WANT to experience how you imagined Asia was supposed to be? Then you should be putting
the little-known and fascinating island of BATAM (and Smiling Hill) high on your
PERHAPS you just want to get away from it all in the lush warmth of a very inexpensive,
easily accessible tropical retreat? If so, it’s all here with beautiful waterfront,
marina and golf course resorts (six championship standard courses) waiting to cater
to your every whim with grace and style.
Then there’s the full-blown, low-cost PLAYGROUND right on the front doorstep of Singapore,
with a frontier town nightlife scene of bars, restaurants, karaoke lounges and discos.
Facilities are surprisingly sophisticated and keep getting better year by year, with
major new hotels, apartment blocks and modern shopping centers coming on stream.
THE LOCAL Indonesian name for our area is Bukit Senyum, which means Smile Hill -
the Smiling Hill team takes this happy sentiment to heart.
You can enjoy great local food, especially in the local open air food courts (pujaseras)
and the growing number of hotels offer accommodation ranging from budget to luxury.
Best of all, it is INEXPENSIVE – food, accommodation, transport and most other costs
are much lower than in places like Hong Kong or Singapore, and even less than Thailand.
They compare favorably with the Philippines.
Strangely, Batam has remained below the radar for Western visitors who rarely think
beyond Bali, Lombok and Jakarta when they consider Indonesia. Yet, Singaporeans and
Malaysians have been visiting en masse for years, especially for weekend getaways.
The word is slowly spreading among Westerners, mainly through the many expatriates
who have taken up work contracts in what they thought would be a “hardship” post,
only to discover to their delight that the toughest part of the Batam experience
is going home.
Kampung kids, traditional fishing village at Barelang
Hole 2 on the Palms Course at Palm Springs, Nongsa
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