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Batam has experienced dizzying growth in recent years, becoming one of Southeast Asia's largest resorts. With its beaches, casinos, bars, and activities, Batam is a great Indonesian destination.
Batam attracts thousands of weekend visitors from Malaysia and Singapore (which are both 20 miles away). Bars like Brewsky & Co and Socialites Crib ensure that it's a buzzing party town.
Batam is a Special Economic Zone, which means low tariffs and shopping bargains. Nagoya Hill Mall offers some of the cheapest designer clothing on the planet.
Visitors can pick from a plethora of activities, from go-karting and water-skiing to water parks and fishing.
Just south of Batam itself lies Barelang, an island with hundreds of beaches and miles of cycling paths. If you want tropical seclusion, you can find it here.
See the majestic corals and wrecks around Batam at sites like the Lingga Archipelago, where sunken Japanese "Zero" planes have been uncovered.
The best time to visit is probably the "dry" season between February and September. At other times, expect torrential downpours at any moment.
Hang Nadim International Airport (BTH) has a wide range of regional connections. Expect a taxi to the center of town to cost around Rp30,000.
If you are driving from the airport, take Jl. Hang Tuah and turn right onto Jl. Sudirman. Then turn left on Jl. Ahmad Yani and follow that road into Batam city.
You can catch ferries from Sumatra, Johor Bahru, or Singapore that dock at Sekupang. From there, it will be a Rp25-30,000 taxi ride to Nagoya or Batam city.
Batam has a massive variety of hotels. Some of the very best include the Montigo Resort in Nongsa, the Swiss-Belhotel Harbor Bay, and the Radisson Golf and Convention Center in Nagoya.
Nagoya - this is the main tourist center of Batam and home to most of the island's hotels. Highlights include Nagoya Hill Mall and the massive Ocarina water park.
Batam Center - the island's political hub, Batam Center has an enormous shopping center (the Mega Mall), and is well situated to see the whole island.
Sekupang - the major port on Batam, Sekupang is the island's golfing center, with courses like Indah Puri and Batam Hills, and is very convenient for ferry passengers.
There's a limited public bus service between Batam Center and Sekupang, which costs Rp4,000 per journey.
Taxis are a popular way to get around Batam. Prices vary, and it's advisable to agree on a price before you travel. Expect to pay around Rp50,000 to get from Batam Center to Nagoya and Rp25,000 to get from Sekupang to either Nagoya or Batam Center.
Driving is a good alternative to taxis. Rental options include Rental Mobil and Avis, and rates can be as little as Rp70,000 per day.
Both the Mega Mall in Batam Center and Nagoya Hill are massive shopping complexes, with hundreds of apparel, electronics, and jewelry stores.
Supermarkets on the island include Carrefour and Giant Express. Prices aren't high. Expect to pay around Rp15,000 for 12 eggs.
For great Singaporean food, head to Golden Prawn, try the Malaysian noodles at Ayam Penyet Ria, or enjoy meat-free curries at Rumah Makan Vegetarian. Prices should be around Rp45,000.