Marine tourism is major tourism of Batam. Batam which is an island, were surrounded by many islands around it. Some island may untouched, and waiting to be explored and exposed. Many islands with beautiful beaches here in Batam, but aside of beaches, there is also an island which have a history behind it. And that one also interesting to explore. Now, let me introduce you one of historical island in Batam.
Pulau Sambu Batam, the Oil Refinery Island
On this article, I will show you one of hundreds island in Batam, Pulau Sambu Batam. This island has a history, even before Batam island has population, this island is more alive than Batam. Why? It is because Pulau Sambu Batam was been storage oil tank by Royal Dutch Shell since 1927.
After the “Dwikora Operation” in 1965 by Indonesia Government, the refinery which was handled by Shell Company were taken over by Pertamina and directly managed under the government. You may see the huge storage tank in Pulau Sambu Batam even from Sekupang International Ferry Terminal.
This island is located in the north of Batam Island, closest to Singapore, to be precise in Sekupang region. To go here, we must use a small boat which is called pancung in local. There is no commercial transportation to go there. Just go to Sekupang Port to found the pancung to get you to Pulau Sambu Batam.
Just to be noted that, Sekupang Port is different from Sekupang International Ferry terminal. But the location is near, just next to ferry terminal. Before the main entrance to ferry terminal, took left to go to Sekupang Port.
Pancung fee is IDR 15.000 (June 2016) per person and will take approximately 15 minutes to reach Pulau Sambu Batam. Note that, this is fee for locals, there may be vary for foreigner, because it is not managed by professional or government. Meaning, pancung is private property so there will be no fee regulation.
After reach Sambu Port, we need to get permission from security before proceed to explore the island. Usually they only told the visitor to stay away and not go inside the empty houses, including the refinery, unless there is a special permission.
What? Empty houses? Sounds creepy…
Yes, there were empty and abandoned houses in this island. Most of this island residents were moved to Batam Island after the refinery stops the operation at 90’s. And NO, it is not creepy at all. There are still people live in here around hundred populations.
The atmosphere of Pulau Bambu Batam
Because of the low population, the atmosphere is pretty quiet. But to be precise, it is peaceful because of it quietness, not much activity, not much people. Very nice place to escape the routine, just enjoy the atmosphere and scenery.
There is a beautiful mosque in the hill. This is the only mosque in this island, named Masjid Al Muhajirin, which is means “people who migrate”. The building structure is still strong with it beautiful yellow and green color.
Along the coastline, there were abandoned and empty houses which I told before. We were not allowed to enter or go near these houses, maybe for security reason as the houses were mostly build with wood and already abandoned in years.
The scenery here is very beautiful. In the far horizon, you can see Singapore with it famous landmark, Marina Bay. Very near you can see Singapore clearly, unless the weather is not good. Pulau Sambu Batam has its own beach and it is pretty beautiful. The road on the coastline is covered by coconut tree will protect you from the sunlight. Plus the sea breeze and the sound of sea wave song will accompany your exploration.
There are also mango trees everywhere on the island. But, please don’t try to take it without permission.
To go back to Batam Island, we need to go back to Sambu Port and wait for pancung. Please note that pancung is not available every time so it may take time to wait until next pancung is available. It is advisable to book the pancung with the same owner as before to avoid delay in waiting.
So, are you ready to explore?