Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers' Day in Batam

We went to Batam this weekend to celebrate Fathers' Day (which I suppose is either a reflection of the relative importance of this holiday, or just our family's sexism, since for Mothers' Day we went to Thailand instead). I have written about Batam before: it is a small Indonesian island about an hour via ferry from Singapore, popular with Singaporeans as an easy weekend getaway.
Water play area to the left...
and to the right
Getting there couldn't be easier for an international vacation: take a 20-minute taxi ride to the ferry terminal, buy tickets an hour or two prior to departure (or online if you plan ahead farther than B and I tend to), and then board the ferry after a speedy procession through immigration and security (which takes around 20 minutes). Americans used to have to purchase visas on arrival to Indonesia (for the cheap price of $15), but new regulations mean entry is now free. We used that money to pay for all our transportation and meals while on Batam, which reflects how inexpensive it is there compared to Singapore.
Rooms are large if not especially notable: doorway leads to the bedroom (we stayed in a one bedroom suite this time, since R wouldn't go to sleep alone on vacation anyway) 
Kitchen area with a mini fridge
As usual when visiting Batam, we stayed at the Holiday Inn in Waterfront City. It has a very nice pool, all suite rooms (nice when traveling with children), has a kids' club full of toys and is within walking distance of the local ferry terminal.
R loves the pool
We also dined at the same restaurant we always do, Bella Italia Ristorante, which has better, more authentic pizza than anywhere I have found in Singapore. The rest of the food is delicious too, especially the zabaglione (one of the few desserts I can eat, as it contains no dairy). Since it's in Batam, prices are a bargain (our dinner was around $30, including drinks and desserts).
R appreciated her truly massive serving of pink strawberry ice cream

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