This time, it was Batam. Located about 20 km south of Singapore, Batam island is very much similar to Bintan which we had visited last year. Lush greenery, plenty of 'sea' to 'see', sun, beaches and sand. Nothing less to expect from this truly beautiful island in Indonesia.
Our population doubled this time - we were a group of (lucky?) 13 restless souls, just waiting to get our asses out of our labs and a few hundred kms away from research. And get off we did, in style :). Merry-ly taking the ferry ride from Tanjong Pagar, we made for Batam on Feb the 15th, the start of Chinese New year hols. The ferry ride is a most enjoyable experience - apart from being hot due to the sun, the ride is actually pretty Cool :). Watching the busy Singapore skyline (and along with it, all memories of research fading into the distance.. seriously, no feeling could be better !
Pt-KTM resorts - thats where we stayed. Beautiful place. No testimonial would be enough to do justice to the five-star royal treatment we got there. Just - dont try to expand the name K-T-M :). Since the exchange rate was pretty high, we were millionaires by the time we reached, and immediately set about blasting off every inch of currency that we had stored up.
Water sports are one of the major attractions in Batam. Para-sailing, Jet-skiiing, Banana-boating and Kayaking - these were the items on the menu. Needless to say, we ordered all :). The para-sailing was a first for me- being slightly afraid of heights, I never thought I'd pull(rather, fly) it off, but it turned out to be an awesome experience with a sufficient amount of 'high' to it ! :). After sufficiently wetting ourselves (no pun intended ;) ) on all the rides, we decided to call it a day (er.. at 4 pm in the evening) and go around city-seeing a bit. The Barelang bridge was 'bery bery laang', and actually a let-down.. there was nothing to do there except to.. er.. watch it :). Tired of letdowns, we retired to our beautiful villas.
Needless to say, the high-night was one of the high-lights of the trip. Dumb-C was called for. Despite being 'dumb', we were pretty noisy out there, mind you :). 3 hours and a few kilos of junk food later, we made for the beach, and wasted away sometime until we decided to call it a.. thats right.. night. Next day, after refilling ourselves with enough food for a few days, we set out to Nongsa beach.
Nongsa is one of those paradises on earth called a beautiful beach. Thirteen hot people out there (yea yea, hot cos of the sun ;) ) - we 1st cooled ourselves in the inviting blue waters. Few hundred pics and some desperate attempts at swimming and stunt-making. A pitiable round of volley-ball was followed by a coconut break, and even more pitiable gaming :). Truly, I have never had enough of sea, sand and sun in my life. Finally when we'd all turned different bright shades of crimson, we decided to call it quits and return to the city. BCS mall was our final stand - our shopping consisted of an incredible mixture of tatooing, food, and sun-glasses ! Loads of them ! Finally we made a desperate rush for the resort and then the ferry terminal.
The night trip back on the ferry is a beautiful experience too. An hour or so later, we were thirteen tired but satisfied souls, cribbing about what lay ahead for us in our boring labs the next day. Ofcourse, that was enough inspiration for us to float our next trip plans :). Cambodiaaaaa, here I come !