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Blue Mountain Kelong
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Reviews (26)
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Reviewed 2 March 2014

My family and a few friends decided to stay at the Blue Mountain Kelong last weekend (21-23 Feb'14) after hearing raving reports about it from my daughter....and indeed it did not disappoint!

The resort is located at a small island off Batam. Getting there from Singapore includes an hour's ride by high-speed ferry from Harbourfront to Batam Center Ferry Terminal, about another hour by land transport to Mongak Dam, and then another 30-40 mins by boat to the Kelong. We caught the 9:30 am ferry from Singapore and arrived at the Kelong just in time for lunch.

The boat to the Kelong is small (can take up to maybe 7-8 pax) but adequate and we got some splashes as it cut through the waves in spite of the great skill of the boat man - but that was just part of the total experience and served as a good introduction for what was to come ;P [Note: wearing clothes that you don't mind getting a bit wet in is recommended. Also bring along a poncho or groundsheet, or maybe large trash bags, if you want to keep your bags dry. Do sit further inside the boat if you want to keep dry - but it is not as fun!.]

Once on the Kelong itself, one can't help but let out a "Wow!" (especially if it is your first time there). The cool sea breeze, the rustic-ness of the whole place, the beautiful view of the sea and horizon...immediately sets you in a relaxed mood. We were ushered to our respective cabins to freshen up/change.

The cabins were spacious and came with two single beds, and a roll-out bed - all hand-made with wood. The beds came with mattress, clean bedsheets, pillow and bolster. As the cabins were built over the sea, you could see and hear the waves through the gaps between the floor planks (just be careful not to drop any small items!). The cabins were airy because they were designed to allow the sea breeze to cool it naturally as there is no electricity to run fans for most part of the day (a generator is used at night for a few hours just to provide some lighting). Each cabin also came with ensuite bathroom/toilet bowl (sitting type) and a small sink. Water is provided to the Kelong via a pipe that had its source from a fresh water spring on the island. Understandably taking a shower will be with the cool spring water (no heater) which is really very refreshing! [Note: Do plan to shower before the sun goes down as it does get quite chilly in the evenings. Also no toiletries, besides toilet paper, are provided so you need to bring your own soap, shampoo, toothpaste/brush, bath towel etc.]

All food was prepared in the Kelong's own kitchen and we got lots of fresh seafood (crabs, prawns, gong gong, calamari etc..), chicken, pork, vegetables, rice, and papayas (from their own plantation on the island). The food was more than adequate, very tasty and delicious! Dining was communal with about 10-12 on a table, and the hosts always tried to make it a point to dine with us. This gave us a wonderful way to know them better! We particularly enjoyed our long chats with Uncle Lincoln, who owns the place. He shared about how he came to the island, taught the village children English, and his big plans to expand his business so that he could help the villagers become more self-sustaining and less dependent on fishing (with climate changes in recent years, fishing is getting more challenging). Drinking water was provided everyday - tapped from the spring, filtered and sanitised - it was the best mineral water I have personally tasted as it had a natural, slightly sweet taste!

Other than eating and sleeping, the rest of the time we spent on just lying/sitting on the jetty chatting and reconnecting with each other in our group. There was also plenty of time to catch up on reading, reflecting, and just recharging. It was the ideal place to have a spiritual retreat, and the scenic views and constant sea breeze somehow just melted away all the tensions and worries of every-day life, and allowed us to just spend some quality "me" time with God.

For the more adventurous, you could take the jungle trail. Arrangements can be made with the Kelong staff and they will be happy to come along as guides. Do wear long pants (jeans) and walking shoes and be prepared to do a bit of "bashing" through the jungle and climbing over rocks! A few of us tried that and it was enjoyable to look at the flora and fauna of the island's jungle.

Those who are interested in fishing may also bring your own lines - the sea around the Kelong is full of all kinds of fish!

For arrangements to visit the Kelong, you may check out their website. One flat fee per person includes tickets and fares for all transportation, all meals, and lodging - so more or less everything is taken care of :)

All in all, it was a wonderful way to unwind over a weekend, to find spiritual refreshment, have great seafood, have deep and meaningful chats with family and friends, and we well looked after by the friendly staff of the Kelong! I would recommend this place for groups looking for a quiet place for a silent retreat, or planning retreat, or teambuilding; family bonding; or even a personal retreat.

Really looking forward to come back again and to bring others along!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank ATKA166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Great place to be for peace and relaxation. No tourists, no traffic, no shops, no noise, no jobs!
Only peace and calm and the glory of God's creation. Be ready to give up your computers and tv shows. Fresh air and water and brilliant stars. Great sea food. For nature lovers only.

Room Tip: come with friends or family
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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9  Thank lincoln o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

Overall
- A very basic and peaceful place to relax, fish, swim in the sea, eat delicious seafood and contemplate life as you listen to the sound of the sea.
- Bluemoutain is a remote and secluded kelong (series of traditional wooden stilt houses built over the sea).
- Its location means it's hard to get to (about 3 hours in total by ferry, van and then boat from Singapore), but for those who need a complete break from urban life, it's worth it.

Rooms
- Each room can sleep about 4 to 6 people. Mattresses are thin, pillows are uneven in quality and there is no fan or air con, but somehow we always sleep well there. If there is a storm (which is dramatic and beautiful), it can actually get quite cold in the room.
- As there are only partial partitions between rooms, it's rather communal (as kelongs are meant to be), so it's more suitable to go with a group of friends or be willing to get to know others well!
- The biggest concession to modernity is the ensuite toilet in each room. Bear in mind that everything, including the toilets, is made of wood. Each bathroom has a seated toilet, a small sink and a shower. We preferred to use the pail for showering which helps you to quickly get used to the cold water. Although it's a shock to the system at first, the cold showers out of the pail were extremely enjoyable. Trust me, they make you feel so good afterwards!

Food
- Local, plentiful and delicious!! The calamari, gado gado, grilled chicken wings, steamed crabs were fabulous.
- All meals are included (as there is no where else to get your food). You get 5 meals - breakfast, lunch, a tea-time snack and dinner. The fried bananas for tea are yum.
- There will be a barbecue on one of the nights.
- Coffee, tea and water are included. You can buy beer for a reasonable price.
- Best to bring your own snacks and drinks if you are worried about not having variety.

Others
- As there is a fair amount of climbing on/off boats, it is not suitable for those who may find this a physical challenge. Having said that, a physically fit 80 year old managed it when we were there.
- I would not recommend this to families with very young children as the kelong is open on all sides and they could fall off if not careful.

Do check the website for more information.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank Beach-chicken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC