SINDO Ferry: Batam Centre to Singapore by Ferry

Since I bought a return ticket as it’s cheaper than getting two one-ways, my return journey was with SINDO Ferry as well. Even when booking online through Easybook, you get a discount when you pick the same operator for your return leg.

View the Singapore – Batam (Indonesia) Ferries Service Guide here.

Looks like my 5.20pm departure will be served by the Queen Star 5, the second newest ferry in the SINDO Ferry fleet. Seems like the new ferries are based on Batam Centre routes, even with the new Majestic-class ferries as experienced with Majestic on my previous trip.


The SINDO Ferry counter is the left-most counter within the cluster. It’s a bit hard to spot at first because the pillar blocks off the view of the middle of the counter.

My boarding pass for my return journey.

Once that’s done, immigration is as usual.

Significantly more passengers today than on my previous trip, but probably because it’s a public holiday.

My 5.20pm is ready to board. The staff here will take the agent portion of the boarding pass after scanning it at the gate.

The Queen Star 5 ready for departure.

The passenger portion of the boarding pass will be taken here by another staff.

The interior of the lower deck of the Queen Star 5.

The interior of the upper deck, where I picked my seat for this trip.


Sailing away from Batam.

Batu Ampar Port, which I’ll be using quite soon.

The Singapore skyline back in sight.

Passing by the SuperStar Gemini in the harbour.


Approaching the HarbourFront Regional Ferry Terminal.

The builder plate of the Queen Star 5.

Disembarking from the Queen Star 5.

You can get your ferry tickets online at BusOnlineTicket or Easybook.

View the Singapore – Batam (Indonesia) Ferries Service Guide here.

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SINDO Ferry: Singapore to Batam (Sekupang) by Ferry

SINDO Ferry is the Singapore – Batam passenger ferry branch of Penguin Ferry Services, the favourite ferry operator of most Singaporean guys transitioning from boys to men and possibly the first ferry operator that may come to mind among the older generation who do not frequently take ferries.

On my journey though, there seemed to be an unintended race to Batam.

View the Singapore – Batam (Indonesia) Ferries Service Guide here.

You can get your ferry tickets online at BusOnlineTicket or Easybook. Head upstairs to Level 3, unit number #03-43 of HarbourFront Centre to check-in and get your boarding pass.

My boarding pass for my onward journey to Batam.


You can proceed for immigration 45 minutes before the departure time.

Once you’re done with immigration, pick a seat at the waiting area for boarding calls to be made, or have a look at the duty-free shop at the corner of the waiting area.

Boarding my 11.30am ferry for Sekupang. This departure also proceeds onwards to Waterfront (Marina Teluk Senimba Ferry Terminal).

The SINDO 6 will be operating on my trip today.

Proceeding to board the ferry. The boarding pass will be collected by the staff ahead of the gangway.

Inside the SINDO 6. Surprised to see bus-like reclining seats instead of the typical rigid ferry seats.



The SINDO 6 also has an open-air upper deck with actual bus seats from Vogel-Sitze familiar to Singaporeans.

I spent my journey time here instead of the air-conditioned cabin as the air is fresher and it made for better scenery photos.

Following my departure today is the Jet Flyte I on a BatamFast departure to Batam Centre.

Speeding up after exiting the port limit.

Bypassing Beach Station.

And the fake but ever-popular southernmost point.

The actual southernmost point of Sentosa (not Continental Asia) is marked by this red Sentosa beacon, and is located within Sentosa Cove.

Bypassing ONE°15 Marina Club where I can’t afford to depart from.

The Jet Flyte I overtaking us after ONE°15 Marina Club and stayed on our port side for the route to Batam Centre.

Speeding up to overtake my ferry.

Since it was a rather light ferry, it did get bumpy when it crossed our wake. Pity the passengers on the open-air top deck of the Jet Flyte I who probably got more than they bargained for.

The Jet Flyte I officially spoiling my picture of the Singapore skyline. Oh well. But the weather didn’t help much anyway.

Stealing the limelight from the Singapore skyline.

A slightly better shot without any ships blocking the view, but it’s a little too far and too dark.

Glad I’m just heading to Batam and not further out to the South China Sea today.

The Jet Flyte I maintaining her position at my port beam.

Once the ship crossed into Indonesian waters, one of the crew members hoisted up the Indonesian flag along with the Quebec and November flags.

The Jet Flyte I parting ways to head towards Batam Centre.

Entering Sekupang.


Berthing at Sekupang Ferry Terminal.

The SINDO 6 at Sekupang, which will proceed onwards to Waterfront shortly.

Overall, it’s a regular commuting ferry service and there’s not much to compare among the operators aside from the departure time. However, my personal preference would be to spend the journey on an open-air deck instead of inside an air-conditioned cabin unless it’s raining or there isn’t an open-air deck. You can always spend time in air-conditioned comfort almost anywhere but how often will you get the sea breeze in your face?

You can get your ferry tickets online at BusOnlineTicket or Easybook.

View the Singapore – Batam (Indonesia) Ferries Service Guide here.

Trans Batam Corridor 03: Sekupang – Jodoh

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 is one of the most heavily utlised busway corridors in the Trans Batam network, plying the route between Sekupang and Jodoh via Sei Harapan, Tiban, UIB, Simpang Baloi, Penuin, Nagoya, Simpang McDonald’s, Terminal Jodoh, DC Mall and Pasar Induk.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 operates with a mix of high capacity buses and midi buses.

Boarding the bigger Hino bus from the Sekupang halt.


The interior of the Hino bus.

There is a main sliding door in the middle of the bus similar to the TransJakarta, the pioneer busway in Indonesia.

There is also a wheelchair space on the bus though not all halts on the Trans Batam network are wheelchair accessible. I wonder if the buses were initially made for TransJakarta but were shipped here instead.

The Trans Batam Corridor 03 is the only route serving Nagoya Hill, as such, the demand for this service is quite high.


The usual jams at Nagoya.

The bus will rest at Jodoh for a short while before continuing on to DC Mall where it loops back to Sekupang. While Jodoh is the technical other end of the line, the actual u-turn is made at DC Mall.

For kerb-level halts, the bus will use the front door with steps for boarding and alighting.

Do note that the Trans Batam is an open-system BRT-like system without dedicated lanes and integrated ticketing. If you need to transfer buses, you need a new ticket for the next journey.

Trans Batam services operate frequently at around 15 to 30 minutes intervals depending on the peak period and sectors, which makes it a reliable and affordable transport option other than just getting taxis around, and you can explore Batam at your own time without visiting the typical places with a tour group.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

Purchasing PELNI Tickets from the PELNI Batam Office

PELNI, which is an abbreviation of PT. Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia, is the national shipping company of Indonesia, operating ferries which connect the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

The PELNI office in Batam is a 10-minute leisurely walk from Sekupang Ferry Terminal which is a gateway to and from Singapore. It is located at Jl. Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 4, Sekupang, Batam. PELNI ferries from Batam go to two destinations, namely Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

Upon exiting the main gate of Sekupang Ferry Terminal, turn right and walk straight.

You will pass under this other “gate” to exit the Sekupang port area.

Shortly after, you will approach the first intersection.

Turn left to the smaller road and walk uphill. If you stumble upon the Trans Batam halt, you are on the wrong road.

Walk straight up.

The pavement gets easier to walk on after the first few meters.

Upon meeting the next intersection, with the PT. Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia sign pointing to the PELNI office, turn left.

In the event that you really can’t see the sign, there is a tall telecommunications tower behind it which hopefully is big enough for you to see.

But you really won’t miss the sign, so don’t worry.

The PELNI office is just a few steps away from the intersection. Walk via the second driveway to go to the ticket counter.

Look out for this yellow sign saying “LOKET PENJUALAN TIKET” or “Ticketing Counter” in English.

Walk through the open gate. “BUKA” means they’re “OPEN”.

Yay for no queues. Walk through the door in the middle to enter the ticketing counter area.

The fare table for the two destinations the KM Kelud serves from Batam: Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

A picture of a picture of the KM Kelud outside the ticketing office.

Inside the ticketing counter area.

You will be given this form to fill up your details in order for you to buy your tickets. Tickets generally go on sale on the month of departure ie. departures in May are sold in May.

You may also download and print an English-translated version of this form here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1BW2uNJ2IJSaTZuR0pMT3R2WXM/view?usp=sharing

Present your passport if you don’t speak Indonesian or you have a messy handwriting so the staff can help you fill in your details in the system.

My ticket which I got within 2 minutes after handing back the above form to the counter staff.

The PELNI office operates on weekdays only excluding Indonesian public holidays. They are open from 8am till some time in the afternoon.

Follow my journey from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea here!

Go Genting Express Bus: Awana Bus Terminal to KL Sentral by Bus

The Go Genting Express Bus, officially known as the Genting Express Bus Service, is the main shuttle bus operated in-house by Resorts World Tours Sdn. Bhd. to shuttle guests between Kuala Lumpur and Resorts World Genting.


As I got my tickets before I made my trip to Genting, the procedures for boarding the bus from Awana Bus Terminal back to KL was rather simple – just look at the departure board and wait for the bus.

Assuming there is no queue for the Awana SkyWay from SkyAvenue, you should board the Awana SkyWay to Awana Bus Terminal 30 minutes before your bus departure time.

If you haven’t though, the ticketing counter is within the waiting lounge to get a ticket for the next available bus, though I wouldn’t suggest you do this for a last bus departure. The centralised ticketing system, similar to the one at TBS, is used here.

The timetable for the Go Genting Express Bus departing from Awana Bus Terminal.

While the arrangement is similar to TBS, no counters are placed in front of the platform to check tickets, bus information is not displayed at individual platforms and the glass doors are freely opened when you walk under the sensor, making the departure platforms feel like an overly-glorified parking lot instead.

There is a waiting area in the middle of the departure hall but does not face most platforms.


My 9.30pm bus to KL Sentral pulling in at Platform 3 at 9.30pm.

Tickets are checked by a Go Genting staff at the door before boarding the bus.

As this was the last bus out of Awana Bus Terminal for the day, the bus was sold out and almost full, with the empty seats probably purchased by passengers who bought another ticket for an earlier bus to get down from Genting earlier.

Leaving Awana Bus Terminal.

Descending Genting. The roads are rather well-lit until Genting Sempah.

The interior of the bus after arrival at KL Sentral.


As this is the last bus, the driver departs for the depot immediately after the passengers have disembarked.

Awana SkyWay: Awana Bus Terminal to SkyAvenue Resorts World Genting by Cable Car

The Awana SkyWay is a new gondola lift system replacing the old aerial tramway which operated on the same route. located on Level 2 of the Awana Transportation Hub, which is the main bus gateway to Resorts World Genting from everywhere, except for graveyard hours from 12am to 7am.

Ticketing counters are available for big groups and corporate purchases, but the rest are directed to use the automated self-service machines.

The current price list for the Awana SkyWay.

Ticket Types Standard Gondola Glass Floor Gondola
One Way RM8 RM40
Return RM16 RM80
Genting Rewards Card 5GP / RM8 40GP / RM50
Express Queue One Way RM40
Chartered Gondola RM300 RM500

My return tickets purchased from the machine, which is actually two pieces of a single trip each. Do note that each barcode is unique so remember which one you have used and which one you have not if you buy a return ticket.

Scan the barcode at the reader before queuing for the Awana SkyWay.

The Awana Station is clearly prepared for a surge of passengers but luckily I barely had 10 people in front of me in the queue.


A first look at the new Awana SkyWay.

Ascending Genting Highlands from the Awana Bus Terminal.

The gondola lift system is built by Leitner Ropeways, same as the Ngong Ping 360° in Hong Kong.

The most noticeable and important addition to the Awana SkyWay are two USB charging ports in the cabin, each at the end of each bench. While the ride isn’t long to begin with, just around 10 minutes, it helps if you’re running really low on battery and need some opportunity to sustain your phone.


Approaching Chin Swee Temple. An intermediate station on the Awana SkyWay serves this temple.


Approaching Chin Swee Station. The mid-level station is linked to the Chin Swee Temple via a set of escalators. (Mid-Levels Escalator. Ha.)


Passing over the tropical rainforests on the way to SkyAvenue.

A nice winding road below the Awana SkyWay.

Approaching the angle station before passing over Resorts World Genting.

The first view of Resorts World Genting.

The upcoming 20th Century Fox World under construction.

Descending into SkyAvenue with the iconic First World Hotel on the left.

It looks like the Awana SkyWay terminates in a construction site but thankfully it wasn’t the case.

A look back at Genting Hotel, Resort Hotel and Highlands Hotel.


Arrived at SkyAvenue Station.

The station is connected directly to the shopping mall where access to the other parts of Resorts World Genting is really easy.

The new SkyAvenue shopping mall which is the central complex to the various hotels and casinos.

For the return trip back, the queue system is similar to the ascending trip.

A ticket counter and ticketing machines are also available before the queue.


Awana SkyWay Price List

Ticket Types Standard Gondola Glass Floor Gondola
One Way RM8 RM40
Return RM16 RM80
Genting Rewards Card 5GP / RM8 40GP / RM50
Express Queue One Way RM40
Chartered Gondola RM300 RM500

Go Genting Express Bus: Gombak to Awana Bus Terminal by Bus

The Go Genting Express Bus, officially known as the Genting Express Bus Service, is the main shuttle bus operated in-house by Resorts World Tours Sdn. Bhd. to shuttle guests between Kuala Lumpur and Resorts World Genting.

I chose to get to Genting via Gombak LRT Station (Terminal PUTRA) as it is the nearest departure point to Genting and the departure timing fits with my travel plans.


You can get your tickets directly at the counter, otherwise they can also be pre-purchased at any Go Genting counter at KL Sentral, Pudu Sentral, 1 Utama or Awana Bus Terminal as well.

The Go Genting Express Bus waiting at the station’s driveway.

The interior of the Go Genting Express Bus. Despite having a seat number on the ticket, the bus is free-seating.

At 5.00pm sharp, the bus shut its doors and departed for Genting. Don’t be late.

Looking back at Gombak LRT Station on the way to Karak Highway.

The winding Karak Highway on the way to Resorts World Genting.

Exiting at Genting Sempah.

On the long and winding road to Genting Highlands, with the driver skillfully meandering the bus up as if he’s done it over a hundred times. Yeah, he probably has.

Passing the Polis Bantuan post at Genting Sempah.


Heading up to the clouds.

Passing by Genting Permai.

Also, there’s a “mini Cameron Highlands” beside Genting Permai, perhaps you could pop by here if you don’t have time to visit the two most popular highlands in West Malaysia.

Approaching the roundabout to get to Gohtong Jaya or Awana. Also, a sign before the roundabout tells you which SkyWay to use to get to Resorts World Genting.

Approaching another Polis Bantuan post for Awana.


The new Awana Transportation Hub, but is now called the Awana Bus Terminal.

Disembarking at the Awana Bus Terminal. A similar arrangement as Terminal Bersepadu Selatan applies here, as such the arriving buses probably do not have a berth for alighting passengers.

Buses from other companies and destinations also stop at Awana Bus Terminal between 7am to midnight, including buses from Singapore and even if they claim to stop at First World Bus Terminal or Mushroom Farm Bus Terminal (doesn’t exist anymore), unless specifically stated and cross-checked.

Inside the terminal. Both arriving and departing passengers are mixed in the building, so follow the signs to get around.

Go up 3 storeys from the Lower Ground level where the buses arrive to Level 2 where the Awana SkyWay departs from to continue your journey to Resorts World Genting.

Trans Batam Corridor 05: Tanjung Piayu – Batam Centre Central Busway – Jodoh

The Trans Batam Corridor 05 plies the route between Tanjung Piayu, Batam Centre Central Busway and Jodoh via Piayu Laut, Simpang Bagan, Muka Kuning, Panbil, Kepri Mall, Kantor Walikota, Mega Mall, Batam Centre Central Busway, Simpang Sei Panas, Simpang Kuda, Simpang Rujak, Batu Ampar, Terminal Jodoh, DC Mall and Pasar Induk.

This corridor is the only passing through corridor at Batam Centre Central Busway, and thus if you are travelling through Batam Centre Central Busway on this corridor, you need not purchase a new ticket as you will be on the same bus.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.


Though you will not see any Corridor 05 buses waiting at Batam Centre Central Busway, you can buy your ticket from the ticket counter and wait at the waiting room as per normal. The staff will call out for the bus and destination when it has arrived. Do note that both directions of Corridor 05 at Batam Centre Central Busway are served at the same single platform.

The Jodoh-bound Corridor 05 bus arriving.

The interior of the Corridor 05 midibus. The seats are arranged like a normal coach, possibly due to the longer route served with lesser passenger movements in between the main terminals.

The blue ticket purchased on board from the conductor. An adult ticket goes for Rp. 4,000 (S$0.42).

On the way to Batu Ampar, Harbour Bay and Jodoh, where not much passengers are stopping as there isn’t much places to stop at along the route anyway.

The entrance to Batu Ampar port.

Passing by Harbour Bay Mall. You don’t need to get an expensive ferry to Harbour Bay if you just transfer to the Corridor 05 from Batam Centre instead.

The door of this midibus opens outward manually, so the conductor does the job here.

The arrival platform at Jodoh terminal, though my bus drove straight to the parking area since the midibuses are for low-level boarding. This arrival platform is probably for the larger Hino buses with high-level boarding.

Corridor 05 buses parking at Jodoh.

A Corridor 03 bus which just arrived at Jodoh, using the arrival platform.

A Corridor 07 bus waiting for departure from the Jodoh departure platform.

Do note that the Trans Batam is an open-system BRT-like system without dedicated lanes and integrated ticketing. If you need to transfer buses, you need a new ticket for the next journey.

Trans Batam services operate frequently at around 15 to 30 minutes intervals depending on the peak period and sectors, which makes it a reliable and affordable transport option other than just getting taxis around, and you can explore Batam at your own time without visiting the typical places with a tour group.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

Trans Batam Corridor 01: Sekupang – Batam Centre Central Busway

The Trans Batam Corridor 01 is one of the most heavily utlised busway corridors in the Trans Batam network, plying the route between Sekupang and Batam Centre via Sei Harapan, Tiban, UIB, Simpang Jam, Simpang Sei Panas, Kantor Walikota and Mega Mall.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

From Sekupang Ferry Terminal, the Trans Batam Sekupang halt is located around 5 minutes away. Turn right after exiting the terminal and walk straight along the main road.

The Trans Batam Sekupang halt is just after the first traffic junction after the Sekupang Domestic Ferry Terminal.

One of the bigger Hino buses serving Corridor 01.

The ticket window is visible on the left of this picture. You can purchase your ticket at this window if you are a paying with a big note as they are more likely to have change as compared to the conductor on board.

My trip to Batam Centre would be served by this blue midibus instead of the bigger Hino bus.


Inside the waiting room or the departure platform of the halt. A staff will open the platform door once the bus is ready for boarding.

My ticket as purchased from the Sekupang halt.

The interior of the midibus.

A typical busway halt en route to Batam Centre. Only major halts have ticket counters available. Tickets can be purchased on board the bus as well.

A passenger flagging down the bus at an upcoming halt.

The conductor assisting the driver to stop at the correct stopping point of the busway platform and assists the passenger in boarding if necessary.

After passing a few halts where heavy boarding was expected, the conductor came around to check and sell tickets. An adult ticket goes for Rp. 4,000 (S$0.42).

My ticket after being inspected. The conductor takes the left portion of the ticket.

Passing by Simpang Jam or Clock Junction in English, with a new flyover being built to alleviate some jams.

Approaching Batam Centre Central Busway.

Batam Centre Central Busway halt. Do note that the Trans Batam is an open-system BRT-like system without dedicated lanes and integrated ticketing. If you need to transfer buses, you need a new ticket for the next journey.

Trans Batam services operate frequently at around 15 to 30 minutes intervals depending on the peak period and sectors, which makes it a reliable and affordable transport option other than just getting taxis around, and you can explore Batam at your own time without visiting the typical places with a tour group.

View the dedicated Trans Batam service information page here.

Billion Stars Express: Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru and Singapore by Night Bus

After making my selection of less crowded buses since my initial Eltabina Express was cancelled, I settled for Billion Stars and got a RM1.50 refund for the fare difference, thinking that how bad could it further get as long as I get moving at midnight.

Another slight boo-boo on TBS’s side, my boarding pass was printed with Gate 7 as the boarding gate, but the bus was actually at Gate 10. Luckily, a staff was hovering around Gate 7 to call for passengers on Billion Stars.

The Billion Stars Express bus standing by for departure when I got to the boarding gate at around 12.20am.

I had the impression that Billion Stars was on the same level as Pacific since they were once lower-class partners of Transtar.

Once I boarded the bus, I was so wrong. The bus was clean with good legroom using the Orient seats since this bus had only 9 rows on board with 27 seats instead of the crammed 31 seat formation with 4 seats at the back row making the calf-rests suitable for minions only.

The bus also came equipped with a 3-pin power socket at every seat, AND a USB power socket for the window seats. (The aisle or “B” seat’s power socket are located on the aisle side of the seat.) The Eltabina Express cancellation turned out to be a blessing disguise instead.

The bus departed on time at 12.30am, to which I fell asleep easily since I was tired out already.

The bus made a refuelling and toilet break at Pagoh (which I was awake for probably just under a minute), and the following are the estimated times at the alighting points:

Larkin Sentral arrived: 4.30am
Larkin Sentral departed: 4.35am

JB Sentral (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar) arrived: 4.45am
JB Sentral (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar) departed: 5.05am

Woodlands Checkpoint arrived: 5.10am
Woodlands Checkpoint departed: 5.30am

Golden Mile Complex (Beach Road) arrived: 6.00am

Even with taking the 12.30am bus from KL, I still made it to JB Sentral and Woodlands before the first Shuttle Tebrau at 5.30am. The arrival time of 6am at Golden Mile was perfect for the first Harbourfront-bound departure on the Circle Line at Nicoll Highway station at 6.12am on Sundays & Public Holidays.

Will I take Billion stars again?

Even though they haven’t crossed my mind before, for the sake of the power sockets available at the seats and the good legroom, yes, it would be one of the companies I would consider travelling with again.