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Travel Guide > Asia > Indonesia > Riau Kepulauan > Batam

Batam Travel Guide

  
 
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Batam is a small but busy island in Indonesia of 45km x 25km and nearly a million people, hundreds of multinational owned factories, towns, shopping centres and gateway to the Riau Islands.

Located only 20km from Singapore and 25km from Johor in Malaysia, Batam is Indonesia's equivalent to China's SEZ's (Special Economic Zones) - a place where the nation's economic planners test new economic policies and ideas. The island is an industrial hub with electronics factories, a large and growing ship repair industry and an even larger oil service sector. Quite a few expats head there for work, and pubs and golf courses have sprung up to serve them.

Most tourists, on the other hand, come from nearby Singapore. While there is a smattering of family resorts, Bintan is more popular for this; instead, the main lure on Batam is the naughty nightlife. However, the new governor of the province has shut down the casinos and taken steps to curb prostitution, and the goings-on aren't quite as in your face as they used to be.






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