Don’t Leave Batam Without These!

My first visit to Batam was about 20 years ago and I go there mainly for cheap massages, food and shopping. Yes, shopping. Til today, people ask me ‘What is there to buy in Batam?’ Well, after 20 years of visiting Batam, let me share my in-depth knowledge of crazy bargains you can get there. Of course, it’s not Orchard Road but if you are a serious bargain hunter like me, then this list is for you.

1. Facial products

Image credit: Hada Labo

Hada Labo: Hada Labo is one of the mildest facial products around and is especially good for those with sensitive skin.

Sample price in Singapore: Range from $15-50
Sample price in Batam: $2-10

Image credit: Olay and Garnier

L’oreal/Garnier/Olay: These are popular brands among Singaporeans. The products cost about one-third of the price in Singapore.

Sample price in Singapore: $15-80
Sample price in Batam: $2-30

2. Amazing hair products

Ellips: I personally swear by their hair products. Their hair vitamin, in capsules, cost $18 per bottle in Singapore. In Batam, the same product will cost you approximately $5.

Sample price in Singapore: $18-25
Sample price in Batam: $2-8, or $0.50 for the hair mask!

Image credit: Lucido L

Image credit: Lucido L

Lucidol: A typical brand found in Guardian and Watsons, this range is popular amongst both men and women.

Sample price in Singapore: $6-$20
Sample price in Batam: $2-$8

3. Toothbrushes

Image credit: Oral B

Oral B: This brand needs no introduction. We know how expensive their toothbrushes are. So stock up on your supply while you are in Batam (FYI: you should change your toothbrush every couple of months).

Sample price in Singapore: $3-10
Sample price in Batam: From $1, or $4-5 for a pack of 3


4. Cosmetics

Image credit: PIXY Indonesia

Pixy: This is a trade secret of several Singaporean and Malaysian make-up artists. I was introduced to this brand by my own wedding MUA. The products from Pixy are as good as most over the counter products in Singapore. With the savings you make from choosing Pixy, you will soon be an ardent fan like those I have converted.

Sample price (of counter brands) in Singapore: $18-50
Sample price in Batam: $2-10

5. Medicine

Image credit: Dokita

Panadol: Who does not need this, right? It is a must-have in every household. So why not stock up on this while you are there? I just get a box of 10 strips each time as the expiry date is usually a couple of years ahead.

Sample price in Singapore: $5 for 10 tablets of Panadol extra (1 strip)
Sample price in Batam: $0.70 for 10 tablets of Panadol extra (1 strip)

6. Stationery

Image credit: Hypermart

I am one of those that can spend hours shopping for stationery. When it is this cheap, it feels like Christmas to me. Everything you’ll ever need like files, notebooks, pens, plastic clear pockets, highlighters and more can be found in Batam. Go to Hypermart (Batam’s version of Giant) instead of independent bookstores for the best bargains.

Sample price in Singapore: $1 for a ballpoint pen, $2-3 for one roller pen
Sample price in Batam: $1 for a pack of 15 pens, $1 for three roller pens

7. Toiletries

Image credit: Dove and L’Oreal

Shower foam, shampoo and others: When you go to Hypermart, you’ll notice the familiar brands that we have here in Singapore. I usually stock up on my favourite products and get three or four of the same products in Batam with what I would pay for one here. What’s not to like?

Sample price in Singapore: $5-10 for a regular-sized product
Sample price in Batam: $2-5 for a regular-sized product

8. Layer Cake

Image credit: Batam layers Cakes

There are so many stores offering these in Batam. Best to go for smaller shops as they sell cakes that are not mass-produced in factories. There is also a wonderful array of flavours ranging from Nutella, prunes to pandan.

Sample price in Singapore: A quarter of a cake for $8-10
Sample price in Batam: About $25-30 for the whole cake

9. Click and Lock-Lock storage containers

Image credit: Lock and Lock

These are great at keeping your food fresh. However, they are costly in Singapore. So when Batam started carrying these products, I was thrilled. Generally, they cost one-third of the price here in Singapore.

Sample price in Singapore: S4-30
Sample price in Batam: $2-10

10. Snacks, candies & others

Image credit: Indofood

In Batam, spices are sold in huge portions and at a fraction of the cost. From black peppercorns to fennel, you can stock up your pantry at a fraction of the cost here. If you prefer instant mixes, the choices are crazy aplenty. Costing just a few cents a packet and being so easy to take with you as they are lightweight, your family will thank you for stocking up on these.

If you are a fan of belinjau crackers, you have to try those they have in Batam. Besides the original flavour, there are also the spicy and sweet flavours. The ‘fishball’ crackers is another tasty favourite. It looks unappealing but be warned, once you pop one in your mouth, there is no stopping. For a healthier option, go for the wide variety of dried fruit and nuts that are sold by weight. If you love are a preserved fruits, you will be spoilt for choice. They have a huge range that includes even rare, preserved fruits like nutmeg.


First published on TripZilla on May 19, 2017

10 Things That Are Way Cheaper in Batam Than Singapore


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