Batam and Surrounding Islands
How to get there
Batam can be reached by air from major
cities in Indonesia and internationally. Domestic airline companies currently flying to Batam include Garuda
Indonesia Airways, Merpati Nusantara, Bouraq Airlines, Mandala Airlines, Jatayu Airlines and several air charter
services. Highspeed transport ships also bring visitors to Batam from Singapore, Johor and Jakarta, with hourly
services running throughout the day, from various ports around Batam. Due to the proximity of Singapore, most
visitors to Batam find that coming by high-speed transport ships is the easiest method of transport.
Batam Island is situated at 1°07' North latitude and 104°07' East longitude. The land is characterised by
rolling hill terrain with the highest level at 161 meters above sea level. Lush vegetation covers most of the
island with mangroves on the seashores The name Barelang is an abbreviated form of Batam, Rempang, and Galang
islands. The total area of Barelang is 715 sq.km. Barelang is part of the province of Riau, Indonesia, which is
famous as the oil rich province. The capital of the province is the city of Pakanbaru, situated in the mainland
Sumatra, about 45 minutes flying from Batam.
The Barelang area is considered as tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 25 to 34 degrees Celsius
(77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Humidity in the region ranges from 73% to 96%. In general throughout the region,
being a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May until October. Average annual rainfall is
around 2,600 mm.
Although Malay culture is predominant in the area, population is culturally and ethnically diverse, coming from
all over Indonesia as well as from overseas. The population as at December 2000 was 462,528 people, made up of
219,747 males, and 242,781 females. The annual population growth for the past decade has been considerably large,
due to the active recruitment of labour by expanding industry.
Skilled as well as unskilled workers is in plentiful supply, within Barelang and the rest of Indonesia. At the
end of 2000, there were 155,591 people actively employed on Batam, with 74% in manufacturing, 10% in construction,
and 8% in the trading, hotel and restaurant At this time there are more than 2000 foreign nationals actively employed
Despite the diversity in culture and language, Bahasa Indonesia, the national language, is used by the people
from the Archipelago. English is taught in many schools, and is increasingly understood by more of the population,
particularly in the Barelang area. English is being used more commonly in daily business communication in the region.