Red Square (Senayan Arcadia) - CLOSED


Update: Red Square is currently CLOSED: According to the management, it will reopen in a new location to be announced...

Red Square is one of the most popular bars in Jakarta for foreigners, and for many, it is the only place they go to for party in the city. Extremely busy on Friday and Saturday, it is so crowded that it is best to book a private table if you want to avoid suffocation. On other nights, it varies a lot: Thursday can be quite good, but from Sunday to Wednesday, it is empty the more often.

If you are a single, male expat looking to score with "normal" girls, this might be the most easy spot in Jakarta. Most girls aren't prostitutes (but more and more are), yet they are hunting foreigners with a lot of energy. This is probably why Red Square is so famous and popular. The other reasons could be the sexy dancers on special nights, the pumping house music (mostly famous western songs), their funky bartenders and the people dancing on the tables. 

The bar has a nice selection of cocktails, especially those with Vodka. The entrance fee is now around rp100,000 on weekends and the drinks are pretty expensive.

Here are two videos of Red Square (the first one at closing time, the second one on full party mode):
Red Square Jakarta
Plaza Senayan Arcadia
Unit X210-211 Jl. New Delhi No 9
Pintu I Senayan Jakarta 12710

Phone number: +62 21 5790 1281
Fax. : +62 21 5790 1286
Email : redsquarejakarta@gmail.com
Website: Red Square Bar Jakarta
Facebook fan page: Red Square Fan page

Red Square Balikpapan
Hotel Sagita Jl. Mayjend Sutoyo No. 69
Balikpapan 76113 Indonesia
Website: Red Square Sagita Balikpapan

Phone number: +62 542 820 300
Fax: +62 542 820 333
Email : info@hotelsagita.com

Red Square Bali (CLOSED, replaced by 88 Club):
Pullman Legian Nirwana
Jalan Pantai Kuta Legian, Kuta, Bali 80361
Website: Red Square Bali

Phone number: +62 361 767540
Fax : +62 361 767541
Email: redsquarebali@gmail.com

Similar clubs (small urban afterwork clubs for young executives and expats): Luv's bar & Dine, Only One Club, Flo Lounge (closed), Nu China.
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BART (Bar at the Rooftop) Artotel Jakarta Thamrin




BART is the latest of the Rooftop Bars in the city. Going on the roof is a very good option in Jakarta since most of the place are closed, with no windows and with full AC. That is maybe one of the reasons why so many rooftop bars have opened recently in Jakarta, and why it is so trendy.

BART (Approximate Acronym of Bar at the Rooftop) is the latest of this long series, it is located in Artotel Hotel on Thamrin near Sarinah. The Hotel itself is very art-friendly with a different Indonesian artist decorating the rooms for each floor. This hotel opened in late 2013 and in October 2014 they are just opening the rooftop bar, maybe after the huge success of Awan Lounge, rooftop bar of Kosenda Hotel, located 200 meters away.

I am very curious about how it will be up there, considering the success of this Hotel...Each time I went to this place, I have been told that the Hotel was full.

Complete Review soon

BART @ Artotel Jakarta (near Sarinah Mall)
Jalan Sunda #3
Jakarta
Phone: 021 3192 5888
Website: Artotel
Twitter: Artotel

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Bali Nightlife Tips from an Expat in Bali

As South Bali is becoming more crowded and more urban, its nightlife has somewhat improved. It is still much less interesting that Jakarta nightlife, but if you come to Bali for the weekend you will certainly enjoy it.

Most things haven't changed for many years so you can also read my previous Bali Nightlife review from 2013. Here are my top recommendations for partying in Bali in 2014/2015:
Skydome in Skygarden Kuta
In Kuta, Skygarden is still the number one club: It is the most crowded, the largest, has the best marketing and the best line-up of international DJs (famous House/Trance/Progessive DJs comes at least twice a month). If you are a tourist between 18 and 30-year old, this is where you should go. If you are single and looking for a place to get a guy or a girl, this is the place too. The prices before midnight are very low so it can be a cheap way to get drunk before heading somewhere else too. At last, it is the only club in Bali which is happening 7 days a week. Go there on Sunday or Monday night when everything else is empty.

Walking distance from Skygarden, you may walk into several other nightclubs or bars such as Eikon (popular with Australians), Engine Room, Bounty and Paddy's Pub (popular with Bogans), Vi Ai Pi (good for live music), MBarGo (Hip/Hop), Apache (reggae). All of them are normally busy as they are located in the heart of Kuta.
Still in Kuta, bars and clubs located on Jalan Pantai Kuta are more popular with Indonesians, in particular those from Jakarta. You have the new Velvet bar and Hypnotized club in BeachWalk Mall, maybe one of the best new clubs in Kuta in 2014. They have good events with international DJ about once in a month. Not too far from there, The Stones hotel also organizes regular events but it is almost always empty. Still on Kuta beach, Hard Rock Café is mostly popular with the Asian crowd: Indonesians, Malaysians, Singaporeans. This is the same crowd that visits the new District (replacing Musro) which gets busy only when they have concerts.
Concert in District
Party in Hypnotized Beach Walk
Speaking about the local and Asian market, there are a handful of clubs where you will find them. The largest is Akasaka, in the heart of Denpasar, which has two dance-floors, one with Western-style house music and the other one with Funky House / Chinese-style Techno Kota. Some expats go there too because the music reminds them of places like the Stadium in Jakarta. It is also full with prostitutes, among which a fair number of stunners (in A-Club in particular). There is also Boshe VIP Club, not far from the airport, which is a classier version of Akasaka. At last, you have Adora Club in Sanur, again with a similar concept of one-stop entertainment with bar, club, karaoke, live music.

Regarding these clubs, you can also read my review about Sex Tourism in Bali.
Sexy Dancers in Adora Club
Seminyak is still the favorite party location for expats, older tourists, residents from Java and regulars of Bali. Seminyak nightlife has actually spread out to the limits of Legian in Jalan Nakula (Jenja), Jalan Dewi Sri (Pyramid) or Jalan 66 (Double Six Rooftop). There have been quite many openings and closing in the past two years. The popular nightlife venues in Seminyak at the end of 2014 are the following:

- To have a drink: Mantra, La Favela, Jealous Lovers' Dive Bar, Mamasan, Red Carpet Champagne Bar (if you are above 40), Rumours, Zappaz (live music), Charlie. Jakartans usually prefer going to Motel Mexicola or Vin +. JPs Warung has closed and it was replaced by a strange Frankenstein bar which seems to be popular as well.
Mantra in Petitenget
Red Carpet's remarkable waitresses
Motel Mexicola
- To Party: Early in the night, Townhouse (European crowd), Huu Bar (Jakartans, Indo-Chinese). After 2am, move to Mint, Jenja, Pyramid. Coming in September is a new club called Mirror / Gardin: Opened by the owners of Fable in Jakarta, we can expect it will target the same crowd as Hu'u bar.
Hu'u Bar
Mint Club
Pyramid
Jenja
- For Special events: Check the facebook pages of W Hotel (Silent Disco), Kudeta (White Party, Bikini Party, New Year Party), Potato Head, Cocoon (Hed Kandi, Splash Pool Party). Check also parties such as Disko Afrika or beach parties in La Plancha). You can also see most events in the guidebook The Beat Magazine which is available in all Circle K store.
Silent Disco in W Hotel
White Party in Ku De Ta
Disko Afrika
Splash Party in Cocoon
- For scoring with girls, hookers, transexuals: La Vida Loca, Mint Club, Bahiana, Jenja (and later in the night in DeeJay Café). For gays specifically: You should head to Jalan Dyana Pura to Mixwell, Bali Joe, and other places whose name I forgot. If you are not gay but open-minded, you can visit these bars and still have a lot of fun since they have great cabaret gogo dancers shows.
Mixwell Gay Bar in Seminyak
To conclude, it is good to know that DeeJay Café is the club that stays open the latest in Bali. It is still busy early morning at 8-9am. Needless to say most people who go there are on drugs.
Dee Jay Café in Kartika Plaza (Paradiso Kuta Hotel)
Warning about Safety in Bali: There is an increasing number of complaints about safety around nightclubs in Bali. Be careful with pickpockets. The main victims seem to be girls putting their purses in front of their motorbike. It is really recommended to put all your valuables in your trunk instead. If you have any problems, it is probably more effective to report it on the Bali Expat forum on facebook than to the police.

Photo Credit: Most of the pictures illustrating this review of Bali nightlife were taken on facebook. If you wish to have a photo you are in removed, just drop me a mail thibaud@jakarta100bars.com.

Please comment and help me keep this page up-to-date!
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Is Bali Becoming a Sex Tourism Destination?

One of the biggest changes to Bali nightlife since the past 5 years is the seemingly growing number of prostitution or semi-prostitution venues in Bali.

Those places were once discreetly located in Sanur or in some seedy streets in Denpasar, but they are now everywhere and they are certainly not trying to hide.

In Kartika Plaza, you have the new District Club which features sexy dancers and karaoke rooms with Lady Companions. It is owned by Tommy Winata, famous for being behind naughty clubs like Golden Crown in Jakarta.

In Denpasar, Akasaka was extended with a new room called A-Club, also with sexy dancers and prostitutes. The old room in Akasaka is packed on weekend and during my visit there, I saw fully naked women trying to sell tequila shots to customers in exchange for private lap dances. Considering the head-banging music that was played there, we can imagine most people inside were taking drugs (I was offered ecstasy pills upon entering too, which I declined).

Boshe is another example: Opened on Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai about 3 years ago, it is one of the most popular clubs in Bali for Asian people at the moment. Most customers are men who book a karaoke room or a table, and lady companions.

Adora (ex-Blue Eyes) is, according to my sources, in the process of being bought by the Alexis group from Jakarta (owned by Alex Tirta, behind Colosseum, Zen Club, 1001, Tease Club, Alexis, Club 36). If you live in Jakarta, you will know what it means: Adora should be turned into a complete luxury sex place with strippers and karaoke rooms.

Delta has finally opened in Bali a spa, a karaoke and a club. They are not afraid to advertise about their Russian sexy dancers on a huge billboard in Sunset Road and with a full booth inside the Domestic Airport.

Speaking of spas, the number of plus plus massage parlours has also tripled! It used to be only a few spas such as Star Bugar. You now have Delta Spa, Riverview Spa, Royal Palace, etc...

It is still nothing compared to what is available in Jakarta, but you have to consider all these places did not exist just 5 years ago... What surprises me is how easy they advertise about their facilities and services, most of which are illegal in Indonesia.

Since the closure of Dolly, the largest red light district in Southeast Asia, it also seems many prostitutes have relocated to Bali, particularly in Sanur (see that article for more information Anticipating Dolly's Relocation To Bali). There may be also more freelance prostitution in several bars in Bali such as Crusoe's, La Vida Loca, Mint, DeeJay Café, Skygarden, Paddy's Pub but I do not have any reliable data to support my claim.

In the end, there is an increase in the number of venues offering sex services but I believe it would not be appropriate to say that Bali is becoming a sex tourism destination. Organized prostitution caters mostly to a local market: Indonesian and expats residents in Bali, and also some Asian tourists from Jakarta, Malaysia and Singapore. It is very limited compared to Thailand where even the smallest island has dozens of massage parlours and gogo bars. I hope it will stay that way!
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Batam Nightlife Guide (Updated Sept 2014)


Nightlife in Batam - Overview:
Batam is a small island in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) located about 45 minutes from Singapore by ferry. With a population of 800,000 souls, it is the home to a small community of expatriates, most of them working in the Oil & Gas or in the High Tech manufacturing. Unlike in other parts of Indonesia, you'll find that Batam is rather well organized and clean. Close to Singapore and very little traffic.

The Indonesian island of Batam has long been one the best kept secrets as a low cost getaway for Singaporean local and expats.  The island has seven golf courses, several resorts and the costs are a fraction compared to Singapore and Bali. There is also an expat entertainment area like Blok M / Kemang.

Four – Five Star hotels run from as low as USD $50 - $80 per night and green fees can range from USD $60 - $105 which includes twin buggy sharing & caddy.  Beers at the pubs run from USD $2 - $5 and mixed drinks from $3 - $6. Batam also has a fair share of spa’s and traditional massage outlets that will cost you USD $10 for 60 minutes and slightly higher if you want sauna etc.

The Batam nightlife is very active, as you will read on this blog post and our goal is to write comprehensively as possible. We urge visitors to share your experiences, updates and feedback.

Batam for Fun: Nightlife, Massage, Pubs, Golf, Casinos and Shopping:
The main entertainment centre is located in downtown Nagoya: ‘The Nagoya Entertainment District’ or commonly referred to by expats as ‘The NED’. This area attracts a fair number of Indonesian girls working in massage parlours, karaokes, or freelancing in some bars & clubs.

The NED is a bit like Blok M in Jakarta, only bigger, with a decent concentration of nightlife venues, catering to different markets. Generally speaking though, the atmosphere is laid-back and girl-friendly, and you won't find very chic or sophisticated bars & clubs like in Singapore or Jakarta. You may meet all kind of girls there, but you should be aware that most of them are thinking in dollars.  Meeting local girls is not easy as they rarely frequent the expat entertainment district although you can meet some in venues like "Noname Club" in Harmoni Hotel or simply in the malls.

During the day, there isn't much to do in Batam, except for golfing, some shopping (cheap clothes, knock-off handbags, Chinese electronics, and liquor is very cheap.(If buying spirits whether traveling back to Singapore or other parts of Indonesia you are only allowed one bottle of spirits and one bottle of wine – they will check at the airport!)  The massage parlours / spa’s are popular with Singaporeans. All of these activities will be reviewed below.
Click on the map to enlarge
Getting there:
From Singapore: 
You have to go to Harbour Front ferry terminal and there are about 5 ferry companies with service to Batam.  There are several port destinations in Batam:  Batam Centre, Sekupang, Nongsa & Harbour Bay (Batu Ampar)   The closest location to downtown Nagoya and the entertainment district is ‘Harbour Bay’ which is 5-10 minutes from The NED and all the pubs. Wavemaster has far more ferry service but you’d need to go to Batam Centre which is about a 20 minute taxi ride and costs Rp.50,000.

The ferry ticket from Singapore is SGD $48 for two ways or SGD $42 for one way. This includes the SGD $21 fuel surcharge from the ferry operators. If you are coming from Jakarta, you can purchase a Wavemaster Ferry Ticket at most money changers or in Nagoya Hills mall and the cost of the ticket (2 way) is only SGD $30. (Add SGD $6 if traveling on the weekend – limited promotional price).

By Air from Jakarta:
By Air you can take Garuda, Lion Air etc. The flight is one hour twenty minutes. The air fare on Lion runs about Rp. 380,000 each way (1 week advance booking). On Garuda it can run twice that amount.

Visa from Singapore:
ASEAN nationals can get a free visa upon arrival good for 30 days. Most westerners can get a holiday visa on arrival for USD $35 for 30 days or USD $15 for 7 days. If you need to extend your visa, you can go to the Sumatera Building, 3rd Floor and can extend a 30 day visa for Rp. 300,000. Go in the morning and pick up the same day after 3PM (The Sumatera Building is next to the ferry terminal at Batam Centre).

If you require a visa it is suggested you pay with USD – otherwise you be charged a premium in the exchange rate.

Taxis
Taxis in Batam are far more expensive than in Jakarta. Although a law was passed to have the taxi’s metered – the taxis installed the meters but disconnected them!  Many of the taxis are substandard ‘rust buckets’ and if you are western, the taxi drivers will try to charge you a premium (2 to 3 times the standard rate and they can be aggressive and rude).

Taxi fares from the airport to the downtown Nagoya is Rp 80,000 – and the ride is approx. 30 minutes

Taxi fares from the ferry terminal to downtown Nagoya should be no more than Rp 30,000 – for a 5-minute ride!  The taxi drivers will try to charge you Rp 50,000 and show you a paper with a government logo and insist that this is the published regulated price!  Negotiate – there are tons of taxis available.

Good News!  - Bluebird Taxi is now operating in Batam. They are metered and costs’ less than the others.  You can call Bluebird: 0778-421 234  Very professional service.

Hotels in Batam
There are many hotels in the Downtown Nagoya area close to The NED and the nightlife.

4-5 Star Hotels:

Planet Holiday – One of the best with rooms running about SGD $90 2 blocks from the action

Harmoni Hotel - closest hotel to all the pubs. Rooms run about SGD $90 per night

Goodway Hotel  - an older hotel but it has big rooms & a nice spa. Rooms will run around Rp, 500,000

SwissBel Hotel – next to Planet Holiday Hotel and you can book a nice room for SGD $50 – including breakfast and taxes.

There are many cheaper hotels near The NED that cost  Rp, 250,000 – 350,000.  (Lai Lai Hotel is across the street from Harmoni and rooms start at Rp 230,000)

Your best bet it to buy a hotel voucher from Kaha Travel – located in Nagoya next to the Jamsostek Bldg. I suggest you call them before you arrive to ensure availability.  Batam often has many government events and the hotels fill up quickly. It’s also wise to avoid Batam during major Singapore holidays.                                                                                    
Kaha Travel in Nagoya:  +62 778 703 4790

The Pubs
In the past few years there have been an explosion of pubs!  Way too many for a small expat community. A visitor may find many of the pubs empty or with less than a handful of customers. In our Batam Pub Listing below we only added those that are the most entertaining and/or of interest.


There are over 35 pubs and counting with more opening every few months.  Only several Batam pubs have "real" kitchens but most can provide you with a menu and will order food for you from the other pubs.  The majority of the pubs are ‘entertainment’ driven featuring SPG’s. In the past two years some pubs have adopted a Pattaya / Manila approach.  The girls will ask you to buy them ‘ladies drinks’ which can cost anywhere from USD $5 – USD $12. It’s a good idea you ask the girl what kind of drink they want before you end-up with a huge bar tab for enumerable ‘Long Island Ice Teas’ (They will try to coax you into buying drinks for other girls. It is not uncommon for a girl to approach you, introduce herself, and then order a drink on your bill!) .

Several pubs charge a bar fine if you want to leave with one of the girls or you will need to purchase several ‘ladies drinks’ like in Manila.  This policy varies from pub to pub. At last, most of the pubs have happy hours from 17:00 – 19:00. Several charge bar fines of Rp 1,2 million during the week and Rp.1.5 million on the weekend – that’s just the bar fine!  (not popular with the local expats)  At last, most of the pubs have happy hours from 17:00 – 19:00.

Batam Nightlife Pubs listing:

Lucy’s Oarhouse
Lucy’s is the oldest expat pub in The NED. It’s a major networking hub for the oil & gas industry. A good place to catch-up with your mates and Lucy’s features the largest selection of Classic Rock. Beers run 22,000 – 25,000. The have a western menu and a great ‘barbecue pork pulled sandwich and chips for Rp,65,000 and they added a selection of Thai Curries. They have a pool table & free WiFI. A Bottle of Jack Daniels is only: Rp. 660,000. 
The New Place – Sports Bar
The New Place has several large screens with global sports events. They have the best steaks on the island, Fried Chicken steak and TexMex, (Texan founder)   They have one of the largest selections of wines & spirits. Happy hour till 7pm. 
New Place Batam
Hot Spot
The Hot Spot is a popular traditional British pub known for its curries & pizza. Popular after work and the background music is kept at a reasonable level so you can chat with your mates. Free WiFi.

Cock & Bull:
(Formerly known as ‘The Red Cock’): The Cock and Bull expanded their menu but no Haggis. Best known for their pies and mushy peas (cost: Rp.60,000) and has beer for 19,000 per bottle during happy hour – which is from opening till 7PM. Great burgers too.  Prices for entree’s range from $6 - $12. Nice ambience, consistent quality and a very professional staff. Very popular.  Excellent service.
Cock and Bull Batam
Red Rose:
Red Rose is one of the oldest landmark British / Scottish style pubs in The NED. With 5 screens it’s very popular for sporting events. Good atmosphere and a ‘home away from home’ for the UK lads. They serve an excellent British style breakfast (all day) Happy hour till 7pm.

Goodies / Smiling Hill
Goodies / Smiling Hill is located less than 10 minutes away from downtown Nagoya, tucked-away on top of a hill with breathtaking vistas overlooking Singapore. This quaint enclave has a fully serviced guest house, western standard furnished flats, a large 1st class pool and an open air restaurant offering the best in western & local dishes.  Every Friday from 5:30 - 7 PM they provide FREE beer. To expats that affectionately refer to Batam as ‘Tombstone Indonesia’ for its wily, western frontier vibe, Friday’s at Goodies is where the ‘Wild Bunch’ meet – the movers and shakers in the oil and gas industry. THE meeting and networking place for the oil and gas industry on Friday.

On Sunday’s starting at noon, they host a Buffet Roast: Roast Beef, Roast Chicken, Roast Pork and they recently added Southern Deep Fried Turkey. (try to get there around noon - the food goes quickly!)  The price is only Rp.150,000 (plus tax)  (about USD $13!)  Awesome!

Please - Visit their website or better - stop by.  www.smilinghillbatam.com

Entertainment: 

With over 30 pubs within a few block radius, you can easily do a pub crawl and explore many of them in one night, till you find one you like.  Some of the most popular are:

Fat Willy’s/Dirty Dicks – Fat Willy’s is a very popular pub with a large staff. It usually kicks-off after 9PM, with crowds coming in at midnight. Attracts a good crowd every night. No pressure if you don’t want to buy ladies drinks and professionally run. (SPG’s must place their hand phones behind the bar!) Very good deals on bottles – ask the owners, who are there nightly.
Fat Willy's Batam
The Last Pub – One of the oldest and most popular party venues. Great music with a DJ and popular with expats and comfortable for couples. No ‘lady drink’ hustles, some freelancers and the occasional local gals from the office. Open Late. Worth checking out.
Last Pub Batam
Konings – an interesting pub. Nice ladies and a large selection of wines. Happy Hour house pours only Rp 35,000.  No hardcore lady drink hustle.

Our Bar – One of the older pubs in The NED and has a large Singaporean following. Comfortable atmosphere. No pressure from the SPG’s and a pool table.

Dragon Bar – This is relatively new, quite popular and open late. Can get wild…

Candy Bar – Quite a lively staff, plenty of SPG gals and opened late. LOUD & known for their pizza.

BB Bar (Bintang Bar) – Bali style decor and they just opened KTV rooms upstairs.

Mad Cow – beautiful ladies (SPG’s) but be prepared to buy ladies drinks mista…

Club 81 – new – ‘mini disco’ with pole dancers. Loud, party atmosphere and the ladies drinks run Rp 100,000 each.

(List of Pubs: 007, 4 Play, Asylum, Bar Fly, BB Bar Bingo’s, Bottles, Candy Bar, Chili’s, Circles, Club 81,Cock & Bull, D’Angels, D’Cents, Dirty Dick’s / Fat Willy’s, Dogs Bollocks, Dragon Bar, Hot Spot, Ice Pub, Java Pub, Lusys, Konings, Mad Cow, New Place, Our Bar, Red Rose, Slainte, Steps,Sullivans, The Last Pub, TiTi Bar, Wallabies)

For free Batam / SE Asia newsletter  ‘THE NED REPORT’ – send an email: nedreport@yahoo.com
Our Bar in Batam (Picture from Our Bar Facebook)
IMPORTANT!

Please be advised that some bars will attempt to exploit an unsuspecting expat and are rip-offs.  Loaded with girls that push expensive ladies drinks and before you know it - you will have spent $100 ++ with nothing to show for it.  Insult to injury - if you fancy one of the girls you have to pay a bar fine. (billed as ladies drinks.)  The gal will charge you another $100 + for the booking!  You may find that in some pubs the gals are older than the women you will find in Blok M or Kemang etc (5 or 6 pubs have this policy whilst others charge Rp200,000 bar fine – best to ask upfront as these prices can change).

ALSO – don’t leave your drinks unattended. A few expats have been drugged & robbed. Better to pay for your drinks as you go to preclude your bill from being padded. Keep your hand phone secure and don’t lay it on the bar..

Live Music
Noname – Located on the ground floor of the Harmoni Hotel is a popular live music venue for locals and expats. Most of the acts are flown in from Jakarta and one of the best place to meet local ladies.

Java Pub – just reopened, and has live music on Friday & Saturday. Older crowd, (like Jaya pub JKT but smaller)  Comfortable place to hang out.

Bingo’s Pub – just opened and has live music on Friday’s & Saturdays. Good place, nice staff and occasional celebrity entertainers popping in for a song or jam. A nice alternative to the usual very loud rap / trance pubs.
Bingo's
Sullivans – Used to be Ria Rita and has live music on the weekends. Mostly a local crowd. Across the street from the side entrance of Lusys (helps to speak Bahasa – mostly local gals).

Discos (Trance clubs like Stadium Jakarta)
Pacific Disco: One of the most famous place for Singaporeans in Batam when in comes to nighlife, it is a huge club with loud techno and girls everywhere. North Jakarta style entertainment, not everyone will like it, especially if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.  It has a young crowd and be sure to carry a small torch with you!  (pitch black!  Beware of pick-pockets, popular with ojek drivers).

Planet - Located in Planet Holiday Hotel. Similar with all One Stop Entertainment nightlife venues in Indonesia.

Newton Disco – located about 10 minutes from the NED is a 4 story entertainment complex. They have hotel rooms and a spa.  Newton is more popular than Pacific and is the #1 choice for Singaporeans that visit every weekend (Batam’s version of Malioboro).

WARNING! – using or possessing drugs in Indonesia is a criminal offense and possession can land you 5 years in jail!  & a stiff fine!   When in these clubs be very careful of women that approach you and want you to buy them ‘obat’ (Xstacy) – you may find yourself being arrested by an undercover police officer…  If a police officer wishes to search you – be sure it’s done in front of witnesses and YOU empty your pockets...

Good Restaurants (local food):
As far as 'food' goes – Batam has some excellent local food but is limited in western cuisine options.(aside from the fast food venues)  The most popular western food locations in the NED are listed above. Near the Ned are some alternatives worth checking out. They serve western and local dishes: (we will be expanding this list)

Citra Rasa - In the NED opposite Lucy’s side entrance is CitraRasa -  great local and Chinese dishes. Sweet and sour chicken costs Rp 35,000, Sizzling ginger beef platter Rp 40,000 – many selections and quite good. Cans of beer 16,000 – 18,000.
Citra Rasa Batam
Satay Centre: If you like Indonesian food, on the main drag near the entrance to the Nagoya Hill Mall are several stalls that specialize in satay – very reasonable. Opens after 5PM (about a 5 minute walk from the NED) You can’t miss it – very crowded with seating outside.

Matabak – if you like Indian food – roti prata, tandoori, curries etc. – check out Martabak. Around the corner from Lusy’s, on the main carriageway – corner location. Dishes run 30,000 – 50,000. Wide selection and been there forever.

Massage Parlours:
There are many, many massage parlours / spa’s in Batam. One of the best in the traditional category Adorabella, located in the Pacific Palace Hotel. In the sleazy category, you will find many that offer similar services around the bigger hotels like Harmoni. They offer massage for USD $10 for 60 minutes and are often frequented by Singaporeans.  For a little more, you can have private room / spa with a jacuzzi. The most expensive one in that category is Atalanta spa, with high end equipment and the prettiest girls. Very popular with Asian tourists.

Check out the Spa in the NEWTON complex. Upscale: pools, Jacuzzi’s and massage.

Gambling and Casinos in Batam
Scattered about the island and in some malls are ‘arcades’ with gaming machines – locally referred to as ‘Jackpots’ (geleper: It should be noted that these types of machines are not electronic slot machines per se). Players buy tokens to use with the games and are paid any winnings in tokens. Attendants outside the arcades exchange tokens for cash, which, according to critics, is done to prevent the impression that the arcades are involved in gambling.   You should note that when redeeming your tokens for cash, expect to have 10-20% premium deducted from your winnings!   If you win $100 – you will only net $80 -$90.
The payoffs in these machines is very, very low and you should be very careful.  Although the operators have a license to operate these arcades, they are subject to being raided and closed and at any time as ‘gambling’ is outlawed under Indonesian Law and clearly, they are operated for gambling purposes.  You don’t want to be caught in one in a raid!  A no-win situation!

Although some of these locations have opened, they can be closed at any time. You DON’T want to be there during a police raid – it will cost you~!  (Often raided on a weekend!) 

Dangers, Annoyances and Scams:
Taxi Drivers  - Be careful. Taxis in Batam are not metered and if you look like a newbie – you’ll be taken for a ride!  Across from Lusys there are some local drivers that you can trust or ask some of the pub owners / managers for a reliable driver or CALL Bluebird – 0778 – 421 234.

NEVER take-up a taxi driver on an offer to ‘find you woman mista?’ - !!!

One last thing about taxis: Prepare the correct amount of change if you can to avoid being rounded up...

STD ‘s – ALWAYS use protections. Statistics from 2007 state that 9% of commercial sex workers in Batam re HIV + ~ ~!

Drug Dealers – Western Expats are a far and few in-between in Batam. Be careful.  If you are in a club you could be targeted.

A Batam Nightlife Alternative: Golf!
Batam has 7 golf courses and green fee’s run from USD $65 - $105 which includes twin buggy sharing & caddy.

Courses:
•    Batam Hills Golf Resort (designed by Max Wexler)
•    Indah Puri Golf Resort (designed by Arnold Fream)
•    Palm Springs Golf Resort
•    Southlinks Country Club
•    Sukajadi Golf Club
•    Tamarin Santana Golf Club (designed by Jack Nicklaus)
•    Tering Bay Golf & Country Club (designed by Greg Norman)

The Batam Social Golf Society host a tournament the last Sunday of every month. The cost is only  S$60 for members or S$80 for non-members. Price includes all green fees, caddy, buggy and buffet dinner!  Contact Batam Social Golf Society: bsgs@ymail.com.

For More Information on Golf Packages you can contact Peter Williams  (UK national) from Paradise Golf Holidays by email (pete.w@paradisegolf.co.uk) or by mobile: +62 813 64 339 449 (Batam), +65 90848070 (Singapore).

We will complete this review from time to time with new information about Batam nightlife. Please help us also keeping this updated by sending new infos or comments.
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Dating Indonesian Men: 5 Tips to Expat Women

By Simone Roberts, an Expat woman living in Bali, author of the blog http://dontforgettherice.com.

Moving to Indonesia alone and/or especially as a woman can be a daunting experience, but if you are prepared and educated about what to expect then you will be able to surround yourself with good, decent people. You will be able to find long, lasting relationships and spare yourself a lot of heartache and disappointment. Here are my 5 tips on finding love in Indonesia.

1. Be Understanding
Relationships are hard, mixed race relationships are harder. In mixed relationships you will find your fair share of cultural differences, and there will be times when compromise just seems near impossible. 

The secret to a lasting happy connection is a willingness from both parties to want to understand each other. Take the time to talk to one another, listen closely and don’t assert dominance (as either a man or woman) as it just won’t work. 

When starting a new relationship with an Indonesian man is best to be aware of where they came from and what customs are important to them too. For example the Balinese are very family orientated and if you expect to marry a Balinese man you might just end up playing house with the mother in law. 

2. Be Honest
You must make it a point to be aware of what is expected in the relationship. Indonesian men can be very sensitive people when it comes to matters of the heart. So if it’s a holiday fling or a ‘just for fun relationship’ you’re after make sure that the other person is aware of this. You might not think it is necessary, but it’s the best way to prevent it from getting messy down the track.

Also everyone knows that the male race is famous for not showing public displays of emotion. This too is the case in Indonesia, with the exception being the freedom of expression on facebook.  Expect it to be an all or nothing approach. Try to create a trusting and honest relationship so that the airing of your dirty laundry will be kept to a minimum. I cannot stress it enough, from the very beginning be honest.

3. Be aware
It is most essential that you as a non-Indonesian keep your wits about you as well, when you start playing the dating game. There are many playboys and playgirls out there that are ruining it for the good ones. Horror stories are aplenty of local men and women getting into relationships with foreigners just for the money and status.
4. Be 'prepared'
For most everyday Indonesians, sex is a taboo topic and sex education is not taught enough in schools. This is because generally men and women are not allowed to live with one another until they are married. Indonesian modern society just tends to turn a blind eye in favour of us foreigners, mainly in places like Bali and Jakarta. It also goes without saying remember to be prepared, especially if you are holidaying/working in Bali. STIs are common here as the waves of tourists come and go. 

5. Be the housewife…sometimes
From my experience as an expat but more so as a woman in Indonesia, money is also taboo topic. Let me re-phrase that, never talk with your partner about how much you make. Society dictates that men are the breadwinners in Indonesia and if your male partner cannot at least provide some financial security for you, he will lose face completely. Try suggesting to eat at warungs and local cafés to your partner so that you can try the local cuisine. That way he can pay for you and keep his pride intact.

Ultimately starting a relationship with an Indonesian man is a lot of fun; you will see the country in a new light and will be able to gain many more experiences. In order to make your relationship work with that special someone from Indonesia just remember to be prepared, be educated and be willing to understand one another.

Find more insights into the daily lives of Indonesians and more over at Simone’s blog http://dontforgettherice.com or stay tuned as she will be writing more for us here at Jakarta100bars. 
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What Indonesian Bar Girls Say And What They Really Mean

10 years in Indonesia have taught me that even when Indonesian bar girls speak English, what they mean is not always obvious. Here is a little guide to help you dealing with your relationships!

What they say: 'You are over protective'
What they mean: 'You don't let me sleep with other guys'

You are stingy
You don't want to support all my family

I'm not eating pork
I drink alcohol, I don't pray and I've had sex before marriage so the last thing that keeps me from going to hell is to refuse eating pork

Let's go party
Accompany me party and please pay for all my drinks

Come party with me and my girls
Accompany us party and please pay for all our drinks

I've been to Bats only a few times
I'm a regular of Bats

I need money to pay for my school
I want the Samsung Galaxy S5!!!

I've lost my phone!
I sold my phone, please buy me a new one

I wish I had a mixed baby
I am not using any contraceptive

You have to understand me
That guy was so hot, sorry I cheated

You have to respect my religion
You have to convert to Islam

He is just my friend!
He is a one night stand

I met him in the club
We slept together

Your friend is nice
I would do him

I always use condom
I have used condom once

She is my sister
She is a friend

She is my best friend
She is a friend

She is my cousin
She is a friend

She is a friend
I don't really like her

She/he is a Facebook friend
I have no idea who that is

I like photography
I take a selfie every 5 minutes

I don't like Jews
I don't know what a Jew is

I don't like politics
I've never opened a newspaper

I saw it on the news
I saw it on infotainment

I've read about it
I saw a post on Facebook

I have Path, Twitter and Facebook
I spend 15 hours a day posting updates on my smartphone

I will have dinner with my girlfriends
We will spend 2 hours at the same table playing with our phones and taking pictures of food

I'll meet you at 8pm
I will leave from my place at 8pm

I'm working freelance
I am a freelance prostitute

I'm working as a part-time model
I have modeled twice in my life

I'm working in Marketing
I am a pretty girl who distributes flyers

I don't like that friend of yours
You are not allowed to have any friends

We can eat anywhere
We can eat anywhere as long as there is rice on the menu

You can try, it's not spicy
I only put 2 tablespoons of chili sauce

I will just eat a small snack
I will eat a half kilo of banana fritters

I've been to Bali many times
I've been to Kuta many times

I like to listen to Jazz
I like cheesy pop songs

I love you
You are nice with me

I love you so much
You just bought me a present

I hate you
You are 5 minutes late

I'm happy
I received a good news 5 minutes ago

I'm unhappy
I received a bad news 5 minutes ago

You can go party with your friends
I will kill you when you get home
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Jakarta vs. Bangkok Nightlife - By a Bangkok Expat

I am Harvie, a Bangkok expat who runs his own Bangkok travel blog, where I talk about everything regarding Bangkok including Thai girls. I recently went on a two-week trip to Jakarta for a “cultural holiday”. For me a cultural holiday in Asia involves staying in my hotel with the air-con on until around 8pm. After chugging a few beers in my hotel room I head on out with the plan on getting blast out drunk, before finally starting the search for any human that has a pulse who is willing to go home with me.

After spending two weeks in Jakarta, I will share my thoughts on the similarities and differences between Jakarta and Bangkok. I’ll try and keep it as un-biased as I can, and please remember that I was only in Jakarta for two weeks, all information is based on my own experience, picking a different day may have yielded different findings.

I was drunk when I went out most nights, so the prices mentioned are what I remember paying, feel free to tell me if I have gotten a few of them wrong.

I took no pictures so all of those on this post are from Bangkok's nightlife.

Kemang in Jakarta
From what I read on Jakarta100bars and various internet forums was that Kemang is the “upper class” area of Jakarta. This was where I based myself. Kemang is to Jakarta what Thong Lo is to Bangkok.

Kemang is a nice little area although a bit small, I could walk to all the bars, clubs, restaurants, and even the mall. I visited Nu China and Triple 999 nightclubs, both had entry fees which I thought sucked, I remember paying 70,000IDR entry for both. Once inside the club it was fairly modern, had good music, but wasn’t very big.

I was the only westerner inside and some may think that’s as bad thing, but I actually like it that way, as I stick out like a saw thumb and become more visible to girls. The atmosphere seemed a bit dead, although it was only 2 am on a Tuesday. The people inside seemed like wealthy Indonesian kids who were spending their parents money, I didn’t see many of them dancing, and felt like they were just there for the sake of it, almost to be seen or something.

Girls seemed a bit more reserved, and had their bitch shields up, which I find quite common for the upper class parts of Asia. I went with a friend and neither of us were drunk or doing any of that PUA (Pick Up Artist) rubbish, we were just sitting at the bar chatting to one another, then when a girl sat next to us, we tried to be polite and friendly, but they were as cold as ice!
Central Jakarta
With hindsight, I should have based myself in the city centre. The place is a total cluster f***, but that’s what I love in a city (and it's the same thing in Bangkok). Finding good information on where to go in Jakarta is kind of hard, apart from this website, it’s just a bunch of dated forums which weren’t too much helpful.

My first night started off in the backpacker district where I went to some Mexican bar (sorry forgot the name) with a buddy of mine, it was mostly Indonesian people inside who all looked friendly and happy with $2 tequila shots, awesome! I guess this would be the equivalent of Koh San Road in Bangkok, but it felt 100% better, and way less tacky, maybe I just picked the right bar to drink at, I don’t know.
A few nights later I ended up at Red Square, I got no problems with the P4P scene, but I am 26 years old, I do Crossfit (lol just joking!), and see myself as a reasonably attractive guy. It was way to early to be visiting a place like this at 1am, I need to take a shot at the regular girls first, and only after getting shot down several hundreds times (which is quite common for me btw), do I head to a place like Red Square.

When inside the music was good, and the girls were quite forward which triggered my working girl radar, quite a few middle aged western men inside too all having a good time. The club it self was very small, it felt more like a lounge with super loud music. I hung around for a beer which I got free with my overpriced entry fee, and checked the place out, it was cool and the girls were okay looking, but a bit too early in the night for me to stay here, so I headed to Dragonfly.

As I enter Dragonfly my wallet takes another pounding with a $10 entry fee that gets me one free drink. When I got inside, WOW! I got an instant boner due to the amount of hot girls inside, I ran into the toilet, tucked my penis up into my belt line, and walked back out trying to act smooth as f***.

Drinks were kind of overpriced, but the club itself was nice and much bigger compared to other venues in Jakarta. Music was good and the girls unlike in Kemang were very friendly and welcoming. I had several conversations with different girls who all were smiling, dancing, and overall seemed pretty damn happy. I couldn’t quite put my finger on if it was the booze, or talking to me that made them so bubbly, I guess we will never know. Dragonfly was by far one of the better nights out I’ve had in Asia in a long time, I went on a Saturday night too, the club had nice ratio of guys to girls, and it looked pretty safe.
How would I compare the Bangkok nightlife to Jakarta?

Same same but different!

They both have certain similar traits. In Kemang I thought the people were a bit more stuck up and really didn’t want to socialize (with westerners), or even try to be friendly. Bangkok has similar spots in Thong Lo and Ekkamai, these two regions are considered the “hi so Thai” areas, where Asian people go to been seen. Most of them will look bored out their minds and like they’d be somewhere else, I got the same impression with Kemang.

Red Square is quite similar to P4P clubs in Bangkok, expect the clubs in Bangkok are usually 3-4 times bigger. I think this is due to more tourists coming into Thailand than Indonesia, creating more demand. I know the P4P clubs in Bangkok don’t get busy until after 2am, as this is when the go go bars and brothels usually close, flooding the girls into such clubs. I only went to Red Square at midnight, and it was a bit dead so I can only assume the same applies for Jakarta.

Now for Dragonfly, it reminded me of Route 66 in Bangkok. Both clubs are stacked to the rafters with locals, hot girls who are open to talking to westerns, good music, and people just having a good time. Route 66 is about 5 times bigger than Dragonfly, it has 3 rooms and a huge outside area where it’s much easier to talk to people.

The only thing I didn’t really enjoy about the nightlife was the entry fees at all clubs and how expensive bottle service is. In Bangkok your average club will charge you around $35-$60 for a 1 liter bottle of Smirnoff vodka, which provides entry for 5 people into the club, so it works out good value. If I remember correctly the bottles in Jakarta were a hell of a lot more, at least $120+ which for me was a major letdown. Clubs such as Funky Villa, Wip, and Nung Len in Bangkok all provide free entry on weekdays to westerns.
Overall I enjoyed my time in Jakarta, I only wish I had stayed somewhere else, Kemang is not a bad area, it’s actually quite nice, but the logistics to travel north to the better clubs was a bit annoying. At this point I can’t really tell you which city has the better nightlife as I only saw a snapshot of Jakarta, but what I saw I really liked. I hope to come back at some point and investigate further, as I’ve been told Immigrant and X2 are two clubs I need to see.


I hope you enjoyed my comparison of Jakarta to Bangkok, and if you have any questions about my experience, or Thailand, feel free to ask them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer.
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