Just across the water from Singapore, Batam is the perfect destination if you are looking for a short and sweet getaway. It is the largest city in the province of Riau Islands in Indonesia and is part of the free trade zone in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth Triangle.
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10. General Drugstore Medicine
Over the years, Batam has become a popular tourist hot spot - attracting Singaporeans, Malaysians and tourists from Asia and Europe for quick getaways. From adrenaline-filled water sports to rejuvenating spa salons, Batam attracts a wide range of traveller types. You can indulge in some good seafood, play at the inflatable water sports park Aqua Adventure Track, visit Buddhist temples and most importantly, shop to your heart’s content.
Looking for things to do in Batam? Find out what the available attractions are in the area. Book your accommodations with any one of these hotels in Batam.
In fact, many people frequent Batam regularly simply for the shopping value you can get here. Compared to other cities in Indonesia, Batam is famous for the big bargains you can get for goods here.
If you love shopping, then this list of items to buy in Batam is for you. From toiletries to delicious local keropok, you can find almost everything you want and need - for a fraction of the price in Batam.
There are a couple of shopping centres on the island - Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam City Square, Diamond City Mall, Mega Mall Shopping Centre and Kampung Oleh-Oleh.
Apparel shopping is one of the things you absolutely have to take advantage of when you are on the island. As the entirety of Batam is duty-free, this is where you can get your fill of shopping for clothes. You can find womenswear, menswear, sportswear and even intimates. Families can shop together to cut down on costs involved with apparel shopping. The clothes here often come in higher quality than what you might get for shopping in Johor Bahru.
The shopping malls here often feature local sellers amidst branded goods, so make sure you comb through every inch of the mall to find gems!
The Batam City Square Mall is where you can get a huge choice range when it comes to apparel goods such as shoes.
As Indonesia produces rubber, a wide variety of shoe styles can be found in the shopping centres here, especially at the Batam City Square Mall. Even if the shoes on sale are not branded goods, you can trust that the quality will be higher than your usual market finds. Stilettos, loafers, boots and sports shoes - you can find anything you are looking for in a shoe style here.
However, when looking for high-end branded shoes in Batam, expect to find some counterfeit versions instead. If what you are searching for are simple, everyday shoes, you can definitely find some here that are really affordable and of quality.
There is no doubt that everyone who goes to Batam, Indonesia will be gorging themselves on the spicy favourite - Indomie.
As you shop around Batam, you will discover that many restaurants and eateries here often feature Indomie as a menu staple. You can get a whole range of Indomie versions here in Batam - Indomie Devil, Indomie Goreng and Indomie Rebus. The Indomie is a humble instant noodle dish, often served up in a variety of ways and can be adapted into your own recipes.
Once you have tried the Indomie for your meals in Batam, you will be happy to know that you can indeed buy the Indomie noodle packs home - they even come in special flavours here in Batam! Many tourists often lug several boxes of this instant noodle back to satisfy future cravings!
4. Leather Goods
The production of leather in Indonesia makes Batam the perfect place to get your hands on some leather goods.
You could get leather bags, bracelets or shoes. The leather goods in Batam are produced with high quality and you can get them for really cheap. These goods make for good souvenirs or even birthday presents.
While you are at it, get yourself some local leather handicrafts instead of commonplace leather goods to remember the trip by! These are much more unique and most importantly, they support the local sellers. Some of the interesting souvenirs can be sourced at Kampung Oleh-Oleh.
5. Keropok (Crackers)
Aside from Indomie, the classic Keropok is another favourite that tourists often stockpile for home! Keropok is an Indonesian style deep-fried crackers - often produced with prawn, fish or squid as the base flavour.
If you visit the local markets there, you will be spoilt for choice with the wide range of crackers that are sold in Batam. Spend an afternoon at one of their local markets sampling the different types of Keropok and then buy some to share with family and friends back home.
6. Kueh (Snacks)
The most popular snack tourists go for in Batam is the Kueh Lapis (Layer Cake).
These layer cakes are soft, delicately layered and come in a variety of flavours - mocha, cheese, cempedak, pandan and chocolate. Some of the more popular bakeries known for their traditional and consistent flavours are La Moist, Tora Tora and The Master.
The Bingka Bakar, Bilis Molen and Keripik Kari are other traditional favourites from Batam. These snacks last long, so they are good to be carried home as souvenirs as well.
7. Cosmetic Products
When you are in Batam for a shopping spree, you must absolutely stock up on your toiletries, especially the cosmetic products!
The good thing about buying cosmetic products in Batam is that you get the limited edition versions and you pay a fraction of the price you would pay for if you were shopping back home.
This is the time to stock up on shampoo, soap and dental supplies!
Just like your cosmetics products, you can also get all your skincare essentials in Batam at cheaper prices.
Popular brands such as Garnier and Olay can be found in most of the shopping malls here. The facial cleansers, moisturisers and serums go for about one-third the price of how much it is sold for in countries like Singapore. They also carry a range of products and brands that are specifically catered to men, so there is something for everyone.
When you are in Batam, you should probably take advantage of the lowered pricing and duty-free stance here to get all of cosmetics and skincare supplies. Perhaps you could even buy some back home for your friends!
By now, you would have realised that a lot of shopping in Batam can be done for really cheap.
If you are coming to Batam from Singapore or Malaysia, it can be a good idea to buy all your household grocery needs in bulk here. Items such as cereal, special edition cooking spices and sauces, crackers, cooking oil and even frozen supplies!
Doing your grocery shopping in duty-free Batam will result in larger cost savings for you, especially if you are shopping for the entire family.
10. General Drugstore Medicine
General drugstore medicine is a household necessity.
Since the expiry dates on cabinet pain-relief medications such as Panadol can go for a couple of years, tourists often buy in bulk. You will be saving a lot of money if you choose to buy these in larger quantities for home.
It is well-known that Batam is a shoppers’ paradise, especially among tourists from neighbouring countries. Many families often stop by Batam regularly just to buy their household supplies in bulk and to enjoy some cost-savings. Batam also offers a good selection of snacks, luxury goods and local handicrafts for you to bring back as souvenirs. Next time you find yourself in Batam, you know what to do!