Batam Trip 2D1N - Groupon deal, Cebu Air

For my birthday, my bf decided to do a short overseas trip to Batam with his friends.
We booked a groupon deal and paid $48 for the deal, with the additional charges as listed on the web.
Roughly $80.

1. Habourfront Ferry Terminal

The trip started with us boarding the ferry. Headed there at 7 and reached around 7.30am.
The ferry leaves at 845am +
Traveled on the ferry for around 45 minutes before alighting at Sekupang Terminal.

2. Batam - the start of a BORING itinerary 

When we exited the terminal, the guides were waiting for us.
Had to pass them $20 departure tax (so expensive right).
Boarded the bus and the first destination was the chocolate place.

The tour guide told us to just sample every single chocolate they have, and told us not to show mercy.
Guess what, there's not much chocolate to sample.
Stepped out of the crowded yet small shop within 2 minutes.
Chocolates there include KitKat which can be bought locally, why bother?

The next destination was to buy Kueh Lapis.
FYI, all the locations were soooo near each other, it was rather funny that the bus ride was roughly 2-3 minutes before we exit down.
We didn't buy any Kueh Lapis here because we felt like there wasn't a need too.
The guide said that the cakes here are handmade with no chemicals added.
I don't wish to spoil the tour guides' biz but here's my advice - never buy products sold during tours because they're out to earn your money.
Similar items cost cheaper outside, do your maths.
I think I got cheated in China enough (buying all the pearls, silk and whats not, only to realize our stupidity when we got home).

 No doubt it was rather delicious la.

3rd location was to watch the performance which the guide said is amazing and the most exciting highlight of the tour.
Really, if this was the most exciting, you can tell how boring the batam itinerary was.
But kudos to these performers because I was cringing when I saw them eat glass and do dangerous stunts :(

4th location was to the temple, which looked really modern.
Prayed around, before roaming and waiting for time to pass.
There was really nothing to do.

The 5th location was to the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet store.
Saw many people buying the supposedly "authentic" Ralph Lauren which is cheaper here.
I'm not an expert, so I can't vouch for authenticity, but I will honestly say, I doubt they're.

The 6th location was for our lunch.
It was an Indonesia buffet which the tour guide said was very delicious, it was just average (that's why I say take whatever the guide says which a pinch of salt).
Initially, I thought out lunch was a seafood one - it was something I was looking forward to!
Turns out it wasn't :(, we have bought the wrong deal.

7th place after lunch was to another factory outlet which sells SuperDry clothes, adidas shoes and etc.
Again, their authenticity is questionable because the adidas shoes looked so fake! 
But their clothes (if authentic) are much cheaper than what you can get outside.

 Look out for the keropok man, which are a common sight by the streets.
Didn't buy any from them though - in case I get tummy ache

The 8th location was to BCS Mall.
I was rather excited since I'd be able to shop!
Throughout the 7 locations, I bought NOTHING, since they weren't interesting.

 Funny shop I saw- BFC instead of KFC.
FYI, KFC is nearby

 Spotted a minion cake which is the current faze now.
Shoes and fashion there weren't for me, but I had a good time shopping in their supermarket.
Bought snacks and daily items.

Thereafter, the 9th location was to the SPA at First Choice
This to me is the highlight of the day, since we were given 60 minutes massage in the deal.
But it turned out horrible.
Firstly, the shop is packed with tourists, and they had difficulty planning for us to be serviced.
We had to wait rather long before we were ushered to the 3rd floor for our massage.
Once we reached the 3rd floor, we were asked to go to different mattress where the curtains were closed.
There wasn't any clear instructions what to expect! Plus, the place was freezing cold (I was under the aircon).
When I was inside my "cubicle", I was questioning why the massage is taking place on a dilam (mattress, lol) instead of a bed typical of massage parlous!
Anyway, I waited inside my "cubicle" for very long, before I realized I had to strip and cover myself with the towel given -.-
Again, there was another long wait before someone came and serviced me.
I'd say that the massage was rather fail because I didn't feel good.
I felt like the therapist was concentrating on massaging my legs, rather than my body.
It definitely didn't feel like I got 60 minutes worth of massage, nor did I thoroughly enjoy myself.
And, I had to give her tips for the job NOT well done!
But never mind la, I didn't tip her a lot either.
That said, there was head massage, shoulder, body and leg massage.
Speaking of head massage, I'm pretty upset and pissed.
I'm not sure if it's the staff's fault, but I lost my diamond earring and realized it only when I reached my hotel. 
Sigh, it could probably have dropped when she was massaging around my ear!
My bf also blamed himself because it could have been him playing with my hair when we were shopping.
Anyway, I'll NEVER EVER be able to recover that diamond earring.
I don't even know where I lost it - it's possible that I lost it before the massage took place, but I vaguely remembered the earring was still there before the massage :'(
So, please, take good care of your belongings, and your earrings.

After the unpleasant massage, we headed back to the hotel without the tour guide.
Right after our massage, the tour guide asked for a $2 per pax tip, before telling us he can't check in for us at the hotel because he has to fetch other clients -__-
I thought the $2 tip should be given to the driver instead of him, but bf said they'll probably split it.
That better be!

One Harmoni Hotel

My bf and I specially ventured out while waiting for our check in and took this photo amid the incoming vehicles haha
The hotel was indeed grand on the exterior, but don't expect 5 stars standard because there were spots which were unkempt (read below).
Check in was a breeze, although there was some waiting time involved.
We were lucky there wasn't other tourists competing for the 2 counters.
After we checked in, tour buses came with other tourists clamoring around
Reached our room at the 5th level.
I preferred our friend's room which looked bigger! Argh
That said, the hotel room was reasonable la.
Rather comfortable bed (although my back ache when I woke up in the morning because the bed and pillow were too soft).
Cleanliness wise was good too - I am particular about toilets but it was clean!
 Really small TV which shows Mediacorp channels.
But be reminded that the channels are not clear! The sound were a little muffled too
 Really wide lobby - which was quite eerie too haha

After putting our barangs, we decided to head out to Mega Mall for our dinner.
We didn't follow the tour for seafood dinner which cost an additional $18 if I'm not wrong.
It was a good choice, because we preferred exploring on our own (anyway, I'm too disappointed with the tour services, and doubt the standard of their dinner).

Mega Mall 

My bf and his friends were excited seeing A&W, lol, I wasn't that crazy over it though.
For both days, they da bao root beer float and curly fries.
Is it really that nice?

Headed to this resturant for our dinner, and it was SOOO GOOD!
Please follow my recommendation hehe 

 The nasi/rice of the nasi goreng was SOO DELICIOUS, we ordered it again.
The keropok was good too.
Crap, now I'm salivating in the middle of the night (1145pm) while drafting this.

 Avocado drink is another MUST ORDER. Love it.
 We ordered grilled chicken (better than the fried one!), satay and fried beancurd
 Do order the grilled chicken instead of the fried one below; we just wanted to try it.
The kangkong is good too, but really spicy! Great with rice :)
4 pax meal, and the below wasn't enough.

After our meal, we bought some night snacks before we headed back to our hotel.

Day 2

 Woke up constantly because the bed wasn't comfy for me.
Anyway, the hotel's buffet breakfast starts from 6am to 10am.
Woke up at 8 am for the breakfast and there was already many people around!


 The potato wedges were one of the best!

I won't say it was a satisfying breakfast but it did keep me full (for only 1 hour, before my stomach growled haha)

Went back to our room to tap on the wifi.
Wanted to search for the affordable place to do our massages again!
Take a look at "scenery" outside my window, disappointing.

Nagoya Shopping Centre

Took the hotel's cab to Nagoya for 70k rupiah
We decided to head for massage and chanced upon Eska
Tbh I wasn't set upon coming here after reading bad reviews

But, we decided for a 1 hour aromatherapy massage which was around $15-18 sgd.
Rather affordable IMO
Regarding Eska, reviews said that service staff were rude - it's possible that they went to other Eska branches across the street.
For mine, staff were friendly.
Don't expect atas massage environment though, it was just simple and plain.
Was brought to a big room and a bed as above, with a towel provided for you to cover yourself.
The massage was better than the "free" one provided in the deal.
This is because the staff applied harder pressure.
However, there were a few instances when I felt real pain (but I didn't voice out).
She cracked all my toes twice and it was SO PAINFUL grrr.
Also, I suffered bruises on my arms (found it out today, 1 day later) when she was applying pressures towards my arms.
(feels like I've been abused haha)
Our friends had the couple massage which includes facial, it was a 3 hour package, but they took 4 hours -.-
Not very sure how much it costs, if I'm not wrong, it was around $80.

While they were still having their massage after ours ended, we headed for lunch.
My stomach was growling during the massage!
Headed to Kangen Cafe for our meal.
Nasi Lemak

Avocado again
This salted egg chicken is DA BOMB!
Please order this if you're there - it was so delicious we ordered an extra plate of rice for it.
Soto Ayam

Total cost for two of us is around $8

Went to the hypermart after our meal

Interesting packages of oil.
Always thought oil were held in containers

Thereafter, we headed back to Eska to find our friends before heading to Sekupang Terminal.
This terminal is soooo far away from Nagoya shopping centre.
The Eska staff were asking why we didn't take our ferry at a nearby terminal which is just 5 minutes away.
We told her we weren't the one who booked it.
So, if you're planning your own free and easy trip, bear in mind that there are many terminals to board your ferry back home!

Had my strawberry cheese crepes courtesy of my friends :)
You may wanna try their crepes - it's different from what I had in JB and Singapore, because the crepe is thinner and more crunchy!

Lastly, back to Sekupang Terminal for our trip home!

To conclude, the Batam trip was rather boring.
But, it was a good escape to somewhere near.
Furthermore, food and daily necessities are much cheaper here!
May head here again, this time to Montigo Resorts!
Till then :)

1 comment:

  1. Read your ordeal experience on batam but mine wasn't that bad. We stayed at harmoni one too!