There's beauty in every adventure.
This little Indonesian island has some serious soul in it's own right so I thought it'd be great to check out. A lot of us have been to Batam, however, this time round, I decided to take it a little bit offbeat. I've heard of the little known location, Pulau Galang, where they used to have a Vietnamese refugee camp (Yes, in one of the Riau Islands in Indonesia!), and decided to make a trip there.
Enjoy the photographs.
A good friend of ours, who is based in Batam, took us to microbrewery called 'Batam Fresh Beer'. Its the only microbrewery in Batam and, as the name suggest, the beers are freshly brewed in house. The price of a pint is around SGD$1.60, I guess you know where that led to! Alcohol is generally cheap in Batam, implemented in 2009, Batam is the only free tax zone in Indonesia.
Bat and crocodile meat on the menu, I'll just stick to peanuts.
If you are adventurous, look for the mbak (miss in Bahasa Indonesia) by the street and ask for Jamu. Jamu is herbal medicinal drink made from natural produce. It can be bitter, but request for honey to sweeten it. Its the perfect cure from hangovers!
We made our way to Pulau Galang the next day. You would need a car as Pulau Galang is not located in Batam itself, but on a different island.
To get to Pulau Galang, we had to drive over six different bridges, called Barelang Bridges, which connects Batam Island. The longest of the lot, stretching 642 metres, is called Tengku Fisabilillah.
Upon reaching Pulau Galang, we had to walk through this Buddhist Temple to reach the camps.
Vietnamese Catholic graveyard
Abandoned Catholic church
Faces of refugees who lived there from 1979 to 1996. Most of them were from affluent families who feared the Communist government when it took over the country in 1976.
Even so, they received aid from the UN and missionaries so that when their term ends, they would be useful in their next host country.
After the tour, we had barbeque chicken for lunch. Thanks for the funny name.
- Ari Effendi