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Updated: 2018-02-19T14:42:14.172+08:00

 



Perth Hotel, Senai

2017-07-12T10:26:31.319+08:00

There are 2 nearby hotels the Senai Airport in Johor. Perth Hotel is one of them and is only about 5 minutes walk from the airport terminal. Once exited the airport, keep right towards the adjacent row of shop houses and one will have no problem to spot it.

The hotel is rather new, opened its door on July 2016. I reckon not many people stay here unless on transit and need a place to crash for the night. The lobby is spacious and modern.

King Perth Room (RM 198, without breakfast) is rather spacious, clean and comfortable. There is no refrigerator around to keep drinks or food cold. Wifi is free for guest and the speed is alright.

On the down side, the thick pillow which don't suit my sleeping pattern.  Also, there is no blind or partition for the shower which can make the whole bath room wet.

The hotel has passengers in mind as there are USB and universal charging point inside the room.

Even though the hotel is close to the airport, I hardly notice any noise generated by the aircraft while landing or taking off.

There ain't much to do around here except for a few restaurant and McDonald's. There is a 7 Eleven store behind the hotel for the convenience of the guest.



Lotus Desaru Beach Resort

2016-04-15T08:42:49.746+08:00

There are not many resorts at Desaru beach and under the recommendation of a friend, I decide to stay overnight at Lotus Desaru Beach Resort while in the area. From its facade, the resorts resembles a castle and I am amazed with its size. It has 17 blocks of accommodation (A to S) and shall able to accommodate massive crowd during the school holiday. Fortunately, I was here during normal day and there aren't many occupant at the resort.The lobby/reception has been shifted to what it used to be the club house in order to cope with the number of visitors during peak hour. The former reception area at the front is inadequate to handle the crowd.   I opt for one bedroom type (RM 220 per night) and its interior impressed me. The living room, kitchen and balcony is located at the lower level and the ladder steps lead to the bedroom and toilet on the upper level.I never came across such arrangement before but I think it is ideal if not travel alone as one can sleep while the other watch television at the same time. Overall, the room is alright but some items need some maintenance all kitchen utensils should be in order.Breakfast here is alright although not to my expectation in term of variety and taste.    The resort is best explored on foot although coaster is available to ferry visitors to intended location. Its has water theme park, swimming pools and arcade. I reckon these attractions are a big hit with children and should be packed during school holiday. There is a stretch of beach behind the resort where a few operators offered a few water sports activities. It is not one of the best beaches around but one can still enjoy sun bathing and sea breeze here.With the recent mega project in Pengerang, this resort has been heavily booked by the contractors and the project owners to accommodate their staffs. [...]



Nagoya Citywalk Batam

2016-04-08T03:06:47.086+08:00

Nagoya Citywalk Batam is one of the newest shopping places at Nagoya area in Batam Island. It is located just behind Formosa Hotel.Nagoya Citywalk reminds me of Setia Walk in Puchong with its open air concourse with 2 rows of shops lining in between the open concourse. The Sunboss has a huge department store here which offers a wide variety of clothes.Most of the lots here are still empty but the place still offer a decent international and local food & beverage outlets as well as pharmacy. 3D museum is also located here and worth a visit. The open concourse is mainly occupied with food stalls with decent space for recreation and relaxation. The place is clean and quiet which made it an ideal place to unwind.     One of they main attraction here is the indoor amusement park. I am taken away by the types of amusement devices they had set up here like a mini roller coaster, jumping star, carousel, bumper cars, swinging tower to name a few. Those devices appear to be in good condition and all are imported from Europe. Hence, one could have a peace of mind when the young ones wish to take a ride on them.There is also an arcade which could keep everyone entertained. As there are less people here, one can have better air quality as compare to Nagoya Hill Mall where most people smoke while in the arcade.Nagoya Citywalk is also a base for the Indonesian Red Cross. I notice the cross is used without much issues compare to Malaysia. Nagoya Citywalk Batam is a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as other crowded malls here. It is a great place for kids and offers great choice of foods especially at the lower ground floor.  [...]



Prost Beer (Indonesian Beer)

2016-03-27T08:30:18.547+08:00

Prost Beer is new brand of locally brewed beer in Indonesia. From the packaging at first glance, one would had an impression it was a foreign brand beer. That was what I thought in the first place until I dig more research on it.

It is priced at IDR 16,100 in Hypermart, which is a little bit higher than the usual Heineken or Carlsberg beer in the country.

It is brewed with basic ingredient such as water, malt and hop. According to the packaging, the beer is triple hops and triple cold filtered with alcohol content around 4.8%

It is a typical lager beer which is smooth and easy to drink. Nothing out of the ordinary. I would have been expecting more due to its price tag which is slightly dearer compare to other international beers. Anyway, this beer is worth a try for those avid beer drinkers.



Rezeki Seafood Restaurant, Batam

2016-03-20T20:27:58.427+08:00

If one is hungry and looking for seafood restaurant while in Nongsa or Batu Besar area in Batam, Rezeki Seafood Restaurant is the best place to go. The restaurant is located at the Batu Besar beach with no specific road name leading to it as well as the absence of any big sign board indicating the restaurant. However, the locals should able to point any visitors to the right location.The restaurant is not far away from the resorts (Montigo and Turi Beach Resort) in Nongsa area as well as Hang Nadim International Airport. The journey from either of those 2 places are well below 10 minutes. When the car/taxi was parked outside the restaurant's vast parking lot, always bring along your valuables and never leave them inside the car.  Although this area are predominantly Muslims, it is obvious the restaurant is owned by Chinese based on the new year decoration which is still apparent. Like any seafood restaurant in Batam, it adopts an open air concept where diners can appreciate the sea breeze and its surrounding.Surprisingly, it was not as hot as expected on a sunny afternoon as the sea breeze pretty much negate the current equinox heat wave. The restaurant offers a clear view of the beach with some fishing boats lying around. On a clear day, one can even see Bintan Island from here.As I was seriously dehydrated from the incoming flight and the scorching sun, I had ordered a mango juice (IDR 25,000) and a coconut juice (IDR 20,000). The mango juice is great and pure. There aren't ice or water added to it which show their sincerity in the drink preparation. The coconut size was huge but nothing out of the ordinary. As there is only 2 of us, we were unable to order as much as we like to. So, I end up with a sweet and sour fish (IDR 100,000) and water spinach stirred fried with belacan (IDR 30,000).The fish is fresh and the gravy is thick. Maybe it is just me but I am more used to sweet gravy. Still, it is a decent presentation and generous serving.The water spinach is alright and I guess they are using a different type of belacan which are less spicy then what we normally had here. Still, I find it appetizing and goes great with the rice.The restaurant also serve crab, gonggong, clamp and shrimps which I reckon are good based on what I observed from the other tables.The restaurant has its own website with a comprehensive menu in it. Another thing to note is there will be a 10% tax on the total bill when one received its bill. The restaurant is still considered as one of the cheaper seafood restaurant here and is worth checking out if one is nearby the area.[...]



The Spa Secret Batam

2016-03-09T07:41:38.804+08:00

There are many places which offer massage service in Batam and the best so far I came across is The Spa Secret Batam.

It is located at Nagoya area and directly opposite Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre by crossing the busy road.

The waiting area is spacious and have ample of seats. This spa is always crowded and advanced booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. I always opt for online booking and usually get a confirmation in a few hours. Reservation will be cancelled if there was a no show after 15 minutes of the appointed time.

So far I had tried 2 types of massage here, flat stone massage (420,000 Rupiah for 2 hours) and Balinese aromatic massage (330,000 Rupiah for 90 minutes). The therapists are professional and enjoy each of my session here. For flat stone massage, it will be carried out in a private room which is equipped with shower facility.

The therapist will usually put an aromatic incense just right below the head while lying down. Should the smell is too hard to bear, just notify the therapist but it works just fine for me as it kind of giving me the soothing effect as the treatment progress.

The spa also offers free wifi to kill some time should one come here with reservation and the queue is long. With its ideal location, good facility and skillful therapist, I will definitely be back again whenever I am around Batam.



Grand Margherita Hotel

2015-12-20T23:05:06.490+08:00

In my many visit to Kuching since I was a child, I never stay in Grand Margherita Hotel (previously Holiday Inn Kuching). So, when the opportunity present itself, I decided to stay in this hotel while in Kuching.Dubbed as Sarawak's first international hotel, the facade suggests that it had stood at its current location for quite sometime now. Its location could not get any better, at the heart of the city centre and beside Kuching Waterfront. Even one of the famous cat statue is right at the door step with Sarawak Plaza just right beside it.The lobby area is spacious and comfortable. The management has renovated it in order to stay competitive with other 4 star hotels in the city. Check in was a breeze.Deluxe room (RM 180 with breakfast, RM 160 without breakfast) is modern and comfortable. The only thing I don't like is the old carpet at the walkway leading to the room. However, I notice some of the floor had its walkway's carpet changed. The room has more than enough pillow one can ask for. They are pretty soft and comfortable. The bed is nice and the room temperature is just right. The room is what to be expected of any 4 star hotel. One can choose between the city view or river view. I would recommend the river view as it offers a breathtaking view of the Sarawak River, the State Assembly Hall, Mount Santubong and the villages across the river.There are small swimming pool at the ground floor, one for adult and another one for children. One can walk to the waterfront via an access gate from the swimming pool.  The breakfast here is a pale shadow of what the hotel used to offer in the past. There seems to be lack of variety when it comes to the main dish. Well, I guess that is all part of the austerity measures in uncertain time like this. [...]



Sibu Christmas Deco 2015 @ Sibu Gateway

2015-12-13T19:00:04.001+08:00

 This year there is no annual Christmas trees competition which usually held at Sibu Town Square.

Most of the Christmas decoration of the town has been shifted to Sibu Gateway and I must admit, the deco here did not disappoint me.

To be frank, it is way better than the annual Christmas tree competition held annually at the town square. I believe it is the lighting effect at night which make the whole atmosphere more lively and everyone is having a good time here.

Maybe the municipal council can consider this venue to be the permanent venue for Christmas decoration in town as patron do not have to negotiate muddy grass or soil as compare to the town square especially during the rainy season at the end of the year.



Sibu Christmas Parade 2015

2016-03-20T20:26:44.895+08:00

Christmas parade in Sibu is an important annual event and usually held on the Saturday, 2 weeks before the actual Christmas day.God definitely bless this very day as is has been raining almost whole day. The rain only stopped around 4pm, just in time for the parade to begin from Sibu Town Square around 7pm.        Many throng the parade route to witness the float, bands and the procession  by various churches. It is a colourful event where people of all races, regardless of religion convene at the town centre to witness the parade.[...]



Harbour Bay Mall, Batam

2015-11-27T09:30:00.612+08:00

Harbour Bay Mall is one of the newer shopping mall at Batam, strategically located not far away from the Harbour Bay Ferry where ferries depart and arrive from Singapore.

From its facade, it gives an impression of a huge and modern shopping mall.

However, the mall is mostly empty on the inside. I am a bit surprise with this finding as I saw the potential of this mall but did not expect it to end up like this. The mall is also attached to the Swiss Belhotel which should make this place more vibrant.

There are a number of decent food and beverage outlets at the ground floor with a cinema at the top floor. The mall has a huge concourse to hold a major event.

OG Home at the basement which specialize in home furniture and decor.



Coffee Nowhere @ Nagoya, Batam

2015-11-25T06:58:56.442+08:00

I was looking for somewhere decent to chill out while walking aroung Nagoya, Batam when I stumbled Coffee Nowhere. It is located not far from the hotel I normally stayed, Formosa Hotel. However, the shop is located at a small alley, not so obvious if one is not paying attention to details.

The outlet is air conditioned, modern and comfortable. I really like the ambience and the wifi is good. I notice a few coffee making machines and I have confident that they know how to brew a good coffee.

The latte (Rp 29000) is well presented and taste alright. It is quite hard to find a decent cup of coffee at this area and this is a much needed drink after exploring the island.

Cheese Pizza (Rp 99000) is quite decent with its thin dough. There is not much food varieties here but they offer excellent service.


Coffee Nowhere
Nagoya Central Blok B, No. 1-2 (next to City Centre Hotel)



Quan Am Tu Temple @ Galang Refugee Camp

2015-11-18T08:00:04.324+08:00

One of the best preserved and still functional structure at the Galang Refugee Camp is the Buddhist temple, the Quan Am Tu.

Although the camp has been closed down, the temple is still operational and frequently visited by the Chinese community in the island.

The temple was built by the Vietnamese refugee and I'm quite impressed with what they achieve here with little resources.

The temple offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. It makes me wonder how it really looks like from up here when the camp was still up and running.



Humanity Statue @ Galang Refugee Camp

2015-11-16T08:00:07.283+08:00

 The Humanity Statue was sculptured by one of the boat person named  Nguyen Van Tuyen of boat no. SS1716TA with ID no. 800022 in commemoration of UN Day on 1st January 1985.

The statue was sculptured to pay homage to a young woman refugee named Tinh Nhan who committed suicide by hanging herself to a tree after being raped by the male refugees at the location where this statue stands.

The surrounding area here has a lot of monkeys hanging around and visitor is advised to take precaution so as not to be attacked or had items been taken by them.



Nghia Trang @ Galang Refugee Camp

2015-11-15T15:31:33.203+08:00

Nghia Trang literally means grave in Vietnam and there is a massive grave at the refugee camp in Galang Island.

There is a monument at the entrance which reads "Dedicated to the people who died in the sea on the way to freedom" inscribed in 5 different languages; English, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tamil.

The deceased of all religions (mostly Buddhist and Christian) were buried here with some nameless grave which dedicated to those perished at the sea.

Each grave has a sad story to tell and from the physical look of them, those who were perished were not forgotten.



Vietnamese Boat @ Galang Refugee Camp

2015-11-14T21:41:30.330+08:00

Another attraction at the Galang Refugee Camp is the boat replicas which were used by the Vietnamese Boat People in 1975 who fled their country ravaged by civil war.

The boat replicas here are actually been sunk and burned by the refugees as a sign of protest as they were forced to be returned back to their country after arriving at Galang island. These boats were restored in 1995 after all the refugees had been repatriated.

It is hard to imagine what life was like on the boat where it was said up to 100 people were onboard such a small boat and many had lost their lives in mid ocean.

The actual diesel engine with its exposed crankshaft which was used to power the boat can be found next to the boat replicas.



Galang Refugee Camp

2015-10-12T09:31:23.880+08:00

If one had arrived at Barelang Bridge, it is worth the effort to travel a little more to the South to Pulau Galang to Galang Refugee Camp. The journey to the Galang Refugee Camp from the first bridge is approximately 40 minutes.Entrace fee is IDR 20, 000 per head and the museum camp is opened from 0730 to 1630 (Monday to Friday) and 0730 to 1730 (Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday).The camp is actually huge with its own jetty. It will be tiring if one is to explore it on foot (although the end result would be rewarding) and the best option is to hire a car to drive one around the camp. The main museum building was once UNHCR's main administration office to run the camp during the period of 1978 - 1996 where many Vietnamese Boat People and asylum seekers were temporarily sheltered here during the determination of their refugee status and subsequent resettlement in the USA, Australia and European countries.       There are a lot of paintings at the museum which depicts their arrival, life and hardship while at the camp. Various cooking utensils used by the refugees were also on display here. I still try to make sense as to why the huge painted portrait of Baden Powell is hung prominently at the museum. My guess is that the scout could had played a significant roles at the camp.   The UNHCR was able to keep track of the refugees here by this data board and apparently they were issued a temporary identification card.The camp was closed in 1996, seven years after the Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indo-Chinese Refugees was adopted. All the Vietnamese refugees had been repatriated by UNHCR.  Galang camp had many facilities such as Indonesian Red Cross Hospital, church, temple and staff premises. The refugee main activities in the camp were to study English and other languages, or learn vocational skills, while waiting for the results of their applications to determine their refugee status.The camp has huge potential to be tourist site if the authority put more effort to promote it and improve the facilities such as transportation, information board in English, canteen, parking and etc. [...]



Barelang Bridge

2016-03-21T20:32:45.327+08:00

No visit to Batam Island will be complete without stopping and admire the magnificient Barelang Bridge. It is the pride and an iconic landmark for the island.

The bridge is actually a chain of 6 bridges connecting the islands of Batam, Rempang and Galang. The bridge construction was conceptualized in the effort to transform Rempang and Galang Islands into industrial sites.

The construction of the bridges began in 1992 and traveling from the first bridge to the last is about 50km.

The first bridge, Tengku Fisabilillah Bridge is the most recognized of all, connects Batam and Tonton Island. The cabled-stayed bridge with two 118m high pylons and main span of 350m stretches for 642m.

Now, the bridge has turned to be a tourist attraction with proper viewing area and recreational facilities. Getting here from Nagoya area is around 40 minutes. There is no public transport to get here and the best way to reach here is by taking a taxi or rented car which might cost around IDR 450, 000.

Also, there is no proper parking to reach the viewing area and the improvised parking space is basically at the road side, manned by the locals who will collect IDR 10,000 for each vehicle.



St. Giles Wembley Premier Hotel, Penang

2015-08-18T16:23:38.633+08:00

St. Giles Wembley Premier Hotel is one of the new hotel recently opened its door in the heart of Georgetown, Penang.It occupies a strategic location, just beside the KOMTAR tower and 1st Avenue shopping mall. Definitely an ideal base to explore the city. The lobby is spacious and comfortable. However, I wish the hotel has more check in counters to speed up the check in process should there be an influx of tourists at one particular time.The hallway leading to the rooms are equally impressive with its fresh carpet design and well lit area. I really like the superior room here (rate: RM 265/night) with its batik inspired carpet. All the lighting here are of LED and I can't even spot a compact fluorescent lamp here. It shows the hotel commitment to energy saving.The room is well designed and I have a comfortable stay here. The curtains are able to block all the sun shine outside effectively and ensure a good continuous sleep in the morning. However, the room is not fully sound proof as I can still hear people slamming the door outside.Another advantage of staying at this hotel is its view. My room view is not too bad as I can see the Penang Times Square, Sunway Hotel Georgetown, Gama and etc.[...]



Grand Bluewave Hotel Shah Alam

2015-07-31T14:13:46.585+08:00

Grand Bluewave Hotel is one of the very few hotel located in the heart of Shah Alam. It is located next to the State Museum and Library at Section 14.

Even though the hotel has been around for sometime, its interior and room did not look tired and are well maintained. The deluxe room modern and spacious. However, I am a bit surprise to see a CRT tv still been used in the room.

The room is what to be expected of a 5 star hotel. The only problem is that its air conditioner is too cold and not adjustable. I just have to shut it down when it gets too cold.

The public concourse area on each floor is spacious with comfortable seats for discussion or a small gathering.

They aren't much to see around the hotel except for the Blue Mosque which is about 5 minutes walk from the hotel



Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport

2015-07-22T08:19:06.816+08:00

Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport better known as Subang Airport or Subang Skypark by the local is the second airport within the Klang Valley after the main Kuala Lumpur International Airport. SAAS Airport is located in Subang, occupying the previously known Terminal 3 which used to serve domestic flights during its prime day.I haven't been to this airport since the main airport shifted to Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 1998 and it was kind of nostalgic to be back here again. The facade of the terminal as well as its interior had been refurbished. The easiest way to get here is by taxi although there is some bus service to KLIA and the nearby area.  The interior of the terminal amazes me as it is way better than I initially expected. The interior is clean, wide, well lit and fully air conditioned.The public concourse area is almost like a modern shopping mall which easily put the now defunct LCCT to shame.It also has a viewing area to view the aircraft taking off and landing. The airport is a hub for Firely and Malindo Air using the turbo prop aircraft, ATR-72 offering mainly domestic and a few international flights. When entering the departure hall, the shopping experience significantly reduced to just a convenience stall and Austin Chase Coffee outlet. At the international departure hall, there is a duty free store offering variety of liquor and cigarettes.  There is no aerobridge at this terminal as most of the commercial aircraft operating here are of ATR-72. Passengers will have to walk to the tarmac to get onboard the aircraft. The airport has a 3.7km runway which should be a breeze for this type of aircraft. [...]



Hang Nadim International Airport

2016-03-23T11:18:39.019+08:00

Hang Nadim International Airport is the only airport in Batam Island and serve as the gateway for those traveling by air into the island. The airport was named after a famous Laksamana Hang Nadim.It has the longest runway in Indonesia (4. 210 km) which means an Airbus A380 could land here. However, most of the aircraft models which currently operated from this airport are the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and ATR-72. With such a long runway, taking off and landing with those models will be a breeze.  The airport has 8 gates, A1 to A8 with A1 and A2 mainly for international flight whereas the rest for domestic flight. The airport mainly used for domestic flight with only Subang, been the only international flight.Lion Air also built a maintenance facility here and use the airport as one of its main hub.The airport has a different layout than most of the airports which I am accustomed with. The Departure and arrival area where people send off or waiting for passengers is located outside the main building with no air conditioner and narrow walkway. In other words, they have no chance to do any shopping inside the terminal or make themselves comfortable from outside heat and have to settle with the many choices of restaurants outside the terminalTaking a taxi can be a tricky affair for the first timer. One will first had to pay for the airport taxi tax (5,000 rupiah) and then go to any empty awaiting taxi. Another option to avoid paying the airport taxi tax is to just walk around and there will be airport taxi drivers approaching asking whether one need a ride.Bear in mind, the passengers do not line out to get a taxi. One basically, just dash to an empty taxi after paying the airport taxi tax. Taxi fee is rather standard and the driver usually use meter. A standard journey from the airport to Nagoya will cost 115,000 - 125,000 Rupiah. Once cleared the security screening, the check in concourse is huge and busy. Most of these area got its light from the natural light outside via the transparent roof.The security screening is rather strict here. For domestic passenger, one will be screened 2 times while international passenger has to go through 3 security checks.    After checking in, passenger will need to move up a floor through an escalator or stairs to the departure hall. The departure hall impressed me with variety of shops/stalls selling souvenirs, tax free liquor, food, massage, toys and etc. The airport also has free wifi passengers while inside the terminal.There are about a dozen of passenger airlines flying into Batam and I am surprise to see some obsolete aircraft model such as the Fokker 50 parking at the apron here.There has been a proposal for a new terminal next to the existing terminal to increase its capacity [...]



One Malaysia Cultural Village

2015-06-22T08:08:31.554+08:00

Established in 2012, it is considered as one of the cultural attraction for Sibu town. The cultural village is located just opposite the Bukit Aup Jubilee Park, about 20 minutes drive from the town.

I was expecting something like Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching on arrival, but it was way off my expectation. The site is pretty small and probably one would need to spare about 10 minutes here to appreciate what it has to offer.

It is more of a landscape garden with a few pavilions depicting the culture of various races in Sarawak. There is also a small stage at the heart of the village which is ideal for cultural show and etc.

On the positive side, the place is clean and serene with a restaurant open for dinner where diner can enjoy the clean fresh air here. There is no entrance fee.

For the children, there are Koi fishes and chicken to entertain the curious young minds.



Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu

2015-06-14T15:56:22.639+08:00

Promenade Hotel is one of the leading hotel brand which has been around for decades in Kota Kinabalu and one of the favourite hotel to stay. It has an ideal location with most of the city's attractions within walking distance.The lobby is huge and this is probably the first hotel I encounter where I am properly seated during check in. The service is pleasant and friendly. The lobby also house Promenade Cafe, Lobby Lounge, Dynasty Szechuan & Cantonese Cuisine Restaurant and a souvenir shop.For such an old hotel, I am surprised with its interior as a result of the latest refurbishment and upgrading lately The room (room rate of RM 233.30 nett) is spacious and modern. All the lighting here has been changed to LED. It has a safe deposit box, ironing board and robe. Every floor is served with a modem and free Wifi for every visitor staying here. The air conditioner is very cold and not easy to adjust the temperature. I had to do a few "experiments" on my own to get around with the adjustment process.All the lighting are conveniently and easily controlled via a touch panel at the bed side.The toiletries are pretty comprehensive and on par with any other 4 star hotel.I am a bit unfortunate to get a room facing the back, overlooking the api-api apartment but one will not be able to get a clear sea view anymore soon due to the ongoing construction at the waterfront now.Promenade Hotel exceeds my expectation and I will have no doubt looking forward to come back to stay here again in my next trip.Promenade Hotel Kota KinabaluNo. 4, Lorong Api-Api 3,Api-Api Centre,Kota Kinabalu[...]



Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall

2015-05-18T21:52:46.878+08:00

It is the biggest mall in Batam. Opened in 2007, it consists of 3 floors of rental shops. It has an eye catching facade which make it quite recognizable from a distance.   A hypermarket occupies mainly the ground floor with various other shops selling hand phones, accessories, gadgets and liquor. Moving up to floors, most of the shops are selling clothes, watches and etc. Even Ace Hardware store is located inside the mall. The island is a duty free area, just like Langkawi and Labuan. Hence, the liquors sold here are consider cheap although a quick comparison indicate they are a bit pricier compare to Langkawi.   The food arcade took almost half of the 1st floor. I am amazed with the food selection here. There are familiar fast food outlet such as KFC, Pizza Hut, A & W to Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese food here. There is even a shop selling Bak Kut Teh!The mall houses the Matahari Department Store which complement what the mall has to offer. It is always worth to check out the modern shop lots outside the mall. I notice there are some interesting massage services, entertainment outlets and restaurants.[...]



Formosa Hotel Batam

2016-03-24T08:52:12.319+08:00

 In my last visit to Batam, Formosa Hotel is my choice due to its location in Nagoya, Batam. From its facade, the building looks old and moderate in term of the size. It is only a four storey building and probably lose out on first impression compare to the other new and modern hotels in the island.Formosa Hotel is just next to Lucky Plaza (to the right of the hotel), the most popular electronic mall (equivalent to Low Yat Plaza in KL) for its best bargain especially for mobile phone products.Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is virtually in the vicinity of the hotel with just about 5 minutes walk away (just walk straight from the hotel's main entrance). However, one need to cross 3 treacherous main roads to get here as the motorists sped along the roads and will not stop at the zebra crossing.Behind the hotel is the Nagoya Citywalk which can lead to Plaza Avava and all the way to the Harbour Bay jetty if one is willing to walk.To the left of hotel, about 7 minutes walk away is the sleazy Nagoya Entertainment District (a.k.a NED) which came alive at night. The hotel started its operation in 1999 and is owned by a Taiwanese. Trails of Taiwanese influence are evident here such as Alishan KTV (Alishan refers to a mountain resort in Taiwan) and the name of the hotel itself reflect the country itself (Taiwan island was previously known as Republic of Formosa) The hotel underwent major upgrade in 2012 with rooms renovated, carpets replaced and wifi facilities installed. I must admit they have a very good wifi here and easily put Malaysian wifi system to shame.The hotel itself is manned by a few Indonesian Chinese which is useful for Chinese speaking visitors. The other staffs also converse quite well in English. Lobby area is huge and spacious with modern touch. I would rate the hotel as a 3 star hotel. It is connected to a souvenir shop, Tea Story Cafe and 24 hours Vienna Restaurant from the lobby.On the 4th floor, there is a fitness center, spa and ktv   There are a few room types offered here and Deluxe Room (580, 000 Indonesian Rupiah) is the cheapest option. Nevertheless, they are generous with the space. My only complain is the water heater is slow to kick in and the air conditioner is not cold enough to my liking. Also, the room have strong cigarette smell which might take some time to accustomed with.For those who plan to stay here frequently, one can sign up for its free membership which will entitle the member to enjoy 10% discount on other facilities/restaurant managed by the hotel and room rate of 560, 000 Indonesian Rupiah for a Deluxe Room.  It has a comprehensive mini bar with biscuit and waffle which is chargeable when consumed. Still it is much better than most 3 stars hotel in Malaysia which I came across. The toiletries is neat and complete. They even has a custom made storage area for the toiletries.Overall, it is a decent hotel to stay while in Batam. With its strategic location and taxis are always available around the clock in front of the hotel, I would probably come back here to stay again in the future.Formosa HotelNo. A8 City Plaza,Nagoya, Batam,Indonesia [...]