Wonderful Team Building in Barelang Island, Batam


Welcome to Pondok Alam. Welcome to visit the small island around Barelang Bridge, Batam, Riau Island.

The sentence was pronounced by team building facilitators when I and my officemates arrived in an open building which is located just to the right of Barelang Bridge.  That day, Tuesday (19/4), we have to participate in team building event which is regularly held by my office every year.



Sailing to Pulau Ton Ton. Look and take the appropriate flag colors of your group before arriving in the Pulau Akar.


After receiving the assignment from facilitator through a laminated paper, my team immediately rushed to the boat that has been prepared by the committee. We  helped each other to climb up the boat. Luckily the entire personnel of the groups are very brave.

I rushed to fill the attendance lists, and then took breakfast of nasi lemak and teh o. Nasi lemak and hot tea was prepared by local residents. The beautiful ambience made us quickly spend the rice.

After breakfast, the facilitator divides us into groups. One group consists of seven to eight people. The group is facilitated by a boat to get around the four islands around Barelang Bridge. Of course with the specific tasks that is determined by the committee.


The various challenges is not difficult, but need a cohesiveness among team members. Moreover, the main purpose of these activities is not to race, but a picnic and tightening the relationship between co-workers.

After wearing a life jacket, the boat we were riding headed to Pulau Akar. However, due to get a purple flag first, we stopped by several times in Pulau Ton Ton. The flag planted on that island. Luckily, we did not have to get off the boat. Only by holding hands, we can reach the purple flag.

On that flag, the facilitator ask us to collect garbage in the next island – a challenge we have to do next. We turned out to be asked to Pulau Akar  to collect trash. The island can be reached about 15 minutes from Batam Island.


It did not take long to collect plastic waste in the island roots. Without wasting time, we put the trash into a bag, and then handed it to the facilitator.

After collecting the garbage, we are challenged to put out a ping-pong ball from the gallon. We had to fill the leak gallons by seawater. As a result, if we are not smart to close the leakage, the water will flow everywhere. After that challenge, we were asked to go back to the boat. We will be headed to Pulau Panjang.

There was five island that we explored in team building. The five island s are Pulau Ton Ton, Pulau Akar, Pulau Panjang, Pulau Lance and Pulau Bali.


Friendly People

Sile… sile… or welcome..welcome in English

It said by one of the residents when we reached Pulau Panjang. Without being asked, the middle-aged woman then pointed me toward the location of team building.

The inhabitants of the small islands around Barelang Bridge seems excited to  welcome the foreigners in their village. They interact with visitors, but some of them are still shy.

In addition, the facility in Panjang Island also relatively complete if compared to other islands around the Barelang Bridge. The island was settled since the 1970’s.  It has educational facilities for primary schools, football fields, clinic, and  electrical energy obtained from diesel power and Solar Home Systems (SHS), which operates from 18:00 to 24:00 pm, while the water services provided by the government through subsea pipelines.

I like to absorb variety of information from the island people. Based on chit chat with some local resident, Pulau Panjang is the largest island than the other islands around Barelang Bridge. The island is inhabited by around 195 households.



In Pulau Panjang and Pulau Lance we passed several challenges. The first challenge is to develop a word of “adventure”. Although it’s seemed simple, the game is actually quite tiring because of letter should be drafted by of the personnel of the team with a lifted position.

There was some other exciting game in Pulau Panjang, before we had to go to Pulau Lance to try the game of archery. Achieving the target that has been determined is difficult. Especially, for some one who never have shot like me. Repeatedly tried, none arrows achieve the target.

After exploring Pulau Lance, we went to  Pulau Bali. Yup, it’s Pulau Bali, but not the Island of God. I do not know why people around there named the island which is right on the other side of the Barelang Bridge, Pulau Bali, perhaps because want to be famous like Bali, or because of the equally tiny. Pulau Akar, Panjang and Bali is actually a close neighbor. If there is a bridge that connects all islands, visitors just a short walk a few meters. However, because these islands separate the sea, visitors inevitably, have to commute up the boat.



When we came at Pulau  Bali, some work colleagues had already dancing with Dankong dancers.. The committee seemed to deliberately insert any of the Malay culture into a team building event. The Dankong dancer use electricity from generators. Dankong dance attraction is to entertain all participants. The dance songs are sung by Nek Nurma. Women age 76 who’ve been in the dance dankong and Makyong since he was a teenager.

Nenek Nurma is a resident of Pulau Panjang. She was one of the founders of traditional Malay dance studio. It was said that she was so keen to preserve the Malay dance by teaching children and grandchildren. While perform at Pulau Bali, Batam, Nenek Nurma took her two children to played the violin, her four grandchildren to danced, and several other grandchildren who play a musical instrument support. Although already elderly, Nek Nurma claims she still quite strong to accept the invitation. Nek Nurma often performs in several cities in Indonesia. He has performed in Jakarta to Bandung Se also performs in Malaysia and Singapore.

The team building experience was unforgettable. How about your team building experience? Please share your story in the comments box (*)



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