia’s equivalent to China’s SEZ’s (Special Economic Zones) – a place where the nation’s economic planners test new economic policies and ideas. The island is an industrial hub with electronics factories, a large and growing ship repair industry and an even larger oil service sector. Quite a few expats head there for work, and pubs and golf courses have sprung up to serve them.
Most tourists, on the other hand, come from nearby Singapore. While there is a smattering of family resorts, Bintan is more popular for this; instead, the main lure on Batam is the discounted shopping and the nightlife. However, the new governor of the province has shut down the casinos and taken steps to curb prostitution, and the goings-on aren’t quite as in your face as they used to be.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is modeled on the version of Malay which originates from Riau on the Sumatra mainland and the Riau Islands. In fact, Riau Malay is regarded as quite similar to the Malay language and visitors from Malaysia will find the Indonesian spoken here very similar to Bahasa Malaysia, which is the version of Malay spoken back home.
Batam also have a large population of ethnic chinese Indonesians, who also can speak Hokkien (Fujian), Teochew and Mandarin. Besides, there are also large population of migrants from various parts of Indonesia who speak many different kinds of Indonesian dialects.
All Batam ports, namely Harbour Bay (Jodoh), Batam Centre, Nongsapura, Sekupang and Waterfront City (Teluk Senimba) are visa-free and visa-on-arrival ports of entry. For detailed information on visas, please refer to the VISA page.
Batam’s airport is the Hang Nadim International Airport (BTH). Nearly all flights are domestic where you can get direct connections to Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Pekanbaru, Banda Aceh, Jambi, Palembang, Bandar Lampung, Pangkal Pinang, Pontianak, Balikpapan, Natuna, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Surakarta, and Bandung. Indonesian carriers Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Citilink, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air.
In addition to the domestic flights, Firefly and Malindo Air operates international flights from Subang Airport near Kuala Lumpur.
For most foreign visitors though, the most practical way of getting to Batam will be to fly into Singapore and catch a ferry from there. If you want to catch flights from Singapore’s Changi Airport, you must be on a ferry to Singapore at least three hours before departure time. See “By boat” section below for details.
The main ports on Batam are Harbour Bay, Batam Centre, Sekupang, Waterfront City, Nongsapura and Telaga Punggur. The main city of Nagoya is now served by Harbour Bay (Jodoh), replacing the old Batu Ampar ferry terminal.
Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal is the closet terminal between Singapore Harbour Front and Batam. Travelling time is approx 45 minutes. From the terminal, it takes about 10 minutes to access Batam Nagoya City, where most tourist frequents.
Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal is serving Horizon Fast Ferry and Batam Fast that commutes between Singapore Harbourfront and Batam, 12 times daily. Travellers can also travel to Johor, Malaysia, Ferry Puteri Harbour Ferry Terminal, via Marine Hawk from Harbour Bay.
Batam Center Ferry Terminal (The nearest Ferry Terminal to the Conference Venue/ICAE2019) has the most frequent ferry connections to/from Singapore and Johor Bahru and is also the closest terminal to the airport. Sekupang, with ferries from Singaporeis further from the airport but can still be used to catch domestic connections to the Sumatra mainland and the Karimun Islands. Waterfront City and Nongsapura mostly serve adjacent resorts while Telaga Punggur is the main ferry terminal for boats to and from Bintan.
A. To/From Singapore: Ferries departing from the Harbourfront Ferry Terminal go to Harbour Bay, Sekupang, Batam Centre, and Waterfront City (Teluk Senimba) while ferries from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal serve Nongsapura and Harbour Bay(new route).
a) From Harbourfront (Singapore): Ferry operators include
Horizon Fast Ferry (Tel: -Phone: +65 6276 6711 in Harbourfront Email: email@example.com), previously known as Prima Ferries, operates from Harbourfront to Harbour Bay.
“Penguin” Now known as Sindo Ferry (Tel: +62-778-467574 in Batam Centre; +62-778-321636 in Sekupang; +62-778-381280 in Waterfront City; +65-62714866 in Harbourfront). S$23/34 one-way/return (May 2013). Virtually hourly ferries to Batam Centre and Sekupang, fewer ferries to Waterfront City.
Batam Fast (Tel: +62-778-467793/464666 in Batam Centre; +62-778-325085/6 in Sekupang; +65-62700311 in Harbourfront). Also hourly ferries to Batam Centre, fewer ferries to Sekupang and Harbor Bay.
Indofalcon (Tel: +65-62783167 in Harbourfront). This company does not operate to/from Sekupang.
b) From Tanah Merah (Singapore) Ferry Terminal: Ferries operated by:
Batam Fast (Tel: +62-778-761071 in Nongsapura, +65-65426310 in Tanah Merah FT). Several ferries daily to/from Nongsapura and Harbour Bay.
c) Singapore Cruise Centre owns Harbourfront and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminals and its subsidiary SCC Travel Services operates under wowgetaways.com link: [ http://www.wowgetaways.com/ ] (Tel: +65-6513-2191 in Singapore) has the most complete list of ferry services for sale on its website.
B. To/From Malaysia: Ferries link Johor Bahru with Batam Centre. There are virtually hourly departures betweem 0750 and 1840 from JB to Batam, and between 0750 and 1720 from Batam to JB. Tickets cost RM60/95 one-way/return before taxes to/from JB. For more information, call Tenggara Senandung (Tel: +60-7-2211677) in Johor Bahru. Ferries also operate between Batam Centre and Tanjung Belungkor in Johor.
C. To/From Bintan:
The main port for ferries between the capital city of Riau Islands Tanjung Pinang at the island Bintan and Batam is Telaga Punggur at the southeastern end of Batam:
Baruna (Tel: +62-778-479162 in Telaga Punggur; +62-771-28578 in Tanjung Pinang) and Sentosa operate speedboats between Telaga Punggur and Bintan’s main town Tanjung Pinang virtually every 15 minutes during daylight hours. Tickets cost Rp.25,000 – Rp40,000 excluding port taxes (Rp.5,000).
Frequent speedboats also run between Telaga Punggur and Tanjung Uban on the western part of Bintan.
Getting there/away: Official taxis from Batam Centre to Telaga Punggur cost Rp65.000. On the reverse way, it’s Rp. 60.000. You can try and bargain for a lower rate with taxis outside the port area (Batam centre to Telaga Punggur may cost Rp.50.000). Passenger vans or mikrolet (know as Metro Trans by the locals) run between Telaga Punggur and Jodoh/Nagoya. Mind you, they will go back & fro to wait until their van is full before they really depart.
Boats to/from Tanjung Pinang also call at Sekupang at the northeastern part of Batam when going to or coming from the Sumatra mainland such as to Dumai and Pekanbaru, as well as Karimun Island. These are however not as frequent as those leaving from Telaga Punggur. To get to Sekupang, please see following section.
D. To/From Sumatra mainland, other Riau Islands: Batam’s main domestic port is Sekupang, where you can ferries to/from the Sumatra mainland and other Riau Islands west of Batam. You can also use Sekupang for ferries to/from Bintan but the bulk of ferries to that island leave from Telaga Punggur (see “From Bintan” section above). Getting there/away: Numerous taxis make the run between Sekupang and Nagoya. There is also a public minibus service between Sekupang and Batam Center as well as Nagoya.
E. To/From Karimun Island: Regular ferries operate between Tanjung Balai on Karimun and Sekupang. Some of the ferries originate from the Sumatra mainland or Kundur Island. Boats also stop at Tanjung Balai when going from Sekupang to Sumatra or Kundur. There are several ferries from Harbour Bay to Karimun as well. Other ferry destination are Moro and Durai in other island in Karimun Regency.
F. To/From Dumai: Several companies, including Dumai Express operates several ferries daily to/from Sekupang. Most of these ferries originate from Tanjung Pinang, the main town on Bintan, and also make a stop at Tanjung Balai on Karimun Island after making a stop at Sekupang.
G. To/From Kundur Island: Several ferry companies run daily between Sekupang and Tanjung Batu on Kundur. These ferries also make a stop at Tanjung Balai on Karimun enroute.
H. Other ferry destinations include Tanjung Samak, Kuala Gaung, Pekanbaru, Selat Panjang, Bengkalis, Tembilahan, Kuala Enok, and Tanjung Buton in Riau, and Kuala Tungkal in Jambiprovince. There are ferry service from Telaga Punggur to Dabo (Singkep).
I. From other parts of Indonesia: Pelni ships which serve various ports throughout Indonesia call at Sekupang.
There are plenty of taxis in Batam, but there are no standard color schemes: however, licensed taxis * have yellow license plates, while unlicensed ones do not (and are best avoided). As there are no meters, you will need to bargain with the drivers; the first price quoted is often silly, but if there are other taxis around, you can easily bargain them down. Sample fares for reference:
- Telaga Punggur to Batam Centre (Rp. 50.000, 25 min)
- Nagoya to HarbourBay ferry terminal at Batu Ampar (Rp. 20.000, 8 min)
- Sekupang to Batam Centre (Rp. 50.000)
- Hang Nadim airport to Batam Centre (Rp. 75.000 – fixed price)
- Full day hire of a taxi 500.000 (around S$70)
If you feel more comfortable with metered taxis, there are a few of these taxis attached with it, but please ensure that you asked the driver to operate the meter before getting into the taxi, otherwise they will not operate it and may charge you more than the amount that you are supposed to pay.
There are two well-known Taxi operators in Batam.
- Silver Cab, ☎ +62 778-46-1000. first taxi service in Batam which run with metered. It is one of the best alternative to get around Batam particularly if you don’t know how to bargain for a cab. The fee is very reasonable, and cheaper to those non metered taxis and of course, run with air cooling.
- Bluebird, ☎ +62 778-42-1234. Blue Bird taxi are available to serve the people of Batam city since January 30, 2013. The launching of taxi Blue Bird logo is done by General Manager Kurniawan, at Sudirman street No. I Barelang (Ex Barelang Concert Court), with call center number 0778-42-1234. For the first step, Blue Bird taxi will operate 50 fleet. Batam is the 13th pool from major cities in Indonesia.
By ride-hailing apps (online taxi)
250 million Indonesians have rapidly embraced the rise of ride-hailing apps to add convenience to their lives.
The two largest players in Indonesia Go-Jek, and Grab not only lower congestion on the roads by connecting drivers to multiple riders, they also offer food delivery, payments via e-wallet features, and almost any service you can think of on-demand. The applications can be downloaded in Google Play and Apps Store.
There are few limitations in using ride-hailing apps. Passengers cannot be picked up in certain areas: airports, seaports, and malls. But the taxi can drop you to these areas.Source: https://wikitravel.org/en/Batam