Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sharing on my Batam Trip

Sharing on my Batam Trip

Was in Batam on 24 and 25 May 08. I truely believed every new place we visit, there must be something that one can bring back. I meant lesson we can learnt and not the things we buy and bring home.

Batam Island is only about an hour away from Singapore by ferry. We stayed at KTM Resort while we were there. In our group, altogether there are 38 people ranging from child to senior citizen. The trip cost me S$150 for twin sharing room. The exchange rate of rupiah (Rp) is S$1 to 6,800 rupiahs. We can called ourselves "millionaire" when we are there.

KTM Resort is just next to the sea. The restaurant at the resort was built above the sea. There is a huge goddess of mercy at the resort too. There is also a small temple near the Goddess of Mercy, in it is the Monkey God. The owner of the resort should be a Buddhist or taoist.

The cost of living in Batam is quite low as compared to Singapore. Our tour guide told us the people there earn about S$300 a month. Over in Singapore, a cleaner earns about S$800 a month. But the things there are much cheaper than Singapore.

We stopped at a shopping centre after visiting a temple, bridge and some local performances. At the shopping centre, my wife and I went to a small eating house to have coffee. To my surprised, I noticed the fried rice there is so cheap compared to ours here in Singapore. For just Rp 6,363, I can buy a plate of fried rice plus a bottle of Frestea ! That is less than a Singapore dollar. In Singapore, a plate of fried rice alone will cost us S$3 - S$3.50. Fried rice is one of my favourite food, if not because of I have just have a sumptous lunch and it is also near to dinner time, I would have ordered the fried rice there to try its taste.

I can feel that the people there are generally contented. The first place that we were taken to is a suspended bridge. Beyond this bridge is supposed to be where the Vietnam refugees used to live. At the bridge, a lot of hawkers were selling prawns and crabs. The size of these prawns and crabs is big. The hawker is friendly as you can see from the photo. Among us, only one guy bought a crab.

One of the main entertainment there is massage. More than half from our group went for the massage or spa. For just S$20, you can relax for 90 minutes and enjoy the massage by the local. Spa will cost you S$30.
Finally, the lesson I bring back from Batam is we should appreciate what we have and be thankful for what we have now. There are a lot of people out there who are not as fortunate as us. Why I said that ? During my trip in Batam Island, we saw a lot of shelters or "temperary houses" next to the road. Our tour guide told us they are all not legal. Any time the governtment need the place or land, these people will have to make way for development. The shelters do not have address and there are plenty in Batam, to them, it is their home.

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