Galang Island, Riau Island, Indonesia.

Trip Start Feb 06, 2009
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Trip End Feb 08, 2009


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Flag of Indonesia  , Riau,
Saturday, February 7, 2009

This morning, after breakfast, decided to explore the nearby islands. We drove to the corner of Batam and crossed over the Barelang Bridge. From there drove past Rembanng Island quickly and headed to the Galang Island where there is the VIetnamese Refuge Camp. A great place to visit. 

Galang (Indonesian: Pulau Galang), is an island, 80KM located 350m southeast of Batam, belonging to a group of three island called Barelang. (abbreviation of Batam-Rempang-Galang) A member of Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, Halang is located just south of SIngapore and Johor. The nearest city to Galang is Tanjung Pinang or Bintan Island, situated about half an hours boat ride. There was a UNHCR main administration office to run the Galang Refugee Camp during the period of 1979 - 1996 where many Vietnamese Boat People and asylum seekers were temporarily accomodated during the determination of their refugee status and their subsequent resettlement in the USA, Australia and other European Countries. Many Vietnamese from their new resettled countries have come back to visit Galang over the years.Today, Galang Island (Ex Sinam Camp) is managed by Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA). In 1992 according to Presidential Decree No. 28/1992, the expansion of BIDA Working Area include Rempang Island, Galang Island and small islands surrounded.
BIDA build 6 bridges which has been inaugurated on January 25, 1998. The bridges is to connect by land between Batam Island - Tonton Island - Nipah Island - Setoko Island - Rempang Island - Galang Island - Galang Baru (New Galang) Island in order to develop all these islands.


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Comments

TOAN PHAM on

This is a beutifull place . i like to be settle here

Tuan Phan on

Thanks for posting photos of Pulau Galang. I was a Vietnamese refugee at this camp for 8 months in 1981. I plan to come back here to visit some day. Can I contact you to get some information regarding your trip here. Thanks

venoth
venoth on

Hi Toan Pham, yes it is a very lovely and serene place. Thank you for dropping by.

venoth
venoth on

Hie Tuan Pham, sure you could. Please send me a message and I shall assist you in whatever way I could. Even if you need some assistance for arrangements in Batam including your hotel and transport, I could assist you with it. I do have friends there. Do let me know please. Thank you for dropping by.

CHI LA on

i WAS A REFUGEE THERE FOR 18 MTHS .I LIKE TO GO BACK TO HAVE A VISIT

venoth
venoth on

Hi Chi La, thats great to know. You are the second person who have been a refuge there who have contacted me. Through this entry, I have met quite a number of good friends and I'm happy to know that most of them are well placed in life now compared to the time being there. All the best to you.

Thien Dang on

Thanks for posting the pictures. I was there from January to October 1980. I stayed in Galang I in a barrack on the hill across the road from the Buddist Temple. I worked on building Galang II. Do you have any pictures of the original barracks (long house) in Galang I??? In any case, this has brought back many memories. Thanks so much!

venoth
venoth on

Hi Thien Dang, thats great to hear from you. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the barracks. However, I am happy that the pictures brings your stay there back alive in your mind. Over the past few months, I have had quite a number of ex refugees who had stay there contact me. Indeed, this is a great pleasure and satisfying when I do get emails like this. I feel a journey fulfilled. Thank you so much for writing to me here.

lyna_n on

hi i lived there for 3 years (1990-1993). I would love to know how to organise a trip there, accomodation, transport..etc. Do you have any information? Thanks.

venoth
venoth on

Hi Lyna, thank you for your comments. Well, there is no accomodation in Galang Island but there are many hotels in Batam Island and you could always hire a taxi or a car with a tour agent to make arrangements for your travels there. Do let me know if you need some help. I have friends there who could make this happen for you. Thank you again for dropping by.

Richard Ng on

Hi Venoth. Is it possible to go there via Tanjung Pinang, Bintan?

venoth
venoth on

Hi Richard Ng, I am not too sure on this but surely you could take the boat from Bintan to Batam and then to Galang at the same terminal. However, just as a tip, from Bintan you could visit another two islands which are quite good as well. They are Karimun and Kundur. Do try a visit to these islands as well.

Richard Ng on

Hi Venoth. Thanks for replying.
I don't think you mentioned the price of renting a car for a day. How much is it?

venoth
venoth on

Hi RIchard, it is quite similar to Malaysia. It works out to be around RM 100 or 12o per day, that means full 24 hours. This excludes the driver. With driver may be slightly higher. Of course, the fuel is yours to top up.

Richard Ng on

Hi Venoth. Thanks for the info. It's very helpful!

venoth
venoth on

Dear Richard Ng, your most welcome. I am glad that I could be of assistance here.

Tino on

Hi Mr. Venoth,
It was so great to see photos of Galang, I was a refugee there in '82-'85. One of these day I plan to go back there when traveling to Singapore again. Just want to know how does did it take you to drive from Batam to Pulau Galang ? Is it a easy drive

venoth
venoth on

Dear Tino, thank you so much for your lovely comment. It is great to know that you were there once. In fact, there have been many who have written to me who were once living there and today, they are all dispersed all over the world. Very interesting and I am very happy to receice emails from all of you. As for the drive, not a problem at all as there is a connecting bridge from Batam all the way to Rembang island connecting the seven small islands. Its a straight road and traffic free once you are on the bridge road. Do let me know if you need more assistance from me. Thank you again for writing Tino.

Anna Bui on

Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos. I was there on jan 21, 2011. I would like to ask permission to used some of your photos for the web site refugeecamps.net (not public yet, still working in progress) The site will be created by and for refugees.With your help the website will be online soon.
Thanks
vt268tengah@gmail.com
or view my face book
http://www.facebook.com/groups/237414599670326/

Anna Bui on

Thank you for allowing me using these valuable information and photos for my web site which consolidates information about Refugee Camps in SE Asia.
Courtesy will point to you and this blog. I was there on Jan 2012, most of the scene in this blog were not there any more. Thank you
Anna Bui

venoth
venoth on

Your most welcome Anna Bui. I have written to you via your personal email. I am more than pleased to assist you here.

venoth
venoth on

You are most welcome Anna Bui. Sad to hear that since your last visit, things have changed drastically thus erasing many of the precious historical evidences. I am more than happy that my photos are of assistance. Thank you so much once again and do let me know if you need anything more from me. All the best in you noble effort.

Anna Bui on

Thank you. Your photos are the big remarks of how thing changing in the camps. The gov try to restore some old building, I saw the progress of many men working to clear the field. I am glad that Indonesia decided to keep the camps as tourist attraction, because it bring business to the small town, and the place where we want to remember of the dark day in the ocean, then some country open the arms, give us the shelter. I was in the boat get towel out by Malaysian navy, then finally settle in Pulau Tengah. My project hope to help the VN next generation easy to know what the parent went through. PLease help by connect me to VN refugee people who passing your blog. I will need their boat number, date of arriving, how many people in the boat and name of the camp. My email is vt268tengah@gmail.com I admired your work, make it meaningful when you travel. Thank you

venoth
venoth on

Dear Anna, thank you for the great words. It was a pleasure being able to assist you here too.

long huynh on

Hello Mr Venoth,
Thank you so much for posting all the pictures about Galang camp. I was refugee Lived there in 82/83. At that time I had relative passed away in the camp. I'm planning go there in april and I hope I can get her remaning to US.
Can you help please. What paper work do I need? Can you help me to get the information? Please contact me at longhuynh268@gmail.com Thanh you so much!

venoth
venoth on

Hello Long Hunyh, that you so much for your message. I may not be able to assist you with this but I think I do know of someone who may be able to help you out here. She was also there in that camp and currently is building a community bringing forth all the individuals who were there. I shall write to you separately in a personal email connecting both of you and maybe, you may be able to progress from there. Thank you again for contacting me.

HAN on

Hi!
Tat ca nguoi nao o Galang deu muon ve tham het,Neu ai co muon ve voi di Pinang thi lien lac voi Toi , toi la nguoi Viet lay chong o day , nguoi dong huong qua toi giup cho ,

Anna Bui on

Han.Do you have email address? Last time we talk I only have your phone number. I was eating at your parent in law in Galang with Abu. I have a chance talking to you, my husband is a big America guy. remember? I will be back to Galang on May 15 or so, taking with me couple peoplefrom US, return to visit their camp. I would like to meet up with you. I am glad to find you here.Email me vt268tengah@gmail.com. Do you know I created the web site called "www.refugeecamps.net" check it out special in Galang camp. Need to contact you. Email me

Hung Le on

Thanks Venoth for uploading all those pics. I stayed there from March 1990 to Sep 1993. Those pictures bring back lots memories!
Venoth, how many days can I stay on the camp area? as I would like to trace back my old house which was just outside of the barracks areas. I also went to the Proestant Church and was in the teenagers group, so when i saw the picture inside the church bring back so much memories!!!It's ashame that google maps have not got the CLEAR zoom in on Galang. :(

venoth
venoth on

Dear Hung Le, thank you for the great appreciation. This was taken a few years ago when I was there and I recently heard from many people who had visited my blogs and that place that it is in a dilapidated condition now. There has been no upkeep and it is all in ruins. Even many of the structures like the church has been torn down by nature as there was no preservation activity from the local authorities. If you scroll up through these comments, you may see an activists who has opened up a web site for the ex refugees who stayed here before. Definitely you would not be able to stay there at the camp but perhaps a day visit is possible but please be prepared emotionally that it is not in a state that you would like to find it. I would suggest you to contact the other person I mentioned to get in touch with your old friends, many of whom are very successful and well placed across the globe.

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