Batam was supposed to be Cambodia. Or Laos. Or even Vietnam. But if you plan to travel during a public holiday in Singapore, you can’t leave such decisions to the last minute – or even a month before the last minute. So Batam it was.
We stayed at KTM Resort which is a five-minute drive from the Sekupang ferry terminal. The staff were nice, the room cozy, and the hot water in the shower woefully limited. The food at the hotel’s restaurant was quite decent albeit starvation-inducingly slow to appear. There was also a bar that’s open in the evenings and plays good music (I heard what is purportedly the new Coldplay; it seems like they make club music now), from where you can order food and eat by the poolside despite a sign that clearly prohibits the consumption of food and drinks by the pool.
The first afternoon found us signing up for massages, which turned out to be pleasant enough that we booked them again the second morning. It was quite peaceful – lying in a cottage listening to the waves gently crash along the walls, an Indonesian lady deftly cracking my toe joints while simultaneously failing to avoid coughing on me. So it goes.
Being by the sea and all, the resort had a bunch of not-cheap water sporting activities. Since we had nothing to do on the second day, we quickly signed up for all the ones that didn’t depend on one’s swimming skills (which I still lack). First up was something called “hammerhead” – a round floating bed-like device roped to a motorboat. You (and friends) grab on to a couple of handholds and hang on for dear life while the boatman tries his level best to throw you into the ocean. Thumbs up, would recommend it be tried at least once.
Next we tried paddling. This was pretty fun, and quite an exercise in balancing on a board floating on its merry way in the sea. You are given a piece of glorified wood to provide an illusion of control over the board’s destiny but worry not, for it will do as it pleases including crashing into the wooden beams on which your resort’s restaurant stands. Also quite fun.
The last activity was easily the best though – jet skiing! Unsurprisingly it is not as easy as it looks since the sea attempts to unseat you with every wave, but it’s oh so fun! Going really fast with the wind whistling in your ears and the water spraying in your face and being launched into mid-air whenever there’s a medium-sized wave – I have to say it’s quite exciting.
And that’s about it for yet another long weekend gone by!