Indonesia is full of tourist destinations across the country, and Batam is one of the main gates to enter this archipelagic country. As the gate of tourism in Indonesia, Batam becomes one of the busiest ports and along with that, becomes one of the major destinations in Indonesia.
Its strategic location has been proven to attract many tourists all around the world especially from Singapore and Malaysia. Crossing from Singapore or Malaysia only needs a ferry that takes about 40-50 minutes from Singapore or 90 minutes from Malaysia, if you don’t fancy an airplane. Taking an airplane is also easy for you only need to land at Hang Nadim International Airport. From there, your journey to Batam has only just begun.
When speaking about Batam, one can never leave out Barelang Bridge. As the biggest city of Kepulauan Riau Province, Batam is comprised of 3 major islands – Batam, Rempang and Galang, as well as small islands scattering the Singapore Strait and Malaka Strait such as Nipah, Setokok, etc. To connect those islands, the government has built a magnificent bridge called Barelang Bridge. Barelang is short for Batam, Rempang, and Galang thus created Barelang. And it is situated 35 kilometers from the heart of Batam City.
The Barelang bridge connecting several islands is a landmark in Batam as it spans more than 2000 meters long for the bridge only. Initiated by the Minister of Research and Technology of Indonesia back then, Mr. B.J Habibie or known as Mr. Crack, a real genius from Indonesia who later became the 3rd President of the Republic of Indonesia. The construction itself took more than 7 years to finish from 1992 to 1998. After the construction is finished, the establishment has brought a significant development for those who live on the southern Batam in small islands.
Barelang Bridge Batam
Barelang consists of 6 bridges with the name taken from Riau Sultanate from the 15th to the 18th-century rulers and connecting roads. While the bridge spans over 2000 meters, the distance from the first bridge to the last stretches for 50 kilometers. The first Barelang bridge, namely Teuku Fisabillilah Bridge connects Batam and Tonton Island and is the longest among 6 bridges, which spans for 642 meters. The architecture of this bridge reminds us of Golden Gate in San Fransisco. This is the landmark bridge where you can take Instagramable pictures. Supported with 2 massive of high pylons of almost 200 meters and cable-style bridge, it offers stunning architectural design. Passing the Teuku Fisabillilah will also give you a breathtaking view of the open seas with scattered islands. Snapping some pictures from the platform is a must and get yourself a self-made postcard from the iconic landmark of Batam. There are many food stalls near the bridge, and you can enjoy the view while having snacks and beverages such as dragon fruit juice, roasted corn, with very affordable prices.
Read Also : 20 Top Things to Do in Batam Indonesia
The second Barelang Bridge is called Nara Singa that connects Tonton Island and Nipah and the bridge spans about 420 meters. The next bridge is called Ali Haji Bridge which connects Nipah Island and Sekotok Island and is relatively shorter than the others at it stretches only for 270 meters. The 4th bridge is called Sultan Zainal Abidin Bridge and connects Sekotok Island and Rempang Island and it has 365 meters long. While in Rempang Island, don’t miss out on the chance to visit Melayu Beach which offers relaxing atmosphere and breathtaking scenery.
The 5th bridge is called Tuanku Tambusai Birdge which connects Rempang Island and Galang Island and is 385 meters long. And the last bridge is called Raja Kecil Bridge that connects Galand Island and Galang Baru Island. In Galang Island, there is a popular tourist destination for those who loves history, a former Vietnamese Refugee Camp. The camp was inhabited by more than 200,000 refugees from Vietnam during the civil war in Vietnam.
They came to seek asylum using a boat (and later they were called boat people) and the UNHCR built the camp for them. Inside the camp is “miniature city” with a hospital, mosque, temple, canteens, barrack, cemeteries, and many more. Nowadays, the camp is a tourist attraction with several functioning building such as Quan Am Tu Pagoda, Chua Kim Quan Pagoda, and the Catholic Church Nha Tho Duc Me Vo Nhiem.
Along the 6 bridges, you can also enjoy seafood delicacies at many restaurants that are located near the 6 bridges. You can choose from dozens of live seafood before being cooked to suit your taste.
Eager to start your next journey to Batam? Book a tour via Tripcetera and explore the city in a different view!
featured image credit : toffeespin from Singapore, Singapore [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]