Travelogue: Our QBR (Quarterly Batam Retreat)

Like the title suggest, it’s a quarterly date to Batam! However, due to our busy schedule, we only made it happen three times since it first started two years back! WAHAHAHA!

Most of our QBRs are day trip hence what we do are pretty standard! Marketing, Massage, Seafood & Groceries shopping! If this is your kinda retreat, read on!

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Let’s start with MASSAGE! Who doesn’t love a good press on their shoulder/back! We’ve been to different Spa Center to try out their service and below are my thoughts

First Trip: SPA SECRET

According to locals, this is their number 1 Spa in Batam! True enough, their massage was really good and spot on for me! They have many different kinda of spa service and is almost like a one stop place for you – from foot to body to hair! I had my first V Ratus treatment here tooo!

Oh best of all, they serve complimentary snack! Free flow some more! Call me cheapo but I’m always hungry after a massage and having a snack (or two) definitely help me pull through my next meal time!! ❤

Second Trip: ESKA SPA

If you’re a regular, you will know that ESKA is everywhere! They have 8 Spa outlets (at various mall) and they have a Spa hotel too – ok, maybe two hotel. If i didn’t remember wrongly, their prices are very competitive to Spa Secret and like any other Spa, they got you covered from head to toe!

However, between the above two, i wouldn’t recommend the latter as i had unpleasant experience there and i actually left the place (after my hair spa) feeling grouchy. My recommendation, just still to massage and you’ll be fine. My massage was heavenly awesome but the hair spa spoil the whole experience.

Third Trip: SPA SECRET & SPA CENTRAL (i extended my trip hence the extra massage session)

Spa Secret is nothing new now that it’s my third! However, i chance upon Spa Central and decided to give it a try since i saw quite a few positive review. I recall reading somewhere it’s actually own by a Singapore but that doesn’t really matter i guess.

The good thing about booking a spa with them is that they provide complimentary pick up service (around Nagoya area) and have transport to drop your off too (at a fee, RP50.000 to Batam Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal).

The holding area, at Nagoya Hill outlet, made me feel quite at ease – bright and clean. I love the ambiance when you enter your treatment room. Dim lights (like any other places) and there’s a magnet chart on the wall where you can pin the area you want your masseur to focus on or the strength you want them to use! I enjoyed my session totally as the masseur paid attention to every details and i was kinda pleased when she massaged my knee cap! I mean, i haven’t met any masseur who massage my knee cap for me before until i came here. It didn’t even came to me that knee can be massaged! LOL!! But good treatment comes with a higher price. I compared the price a little and find that it’s slightly pricer over here – prices/package can be found on their website.

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After a good massage, let’s talk about Seafood! Who wouldn’t do seafood lunch/dinner when they’re in Batam?! Out of the 3 times we went, twice were at Wey Wey!

First Trip: Wey Wey Seafood

We kept seafood for dinner and it was bad choice!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! We were so overrun on schedule and we had to keep rushing the kitchen to quickly get our food done! The only SEAFOOD we had was seafood fried rice maybe? & a sambal prawn petai! We had to do take away and RANNNN all the way to catch our ferry before it leaves! Yes we were the last to board and we had PETAI! hahahaha!!!! It was too memorable!!

On my subsequent personal trip, i did get a chance to enjoy Wey Wey Seafood at my own pace and I’m loving it! Not only they have fresh seafood, they are very cost effective tooo!  I can’t find a reason not to dine there!!!?

Second Trip: Love Seafood Restoran

This place is kinda out of town for me but the scenery is so beautiful! You are really like so out of town until all you can see is green. Green sea water and green forest and because it has nothing blocking, the restoran is sooooo breezy i need to tie up my hair!! LOL!

If you have a driver or you’re driving, make a visit! the location is really nice! Very chillax place for lunch and drink!

(I do apologies for the lack of picture but it looks like we always forgot about photo taking when it comes to food!! I promise to take more for future trips ok!!)

Third Trip: Wey Wey Seafood

Yeap we returned to Wey Wey again! It was, apparently, everyone’s favourite! However, this time round their prices seems to have increase a lil bit and they now have a second outlet within the same area but more atas (maybe because it has aircon? IDK)..

Taste wise, it has never failed me that’s why we keep coming back! Just that some dishes seems to have changed recipe, a lil disappointed but it’s okay! Other dishes has compensated that emotion! LOL! (you’ll see the food pictures at the end of the post!)

Another thing we observed is that coming in group may be more cost effective! You get to order more variety of food and then cost (per pax) is cheaper than if you come in 2-3 pax.

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Massage done! Tummy filled! What’s next?! SHOPPING!!!!! but hold it hold it!!! I’m not going to factory outlet or exclusive premium store! As i aged, i learned to appreciate supermarket so much more than any other shop and hence here’s my shopping heaven!!

First/Second Trip: Hypermart at Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre

This is the hypermart where we got over excited and lost track of time! That’s why ended up having to rush for dinner and run for ferry!! Per the name suggest it’s a hyper market! It has all your groceries and household needs!

Third Trip: TOP 100 Supermarket at Grand Batam Mall

This is the local go-to supermarket in Batam. The price is consider cheapest among other competitor. Smaller than Hypermart but I still manage to get what I need/want!

Now you must be thinking, what’s so attractive there that we want to go every quarterly?! Everything is attractive! Fresh seafood! Wallet-friendly massage! Great saving household products!

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Some ideas on what to get when you’re in Batam, or rather what we usually loot home! Here goes nothing!

Layer Cake – if you don’t how expensive kueh lapis is in SG, tying waking into B*Solo! I will never buy one in SG! In Batam, even the most popular brand (Batam Layer Cake, the one we always go to) is selling half the price we have in SG. Based on my poor memory, maybe S$25 for a whole cake (original). Depending on the store, some have more Creative flavours, some stick to the usual one. The flavours I came across are original, prune, raisin, cheese, coffee, pandan, durian, chempedak, mocha (different from coffee), nutella and chocolate.

Sanitary Pad – Ladies, you can get a whole year supply at a friction of the price in SG! Charm is their local favourite I believe. Cheap and so many variant! Laurier user, they got you covered too!

Laundry detergent/softener – Most of the time the only thing I won’t give it a miss is Downy! No matter how many time I said “I’m not buying anything this time”! Downy is so expensive in SG and I had to resort to buying from Batam! Yes, I am totally fine with looting my 6-8 refill pack back to SG! Heavy die me but save my wallet!stick up my Downy softener when I’m there!

Personal care – Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel (I recall Ginvera Spa collection are worth buying too!), body scrub (must buy!!), shampoo, hair mask (Samantha, Eclipse, Dove, so many brand to choose from), face wash and deo. Your name it, we bought it!

Instant Noodle – Instant noodle came individually packed! You choose your own bundle and they just 20-30 cents per packet! Why cannot buy?? Remember the hot favourite salted egg indomie? Yeap! Can be found there at less than a dollar!

All in all, just remember to bring along a shopping/trolley bag or whichever bag that u find most convenient for u! No need to feel paiseh because when u realised u don’t have a bag, u will blame yourself for not bringing one along! Ehem, that’s a friendly reminder! #dontsayinoshare

Always the most anticipated trip!!! ❤

BCC again!!

This is a very back dated post! I was so so inspired to share my Batam getaway after reading Mitsueki’s post about her Batam trip! We stayed at the same area but different hotel! Gideon is a new hotel around there while BCC is almost a year or 2 year older.

In my previous post, I shared about BCC hotel but not much about the deal’s one day tour. Today, I’m gonna share my whole trip with you!

We bought this deal on Qoo10 (just search for “Batam” & you’ll have a whole list of agency selling Batam package! Go with the one that you feel most comfortable!) from an agency called Traveller101. They  are very prompt in their email response (to be exact, it’s Sze Sze who I’d been liaising with. I have no impression that I’ve called them so no comments about their attitude. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about them!! LOL.. Don’t make me drift~)

Finally the long awaited Batam trip with my mom is over (First day of school holiday is no joke at the ferry terminal..)!!!

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Waiting to hop on our 8:50am ferry by WaveMaster to Sekupang International Ferry Terminal (SIFT)!

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The first thing I would usually do after I board the ferry is to… put on my shade & quickly put myself to sleep!!! I wouldn’t wanna feel sick after a 45 mins ride to Batam~

Indeed, very soon, we arrived Batam and was greeted by our very friendly “fierce” looking local guide (those who can kill with a single stare.. >_<) from PT. Nusajaya Indofast T&T. He’s very jovial actually & love to joke.. Enjoyed his joke throughout the tour~

SO our first stop? POLO RALPH LAUREN!! This was the third time I stepped into a PRL shop so nothing really interest me by now.. I’m not a polo fan hence I’m not too sure if the price are really that competitive..

Our tour guide shared with us the difference between the POLO we saw at the ferry terminal and this POLO. You wanna know the diff? The POLO at ferry terminal are local POLO. The color runs, the collar gets out of shape, the sleeve gets shorter & shorter (or longer & longer).. The POLO that tour guide brought us to is the international POLO, POLO RALPH LAUREN. Color don’t run, collar is still collar, sleeve length stays the same.

That’s the difference!

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Very soon, our group hopped back onto the tour bus and headed to our next destination, Diana Homemade Layer Cake! The only flavors they have here is Prune & Original. If you want more, tell your local guide. He might bring you to some where else to get it. One of our group member wanted cheese flavor cake so the guide actually noted that and later brought us to another place where that are even more flavors!

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The shop (or should I say the house??) is located within a residential area. You know you are near when you can smell a mild fragrance! While tasting the sampler, you can actually see how layer cakes are done!

IMO, the sampler are not very fantastic but we still bought 2 boxes of original. It’s so cheap you would not want to miss it!! S$25 for a box original, why not!? Haha.. freshly baked and delivered to our hotel before we leave!

Orders are usually taken by your local guide when you’re back on the bus. The shop don’t take direct order..

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Batam Chocolate House is one of the place I’ve wanted to visit! Not to buy chocolate but to see how their chocolate outlet looks like!!

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Well…. nothing to amazing. It’s too crowded! Everyone busy grabbing the chocolates they want! Some are “Ferrero Rocher” look alike.. some are local brand.. Some are owner’s own creation.

FYI, this Chocolate house owner is also the agency’s owner! That’s why most of their tour will have a stop at this place! LOL~

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Yes, I’m one of them who spent like a millionaire here!!! goshhh~ Just couldn’t resist CHOCOLATE! My fate~! (eh.. that’s our tour bus behind!!)

Just before our bus leave, I saw a familiar face! The local guide who brought us (me & my friend) around when we joined our first day tour! I can only wave but not say hello because I’m already on the bus.

Heading to the next location Golden Prawn 933 Live Seafood Restaurant for lunch and some supermarket shopping! The local guide recommended the supermarket’s coffee powder and pepper! Say until like it’s a must buy! So… since the pepper is still affordable, we bought a packet! Things here are generally NOT cheap but still cheaper than SG. Keropok/Snacks are like S$3-5 per packet depending what you’re getting.

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We didn’t spend much time here because we ARE already very hungry!! It’s like 1pm in Singapore and we still haven have our lunch!! (O_O)

The restaurant is just next door and nothing too fantastic too. Batam tour lunch are quite standard. A soup, a fish, veg, crab, sotong (we had calamari! yummy!), steam conch (aka gong gong) & prawns!

Additional perks?

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A bowl of bird nest!

….. seriously it taste more like shredded gelatin dessert soup.

So as I was saying.. The local guide noted our layer cake request and pointed out that we can get our cheese flavor here! This shop is just few steps away from the restaurant (within the Golden Prawn area).

They have plenty of flavors! Cheese, Mocha, Prune, Original, Matcha(??), Tiramisu (??).. The sampler here taste better! LOL.. But we didn’t order from here as we didn’t wanted to take too much stuff back to SG.

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So when our group were all done with lunch, the tour guide brought us to this factory outlet which is just 1-2 min drive away… BTW, did I mention, all the stops are very near! VERY NEAR!! Probably just a 2-3 mins drive and you will need to alight again. To the extend, we actually stayed in the bus for the next few stops (we skipped the otah-otah shop, local cultural dance & some souvenir shop)..

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We were given 20-30 mins here and then we proceed to the next location! Dry market ~~ This is one of the place my mom was anticipating! She wanna buy dry food such as ikan bilis, salted fish, dried shrimps, etc! I stayed in the bus for this stop as I’m having the after-lunch syndrome – SLEEPLY zzz!

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Not forgetting to mention, there is a juice stall beside Yong Heng and I think they’re famous for their Avocado juice. I thought it was pretty disgusting.. but my mom and some other group members love it. I just don’t know how to appreciate AVOCADO~!

After all the eating/shopping, we are now heading to a temple!

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This is the landmark of Chinatown Batam! Tua Pek Kong Temple is the oldest Batam Chinese temple.

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You see this tiles on the right of below pic? Temple is in the midst of preparing for revamp.. We can actually go to one of the staff and let them know we want to make a donation and you name will be written on the tiles for prayer (something like that).

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Along the wall, there are also some interesting 3D drawings! I suppose they meant something just that I don’t know what is it about..

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Finally it’s almost the end of the day! We are reaching our 2nd last destination! The Batik Outlet! This is a small shop cramped with LOTS & LOTS of bags, clothes, toy & etc!

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I saw my idol!! NARUTOOOO! but.. I left not much money to bring it home. I only change S$75 for my Batam trip! hahahaha! Budget tour!

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There is another factory outlet just a small road across this Batik Outlet but I did not manage to walk over! The road is under construction and I can’t cross over at all! T_T BUT neh-mind (nevermind)! There’s always next time!

So now all shopping done and it’s now …. MASSAGE TIME! 60 mins of relaxation! Shiok! We took the lavender essential oil and added 30 mins more to our massage.. Ahhh~~ heaven!

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After our massage, we were being served the ginger tea!

See the man in red? He’s our local guide. He brought us our layer cake! It’s done! It smells so good toooo! (gosh, I’m craving for layer cake now!)

Overall, the tour was pretty enjoyable! With the right group of people, boring tour can be interesting tooo! 😀

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FINALLY WE ARE ALL CHECKED IN!!!!!

BED!!!! I want my bed!!! Hotel is still as clean and big!

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And seeeeee!! A2 Food Center is just below us!! It’s still early that’s why you can see it’s still so empty!

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And BCS beside our hotel!

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And I was saying earlier, Gideon is in the same area right? See… Gideon is just a road across A2 Food Center, that inverted L shape building! We planned to stay there next time as it’s nearer to their local wet market (the long red roof on the left of the pic) and other food stall that we wanna try!

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We still have some time before dinner so I packed my bag a bit and to show you what we’ve bought!

We came in 2 small bags! Light and spacious!

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After all the shopping and shopping and shopping……. IMG_5987

Mom bought these at the local wet market. It’s so much cheaper there and no tour guide commission! LOL! That mini fish ball keropok is a must buy! Very nice!!

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These are from the Chocolate house, remember? Delfi Chacha is available in SG so don’t bother to specially buy it there. I bought it because I wanted to eat it on the ferry back home!IMG_5990

& these are actually what we bought during the tour.. and to squeeze everything into our bag is impossible! So it’s a good thing I brought an extra BAG along!

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SEEEEEE!!! we now have 3 FULL BAGS! Our layer cake is inside tooo!

By the time we’re done packing and refreshing ourselves, it’s dinner time!!!! YAHOOOOO!

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A2 is definitely my heaven! If you ever go there, a few things you can’t miss out!

  • Pui Ceh Satay (this is one that I crave for when I return to SG!)
  • Fried Oyster Omelette
  • BBQ Stingray

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After dinner, we went to BCS for a quick shopping too.. We need to exercise right!!? LOL! By the time we return to hotel, it’s already late…

In another less than 12 hours, we have to say goodbye to Batam!

Next day, we woke up for our breakfast at the hotel restaurant. I must say.. their breakfast standard improved! They have more variety now and serve better quality. Can you imagine breakfast with smoke salmon in batam!? They have soy beancurd too!

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By 12pm, our ferry transfer is outside BCC ready to  pick us up! The hotel staff were very kind to help us carry our BIG BULKY bags up the mini bus!

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& I think we’re pretty blessed during this trip! Throughout the tour and our stay, the weather is just gloomy (cooling), at most. Just less than a minute after we board our mini bus, it started RAINING!!!! IMG_6003

We were not caught in the rain, though was worried if it continue to rain are we gonna make it back home? …but WHY worry!? SEE! It’s sunny again by the time we reach the ferry terminal!IMG_6008

Look at the crowd! *cries*

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I think my mom enjoyed this Batam trip & so am I!! (She’s so happy that she’s finally TALLER than mi!)

During this trip, we met this two couple who were like us, going Batam for food and massage! We exchanged our experience in the ferry and they shared some recommendations too..

So now, I’m gonna share this tips with you so that we can be “cleverer” the next time we go Batam! 😀

If you love layer cake and do not know how to go Diana on your own, your can try this Veren Layer Cake! It is located just inside BCS Mall! I haven’t try but the uncle said this is better & cheaper!

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Original : RP170,000 (Diana’s one is S$25 – about RP250,000)

Prune: RP200,000 (Diana’s one is S$27 – about RP270,000)

Cheese: RP250,000 (Not available at Diana)

I mentioned earlier that Diana’s layer cake sampler taste not very fantastic right? When I got home and try the cake I bought.. It actually taste much better!! Not very buttery and it’s not oily too! guess the sampler were left outside for some time.. hmm.. Hopefully I will go back to Batam soon to try this!

If you are looking for good massage, try Universal Massage! Located opposite BCS mall! Yes, everything just nearby! This area is really good! Good for food. Good for massage. Good for layer cake. Good for shopping!

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Uncle told us, if you walk in and ask “how much” for massage, they are gonna charge you a bomb! Instead, tell them that you were here before or friend recommended you here.. The price would be a great difference!

2hrs full body massage: RP 140,000

2hrs full body massage with body scrub: RP180,000

This is madness cheap! We paid S$15 for the essential oil + 30 mins extra massage! That is almost the cost of a 2 hours full body massage at Universal Massage! WTH!

NEVERMIND! S$15 for a lesson! hahahaha!!!

I have more recommendation (like bah kut teh, fish soup, etc) but I left the business cards at home! I shall share more with you when I get hold of those cards!!

Apparently, like what I told Eve, I tried searching my room high and low but realised that I lost the Bah Kut Teh business card!! T__T Fortunately, the Bah Kut Teh has a very distinctive character that anyone could hardly forget, all I need to do is do a lil google search and I found it.. It’s Mickey Mouse 66 Bah Kut Teh – Address: Komp. Ruko Mitra Raya Blok B No. 12 (Batam Centre), Batam, Riau.. If you have foursquare, do check out the location and u will see a few recommendation. If you’re keen in Fish Soup (cloudy soup with yam kind), do try the food stall just opposite BCS Mall (the eatery place is call Eaton).

Stay Tune!!

The BCC Hotel

My Christmas getaway???  Nah.. nothing too grand.. Just a “down to earth” getaway w my girlfriend and plainly all about food and shopping in Indonesia, Batam!

We stayed at The BCC Hotel (Deluxe Room) and it was about SGD69 per person (two of us went so it was approximately SGD138 for two) through Qoo10 deal. The BCC is quite new so for the price we paid for i think it’s pretty worth it!

The deal includes:

  • Return Ferry Ticket (By Pacific Ferry)
  • 2-way Land Transfer (By Batam Fast)
  • 1 Day City Tour (By Batam Fast)
  • 1 Hr Massage (By First Choice)
  • 1 Deluxe Room at The BCC, breakfast and wifi inclusive!

Hotel location is quite convenient. Just exactly next to it, there’s a Food Center. Next to FC, there is a Shopping Mall (Batam City Square Mall) and there are shop houses opposite the mall selling food too. Best part, Factory Outlet is just withing walking distance from the hotel!

Service wise, i think they are pretty professional too. We did not have much issue communicating with them and they always put on a smile. The communication problem only comes when we’re buying food from A2 Food Center. (Hahaha!) Because some of the hawkers are non-chinese and i have to flash my notes for them to take the right amount of $$ that i shoud pay for my food !

i would rate this hotel 4 out of 5 stars and will definitely come back again when i have plans to go Batam again!

I will add more photos here again when i have the time! 😀 See youuuu!