Today we started out with an early breakfast at the hotel before we started our day trip to Batam, Indonesia. We took the bus to the port where we hopped a speed boat to Batam. It is one of Indonesia's 17,000+ islands. The boat ride took about 45 minutes, when we arrived we met our guide Emmy adn we were greeting at the port entrance by a traditional Indonesian drumming ceremony to welcome visitors. It was amazing. We drove to a small local bakery where we had coffee and Indonesia's special 12 laver cake.
After that we went for a drive around the island and to see one of the large bridges that connects Batam with Palau. The people of indonesia are quite poor, earning roughly $100 a month. Many make money by riding bikes with carts attached to sell fruit, drinks ice cream, or huge steamed crabs to tourists. The water there is not safe to drink so you have to very careful what you eat or drink.
After stopping to see the bridges, we went to one of the beaches where we could boat, jet ski or parasail, or just hang around drinking beer. i went parasailing with 8 others. It was amazing to be so high above the beautiful coasts of Indonesia. What an amazing view.
After that we had a traditional lunch (minus the water borne parasites) of pepper crab, fried squid, prawns, cuttlefish, rice and veggies. The seafood here is so fresh and delicious.
After that we headed out to the thai spas so most of us could visit the fruit markets and have Thai massages. For a 90 minute massage in a clean, modern spa in Indonesia you pay about $14. Out of 30 of us, 26 opted for massages. I couldn't turn that down, although apparently I should have, those Thai women are brutal, I am covered in small brown thumbprint shaped bruises! Next time, i'm opting for the fruit market. The massages made for some hilarious massages as some peopel experienced very strange local customs including the surprising massaging of unusual areas without the owners consent! Thankfully I got beat up instead of groped! Some of the group brought back unusual fruits for everyone to try including amazing mangosteen and dong dong fruits.
After that we headed back to take the boat back home. I decided to have some soup in my room and watch Discovery Channel before going to bed instead of joining the party animals of our group.