It’s unlikely that you’re going to visit Batam Island for business, but if you are and you’re wondering what to wear in Batam Island, you’ll find that the dress rules in both leisure and business are the same and are quite easy to remember.
First of all, you’d be wise to remember that Batam Island has tropical weather, and thus requires tropical clothes. That means choosing casual clothes for business occasions and getting even more laid-back clothes for non-business outings.
Unlike other Asian countries like Japan and China, Batam Island of Indonesia has no strict business dress code, much like its neighboring country Singapore. Definitely you should avoid wearing coats and jackets as these will only make you feel uncomfortable with the heat. The business offices are usually air conditioned, though, so you might want to bring along a suitable coat just to wear inside the offices. Otherwise, a simple shirt, tie and pants are very appropriate. For women, go for smart casual clothes and you’ll find yourself dressed perfectly for the occasion. Even if you aren’t in Batam Island on an entirely business capacity, remember to wear business clothes when visiting government offices, especially the Indonesian Embassy.
If you’re in Batam Island completely for leisure, as most Batam Island visitors are, then you’ll have a lot of choices when it comes to clothing. One thing to remember, though, is that Indonesia is a Muslim country, so go easy on overly revealing clothes and clothing that will expose most of your skin. You don’t have to stick to traditionally conservative clothes, just pick respectable clothes and you’ll be fine.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Batam Island is a “holiday” island. Thus, people don’t quite expect you to wear your best Sunday clothes all the time. In fact, you can wear “holiday clothes” such as shorts, skirts, tees, tank tops and sleeveless shirts. If you can stand the heat, you can also wear tight or loose jeans. However, it’s still wise to pick loose cotton pants as they are more comfortable with the island’s weather and temperature.
Around the beach, you can wear beach outfits, of course. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen lotions, sun glasses and wide-brimmed hats for the ladies. Also consider bringing a nice sarong to use as a wrap. Aside from the fact that you can also use it to protect your skin from the sun, sarongs will come in very handy for situations where you are expected to be modest. Remember, the people of Batam Island are still quite conservative.
If you are going to visit temples and any religious sites, do not bare your shoulders or too much of your legs. Wear decent clothes to show your respect of their religion and their culture as well.
In the past, policewomen in Batam Island once accosted women for wearing provocative clothes. The program caused a stir and resulted in a lot of protest from women’s rights organizations. It is doubtful policewomen will ever do that to tourists, if they are still doing it these days, but the thing to remember is that you should not offend the sensibilities of the general public. So whatever your purpose in going, remember these things when you’re thinking of what to wear in Batam Island.