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Batam, Indonesia - Weekend sports getaway


Batam, Indonesia - Weekend sports getaway

The island of Batam appeals to many people in various ways.... to most - cheap seafood, cheap shopping, cheap massage, cheap golfing, cheap kueh lapis, cheapy cheap cheap everything...yet to some men, it's like 2nd "home"... to keep a 2nd "family" (this I rather not touch on), perhaps heeding our Government's calls to "think local, act global...go regional, be entrepreneurial and be productive". 

Such is the allure of improved spending prowess accorded by currency exchange, at just a mere 45 minutes ferry ride away. Little wonder that the Tanah Merah and Harbourfront ferry terminals always have a constant crowd, especially come weekends and long weekend. Batam have certainly come a long way...in more ways than one (if you read between the lines)...

I had the opportunity recently to tag along when my wife's company had a casual company outing within her division...ahhh, I see...economical team bonding. The activities to bind the colleagues revolved around sporting activities like tag paintball, go karting, flying fox...and of course Food !

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Our hotel of choice was the Golden View Hotel, where the hotel owner operates all the sporting activities within the huge land compound..while I rated the accommodation a modest 2.5-3 stars, the really low rate leaves little room for complaints.

The rooms have an "odour" issue which I ascertained to be caused by high humidity. The management actually responded promptly in my Tripadvisor review...that this and other feedback were in the midst of being "rectified"...

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A section of Batam suburbs at Bengkong Laut (North east part of the island), as viewed from our room...

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Room is cosy and basic...and you should get a good night slumber after all that rigorous outdoor activities. It's no Hilton or Hyatt...but neither are the rates.

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Just steps from the hotel entrance is the Golden Prawn Seafood 333 & 555...the natural pit stop for group tourists' meals in Batam... I believe the hotel owners own and operate this food joint...spinning healthy liquidity for their other businesses...I wondered why the owner added 555 outlet after the 333 which started first. But you add it up, 888...it all makes sense ($__$)...

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The setting casual and cosy...the service is somewhat brisk...but the food...the food is purely for sustenance..nothing more. Such is the effect of fast pace large scale dining... i can picture the sweating cooks in the "hell-kitchen" using spade-size spatula in huge woks, struggling to prepare standard meal for 500 guests at a go...

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One of our lunch dishes... tasted like chicken...it is chicken ! Wow !

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Hotplate tofu...it was hot alright...

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Then it's on to Go Karting.... under the hot Batam afternoon sun ...you will be well advised to drink lots of water...

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Some pre-"race" safety checks and instruction from the pit guy.... not too bad there... good service!

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1696_20130823-070048_1.JPG Doesn't he looked like Lewis Hamilton ? Or Alonso?....in a red Prancing Kart...

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My wifey and little girl...enjoying themselves...

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Animal exploitation at the go-kart station...a locally trained macaque made to entertained for money... we did not entertain his owner...

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Then it's on to Tag Paintball...the highlight of the trip...for a bonding session... ironically, it's  "through fighting, we get to know each other"...

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Somehow, I know where our old-series army No.4 went... right here in Batam ! lol... uniforms for the tag paintball players...

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The rules and laws of engagement well explained and demonstrated by the game host...

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The airguns being loaded with the paintballs... do you know these paintballs are halal certified ???!!! Yes...the content are non-pork gelatine ,in respect of Muslim faith...while the ball skin are seaweed based . Hmmm...vegetarian religion-compliant paintball ! lol

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Strategy discussion in progress..... before the bonding...bombing is required.

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Battle scarred...or stained..."the more we stained in peace, the less we clean in war"... lol

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Post game...ye...they looked pretty well bonded alright...

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My daughter "clearing" the leftover paintball stock, after the game...can you see the orange paintball exiting the barrel ???...

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Then it's on the flying fox...towering adrenaline for the take....

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At the apex .... the moment of truth...the moment your heart goes into your mouth when you jump off...

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Houston, we have lift-off !

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Enough courage to go solo...my 8 year old girl...

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No trip to Batam seemed complete without visiting the biggest mall at Nagoya Hill...and of course, the food street...lots of choices,...pick & choose...and confirm prices before you sit & eat...some of the menu does not come with prices..cause it's "seasonal"..

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The ubiquitous Batam "gong gong"......

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Sambal Cuttlefish...pretty good one here...

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Streamed pomfret...can't get any fresher... and the meal with 7-8 dishes came to less $20/pax...cheap cheap..

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And of course, what's shopping and eating without a bit of fun at the arcade ?...also cheap cheap...

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And before departing for home...seems loads of Singaporeans have to pay homage to A&W offerings at the Waterfront City ...the missing food link in our Lion City fast food scene...

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Everyone's favourite A&W Root Beer Float... rounded up a short weekend trip to the easy on the pocket Batam trip...life's good...with the great exchange rate...even better. Have Fun (^__^)//

* All pictures used are all rights reserved and copyrighted to Jensen Chua.

 

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