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Major issues to be evaluate for this assay: Traffic problem (no road name, dim road light, no control over motorbikes, very limited road sign and traffic lights, bad management over taxi )
Facts that I observed:
Batam is now a tourist site, tourist go to Batam for relaxation (massage) and sports like golf and fishing.
Tourist who went there are mostly from Singapore as they are really near each other. Most of the tourist are mid-aged man for golfing and fishing, there are also a number of mid-aged women came as a group for massage and shopping, some young couples were there to just take a break from the fast moving daily lifes.
Traffic condition is really bad, there is only road names for major roads, no road name for residential area or even smaller streets. Locals recognize a place by the landmark buildings near it.
Seems like only foreign tourists are taking taxi in Batam, drivers knows every famous hotels and shopping malls there as there are really limited amount of them.
Nobody wave for taxi, they are only available at the counters at every shopping mall and hotels. Although every taxi has a meter counter, nobody use it, they set the price for you. It used to be negotiable a few years a lot but no more bargain for now.
Field Journal Observation and reflection:
9am : arrial batam
Sunny and a bit misty, it's 8am in batam. Alighting while the other ferry is fetching up people from batam, observe that all of them are local working age man n woman.
Can't find a map at their arriving hall, information counter only have 1 piece of map for public use and it looks quite wear out. Exchanged some money at a rate of 1$=9300r. We would have visit a mall next to ferry terminal but heard it open at 1130am.
Seen a singapore uncle pick away by a female and a kid in car, both woman n child look local.
Seen a lot of locals waiting to depart from batam. Mixture of man and woman no kids.
It's obvious that batam is quite a developing place, infrastructures looks old.
Locals are friendly but with a intention to earn money from you. I feel I'm welcomed. Feeling tired, probably too early.
As I expected, most probably those Singaporean man on ferry came alone have a family/wife here.
From my observation, locals that waiting to leaving batam are leaving to work instead of travel as there is no families and they all look around the age of 20s.
930am: Walk to Harris hotel, right next to batam-centre ferry terminal. Only able to check in at 2pm. Friendly stuff and welcome drink, can see guests are mainly Singaporean and families (breakfast timing, everybody gathering), few locals.
Feel relaxed and welcomed by hotel stuff. The walk from ferry terminal to hotel is short but HOT. No shelters. Hotel is surrounded by shopping malls but all no sheltered path. Life is slow and relax in batam.
1050: come to mega mall.
The whole shopping mall Smells bad. Went to their hypermart, really cheap alcohol, beer only ard $1 per can! Motorbike sell in supermarket and it's really cheap, as low as $200!
The allowance of smoking in shopping mall make it smell really bad, mixture smell of smoke and exhaust from different f&b outlets make it smell even worse.
718pm: cab to Nagoya hill, $7.
Direct book cab from hotel. A lot of bikes. Road light is dim. Same as smelly as the previous mall. Took my dinner at a local restaurant here. A lot of locals here. Cheap and nice food. Change back notes are torn and worn.
Streets look dodgy. Traffic looks dangerous as a lot of motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic. Cars won't stop even at zebra crossing. There is no road signs along the way. A minor accident was witness during a 15min trip! Traffic police was diverting traffic. Can see how dangerous is their road.
815pm: drizzling, cabbing back to mega mall to watch movie at 9pm. Gotten a cab outside the mall thru counter. No taxi queue, driver stand nearby wait for customer who need taxi and drive over after. Standard pricing. Cab driver don bother buckle seat bell. Not possible to get a cab by yourself as taxi have no lighted signage and no taxi will run by meter.
Guess not many locals take taxi. Tourist will be more wary when taking taxi. For me, I google the price before taking taxi.
Gap between each road light are far thus make road rather dim and dangerous, difficult to spot pedestrian cross road. Hardly see traffic lights.
Day 2 :
1pm: cab to BCS, road seldom have traffic light only major junction have.
No high rise buildings, a lot of abandoned buildings and lands. Some build half way, some tired down halfway. Local all stay in landed property no HDB no condos.
Government not doing a good job in the infrastructure and road of their country. Not many foreign investments.
4pm: cab to mega mall for massage. Traffic jam but not very bad. Saw a under age boy driving motorbike.
Did some shoppings there, not much to shop as most of shops selling clothes are not fashionable. A lot of shop for kids clothing. No branded stores. A lot of replica designer bags. Only supermarkets have cheap daily necessities.
5-7pm(batam time) massage, full body 2hr ~$28 cheap n great services.
8pm : board ferry to singapore.
Passengers consists of Singapore mid-age woman (group) and young couples, mainly mid-age single man.