At noon on Saturday, May 30th, 2015, I was landing on Batam Island for the first time in my life. It's a sunny day with no cloud in the sky. When I came out of the airport, it was hot. I could feel the sun burning my skin and it made me sweat, but I was sure it’s not the end of the world.
I went there with some of my friends. They were Madam Ipa Mahmud, Eka Darmayanti, Yacobus, Siti Syamsufiah, and her husband, Mr. Marsus. I would like to thank them, because, due to their company, it would be a nice tour in Batam Island. Andi Pratiwi Bachtiar, our friend in Batam, also joined us in the tour. In order to meet us at the airport, she came with her car. She drove by herself and took us from the airport to the other places. Pratiwi picked us up with full of warmth. It’s an Indonesian way of friendship. People here seem to be friendlier just like her.
|Photo by. Ahmad Yani Hasti --- My friends and I had some chat while ordering dinner at a food stall in Harbour Bay, Batam, on Saturday (May 30th, 2015).|
Batam provides many opportunities for the tourists. So forget the heat of the island and enjoy the various opportunities for the visitors. Batam Island is a part of Riau, Indonesia, located about 20 km south from Singapore. There are many industries growing at Batam. That's why many people come to the island and, thus, the population growth is faster than the other areas of the country. There are now more than a million people living there. Batam is a small Island but has become the busiest entering point to Indonesia besides Jakarta and Bali.
There are many things that you can do in Batam. Some favorite things for the visitors are playing golf, shopping, dining, getting massage and spa. Many tourists like to hunt cheap goods here. A lot of stores here will fulfilled your shopping need. You may fulfill your shopping appetite with various electronic devices, gadgets, and other goods that will fit your style. You will stop by many malls and department stores here. It would be a promising shopping place for women.
|Photo by. Andi Pratiwi Bachtiar --- On Sunday (May 31st 2015), My friends and I were shopping at a handbag store in Nagoya, Batam, and looking for some stuff for us.|
All I Know are Only Cuisines and Shopping
Besides shopping, Batam promises another kind of pleasure to the tourists. The one that attracted me was doing a culinary travel in Batam. That afternoon, after getting some rest at the hotel owned by Pratiwi, she took us to Harbour Bay. We found some restaurants and food stalls lined up to the streets and the seafront.
We came round to the one of them. I found many kinds of seafood and I can say that it's worth to try. All items were served with good taste and low prices, too. There was a traditional food called Otak-Otak Sotong with sweet and sour taste and slightly chewy in our mouth. Otak-Otak is a traditional fish cake that is widely known in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. But, Otak-Otak Sotong is not made by fish, but by cuttlefish.
Besides that, there was a kind of food which made me very curious. It was a typical food in Batam called Siput Gonggong (Dog Conch). People here have a traditional way on how to cook dog conches. After cleaning, they simply process them by steaming. That was my first time to try that food. It tasted like a clams or calamari. It was chewy and it would be tastier if you dab it into Sambal, a spicy condiment in Indonesia. To most Indonesians, spicier is more taste to eat. I can't descript into many words but I will miss its taste.
|Photos by. Ahmad Yani Hasti --- We ordered some food such as Otak-Otak Sotong (1) and Siput Gonggong/Dog Conch (2) for our dinner at Harbor Bay on Saturday (May 30th, 2015).|
Watching the dusk in the sky of Batam while the food on the dishes were snatched into the mouth, we completely forgot about the time. I could no longer count how much time we spent with the small talks over the fine cuisine. We left for home rather late. But we stopped at one of the malls nearby before we finally returned to the hotel to get rest.
The next day, Sunday, May 31st, 2015, Pratiwi took us to Nagoya for lunch. She came with her husband, Irwan Sahala Tambuan. He was a nice person too, just like his wife. We ordered a variety of foods such as Ayam Goreng Cabe Hijau (Fried chicken with Green Chillies) and Mie Lendir (Slime Noodle). Mie Lendir, with slime sauce, was not so ugly looking, but when it came to your tongue, it tasted pretty good. With peanut sauce, the noodle tasted like Gado-Gado (another kind of Indonesian Food).
After shopping, we went to have dinner. Still in Nagoya area, we found a Chinese restaurant. The company wanted to try fish soup. But I was interested in the mixed one with fish, calamari, and shrimp. This mixed soup was not only so tasty but also really fresh that I can’t stop eating it until the bowl is empty. It was a good chance for me trying many kind of foods here in Batam. They became one of my favorites.
|Photo by. Yacobus --- Dinner with friends at a food stall in Harbour Bay, Batam, on Saturday (May 30th, 2015).|