Oh, what a 4D3N getaway to Batam for our June holidays!
Dear1 and I have never been to Batam before (can you believe it!?), plus we wanted a relaxing holiday for this June holidays (relaxing holiday means no trip planning, no exploration, just plain relax and do nothing), PLUS Batam was supposed to be our 10 year wedding anniversary getaway last year (but we decided that a 2D1N trip for just the two of us was too costly, hence we replaced it with a indulgent dinner at PS Cafe instead), so here we went!
- Baby1 had her first piano exam. It was soooo nerve-wrecking for her!
- Baby1 had her piano recital. We’ve planned the Batam trip to be right after her piano exam and recital, so that she can wind down after that, sounds like a good plan! :p
- 1030: We left home and took 188R which expressed all the way to Harbourfront
- 1110: Reached Harbourfront and we had Yakun for an early lunch. Mothercare was having sale so Mummy had to buy some essentials, heehee!
- 1310: Cleared the customs. Wow, what a breeze, basically nothing to clear at all.
- 1410: Finally the ferry departed and Baby1 and Baby2 KOed quite immediately. We took Sindo which will stop at Sekupang first, then at Waterfront Terminal. The ferry was blasting aircon, and there wasn’t many passengers at all.
- 1535 SGT (= 1435 Batam time): Reached Holiday Inn @ Waterfront, which is really a 2 min drive from the terminal. The hotel and rooms were clean and very spacious, albeit a bit old-fashioned in style. To us, cleanliness is most important.
- 1600: Brought the kids to Panda Kids Club to play in the spacious playroom while Dear1 and I figure out what’s for dinner. We wanted to order delivery from Bella Italia, but we could not fulfill the minimum $100 for them to deliver over. Went out to have a look at the row of shops beside the ferry terminal. Delima, which was recommended on the Internet, looked too shabby. Headed back to hotel’s Terrace Cafe.
- 1800: Kids dine free! Each adult portion costed >$10, and the kids’ portion was very small. But overall the food was nice in a quiet environment.
- 1900: Karaoke! We booked the minimum 1 hour package, and got 1 more hour free for IHG members. The entire system was in Korean, and Mandarin and English songs were sooooo limited. Baby1 took some time to get used to singing; she was hogging the mic towards the end! Baby2 warmed up to the mic immediately, but after that decided that she preferred to dance while Jie Jie and Mummy/Papa hogged the mics. Papa managed to find the titles of a couple of the Frozen OSTs and we had lots of fun singing to these familiar songs!
- 0630: Rise and shine! For the first time in all our holiday trips, we decided to include hotel breakfast for this trip, and luckily we did! There’s nothing outside the hotel, the hotel’s breakfast buffet spread was sumptuous and decent, and we do not have to rush to go out early in the morning every day. Thumbs up!
- 0800: Pool opens from 8am till 9pm. Hmm, but by 8am, the sun’s pretty hot, and why is the water slide still not open!? Anyway, all four of us had fun playing with our water guns, sitting on the banana boat, and just splashing around in the pool. By 9.30, the sun’s pretty hot, so it’s back to room to shower.
- 1030: Went back to Panda Club to play. Today, we saw more children, probably about 8 others (there was only 1 yesterday and she was heading home today). There’s supposed to be face painting during this time on a Sunday, but the attendant did not appear at all. The staff did appear yesterday, and only after we asked did she gave us the Panda Club Program Sheet. And only after we asked again did she bring out the materials for the Activity which was Paper Weaving.
- 1130: We cycled over to Dragon’s Inn for dim sum, which was supposed to be the best Cantonese Dim Sum in Batam. Very decent dim sum and not salty at all. Oh no, Baby2 struggled to keep her eyes open, means it’s time for her afternoon nap.
- 1300: Mummy went off for a 1 hour Body Scrub at the Tea Tree Spa while Papa stayed in the room and watch while the kids napped. Mummy came out sparkling smooth and soft, bling bling!
- 1415: Now it’s Papa’s turn for a 1 hour relaxing Balinese/Javanese Massage.
- 1700: Rise and shine for all 4 of us (Mummy and Papa got sooo tired from the massages too!). Went over to the Games Lounge where we played table soccer, chess, darts and pool (kids not allowed for the last 2).
- 1800: It’s dinner at the Terrace Cafe again where Kids dine Free, heehee.
- 1900: Back to room and watch tv, bath and prepare for the night. Mummy and Papa took turns to nurse Baby2 who had developed a fever since this afternoon, oh no.
- 0630: Wakey wake up!
- 0700: Time for breakfast! Baby2 enjoyed the soya milk while Baby1 munched on cornflakes. What simple delicacies for them!
- 0830: Since Baby2 was running a temperature, she cannot go swimming today. Mummy and Baby1 had one-to-one time splashing in the pool while Papa and Baby2 lounged around in the pavilion and at the poolside benches. Just before we came out from the pool, we allowed Baby2 to join Jie Jie with the water guns cos she looked so left out.
- 1000: Shower time again.
- 1100: Took the hotel shuttle bus to Nagoya Hills shopping mall. Normal guests will need to pay a fee, but we had it complimentary as Papa is an IHG member. We had initially wanted to go yesterday, but the shuttle bus was already fully booked when we checked in on Day 1.
- 1130: Reached Nagoya Hills and had A&W curly fries and waffles with ice cream. Yummy! After lunch, we walked around and found that Nagoya Hills really did seem quite boring. Mummy bought some cheap pyjamas (SGD 4.80 each!) and dresses from this big clothing store Sunboss where shoppers buy clothes in baskets.
- 1420: Time to force the kids to take their afternoon nap. We wanted to go to Caffeine Cafe but couldn’t find it anywhere! (Turns out that it was along the shop-houses across the street!) Decided to settle down in Bistro Godiva where there’s an aircon area and tried to coerce the kids to sleep on the cushy sofa. Eventually we gave up. Why don’t they sleep!?
- 1520: Okay, let’s get moving then. We decided not to enter the Hypermart as Security says we need to deposit our big diaper bag. Went over to the Pharmacy next door and picked up 4 individual packs of Cool Patch (they don’t sell in bigger packs). After that, we got SGD 5 worth of tokens and played many games in the Arcade. We could have purchased $10 and get $5 bonus, but I don’t think we can play $15 in the rather small arcade. Baby1 had lots of fun playing Air Hockey, Hammer Weasels, some punching fish game, Drums, Shoot Basketball, and even Car Racing, while Baby2 was contented with just riding on the elephant and the train. Mummy had fun with Drums too! For $5 in tokens, we even accumulated 88 points which we exchanged for a total of 4 pretty hair clips. Not a bad deal after all!
- 1700: After getting a box of some Batam Layer Cake (aka kueh lapis), we hailed a cab and set off for Harbour Bay which is just a 5 minutes drive away. The cab driver agreed to wait for us and drive us back to Holiday Inn after dinner. There’s a whole row of seafood restaurants here, and we settled on Wey Wey. The seafood here is really nice! By 6pm, many more diners had arrived to dine al-fresco beside the seas in the setting sun, how ambient!
- 1820: Dinner done and we headed back to hotel so that the feverish Baby2 can have an early night.
- 0730: We slept in a bit this morning and had a later breakfast, hoping to catch the water slide when it will finally start at 10am later.
- 0900: Today, it’s Papa’s turn to go swimming with Baby1. Baby2’s fever had finally subside overnight, but we didn’t want her to catch a cold. During breakfast, Papa chatted with the staff and found out that we could have asked the Pool Staff to turn on the waters at the slide. ‘_” So we did that, and Baby1 had lots of fun with Papa going down the gushing water slide while Mummy took the trishaw and peddled Baby2 around the hotel’s compound. Afterwards, all 4 of us took turns on the trampoline beside the pool.
- 1015: Shower time, and we even finished watching The Incredibles on Disney Channel while waiting for Check Out at 12noon. Throughout these 4 days, the kids watched lots of Disney Channel whenever there’s free time in the room, something which we usually do not allow when we are at home. :p
- 1230: The hotel shuttled us to the ferry terminal where we sat there waiting for the ferry until 1.20pm. Once onboard the ferry, both kids KOed immediately again, heehee…
- 1600 SGT: Reached Singapore and grabbed 5+1 Mr Bean pancakes before taking bus 188 home. We just needed to reach home before 5pm to be in time for swimming class at 5.45pm.
- 1715: Bus reached destination!
- Total cost of getaway: $1217.40
It was a simple holiday this time. Not much trip planning, no exploration, no trying to squeeze in too many things to do or too many places to visit; just relax and enjoy the simple things with Baby1 and Baby2. We hope that their sights have widened yet a bit more, and their childhood fills with many more happy experiences with Mummy and Papa.