Just a short boat ride from Singapore, Batam in Indonesia’s Riau archipelago is a popular weekend destination and a good side trip from Singapore and Malaysia. Apart from its close proximity to Singapore, this small island is frequented by visitors because of its wonderful beaches, elegant resorts, big shopping malls and vibrant nightlife. Batam is one of the booming city of Indonesia. A growing city, transport hub and manufacturing centre Batam represents the future of Indonesia’s economy. Batam is Indonesia’s equivalent to China’s SEZ’s (Special Economic Zones) – a place where the nation’s economic planners test new economic policies and ideas. The island is an industrial hub with electronics factories, a large and growing ship repair industry and an even larger oil service sector. Quite a few expats head there for work, and pubs and golf courses have sprung up to serve them. The main ports on Batam are Batam Centre, Sekupang, Waterfront City, Nongsapura and Telaga Punggur. Batam Center Ferry Terminal has the most frequent ferry connections to/from Singapore and Johor Bahru and is also the closest terminal to the airport. Sekupang, with ferries from Singapore is further from the airport but can still be used to catch domestic connections to the Sumatra mainland and the Karimun Islands. Waterfront City and Nongsapura mostly serve adjacent resorts while Telaga Punggur is the main ferry terminal for boats to and from Bintan.
• To/From Singapore: Ferries departing from the Harbourfront Ferry Terminal go to Batam Centre, Sekupang while ferries from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal serve Tanjung Pinang and Batam Centre(new route).