The six spectacular bridges, all comprising various individual engineering styles are iconic to Batam. ‘Barelang’ is an abbreviation of the three islands names: Batam-Rempang-Galang. Barelang Bridges link the tiny island of Tonton Nipah to the larger Setoko, Rempang, Galang, and Galang Baru Island together. All bridges afford visitors convenient access as though they are travelling on a single big island.
The total stretch of all six bridges is about two kilometres, and travelling from the first bridge to the last one should take around 20 minutes. The Tengku Fisabilillah Bridge that connects Batam and Tonton Island is impressive and the most popular. The Ngha Trang Memorial Wall in tribute to the boat people of Vietnam on Galang Island is also worth visiting. Visitors wishing to commute from island to island can hire a taxi or take part in organized a tour.
- Location: South of Batam Island
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 the Sekupang 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.
- Location: Nongsa Coast and the Waterfront City area
Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Buddhist temple
One of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya is also known as the Laughing Buddha Temple. This sacred space attracts thousands of Buddhist followers each day. The temple was built by the Chinese community in Batam and is a great example of a modern day monument on the island.
The main hall contains some fascinating statues of Buddha, while the side chambers feature Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) images. Furthermore, several restaurants nearby serve vegetarian food and warm tea.
- Location: Near the ferry terminal in the city centre, Nagoya
In the past, many visitors were interested in the illegal casinos nearby Batam Island, which were closed down by the government several years ago. In any case, we recommend a visit to some of the other islands such as Bintan and the lovely capital city of the province Tanjung Pinang. 20 minutes by ferry from Batam, Bintan Island is natural paradise surrounded by lush beautiful beaches, and home to more resorts and places of interest.
If you seek something less crowded and more tranquil, head to Melur Beach on Galang Island; or Sembulang Beach on Rempang 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.
- How to get there: The main port for ferries between Batam and Bintan islands is Telaga Punggur at the southeastern end of Batam.
Vihara Buddhi Bakti Temple
The Vihara Buddhi Bakti temple is also known as Tua Pek Kong Bio among locals and is a must-visit site for all visitors. Featuring impressive modern Chinese architecture, its most attractive spot is the sacred garden, located behind the temple. The picturesque garden houses stone sculptures, scriptures, Buddha statues, and tables where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea under the afternoon shade provided by the surrounding trees.
- Location: City centre, Nagoya