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16 Best Museums in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I visited almost every museums in Jakarta this year (I'm only missing the TNI Satria Mandala Museum and the Galeri Nasional Indonesia). The idea of this review is to give you my recommendations on the best museums to visit and the ones to avoid. I also wrote individual articles for each with a full description, just click on the name of the venues to read it.

Contrary to what people might tell you, most are interesting and worth your time. They are a good introduction to Indonesian history and culture, and at the same time they give you an opportunity to explore authentic neighborhoods.

The entrance ticket for each museum is very cheap, usually between Rp2,000 and Rp20,000. You can refer to the opening and closing hours on each separate reviews. All museums are rather small and you'll often need only a couple hours to visit them.

English explanations are not always available. I don't think it's a big problem: Just take pictures and notes, then find out more on wikipedia from home. You can also visit the museums with a guide. The best tours are organized by the Indonesian Heritage Society. For more information: Jakarta Museum Tours.

Which Jakarta museums to visit in 1 day?
If you have only 1 day of sightseeing available, I would advise you to visit in priority the National Museum first and then head to Kota Tua (the Old City) where you'll find the Bank Indonesia Museum and the Jakarta History Museum. Both areas can easily be reached with the Transjakarta busway.

This is the ranking of the best museums in Jakarta, based on my visits:

Easily the best museum in Indonesia. It features quite a large collection of statues, masks and artefacts from all over the archipelago. A great introduction to the different cultures of the country. You'll need at least 3-4 hours inside to see everything properly.

I didn't have any expectations when visiting this museum, yet it turned out to be one of the most interesting I've been to. Don't be turned off by the word "bank". The museum is more about the history of trade in Indonesia, starting from before the colonization. It is just 100 meters from Taman Fatahillah.

This is the main museum on Taman Fatahillah square. It is housed in a beautiful colonial building that served as the City Hall of Batavia during Dutch times. As the name suggests, it is about the history of Jakarta, starting from prehistoric times. The visit is a bit short and hopefully they'll add more things to see in the future.

4) Museum of the Indonesian Constitution (at the Supreme Court)
Opened by President Jokowi in 2015, this is the newest and most modern museum in Jakarta. It is a nationalist museum, telling the story of how the Indonesian constitution was created. Still, you'll learn a lot about Indonesia's recent history. It makes you realize the profound gap between the hopes of the founders of the Nation and the harsh reality. You'll also get to see the Indonesian Supreme Court. Advanced reservation is required.

This museum is similar in its purpose with the Indonesian Constitution Museum. It focuses on the history of the birth of the Indonesian independence movement. It is located in the ex-STOVIA doctors' school and as such, you'll also find information about the early medicine in Indonesia.

The main art museum in Indonesia, with a collection of paintings from contemporary and older artists. Too many replicas unfortunately. It is part of the museums of Taman Fatahillah square.

Considering Indonesia has over 17,000 islands, the Museum Bahari (or Maritime Museum) could probably be improved. Currently, it feels it is in need of refurbishment. Still, I enjoyed my visit, which was a quick stop on my way to Sunda Kelapa, because of the location in an old Dutch warehouse and because I learned quite a few things about the history of Indonesia. The neighborhood was great too (fish market of Luar Batang) but the government evicted local residents recently and I haven't been there again since.

I did visit this museum but I haven't written a review about it yet. It is set in a beautiful property with a relaxing garden. There are some explanations on how Indonesian fabrics are made, particularly batiks. You can see a large collection of beautiful ones but it can be quite repetitive after a while. It is not too far from Central Jakarta, just after Tanah Abang Market.

This is a small museum with barely anything on display, yet it is worth a stop as the building is one of the nicest in Jakarta. It used to be the residence of the Governor General of the VOC.

The Museum Wayang is recommended by most tourist guides but I found it quite boring. There are almost no explanations in English and the place is not well-maintained. Not recommended unless you have a fascination for wayangs, puppets and masks.

The only positive thing about the Bank Mandiri Museum is its location, inside a Dutch colonial building. Apart from that, most of the things on displays are old ATMs, old typewriters, old computers, etc.

12) Museum Taman Prasasti
I still have to write this review as well. Anyway, this "museum" is actually an old Dutch graveyard and not a proper Museum, despite its name. It's not a bad place though and if you pass by, it won't hurt you to have a look.

Not visited yet:

Museum Galeri National Indonesia: This museum of art will be next on my list when I go back to Jakarta in September.

Musée Satriamandala: A military museum that belongs to the Indonesian TNI (Army). Apparently it's fun for kids.

A1 Museum: A private contemporary art museum.

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN): As announced by the NY Times, the MACAN is set to open in 2017. It is owned by the billionnaire Haryanto Adikoesoemo and will feature its private collection of artworks. It can probably become the best museum in Jakarta then.

Bistecca Milano (SCBD - Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
The Union Group (behind Union, Loewy, Cork&Screw, Benedict, Casa, E&O, The Dutch, Canteen, etc...) opened Caffè Milano almost 2 years ago. Following its success, they are opening a sister restaurant called Bistecca Milano.

This new venue is still under project and it will open in August 2016. It will be located next to The Dutch restaurant, one of the trendy spots in Jakarta nowadays.

As the name suggests, the food will be mostly steaks and grilled meat, Italian-style. They will also sell fine Italian wines. The Head Chef is still Luca Pezzera.

I will add information about prices, menu, opening hours, etc. when I receive them. Please comment if you know something!

Bistecca Milano Jakarta
18 Parc Place Tower E, GF SCBD
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52-53
South Jakarta

Phone number: +62 (0) 21 515 2828
Website (not active yet): Bistecca Milano Jakarta

Taiwan Nightlife: 12 Best Nightclubs in Taipei

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Taipei nightlife is considered by many expats as the one of the best in all Asia. It is a combination of the best things the region has to offer: Modern venues, reasonable prices, friendly people and approachable girls.

The number of nightclubs is limited though. Many are only open 3 nights a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesdays are actually getting more and more quiet, even with lower entrance fees.

There are surprisingly few Westerners in Taipei and as a result you will get more attention from normal girls compared to Singapore or even Bangkok (not to the level of Jakarta though).

Another particularity of Taipei's nightlife is that almost all the interesting bars and nightclubs are located in the central area, near the Taipei 101 Tower. Two complexes have several clubs: ATT4FUN and NEO19. This is very convenient and if you choose a downtown hotel you will be able to walk easily to many of the places listed below.

If you need hotel recommendations, you can search for hotels near the nightlife on this page: Taipei Hotels Near 101 Tower.

Even if you stay further, you have an efficient MRT system that can take you there quickly. Make sure you are within reach of Taipei City Hall Station or Taipei 101 Station.

Quick Tips on Taipei Nightlife
At the time of writing, it is allowed for people to smoke inside clubs. I noticed tons of girls are smoking in Taipei, which is uncommon in Asia.

Dress code
Even though some clubs allow it, don't wear shorts and sandals. You will be immediately branded as a tourist. It will not help you with girls nor to socialize. Some venues like Wave will also give you a discounted entrance fee for wearing a collar shirt (or a one-piece skirt for women).

Mixed alcoholic drinks on average: 200 TWD, Cocktails 300 TWD, Entrance Fee between 500 TWD and 1000 TWD (with 1 or 2 free drinks). You can often get a free entry by showing up before midnight or 11pm. Most ladies nights are on Wednesdays.

Several nightclubs like Wave or Babe 18 have cheap all-you-can-drink entrance.

Bottles and tables
Many Taipei nightclubs will suck if you don't have your own table, particularly Myst, Elektro and Omni. You have a minimum charge system, meaning to get a table you must spend at least a certain amount of money.

The best venues will ask around 15,000 TWD for 10 people on weekends. If your budget is tight, you can go during the week instead and pay half of that.

If you drink a lot, bottles are really an economical way to spend the night. It is also a huge plus with girls since many are just dying to get invited to a table and drink for free.

Taipei nightlife is quite clean. Few prostitutes, few naughty places. Fortunately, most clubs have sexy dancers.

Important - You should bring always bring an official photo ID with you, even if you look 45. Bouncers will ask you for it. Police ID checks also happen from time to time.

Taiwanese, both girls and guys, get pretty wild inside clubs. They often drink until they pass out. It is not rare to see someone throw up because he couldn't make it to the toilets.

As a foreigner, you should behave if you want to avoid problems, particularly in the streets.

Recommended Weekly Schedule
If you are in Taipei on a particular day, these are my party recommendations:

Monday: Vogas
Tuesday: Bravo
Wednesday: Elektro
Thursday: Lava, Brass Monkey (it's a bar but you have a ladies night with a DJ)
Friday and Saturday: You can take your chances anywhere.
Sunday: Babe 18 or Lava

Recommended Bars and Lounges for pre-party drinking:
Marquee, Barcode, WOOTP

Expat Bars for Older Guys:
Carnegie, Brass Monkey

Best Nightclubs in Taipei:

Korner is the only club I know in the city that does not play EDM, Top 40 or Rn'B. As such, I feel it deserves to be on top of this personal list.

If you are an occasional clubber who wants to see beautiful people, spend money on bottles and listen to famous songs, you will not enjoy Korner (try instead Omni, Elektro, Myst or Room 18).

If you love hearing a good DJ who plays techno/minimal, then Korner is your place. It is similar to small clubs you would find in Europe, with a hipster design and an underground feel. The crowd is mixed with many expats, a few pretty girls and some Taiwanese guys as well. Most people come for dancing. I would guess that it's popular with LGBT.

Since Korner closes a little late, it can be considered Taipei's unofficial after club.

B1, No. 200, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan 116

Facebook: Korner Nightclub Taiwan
Twitter: Korner Taipei

Opening Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday from 10pm to 2am
Friday and Saturday from 11.45pm to 5.30am

Entrance Fee:
From 100 TWD to 600 TWD depending on events. One drink included.

Located in the ATT4FUN building, just in front of Taipei 101 Tower, Elektro is a huge and modern nightclub, one of the hottest in Taipei at the moment.

Previously called Sparks, it is often the first venue people will recommend for party in the city. The crowd is a mix of rich Taiwanese and expats, with plenty of sexy and open-minded girls. It is a place to show off so make sure you dress well and bring some cash.

Since the dancefloor is small and crowded, it is preferable to book a table and to fill it with drinks. You can expect to pay at least 10,000 TWD on weekends for a group of 10 people. If you are alone or you can't afford a table, expect to be squeezed and to wait a while to get your drinks at the bar.

The best time to go to Elektro is after 2am, so you can try a few other nightclubs before visiting it. The DJs will play commercial EDM and you'll have sexy dancers every 30 minutes.

ATT 4 FUN, Taipei, Taiwan, 110
Phone number: +886 27737 9887

Opening Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday from 10pm to 3.30am
Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 4.30am

Entrance fee:
700 TWD with 2 free drinks on weekends
Ladies night on Wednesday. Free for girls.

Room 18
This club was renovated in 2014 and it is the best one in the Neo 19 building. It is not as crowded as Myst or Elektro so it can be a good alternative to ATT4FUN if you are looking for a more laid-back club.

You have a main room with a very impressive design where most people party. The DJs play EDM and commercial songs there. You also have a more quiet lounge and a rooftop.

Songshou Road No22, Xinyi District, Taipei 110
Phone number: +88 6 958 1111 88

Facebook: Room 18 Taipei

Opening Hours:
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10.30pm to 4.30am

Entrance Fee:
700 TWD with 2 free drinks. Ladies night every Wednesday (Free entry for ladies and free drinks before midnight).

Located inside ATT4FUN, it is one of the most famous nightclubs in Taiwan. So famous that it was actually featured in the movie Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. It is expensive, yet it manages to be completely packed on weekends. Wednesdays (ladies night) is a busy night as well (you can get in for free before 11pm). 

Crowded with foreigners, Myst has 3 rooms: The main one has the largest dancefloor in Taipei and DJs who play EDM, Top 40, House music. The second one is more intimate with mostly sofas and a bar. They have hip hop, Rn'B and old school music. Expat tend to prefer that one. The third one is a VIP room.

If you are more than 7-8 people, order a bottle to avoid being squeezed on the dancefloor. You'll also save money. Minimum table spending on Wednesdays is 6,000 TWD (10 people) and on weekends 15,000 TWD (10 people).

A few times during the nights, you will see amazingly sexy dancers perform on the podium. It might be the closest thing to gogo dancing in Taipei. They even have male dancers.

9F, No. 12, Song Shou Road, Taipei, Taiwan 110
Phone number: 09 83 803 388

Website: Myst Taipei

Opening Hours:
Wednesday from 10pm to 4am
Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 4.30am

Phone number: +88 6 958914 777

Entrance Fee:
Wednesdays: 600 TWD for men and free for ladies. Girls get free cocktails before 12pm.
Weekends: 700-1000 TWD (with two drink included).
Alcoholic drinks from 250 TWD.

Omni is a very impressive nightclub with an award-winning design (360° LCD panel circling the club, plenty of lasers and fog, etc), an amazing sound system and a list of already several famous guest DJs (Hardwell, Skrillex, Dash Berlin, etc...).

It is a money-making business though, and money comes from tables/bottle service. If you are just a dude by yourself ordering whisky-coke at the bar, you won't feel very special and comfortable. I'd recommend Omni if you are coming with friends and don't mind spending a few hundred US dollars for the night. Bottles at 150US$. When you order champagne, sexy sailor girls will bring it to you with firecrackers.

Music is almost always EDM/trance/house. For DJs, their reference is the DJ Mag Top 100. They have some hip hops nights too. Many foreigners and foreign-friendly girls. 

106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Rd, 201
Phone number: 09 83 803 388

Website: Omni Taipei

Opening Hours:
Wednesday from 10.30pm to 4.30am
Friday and Saturday from 10.30pm to 4.30am

Entrance Fee:
800 TWD (on average)

This nightclub in ATT4FUN is free and more easy-going than nearby Myst or Elektro. I'd recommend it if you are alone as you don't really need to book a table to enjoy it. Also, you have a nice balcony with a great view on the Taipei 101 Tower where it's easy to meet other people.

The music is not really my thing though as they play mostly Rn'B and Top 40 hits. It's not so busy on Wednesdays.

8th Floor, ATT4FUN, Taiwan 110
Phone number: 02 7737 9908

Facebook: Halo Taipei

Opening Hours:
Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10pm

Entrance Fee:
Normally free except for special events. Drinks inside around 300 TWD for cocktail.

The Beat
In the location of the Roxy bar, The Beat was opened in mid-2016 and it is specializing in hip-hop, Rn'B, old school and retro music. They also have house and latin themed nights. It's already popular. Many girls looking to meet foreigners. Prices are cheap.

Fuxing S Rd, 27, B2, Taipei, Taiwan 106
Phone number: +88 6 925 177477

Facebook: The Beat Nightclub Taipei

Opening Hours:
Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 4am

Entrance Fee:
300 TWD after 11pm (200 TWD before) with 1 free drink.

Best All-You-Can Drink Nightclubs in Taipei

Taipei has several nightclubs where you can drink for free all night when you pay an entrance fee. It is only valid for some of the drinks and you should be careful not to lose your glass. The crowd in such places is generally younger and not so sophisticated. In terms of value, it is excellent if you are a heavy drinker.

Babe 18
Located in Neo19 complex, Babe 18 is a club popular among younger Taiwanese, mostly because of its all-you-can-drink concept. Many foreigners on a budget go there as well. It is quite messy and not really stylish. You'll probably see a few people pass out during the night. If all you want is to get crazy drunk and dance, it's not a bad place. The best night is on Sunday as other clubs are closed. Music is hip hop and Rn'B.

Songshou Road No22, Xinyi District, Taipei 110
Phone number: +88 6 930 78 5018

Facebook: Taipei Babe 18

Opening Hours:
From Wednesday to Sunday from 10pm to 4am

Entrance Fee:

Ladies: Free before 11.30pm, 300 TWD after
Guys: 400 TWD before 11.30pm, 600 TWD after

Ladies: Free before midnight, 200 TWD after
Guys: 600 TWD all night

Friday and Saturday:
Ladies: 400 TWD
Guys: 700 TWD

Ladies: Free before 11.30pm, 250 TWD after
Men 550 TWD (200 TWD discount for Taiwanese students before 11.30pm)

Vogas is one of the hottest nightclubs for young, rich Taiwanese. It is busy every night, including on Mondays. One of their best features is their sexy shows (by both girls and guys). Many sexy girls but most don't seem to be into foreigners. 

B1, Songde Road, 171, Xinyi District, 
Phone number: +88 69 09 600 123

Facebook: Vogas Taipei

Opening Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 4am

Entrance Fee:
800 TWD for men and 500 TWD for women

Bravo is another venue with an all-you-can-drink offer. It is mostly crowded with students, almost all of which are Taiwanese. The main reason to visit is that it is the busiest club in Taipei on Tuesdays (ladies' night). Sexy dancers and gogo boys.

No. 217, Section 3, Nanjing E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan 104
Phone number: 0938-128-188

Opening Hours:
Tuesday from 10.30pm to 4am
Friday and Saturday from 10.30pm to 4am

Entrance Fee:
Tuesdays: 600 TWD for men and 200 TWD for women with free flow alcohol
Weekends: 800 TWD for men and 500 TWD for women

Self-proclaimed the best open bar in Taipei, Wave is one of the nightclubs located ATT4FUN (next to Myst). It isn't that crowded and happening, but if you are hoping to get drunk with a small budget, this is the place. Mostly a Taiwanese male crowd.

The music is EDM and house. Sometimes hip hop. Sexy dancers.

No. 12, Songshou Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Phone number: 0911 439 897

Facebook: Wave Club Taipei

Opening Hours:
From Tuesday to Sunday from 10pm to 4am

Entrance fee:
The entrance fee allows you to a free selection of drinks. They offer a discount if you come before 11pm. The trick is that you have to be inside the club at that time, which can be difficult considering the queues.

Every day before 11pm: Free for ladies, 400-500 TWD for men
Weekdays after 11pm: 700 TWD for men and 400 TWD for women
Friday and Saturday after 11pm: 800 TWD for men and 500 TWD for women
You can get a small discount on Saturdays if you dress up (collar shirts for men and one piece dress for women)

Lava is an upmarket version of Babe 18, but with much less foreigners. They have commercial music. Sexy dancer competition on Saturdays.

B1, Songshou Road No22, Xinyi, Taipei 110, Taiwan
Phone number: +88 6 922 500 420

Website: Lava Taiwan Nightlife
Facebook: Lava Nightclub Taipei

Opening Hours:
Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.30pm to 4am
Friday and Saturday from 10.30pm to 4.30am

Entrance fee:
During the week, all you can drink for 700 TWD for guys and 400 TWD for girls (100 TWD discount on Sundays)

During the weekend, 700 TWD for 1 drink, 1000 TWD for 3 drinks

Previously called Wax, Box has a terrible reputation for being low-class, yet it is quite popular. It is a small, foreigner-friendly nightclub, especially to the young ones studying in the nearby National Taiwan University. It's not very sophisticated but still decent in terms of design and facilities. The crowd gets drunk quickly and by the end of the night, the club turns into a total mess.

I would only recommend if you are in your early 20s and on a strict budget. Music is Top 40 and Rn'B. Single guys may find opportunities for one-night-stands.

67 Roosevelt Road, Sec. 2, Taipei, Taiwan 106
Phone number: 02 3365 30 41

Facebook: Box Taipei

Opening Hours:
Wednesday from 10.30pm to 4am
Friday and Saturday from 10.30pm to 5am

Entrance Fee:
The normal fee is 700 TWD for guys and 500 TWD for girls. If you come before 11pm, you will get a 200 TWD discount. They have other promos for students and foreigners so bring your ID and student cards. Ladies night on Wednesday.

Many Indonesians Cheering at the Orlando Shooting on Social Media

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I had already written about my surprise after reading Indonesian Facebook comments regarding the Paris attacks in November 2015.

I was even more surprised today reading the comments on the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. I checked the Facebook page of mainstream Indonesian media (not the religious ones) and found out that a lot of people were actually cheering at the event. Not everyone, but at least between 30% and 50% of the comments. Not only are they cheering about it, they are also calling for more murders and more attacks on gays.

My Indonesian is not perfect but I translated a few here:
Sane shooting, I applaud! If the shooter comes to Indonesia he will be my honored guest!!!
1= Thank God those who died are gay!
2= Thanks God 50 contaminated by the disease are dead, I hope there is more poison for the rest
3= Hope that gays can learn from this event...

What a happy event... hoorah...
Waiting for the next shooting... hopefully in Indonesia next time... Hahahaha....
Great so LGBT people can go to hell as soon as possible... Because they always refuse and challenge Allah and so they can see by themselves what will happen to them for Judgement day... they must be afraid now of their punishment, etc...
Kill them all until the last... so there are no more LGBT...
Great... please continue... so the earth goes back to normal...
I'm sad why the shooter killed only 50 people... it should have been all...
hhmmm lgbt destroyed... that's a lesson for the other ones, why don't you get together again? Anyone else wants to get shot?
Too bad the shooter can only kill only 50 people why not all
It's ok to shoot them, if needed just bomb them... they are useless people...
It needs to be done again... hopefully next time it can be thousands... so the gay community can die
I could go on and post thousands more. Really. Again, they are not just one or two isolated comments but a huge part of the reactions. You can check for yourself on the facebook pages of Merdeka, VOA Indonesia, Tempo, Kompas, Tribunnews, Detik, Liputan 6, etc.

Actually, for most of the articles regarding the shooting, one of the two dominant emojis is the "Haha" face (sometimes with the sad face as well).
Facebook Haha Emoji
For instance on Merdeka, VOA America and Liputan 6 (and unfortunately many more - virtually every Indonesian language news site):
On, the most popular news website in Indonesia, 71% of the people who expressed their feelings after reading the main article about the shooting said they were "Senang" (happy).
A big contradiction is that those who are cheering are also the ones talking about a conspiracy. So they seem to want people to die, they call for more murders, yet they don't believe that one of them could possibly do it?

To what extent do these comments represent the opinion of Indonesian people is something I don't know. But it is certainly troubling and scary. It is obvious that the government's constant bashing of LGBT is not helping.

Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S (Shangri La Hotel)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Just in time for the beginning of the Euro 2016, the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta has opened a sports bar within the famous B.A.T.S.

The new venue is located right after the entrance, before you walk down the stairs to the live music area. It is laid-back, ideal if you want to have some beers in a more quiet atmosphere. They also serve some popular foods such as French Baguette, Pizza Margarita, Turkish Kebab, German Bratwurst or Fish & Chips.

The most important games are displayed on a large screen by an LCD projector, while less important ones are on TV. There is also a pool table and a foosball table. June will obviously be focused on football/soccer games of the Euro 2016. You can also expect to watch NFL, AFL, NBA, MLB, Rugby, the Olympic Games, Formula One, Moto GP, etc when a special event will be scheduled.

The bar opens every day at 5pm and you have a happy hour until 10pm (50% off from selected drinks). On Mondays, you have 20% off on liquor bottles and on Tuesdays, all alcoholic drink mixes are priced at Rp100,000 net. Stay up to date on the current promotions by visiting Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S.

Overall: It is a nice addition to the main room of B.A.T.S, which tends to be so packed and noisy that I need a few drinks beforehand to enjoy it. My main concern is that the number of seats is limited so you should get there early to make sure you can sit. If the bar proves to be popular, they may have to add a few tables.

Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S 
Shangri La Hotel Jakarta
B.A.T.S. Jakarta
Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta (Level 1)
Kota BNI
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav 1

Phone number: +62 21 29 399 562

Jakarta Nightlife During Ramadhan

By The Jakarta Team →
BATS is usually the best bar in Jakarta during Ramadhan.
Nightlife in Jakarta during Ramadan is quiet and rather boring. For expats, it can be nice to rest for a few weeks because partying in Jakarta can be exhausting. It is a great way to save money too.

For those who don't want to wait until the end of Ramadan, you can still have some fun, but the atmosphere is different than usual. Each year, the government announces new rules concerning the opening/closure of entertainment venue: The more often, during the first 2 days following the beginning of ramadan, everything is closed and you should really avoid going out. After that, the nightlife start again slowly, with shorter opening hours, for the following venues:

- All the clubs, bars, karaokes, spas that are located inside "hotels". This is the reason why many clubs/massage parlours in Jakarta are calling themselves hotels: Alexis Hotel, Malioboro Hotel, Illigals Hotel, Classic Hotel, Fortune Hotel, Orchardz Hotel, Sun City hotel, Colosseum, Hotel Tematik, etc... All those venues will be open, but they shall not be very busy.

- All the bars in 4 or 5-star hotels, in particular:
  • BATS in Hotel Shangri-La : I would say BATS is the best place to go in Jakarta during Ramadan as it will always be a bit crowded and you won't lose time going from one bar to another hoping to see one that's not closed.
  • CJ's Club in Hotel Mulia would be my second best choice.
- Nightclubs that are usually open but close early:
  • Mille's Club in Lokasari (but apparently, the entrance is hidden so you need to know how to get in)
Other venues can be a hit and miss:
  • MO bar in Mandarin Oriental Hotel
  • Flirt in Fashion Hotel
For all this places, it usually closes earlier than usual, not more than 2AM in any cases. They may also forbid electronic music, to allow only live bands. 2 days before the end of Ramadhan, the clubs should close again completely, and they may not reopen until a few days after Lebaran/Idul Fitri. The few venues that may still operating will not be very happening anyway as the city is deserted. On the contrary, nightlife in Bali is usually very busy during that time.

If you know of any venue not mentioned here, please comment.
  • Important: On the 17th day of Ramadhan is Nuzulul Quran, the most religious day of the month. On that day, ALL bars and clubs will be closed.
  • Last year, I have been to quite a few places during Ramadhan, and most of them were open and quite crowded. I guess things are much less strict that what they used to be. Golden Crown, Top Gun, Aphrodite, Hard Rock Café and Loewy in particular were all fine.

4 Best VPNs in Indonesia- How to Access Blocked Websites

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
In this review I will explain you how to bypass Internet censorship in Indonesia by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. I will also give you tips on how to watch Hulu and Netflix in Indonesia using a unique IP address.

Most porn and torrent websites are blocked in Indonesia. This includes all the most famous ones like XVideos, YouPorn, PornHub, XHamster, KickAss Torrents and The Pirate Bay. It is also not possible to visit some forums like Reddit or InternationalSexGuide.

Some regular websites have also been banned like Vimeo. Tumblr was shut down during 24 hours earlier this year as well.

Another problem internet users are facing in Indonesia is the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Act. This vague set of laws can make you the target of a defamation suit for exposing your views online. You are not allowed, for instance, of suggesting that someone might be corrupt.

Because of this law, posting a comment on Facebook, Twitter or Path in Indonesia can land you in jail. This is what happened to Alexander Aan or Florence Sihombing.

Since about a year ago, I decided to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in Indonesia. This allows me to visit any websites I want on the internet without anyone knowing about it. It is 100% legal, secure and safe. Actually, according to this 2015 study, Indonesia is the country with the most VPN users in the world: 23% of its Internet users are bypassing censorship by using a VPN.

The cost is cheap (less than 10$ per month) and it works great. If you travel a lot in Asia, it is also very useful in heavily-censored countries like Vietnam or China.

Since VPN companies usually give you a free trial for a few days up to 1 month, I tested several of them to make sure I was choosing the best. There are so many different companies that you could probably get a free VPN for at least a year just by changing provider once in a while. The prices are really reasonable though so once you've found one that works well, it's really more simple to just pay.

Here are my top 4 recommendations for best VPNs in Indonesia (I used the 4 of them and they worked great):
Hide My Ass is the most expensive of the VPNs listed here because they have 700 servers in the world, including in Indonesia. This means your connection is fast and smooth everywhere. If you can afford the extra dollars to get full speed, HMA is an excellent choice.

6,55$ per month with 1 year plan
8,33$ per month with 6-month plan
11,52$ per month without plan

Ivacy is considered as one of the fastest VPNs in Indonesia. They also have a server in Jakarta and a strong presence in Asia (the headquarters are in Hong Kong). The support is excellent (ask any question and they will answer you within a few minutes). You can pay with bitcoins or PayPal and you can use up to 5 devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV, etc).

1,83$ per month with 1 year plan
4,16$ per month with 6-month plan
9,95$ per month without plan

7 days free trial.

IPVanish comes with a strong reputation worldwide. It is very fast, with 325 servers around the world including one in Jakarta. It will allow you to access any blocked websites in Indonesia and download from P2P sites. They also offer total web anonymity by not keeping any logs of your connection.

It is one of the fastest VPNs in Indonesia but quite expensive. If you hesitate, you can subscribe and you still have 7 days to change your mind.

6.49$ per month with 1 year plan
8.99$ per month with 3-month plan
10$ per month without plan

7 days money back guaranteed.

This is often considered the best VPN on the market as they have a great support team that will help you with any of your requests. If you are planning on using US Netflix, this is your an excellent choice too as they have not been banned yet. This means you can use NordVPN to watch Netflix if you position your IP in the US. Only problem for Indonesian web users, they don't have a server in Indonesia at the moment so the speed is slower than the VPNs listed above. It is still good enough for most people (you can still download from torrents, watch movies, etc).

4$ per month with 1 year plan
5$ per month with 6-month plan
8$ per month without plan

30 days free trial

There are a lot of new players entering the market every month. If you are using a different VPN in Indonesia, please leave a comment below to share your experience!