Batam - City of Indonesia
Batam is an island and also a city in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, known for its free trade zone area as part of the Sijori Growth Triangle, is located 20 km off Singapore's south coast. A few indigenous Orang Laut tribes also live on the island.
INDONESIA National Animal : Komodo dragon
In the 1970s, the island underwent a major transformation from a largely forested area into a major harbor and industrial zone. The population drastically grew from a few thousand in the 1960s into hundreds of thousands.Located close to Singapore and endowed with a much cheaper labour force, several Singaporean companies have established factories in Batam.
The official language on the island is Indonesian, but due to the sizeable Chinese population, Chinese dialects like Teochew and Mandarin are somewhat widely spoken. Apart from industrial zones, the islands have several resorts and tourist destinations.
Apart from various resorts, night clubs and kareoke bars, the "Barelang" bridges are the icon to Batam. The name is abbreviation from Batam-Rempang-Galang. The bridges were constructed under Habibie as the Minister for Research and Technology with funding from the German government.
Galang island was put on the map when the UNHCR setup a holding camp for the Vietnamese 'Boat People'. Refugees trickling down the South China Seas escaping the Vietnamese Communist regime since 1975. The site has been set aside, it comprises of old red cross hospital building, various churches and the graves of the refugees who did not make it. A Buddhist temple for the God of Mercy was built by the surviving ex-refugees who had settled in various parts of western countries.
INDONESIA National Bird : Javan Hawk Eagle
INDONESIA National Flower : Adopted 3 national flower Melati, Moon Orchid Phalaenopsisi , Rafflesia Rafflesia arnoldi
INDONESIA National Game : Badminton