Batam is the largest city in the province of Riau Islands, Indonesia. The city administrative area covers three main islands of Batam, Rempang, and Galang (collectively called Barelang), as well as several small islands. Batam Island is the core urban and industrial zone, while both Rempang Island and Galang Island maintain their rural character and are connected to Batam Island by short bridges. Batam is an industrial boomtown, an emerging transport hub, and part of a free trade zone in the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, located 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore’s south coast and also part of the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle.
Batam Island was first inhabited by the Malays as the Orang Laut in the year 231 AD. The island that once served as the field of struggle of Admiral Hang Nadim against the invaders was used by the government in the 1960s as a petroleum logistics base on Sambu Island.
In the 1970s, according to Presidential Decree number 41 year 1973, Batam Island is designated as a working environment of an industrial area supported by Batam Island Industrial Development Authority or better known as Batam Authority Board (BOB, now Batam Development Board (Indonesian: Badan Pengusahan Batam or BP Batam) as the driving force for the development of Batam, with the initial aim of making Batam the “Indonesian version of Singapore”. With the rapid development of the island, based on Government Regulation No. 34 of 1983, the Batam District (which is part of Riau Islands Regency) was upgraded to municipality status which has the duties in running government administration and society and support the development of BP Batam.
In the Reformation era in the late 1990s, with Law No. 53 of 1999, Batam administrative municipality changed its status to an autonomous region, namely Batam City Government to carry out governmental and developmental functions by involving BP Batam.
Batam is also famous for its Barelang Bridge, six sophisticated full swing bridges that connects three islands is an abbreviation of those three islands: Batam, Rempang and Galang. The total stretch of all six bridges is around two kilometers, and traveling from the first bridge to the last one should take around 20 minutes.
In recent years, Batam has emerged as a popular destination for visitors not only from Singapore and Malaysia but also in other countries in Asia and Europe. Their goals? Experiencing
the first-class golf courses, water adventures, duty-free shopping, rejuvenating spas and relaxing beach resorts, to the mouthwatering fresh seafood and delicacies.
To enjoy the many tourist destinations in Batam, there are several optional types of transport to choose from. Taxi is a common mode of transportation in Batam to go around and explore your destination. You can find them in strategic public spots, such as ferry terminals, airports, malls, etc. Be very selective though, registered taxis is highly recommended.
If you are the type that welcomes adventure and exploration by your own self, then car rental would be the best choice to go around Batam. For that first-timer traveling to Batam, it would probably be a more convenient choice to get around the island by Tours and Travel Service.