The Vietnamese Refugee camp in Galang Island, Batam-Indonesia

The Vietnamese Refugee camp in Galang Island, Batam-Indonesia

The Vietnamese Refugee camp in Galang Island, Batam

Recently fusionadventure explore Galang Island in Batam. Galang or Pulau Galang, is an island of 80 km2 located 25 m (40 km) southeast of Batam, it belongs to a group of three islands called Barelang (an abbreviation of Batam-Rempang-Galang). This island is also part of the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, and Galang is located just south of Batam and Rempang which themselves are just south of Singapore and Johor Bahru – Malaysia.

The Vietnamese Refugee camp in Galang Island, Batam is a historical place that once inhabited by about 250,000 refugees from Vietnam in 1979-1995. The camp was built by the UNHCR, one of the organizations under the UN that takes care of victims of war, and the government of Indonesia. This refugee camp lies on an area of about 80 hectares. The camp equipped with various facilities, ranging from schools, places of worship (churches, temples, and mosque), hospitals, cemeteries,  (perhaps the most haunting part of the visit, seeing those who never reached their final destination) canteens, barracks, museum and even a prison.

The refugee story began with a quite long lasted civil war in Vietnam, which happened from 1959 to 1975 that also involved several other countries, eg. The United States and Russia. During and just after the war, many Vietnamese fled away their country for security reasons and for protection. Some of them sailed the South China Sea for months on wooden boats to find a safer place to live. Unfortunately, some of them died on the run, but many also made it by reaching other countries, including on several islands in Indonesia, such as in Natuna Island and Bintan Island. (This is why they were also referred as the “boat people”).

Fusionadventure is recommend for those would like to develop a social conscience, this is a must visit. It is quite a long drive, but definitely worth it. We spent a couple of hours here, and could easily have spent longer. We welcome Vietnamese if you wish to visit do or group trip contact: E-maill :  or whatsapp +628127027418