• The island of Batam today is the third busiest entry port to Indonesia and situated so near to Singapore.
  • Batam still promises a leisurely weekend getaway offering reasonably priced freshly caught seafood, fine golfing, plenty of duty-free shopping or an escape to a remote island ideal for trekking, diving, snorkeling and lazy fishing.
  • It is located only 20km from Singapore and 25km from Johor in Malaysia.
  • 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.
  • Most tourists, on the other hand, come from nearby Singapore. While there is a smattering of family resorts, Bintan is more popular for this; instead, the main lure on Batam is the discounted shopping and the nightlife.
  • However, the new governor of the province has shut down the casinos and taken steps to curb prostitution, and the goings-on aren’t quite as in your face as they used to be.


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