Batam Island Guide
Information about Batam Island
Travellers will find getting around Batam Island simple and inexpensive due to its relatively small size. However, choices of public transportation are quite limited compared to Jakarta and Bali. The recently established public bus system has become a major commuting choice for many people.
There is a free-shuttle bus from Mega Mall to most major hotels and resorts in the same area, as well as in Jodoh.
Taxis here are more convenient and offer a quicker access to the Nongsa and Waterfront City, though none of them are metered so you will have to arrange a price before getting in one.
Bus and Metro Trans (Minibus)
The Batam local authorities recently started a bus service called the 'Bus Pilot Project'. The blue buses run between Batam Centre in Nagoya and Batu Aji. Travellers purchase tickets before boarding.
Air-conditioned minibuses (the locals call them 'metro trans') run fixed routes between Jodoh and Telaga Punggur. Below are some destinations:
- Jodoh to Sembulang via Sukajadai
- Jodoh to Galang Baru via Sukajadi
- Dapur to Mukakuning
- Dapur to Jodoh via Sukajadi
Good to Know
Although Batam is only half an hour from Singapore, there is a time zone difference. The time zone in Batam is GMT + 7 while Singapore is one hour ahead (GMT + 8). So, don’t forget to set your watch while on the ferry.
The city is generally safe during the daytime, however it is best to avoid walking alone at night even in the entertainment area of Nagoya. Visitors should also beware of pickpockets at the market. Busses are not as crowded as those in big cities like Jakarta or Yogkarata.
Here in Batam, many stores in shopping malls and fresh markets also accept Singapore dollars (SGD). Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. Several banks and currency exchange counters are located in Nagoya, as well as some small branches operating in Nongsa and Waterfront City.
Below is a list of Batam’s fast facts, useful information, telephone numbers, and the Indonesian national holiday calendar.
Batam has plenty of taxis though none of them are equipped with a meter, nor do they have a standard price. Taking a taxi in Batam might require a little bargaining with the driver. Once the taxi drivers quote a price, simply cut it in half or even less and go from there. Taxi conditions are not great although they are the most convenient and fastest way to get around.
Batam’s weather and climate is relatively similar to its neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The island has a tropical climate with no distinctive seasons. The average humidity is 80% with its minimum of 60% and reaches a maximum of around 100%.
The temperature ranges from 22 °C (72°) between November and December to 34 °C (93 °F) in June to July. The average temperature is around 28°C (83°F) during May to July and 30 °C (87 °F) between March to October.
The best time to visit Batam is during the dry season between May and September. Between October and April tropical rainfalls alternate with sunny days.
Batam does not observe daylight saving time or a summer time zone change. The length of the day is nearly consistent year round due to the country's location near the equator.
|Batam Fast Fact|
|Population||915,882 (as 2008)|
|Currency||Indonesia Rupiah (IDR) while Singapore Dollar (SGD) is also widely accepted|
|Time Zone||GMT +7|
|Government Office Hour||8:00 – 16:00 Saturday many offices are closed|
|Electricity||220 – 240 volts AC, 110 – 130 volts AC are still use|
|Emergency and Useful Number|
|Hang Nadim International Airport||+62 778 761507|
|2010 Public Holidays|
|Jan 1||New Year|
|Feb 14||Chinese New Year|
|Feb 26||Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)|
|Mar 16||Nyepi (Hindu New Year)|
|Apr 2||Good Friday|
|Apr 28||Waisak Day (Buddha’s Birthday)|
|Jul 9||Lailat al Miraj (Ascension of the Prohept)|
|Aug 17||Indonesian Independence Day|
|Sep 11||Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)|
|Nov 17||Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)|
|Dec 7||Islamic New Year|
|Dec 25/26||Christmas Day/Boxing Day|