Batam, Indonesia - Day Two
Everyone overslept after the feast we had the night before but thankfully, we woke up just in time for our pickup timing. Also, we're blessed to be assigned pretty cool drivers (Eddy and his partner) that didn't complain whenever we're late or changed plans at the very last minute. Neither did they charge us that high! The boys grabbed a puff, everyone grab a munch and then got ourselves ready and all geared up to spend the day with activities.
We relied on Eddy alot when it comes to venue recommendations - I believe the locals know best when it comes to places that are worth visiting for the quality as well as price. If they have good friends around, that would be even better because we'd be given a special rate for choosing their... affiliates? Haha, I guess you can call them that. Planned the whole day with our two drivers at the lobby before driving to our first destination - Monkey Beach Sea Sports Centre.
Quite a range of activities listed with prices starting as low as Rp. 150, 000 per person - that's approximately SGD15 - which to me isn't cheap (because the rates to do these activities in SG are around that price) but it was affordable enough for us though. They even had packages (which was obviously much more worth the money) but when we came the sky was quite dark so we only settled for Parasailing. Loads of stuff going on here yet there weren't any crowds - we were the only ones there. I don't know if it's because the sky was getting cloudier at that point of time or is this place just really underground. Nonetheless, I liked it there. Reminds me so much of our previous workplace!
Parasailing cost us approximated SGD35 per person for 10 minutes in the air. This was more of a payback for Fizzy & I after what happened in Phuket. We didn't expect much though because this is Batam (sadly, not Bali) so there wasn't much of a view - but we had so much fun nonetheless. Of course my other half still looks super cute despite being overwhelmed with excitement and being pushed to go first amongst the seven of us. Me on the other hand look like an overly excited Gloria.
We had the speedboat (plus one parasailing instructor and one boat driver) to ourselves for the whole hour, which felt pretty vip-ish because our wishes were their command. Hehehe. They weren't that friendly though - but they did what they were supposed to do so that was more than enough for us foreigners. We kinda had the "aku tak kacau kau, kau jangan kacau aku" / "I don't disturb you, you don't disturb me" vibe going on throughout the whole hour. It sounds funnier when you say it in Malay, hehe.
The landlords were pretty nice though, because they didn't kick us out despite spending another hour after our activities were over to grab a munch on the snacks we packed from the resort and explore the area while I happily snapped photos of everyone.
Eddy then drove us to our next destination - Golden GoKart. It was approximately SGD28 for 20 minutes, I think. I used to work at Escape Theme Park back when I was a young teenager and I knew that we sold off our rides and equipment to Indonesia when the park closed down - I just didn't expect to find these charms here! I was so happy to be reunited with my favourite purple breaker kart #42 hehehe. Cheap thrills.
Thought that we would be heading back to the resort after the two activities (we were pretty tired) but Eddy made a detour to the Batam Layer Cake factory. They are really famous for their layer cakes, don't ask me why. Fizzy being the Singaporean that he is, asked for samples after purchasing our cakes - just because he was hungry. Hahaha! But thanks to this plate of samples, I got to try so many different flavours - the cheese one is really good - now I kinda regret only getting one.
FYI : Monkey Beach Seasports Centre, Golden City Go Kart and Batam Layer Cakes Factory are all located on the grounds of Golden View Hotel - which is a really affordable yet pretty atas hotel for a place like this. I frequent here alot whenever we've got overseas camps, the lobby is decorate to look super high end.
We were all pretty famished by the time we finished the activities since all of us overslept (and missed the chance of a hotel breakfast hahaha) so we had Eddy drove us to one of the street stalls that sold my favourite Batam dessert - "pisang goreng" - but not just any banana fritter that you see in Singapore. This one's served warm with melted chocolate, condensed milk and loads of melted cheese. How sinful is that?!
There were lots of other traditional finger food as well but we came for the powerpacked stuff so we had quite some time to kill while waiting. The stall owner was even super nice to let me into her kitchen to have a look at how this sinful dessert's being prepared right from scratch. How awesome is that? Being the opportunist that I am, obviously I jumped at the chance of taking behind the scenes shots.
Just look at that. I can't stop thinking about this now. Grabbed a few boxes and I kinda regretted sharing a box with Fizzy. Obviously we were fighting over the last piece, haha! Anyway, got back to the hotel to rest for abit and freshen up before making our way to Nagoya Mall again for some grocery shopping and dinner.
I loved how cheap their products are! Most of their grocery items are locally produced, which probably is the reason for the marked down prices. After grocery shopping, Eddy drove us to the famous satay joint that was five minutes away from Nagoya Mall.
There were rows and rows of stalls and right when you step foot on their territory, at least five sellers will start persuading you to buy the satay from their stall. You gotta learn to let them get tired, and then just choose one that wasn't that pushy. Sadly though, the dude was too excited asking to take photos with Fizzy that he accidentally gave us the wrong order. We ordered chicken and beef but got a whole tray of cow's tongue, fats and intestines...... yes they eat those.
#notetoself - check all orders before leaving the premises!
The boys also grabbed a huuuuge stingray. There are lots of fresh seafood for you to choose from and they'll grill it for you, free of charge. After which, you can either choose to dine in or take it away. Kinda reminded me of the street seafood barbecue Fizzy and I enjoyed in Phuket. Except that one was by the beach and this one was by the roadside, haha!
Obviously cheap cigarettes were the thing the boys loved most whenever their overseas, I couldn't believe it when Afiq told me he could buy up to four times the amount here than in our own country. Sigh, stupid taxes. But then again - what happens in Batam, stays in Batam - what is only legal in Batam gotta stay in Batam too! Hahaha.