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Smirnoff priced at 22 Singapore dollar BATAM - Ever wondered if there was any cheap alcohol in Indonesia? Of course there is, but what you will find first is the locally brewed kind, varying from arak (rice wine) as well as fake branded liquor in small bottles in most parts of Indonesia to real wine - and of good enough quality as well - on the island of Bali. The wine however is not cheap with some 100,000 Rupiah (7.50 euro) per bottle or more. The locally produced and fake branded liqor (Jack Daniel's and other well-known brands) are sold for somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 per 0.25 liter.

Other cheap enough alcohol comes in the form of beer with Bir Bintang, Anker, Kuda Putih and many others being locally brewed. There are also locally brewed international brands like Carlsberg and Heineken, but a bottle will cost some 20,000 Rupiah or more, which does not belong in the category 'cheap' if you don't live in Norway or other Scandinavian countries.

Cheap is when you get your alcohol from the duty free store, but this limits people to buying one liter of liqor when they enter Indonesia on their way back from a trip abroad (for those who live in Indonesia) or for people arriving in Indonesia for their holidays. But don't buy your duty free liquor in Indonesia, as it is often quite expensive. Singapore is cheaper, as well is Kuala Lumpur for example.

Another option is - for those that live on the island of Batam for example - is to drop by at the local duty free shop in Harbour Bay, which is the starting point and ending point for some ferries between Batam and Singapore, which is another country so you are allowed to buy duty free. But once again, it's only one liter per person, officially.

Stories of people bringing - much - more than one liter of liquor are not rare, but those people went abroad to get it, while there is an easier way to get your liquor, not limited to one liter as well. When in Harbour Bay, enter the main terminal building and find the duty free shop your left hand. Staff members will ask you in English what you want to have.

However choice is not as big as in Singapore, at least you can buy liquor here. Prices are in Singapore dollar, but you can also pay in Rupiah. It's a public secret that you can walk in there without showing a passport, travel document or KITAS (which enables foreigners staying in Indonesia to buy liquor duty free as well). They also sell cigarettes by the way.

Don't expect to get a receipt by the way. Cash payment in Singapore dollar is recommended. You will get your liquor in a black plastic bag, so you can carry it without anyone seeing it. And what they can't see doesn't exist. Bringing your alcohol on the plane to other parts of Indonesia? Check it in, because carry-on luggage with bottles of alcohol are targeted by security staff.

22 Singapore dollar (10 euro) for a bottle of Smirnoff, 0.75 liter.
22 Singapore dollar (10 euro) for a bottle of Smirnoff, 0.75 liter.



Tags: free, duty, cheap, liquor, alcohol, batam


Posted in Travel @ 29 September 2009 07:26 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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