If this is your first visit to Batam island, there are several destinations you should check out in order to give you a comprehensive experience. Here they are in no particular order:
1. The Barelang Bridges
This is a complex of 6 bridges linking the main Batam island with its neighbouring Riau islands. A drive across any one of these bridges will give you breathtaking vistas of the sea and coastlines.
They offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some stunning pictures across rolling natural backdrops. The best time to visit is in the evenings, as you’ll be able to watch the sunset unhindered from any of these bridges.
2. The Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple
Dedicated to the Buddha Maitreya, this is one of the largest Buddhist temples in all of Southeast Asia. The temple covers a spacious plot of land, and is dominated by a large main prayer hall.
Visitors can explore the 5 sections of the temple, all of which carry carved statues of the Buddha and other deities, as well as various artworks. All in all, the grounds are serene and peaceful, suitable for contemplative visitors looking for a calm and peaceful experience.
3. Nongsa Beach
One of the beaches closest to Batam Centre is Nongsa Beach. This lovely seaside attraction boasts many water sports, like jet skiing and boating. Alternatively, you can take things slow and unwind here at your own pace.
4. Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall
Nagoya Hill is considered the largest mall in Batam, and here you’ll be able to find a plethora of retail brands, both local and international. This is where you head to if you’re craving some familiar fast food brands, or want to shop for clothing, accessories, gadgets and more.
The Mall hosts an outdoor food court which comes alive with fairy lights as the sun goes down.
5.Galang Vietnamese Village
On Batam’s neighbouring island Galang are the remains of a Vietnamese refugee camp from the 1980s. The camp is no longer inhabited, and it now serves as a museum showcasing the area’s unique role as hosts to Vietnamese fleeing the Vietnam civil war.
It offers a rare insight into the island’s history, and is the location of several historical structures built by the United Nations including a hospital, church and temples.