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Written by Yan Lam Liang
Co-written by Cisca Lim

Most of us have probably travelled to Batam before, as a short weekend getaway an hour’s ferry ride from Singapore.

What do you usually do there?

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Yes we hear you – chilling at your beach resort, shopping at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, indulging in a seafood lunch, going for massages and having a go at those fun water activities by the beach such as kayaking and riding on the banana boat.

But if you think that’s all to Batam, you can’t be more wrong.

Have you heard of a lotus lake, a monastery nestled on a hilltop, a cultural carnival or a hidden waterfall?

If you haven’t, we’re going to bring you around to all these hidden places in Batam you never knew existed!

1. Bounce on a floating waterpark: Sea Forest Adventure

Do you want to play in a waterpark that’s floating right on the sea like this one?

This is part of Sea Forest Adventure, a special themed recreational spot where you can unleash your inner child.

Photo via yenni.mahardika

Here, you can experience nature, adventure and survival science, with 4 major sections for you to explore – the gathering facility, Glamp Camp, Rain Forest and Water World.

Photo via zackamega

And this floating waterpark is Water World, located just around 100 metres away from the Palm Spring beach. You can bounce, climb, slide and roam around this lovely playground for adults and kids alike!

Don’t worry about safety – you will be given a life vest and the staff will brief you on what to expect, before you start your playtime.

There will be more fun and facilities coming to Water World such as a floating bar, cliff bar, hidden beach and other exciting watersports. It’s time to taste this new floating waterpark before everyone else!

Sea Forest Adventure

Address: Jl. Hang Lekiu, Nongsa – Batam, Riau, Indonesia 29465
Telephone: 0819-9118-4251
Getting there: After you reach Sea Forest Adventure, there are 3 ways to get to the waterpark. 1) By boat – 5 minutes, 2) By buggy – 10 minutes, 3) By foot – walk along the hill on the right side of the beach – 15 minutes. Coordinates here.
Entrance fee: USD 2.60 per person (around Rp. 35,000) and tickets to Water World costs USD 5.60 per person for 30 minutes (around Rp. 75,000).

Website

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2. Trail the thousand steps and take a treehouse selfie: Taman Wisata Habibie 1000 Tangga

Does the name sound familiar? Yup, this recreational wonder pays homage to the residence of Mr. BJ Habibie (the third president of Indonesia).

Many of you have probably heard that he is an aviation and engineering genius, but did you know that he is also one of the first few Batam leaders who has made a defining difference to the flourishing metropolitan?

Taman Wisata Habibi 1000 Tangga literally means ‘a thousand steps’, which is the estimated total number of all the existing stairs here. The steps lead to different gorgeous spots in this spacious location dominated by lush greenery, including a cliffside beach and viewpoint overlooking the skyscrapers of Singapore.

Photo via misskawaiidiary

Photo via iyan_reggezt

Don’t miss this particular spot – the rustic and super Instagrammable treehouse!

Photo via masteguh1

Climb up and get ready to pose with the panoramic view of the sea behind you and the surrounding verdant greenery for that picture of the day.

Photo via zackamega

Taman Wisata Habibie 1000 Tangga

Address: Tanjung Pinggir, Sekupang, Batam City, Riau Islands
Getting here: After the main Sekupang intersection, you’ll see the traffic lights by the tri junctions at Sekupang Government Complex. Take a right turn if you come from Batu Aji. Coordinates here.
Entrance fee: Less than USD 0.50 per person (around Rp. 5,000 and an additional fee of Rp. 2,000 for photo-taking in the treehouse)


3. Uncover an abandoned shipwreck at Pulau Tunjuk

Batam is not just about its main island, but consists of its surrounding islands as well!

Photo by zackamega

At Pulau Tunjuk, a treasure awaits – an abandoned shipwreck, as though directly out of a pirate movie! If you are adventurous enough, you might even want to hop onto the wreck together with your friends, and explore the nooks and crannies and pose for pictures.

Photo by othoy.martoyo

Photo by asadsaputra

After exploring the shipwreck, you can take a dip in the clear water, have fun on the sandy beaches or even pitch a tent there for the night.

Photo by eka dewi puspita,asadsaputra

Pulau Tunjuk

Coordinates here
Getting there: Boat ride from Telaga Punggur Harbour
Price/Entrance fees: IDR 100,000 (SGD 10) per pax for boat ride, or IDR 600,000 (SGD 60) to IDR 800,000 (SGD 80) per boat

4. Discover an isolated waterfall in the forest: Air Terjun Pancur Muka Kuning (Telaga Bidadari Waterfall)

Muka Kuning might be just an industrial park, but the forested areas, where the Pancur Waterfall is located, is a gem for nature lovers.

As you hike through the trails of the forests on your way to the waterfall, you will get the chance to wade in shallow streams of the river, cross bridges formed via fallen tree trunks and admire the large swamp areas within the forest.

Photo by linasasmita

Photo via josesimatupang

Photo via hendrasadri

For the best experience, visit during the rainy season, when there’s more water flowing through the river.

Photo via harahapsolehc

Air Terjun Pancur Muka Kuning (Telaga Bidadari Waterfall)

Address: Muka Kuning, Sei Beduk, Batam City, Riau Islands, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Getting there: (directions, if address is not available) Park at Dormitori Batamindo Block R in the Industrial Park, and head towards village gate Selayang. Head towards the market, and a path continues along the parapet. Cross the bridge, walk along the road in the village, and turn left at the small T-junction towards the bush. Follow the path until you reach a wall at the edge of the forest. Turn left, hike up the hill, and you will see a river. Follow the river upstream.

5. Watch the beach come alive at Viovio Beach

Ever dreamt of a magical beach where you could see starfish lying on the rocks, spot tiny crabs crawling on the sand, and peer at corals reefs through the crystal clear waters?

You can actually do so in Viovio Beach.

Photo by vikry mecaliester

If you are up for the challenge, try to climb the wooden structure in the sea up to the top platform, and jump directly into the sea.

Photo via rahaps_

That’s not all – relive your days as a kid by swinging away by the sea.

Looking for more fun than that? Hop on a banana boat or a kayak.

Or if you’re feeling lazy, why not pick up a book and listen to the song of the waves crashing against the shore, or just chill in a gazebo with your loved ones?

Photo by yeny vagela

Photo by rendra.nata.s

Most importantly, stay until dusk. The image of the orange sun descending into the horizon beneath the sea is simply mesmerising!

Photo by irmayanti_15,erwinwidi

Viovio Beach

Address: Pantai Viovio, Kebun Raya Batam, Sijantung, Galang, Batam City, Riau Islands 29485, Indonesia. Coordinates here
Opening hours: 6AM-7PM
Price/Entrance fees: Entrance at Rp.10,000 (SGD 1), small gazebo at Rp.150,000 (SGD 15) and large gazebo at Rp.200,000 (SGD 20)

Website

6. Whiz through the air at Turi Beach

What would you say to being tossed by water into mid-air and hanging precariously above the sea?

Photo by shawnanggg

Or being dragged across the water in full speed creating huge splashes of waves?

You can enjoy a host of adventurous water sports at Turi Beach Resort, including flyboard and hoverboard, jet-skiing and wakeboarding.

Photo by sport

Want something higher up in the air to pump up your adrenaline? Glide through the skies like you’re on a parachute driven by a machine on water.

You’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget to breathe!

Turi Beach

Address: Turi Beach Resort, Jl. Hang Lekiu, Sambau, Nongsa, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29465, Indonesia. Coordinates here
Contact:
Tel: +62-778 761 080
Fax: +62-778 761 279
Email: [email protected]
Prices:
Flyboard: ¼ hour IDR 630,000 (SGD 63) per unit
½ hour IDR 1,030,000 (SGD 103) per unit
Parasailing: IDR 460,000 (SGD 46) per flight – Single; IDR 580,000 (SGD 58) per flight – Tandem

Website

7. Picnic by the sunset at Barelang Bridge

Barelang Bridge in Batam is like the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Photo via ayubsetyobudi

The symmetrical architectural design of the bridge makes it a perfect spot for some creative photos or selfies!

Photo by yesysinta

Overlooking a vast stretch of sea and greenery on the nearby islands, the spectacular scenery with the sea breeze on your face creates the perfect spot to have a romantic picnic with your other half.

Photo by rrchmnt,waswas06

Hungry? Get some grilled corn and coconut water from the snack stores around the area.

And when the sun sets, the lights on the bridge light up, transforming the bridge into another kind of beauty.

Photo by devosx

The Barelang Bridge consists of 6 different bridges connecting Batam, Rempang and Galang, with a total length of 2 kilometres!

Barelang Bridge

Address: Bridge 1 Barelang (P. Batam – P. Watch), Batam, Riau Islands 29 441, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Getting there: By private transport from Batam Center, it takes about 40 minutes

8. Behold the blooming water lotuses at Taman Kolam Sekupang

Taman Kolam Ikan, Sekupang is not an ordinary park.

When you enter, you’ll see a massive lake of 6070 square metres entirely covered by lotus pads. But that’s not all – in the lake, you’ll also find a huge population of bright orange koi fish, which the Chinese deem auspicious, bringing a dynamic life to the pond.

Photo by inegurnita,trisetya22

You can purchase a bag of fish food from vendors and watch your kids’ faces light up as they feed the fish.

Photo by ghanesasaki,afryta_24

With a cycling trail and jogging path, this park is also the perfect place for some exercise while basking in the beauty of the nature.

Photo by iamerichoo

Taman Kolam Sekupang

Address: Jl. RE. Martadinata, Tj. Pinggir, Sekupang, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29444, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Price/Entrance fees: Free

9. Discover an underwater world in Pulau Abang

Abang Island is one of the islands off the main island of Batam which are uninhabited and untouched.

Here, you’ll find a rare species of coral known as the Blue Coral, which only lives in clear waters with excellent water quality.

Photo by wisatapulauabang

From harmless clownfish to fierce sea urchins, and a diverse range of species including red snapper, red sand fish, blow fish and pinang, discover their unique colour, shape and size and observe their interactions in their natural habitats.

After your dive at Pulau Abang, head down to Pulau Rano, where there is no lack of underwater life, including salmon and yellowtail fish.

Photo by pulauabangyuk,Dedirui

If you have yet to try snorkeling or diving, don’t worry, our experienced instructors will guide you along the way.

Photo via abus_man21

Pulau Abang

Address:Abang Island, Galang, Batam City, Riau Islands, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Contact: [email protected] (Do check out the different vendors available as well for different packages and pricings)
Price/Entrance fees:For diving, estimated IDR 2,390,000 (SGD 239.00) per person (includes 1 night accommodation and breakfast, lunch, dinner), equipment rental total cost at IDR 220,000 (SGD 22.00). (Do check out the different vendors available for different packages and pricings)

For snorkeling, one-day-package for an adult is IDR 700,000 (SGD 70) / pax, child under 8 years old is IDR 500,000 (SGD 50) / pax. For 2D1N, the estimated adult package is IDR 1,200,000 (SGD 120) / pax, while that of a child under 8 years old costs IDR 500,000 (SGD50) / pax (Do check out the different vendors available for different packages and pricings).

Website

10. Witness the mysteries of the sand at Setokok Beach

Setokok Beach is a beach like no other. Look carefully and you will notice a natural wavy pattern on the sand. The beach curls into an elevated elongated pattern, forming a tombolo.

Photo via dinatatat

This gives rise to the illusion of you being on a tiny island surrounded by water – a rare photo opportunity!

Photo via harahapsolehc

If you want to have a romantic shot with your beloved, you could pose on a swing on the beach, where both of you could sit side by side, arms around each other and feet dipped in the water.

Photo by maderubycandra,sabilaft

You can always walk down the long boardwalk if you feel like venturing deeper into the sea. And for family gatherings, there are wooden shelters available for you to lay out your afternoon picnic!

Photo via malikabdulazis__

Setokok Beach

Address: Pantai Setokok, Pulau Setokok, Bulang, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29475, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Opening hours: Daily, from morning till sunset
Price/Entrance fees: IDR 5,000 (SGD 0.50) for motorcycle, IDR 10,000 (SGD 1) for car

11. Escape to a quiet sanctuary at Pa Auk Tawya Vipassana Dhura Hermitage

Are you into cultural architecture? Or just looking to find a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city?

As you head up the Pa Auk Tawya Vipassana Dhura Hermitage, a monastery in Batam, you will first ascend 208 stairs, where each step has an intricately carved flower design.

Photo by wonderfulbatam

As you head further up, the bell-shaped stupas provide a wonderful backdrop for photos, and you will see a Buddha statue.

Photo by Dian Fernanda,am.muksin

When you finally reach the top, you will be awed by a breathtaking view of lush greenery and mountains from afar. And of course, you can also observe traditions of the Buddhist temple, or even join in their meditation.

Photo by adisty mayasari

Pa Auk Tawya Vipassana Dhura Hermitage

Address: Rempang Island, Rempang Cate, Batam, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29482, Indonesia
Coordinates here (Near Barelang Bridge 4)
Contact: [email protected]

Website

12. Immerse yourself in the Indonesian arts and culture at the Nongsa Carnival

Are you interested to know more about the cultural arts and music in Indonesia?

Be dazzled by models dressed in shimmering cultural costumes, decorated with majestic wings, colourful feathers and exotic jewelry as they catwalk along a boardwalk out in the sea, while folk music plays in the background.

Photo by agusahmadin

You can also catch performances by a live band, a Malay dance group, a marching band, and an Indonesian street musician show. There are also fun carnival booths for both adults and kids, including aquarobic acts, water rings, penalty shooting, golf, tattoo workshop, artwork and craft exhibitions.

Photo by turibeach

Photo by Sumantri Endang

Tantalise your taste buds at the gala dinner which serves up a buffet with 30 delectable Indonesian dishes. And the exciting day ends with a spectacular display of fireworks above the sea.

Photo by chong jessica

What better way to enjoy a cultural festival during your vacation?

The Nongsa Carnival

Address: Turi Beach Resort, Jl. Hang Lekiu, Sambau, Nongsa, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29465, Indonesia
Coordinates here
Contact: +62 778 761 080 or email: [email protected]
Bookings: This event is organised by Turi Beach Resort. For bookings and event information, do contact them directly. The event was held in August during 2014 and September during 2015 and 2016).
Price/Entrance fees: IDR 338,000 (SGD 33.80) with Gala Dinner

Website

Psst! Are there any more lesser-known attractions we missed? Please share with us!

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