Batam is an island and city in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, known for its free trade zone area as part of the Sijori Growth Triangle. It is located 20 km (12.5 miles) off Singapore’s south coast. This 1,595 km² island has a population of 944,285 (2010).
The official language on the island is Indonesian, and due to the sizeable Chinese population, Chinese languages including Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin are also spoken.
The indigenous community of Batam are ethnic Malays and they speak Malay in the Riau-Lingga accent which is also the accent of the Malays in Singapore and the Malaysian states of Pahang, Johor and Selangor.
Beginning in the 1970s, the island underwent a major transformation from a largely forested area into a major harbor and industrial zone. The island’s economy benefits from being close to Singapore, and, with lower labour costs and special government incentives, is the site of many factories operated by Singaporean companies. Shipbuilding and electronics manufacturing are major industries on the island; there are also several resorts and tourist destinations on the island. At the end of 2010 almost 58 percent of foreign tourists came from Singapore, followed by Malaysia at 13 percent. Most of the foreign tourists entered Batam through Singapore using ferry services as Batam has limited international flights.
Tourist arrivals in Indonesia increased by 11.24 percent year-on-year to 1.29 million people in October of 2018 from 1.16 million in the same month a year earlier. Bali was the main destination (516 thousand), followed by Jakarta (243 thousand) and Batam (141 thousand).
Considering the first ten months of the year, tourist arrivals grew 11.92 percent compared to the same period a year ago to 13.24 million. Tourist Arrivals in Indonesia averaged 832831.29 from 2011 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1536489 in July of 2018 and a record low of 548821 in January of 2011.
Under a framework signed in June 2006, Batam, along with parts of neighbouring Bintan and Karimun, are a part of a Special Economic Zone with Singapore; this zone eliminates tariffs and value-added taxes for goods shipped between Batam and Singapore.
Batam is 1 hour behind Singapore time.
Ferry Terminals in Batam
There are 5 ferry terminals in Batam, namely Harbour Bay, Batam Center, Sekupang Nongsapura.
1. Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal
Harbour Bay is the newest Terminal to be opened in Batam. Ferries travel daily on hourly intervals and more trips during peak period. It is just 45 minutes voyage between Singapore Harbour Front Centre and Batam Harbour Bay Terminal. It is only 10 minutes drive away from Batam main attraction, Nagoya City Center where there is a congregation of shopping malls, clubs and entertainment outlets around. Harbour Bay is developed by the government to become the centre to business and commerce.
Harbour Bay Terminal is part of a integrated development where hotels like SwissBel Harbour Bay, Zest, M1 Hotel and the first 5 Star Marriott Hotel (to be completed 2019) all within walking distance from the terminal.
It is connected to the newly built BayFront Mall, and a stone throw away from Harbour Bay Mall. It boasts the longest Seafood restaurants stretch situated by the coast.
The terminal also serves domestic ferry to the following:
– Riau Island
– Stulang Laut (Berjaya Waterfront Ferry Terminal) Johor Malaysia via Bistari Gemilang
Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal, is located at Stulang Laut in Johor Bahru. This ferry terminal is an official seaport as well as international entry point in Southern Malaysia. Thus, this ferry terminal serves sea transportation services to our neighbouring country, Indonesia including Batam and Bintan Island. The location of this ferry terminal is located within the duty-free complex, about 4 km away from Johor Bahru city centre.
The ferries operating in Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal are spacious, fully air-conditioned, and comfortable for public use. The ferries serve 1.5 hours trip to Batam Island (Batam Centre) along with 3 hours to Bintan Island (Tanjung Pinang).
– Putri Harbor Johor Malaysia via Marine Hawk Ferry
2. Sekupang Ferry Terminal
Sekupang International Ferry Terminal is located on the north-western tip of Batam. It is approximately forty-five minutes voyage between Singapore HarbourFront Centre and Sekupang International Ferry Terminal. Ferries travel daily on frequent intervals and more trips during peak period.
Besides the Sekupang Ferry Terminal is the Domestic Ferry Terminal, where ferry connection to other Sumatra destinations and other Riau Islands west of Batam such as Karimum and Kundur Island.
It is approximately 30 minutes by taxi from Sekupang International Ferry Terminal to Nagoya town or 15 minutes to Waterfront City Ferry Terminal (Teluk Senimba). Resorts provide shuttle bus services to pick up / drop off at the Ferry terminal.
3. NongsaPura Ferry Terminal
NongsaPura Ferry Terminal is located at the north-eastern tip of Batam in the Nongsa River. It is just forty-five minutes voyage between Singapore Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and NongsaPura Batam. Ferries travel daily on frequent intervals and more trips during peak period.
It is just a few minutes by taxi from NongsaPura Ferry Terminal to nearby resorts and approximately 35 minutes to Nagoya town or 15 minutes to Batam Hang Nadim Airport.
The Resorts provide shuttle bus services to pick up / drop off at the Ferry terminal.
Nongsa is the main tourist attraction, where the resorts and golf courses are situated.
You may enjoy your golf games at Palm Spring Golf Resort and Tering Bay Golf Resort. At the end of the promontory is the small Nongsa River, which is to be preserved in its natural state.
4. Batam Centre Ferry Terminal
Batam Centre Ferry Terminal is located at the centre of Batam. It is 60 to 70 minutes voyage between Singapore HarbourFront Centre and Batam Centre Terminal.
It is just 30 minutes by taxi from Batam Centre Ferry Terminal to Nagoya town or Batam Hang Nadim Airport.
Main Tourist area in Batam
There are a handful of things to do in Batam. A lot of people go there for a golfing weekend. If you take the ferry to Nongsapura (leave from Tanah Merah), there are a few pretty decent hotels where you can relax, eat pretty good food, swim, or sit on the beach.
Nagoya City Center
Nagoya derived its name historically from the Japanese occupation during WW II, and the main town is still called Nagoya.
It is a congregation of hotels, shopping malls, nightlife and entertainment into 1 area.
It’s only 10 minutes drive away from Harbour Bay Terminal.
Nongsa Coast and the Waterfront City area
Each beach on Batam Island has it own characteristics, though the northeast peninsula of Nongsa coast and the Waterfront city are the best known to Batam visitors. Only one hour’s drive from Harbour Bay, you will find a perfect spot to bake in the sun on the beach or to splash in the crystal-clear sea water. Many resorts and clubs provide water sport activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, speed boating, windsurfing, snorkeling, canoeing, and much more. The Waterfront City is also a perfect spot for you to enjoy a seafood lunch or dinner.
Harbour Bay Downtown
This newly developed area is gaining popularity among tourist and locals. It is one of the first integrated development in Batam. With a revamped ferry terminal, shopping malls such as BayFront and Harbour Bay Mall, seafood restaurants by the coast, entertainment outlets, spas and hotels, it is a perfect gate way for tourist to experience Batam.
The first 5 star Marriott Hotel overlooking the ocean is also due for completion late 2019.
If you seek something less crowded and more tranquil, head to Melur Beach on Galang Island; Sembulang Beach on Rempang Island or Pulau Petong Island. Both secluded beaches have been developed for tourism since 2000, though they still retain a calm and warm atmosphere due to the small number of visitors.
Arrival procedure for Passenger going from
Singapore HarbourFront centre to Batam The departure hall is located on the second floor in Harbourfront Centre, right beside Breadtalk. Separate queues are provided for international passengers (Foreigners) and Singapore citizens and residents (Singaporeans).
• Foreigners are required to complete an immigration card before proceeding to immigration
• Singaporeans are welcome to use the Enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System (EIACS) to clear immigration After immigration, all passengers are required to collect their baggage from the baggage claim hall before proceeding to customs for clearance.
Singapore Customs Clearance
Please use the Green Channel for your baggage clearance if you do not have controlled or prohibited items to declare and have not exceeded your Duty Free Concession or GST relief.
Please use the Red Channel if you have items to declare or if in doubt
If you are above 18 years of age, traveled from countries other than Malaysia and have spent 48 hours or more outside Singapore immediately before your arrival, you are granted the following duty-free concessions for liquors:
Option Spirits Wine Beer
A 1L 1 L 1 L
B – 2 L 1 L
C – 1 L 2 L
If you are a bona fide crew member, you will be granted duty-free concession on 0.25litre of spirits, and either 1 litre of wine or 1 litre of beer.
Cigarettes Allowance There is no duty-free concession for Tobacco, including cigarettes and cigars. Such dutiable goods should be declared. (For more information on GST Relief and other Duty-Free Concession, please visit Singapore Customs’ website @ http://www.customs.gov.sg)
If in doubt, always seek clearance at the Red Channel.
Cash Allowance Any person entering or leaving Singapore with physical currency or bearer negotiable instruments (CBNI)* that has a total value exceeding SGD 20,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) is required to fill up the Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report (Traveller) or NP727 form .
The Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report (Traveller) form is available at:
– Singapore checkpoints
– Police establishments
Completed forms are to be submitted at the Customs Red Channel on arrival in Singapore, and at the immigration counters on departure from Singapore.
Further information can be found HERE.
GST Import Relief Bona-fide traveller who is not a holder of a work permit, employment pass, student pass, dependent pass or long-term pass, will be given GST relief on new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food preparations (excluding intoxicating liquors, tobacco and petroleum products) up to the following value shown in the table below:
Please be informed that the above relief is granted on an individual basis and is not applicable if the goods are brought in for trade, commercial or business purposes, or carried on behalf of other persons. For goods exceeding the eligible GST relief, travellers are required to make payment for the taxes at the Customs Tax Counter before exiting the Green/Red Channel. Further information on customs clearance and procedures can be found @ http://www.customs.gov.sg/leftNav/trav/Customs+Clearance+Procedure. htm.
Singapore Cruise Centre Regional Ferry Terminal
The Singapore Cruise Centre is a Cruise Terminal located in the south of Singapore in the vicinity of HarbourFront Centre and in Kappel Harbour, overlooking the beauty of Sentosa Island. Singapore Cruise Centre is 0.2 kilo metre from Vivo City Shopping Mall and HarbourFront Centre.
Singapore Cruise Centre was rapidly developed in the late 90s and early 21st century. Its comprises two Terminals, namely the International Passenger Terminal (IPT) and the Regional Ferry terminal (RFT).
Singapore Cruise Centre is the main entry point for cruise ships and regional ferries entering to and departing from Singapore. All travellers arriving by sea have to pass through its gates eventually for embarkation. The adjoining Regional Ferry Terminal is the main access point to neighbour Indonesia Island, such as Batam & Karimum.
BatamFast depart daily to Batam various Ferry Terminal, please refer to home page for departure schedule.
You may take any of the following transportation to Singapore Cruise Centre:
Public Buses – Bus number 10, 30, 65, 80, 93, 97, 100, 131, 143, 145, 166, 188 & 855MRT – Take a North-East line MRT rail system and alight at HarbourFront Station.Cab – Taxi bays are located at various points of HarbourFront Centre and Vivo City.
Opposite the Cruise Centre is the Resorts World Sentosa, and is easily accessible via reliable, convenient and extremely affordable modes of transportation i.e. bus number RWS8, The Sentosa express, cable car, cabs and cars. One can also take a leisurely stroll on boardwalk from Vivo City Shopping Mall to the Resort.