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Best VPNs in Indonesia- How to Access Blocked Websites

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
In this review I will explain you how to bypass Internet censorship (mostly porn) 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.

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. Same thing with the dating website Adult Friend Finder.

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 3 recommendations for best VPNs in Indonesia (I used the 3 of them and they worked great):

Hide My Ass (HMA) - Best VPN in Indonesia
HideMyAss.com
Hide My Ass is often considered the best VPNs in the world here because they have a massive 700 servers in almost every countries on earth, including in Indonesia. This means your connection is fast and smooth anywhere you go. If you can afford the extra dollars to get full speed (compared to free VPNs), HMA is an excellent choice. Remember that in the end, it is still only 60$ per year.

Hide My Ass is the VPN recommended by the Wall Street Journal to access blocked websites in China and it was also selected as the best VPN by the Guardian, Bloomberg and Forbes.

You can now try Hide My Ass for FREE! Just open the following link Hide My Ass Free and click on "Free Trial". You need to give your credit card details so don't forget to cancel after one month to avoid being charged.

If you decide to keep the paid version, it is much more interesting to choose a full year:

Pricing:
4,99$ per month with 1 year plan
7,49$ per month with 6-month plan
9,99$ per month without plan

The set up is super easy even if you are not good on computers and they are really fast to answer your questions of you have any.

Golden Frog - Vypr VPN - Fastest VPN Indonesia

I found that Golden Frog's Vypr VPN was even faster compared to Hide My Ass. They also have a server in Jakarta and a strong presence in Asia. The support is excellent (ask any question and they will answer you within a few minutes). You can pay with Alipay or PayPal and you can use up to 5 devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV, etc).

NEW! You can do a free trial for 3 months by opening this link: Promo Deal for Ivacy VPN - Indonesia!!!

If you choose to keep it after the free trial period, you will pay the following:

Pricing:
5$ per month with 1 year plan
9,99$ per month without plan


NordVPN - VPN for Watching Netflix
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).

To try their services for free, you can just visit the following link: Nord VPN - 30-Day Money Back Guaranteed.

Since you can cancel and get your money back any time within the first month, I advise you to choose the 1 year plan directly to save on the long term.

Pricing:
NEW: 2 Years Deal for 3,29$ per month - Click here to get the offer: 72% Off Nord VPN
4$ per month with 1 year plan
5$ per month with 6-month plan
8$ per month without plan

How Do You Access Porn/Blocked Websites in Indonesia? Do You Use A VPN As Well?
There are a lot of new VPN providers entering the market every month. If you are using a different VPN in Indonesia or if you have another way to visit porn/blocked websites in Indonesia, please leave a comment below to share your experience!

3 Best Ways to Send Money to Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
There are many reasons people send money to Indonesia, but only a few ways that are cheap, easy and safe.

This article will be very useful to you if you are:
- A foreigner living abroad who supports his Indonesian girlfriend financially
- An Indonesian working abroad who needs to remit his salary in his Indonesian bank account
- An expat who wants to transfer funds to Indonesia to make a purchase (car, home) or an investment
- A traveler who lost his wallet and urgently needs money

I've written it based on my experience living in Indonesia for the past 12 years (first in Jakarta, then in Bali). I'm sure you have your own stories as well so please do not hesitate to leave a comment with your own tips.

TransferWiseCheapest and Easiest Way to Send Money to Indonesia
You can make your own transfer simulation in just one click here
Created in 2011 by one of Skype's founders, TransferWise is a fin-tech startup that was recently declared a unicorn (more than $1 billion valuation). It is a game changer when it comes to international money transfers.

Compared with traditional banks, TransferWise does not actually transfers any money. It maintains banks accounts in key currencies in various countries. When you make a transfer request, for instance from USD to IDR, they will debit your US bank account from their US bank account and credit your Indonesian bank account from their Indonesian bank account.

Using TransferWise, the cost of sending money from abroad to Indonesia is only 1,5% of the transferred amount (minimum charge IDR14,500).

If you transfer USD1,000, it means you will only pay USD15 (+ a credit card charge depending on your bank). There are no hidden fees and they use the official exchange rate. That's at least 8 times less than what you would pay with traditional banks.

Pros:
➝ Cheapest way to send money from abroad to Indonesia
➝ As simple as it can be, just like booking a hotel room or buying stuff from any e-commerce site
➝ Less than 10 minutes needed to make the request
➝ They do not take commission on currency exchange rate (they use the official rate)
➝ You can make an accurate simulation of the cost of the transfer in a few seconds on their website
➝ They will tell you in advance when the money will be transferred and you can follow your money in real time through their app
➝ 100% transparent: They let you know how much commission they took and the exchange rate they used

Cons:
➝ Available for transfer from USD to IDR but not yet from IDR to USD
➝ Limited number of currencies you can transfer from: EUR, USD, Pound, AUD, JPY, SGD. You can check here if your home currency is accepted.
➝ You need an Indonesian bank account to transfer the money (You must know your IBAN and your SWIFT/BIC number)
➝ The transfer is not automatic and it may take from 1 to 2 days to be completed (for an Indonesian transfer)

Western Union: Only for Urgent Money Transfer to Indonesia
Unlike TransferWise, Western Union charges a fee but also takes a commission on the exchange rate
Western Union is facing tough competition but it can still be a useful way to send money to Indonesia. In particular, if you are a traveler who lost his personal belongings and need fast money, there are no better alternatives (actually, there is also MoneyGram which is similar).

I was using Western Union a lot when I didn't have an Indonesian bank account. You can pick up the money sent in cash in any of their agents locations (for instance in post offices - there are thousands in Indonesia).

The problem with Western Union is that it is expensive. If you want to transfer 1,000USD to IDR (instant transfer from an agent to an agent), it will cost you over USD80 + an hidden exchange rate fee of around IDR500,000 (as a reminder, it costs only USD15 with TransferWise).

If you transfer the money to an Indonesian bank account, it is cheaper yet still over 40$ and it takes a few days.

Pros:
➝ You can send money to Indonesia within minutes
➝ Money can be sent even if both the sender and the receiver do not have a bank account
➝ Works for virtually every country
➝ You can pay directly on Western Union's website using your credit/debit card

Cons:
➝ Very pricey if you choose fast service and to send/receive money in agent's location
➝ Hidden commission on the currency exchange rate
➝ If you send money to an agent location, you can only use the service during operation hours (close on weekends)

Skrill iT: An Alternative to Western Union For Small Amounts
Skrill iT is a mix between Western Union and TransferWise
Skrill is a great way to make international money transfers. It is fast, yet much cheaper than Western Union (about 3% from total amount while Western Union takes up to 15%). The other advantage is that the person who receives the money does not need to have an Indonesian bank account. He can just take the money in any Alfamart in Indonesia. All he needs is an Indonesian phone number and a valid ID.

For a normal transfer of money, I don't recommend it over TransferWise as it is still more expensive and you can't send more than the equivalent of Rp5,000,000 at once.

As an alternative to Western Union (meaning for an urgent transfer or to send to someone who does not have a local bank account), it is perfect as long as you don't need to send too much money.

Pros:
➝ Instant money transfer, just like Western Union
➝ Fees and commission on exchange rate relatively low (around 3% of total amount)
➝ You can pay online on their website: https://www.skrill.com/skrillit/
➝ You only need an Indonesian phone number to receive the money
➝ It's very easy to find an Alfamart in Indonesia and they have long opening hours

Cons:
➝ Only works for small amounts under Rp5,000,000 (though you can make multiple transfers)
➝ Still more expensive than TransferWise
➝ The staff in some Alfamart may be confused as they are not trained properly to handle the cash disbursement (just be patient!)

Other Ways to Send Money To Indonesia
Some online currency exchange companies are starting to offer international money transfer now with competitive rates. They will always be more expensive than TransferWise though. They can be useful only if you intend to send a lot of money to Indonesia (over 10,000$). The most famous companies are TorFXHiFX or OFX. I would advise you to try the latter as it has an online simulation tool.

PayPal is cheap when you send money in the same currency to another PayPal accounts holder but for international transfer it is not worth it (when you add up the fee and the commission on exchange rate, it costs about 80$ for 1,000$ sent).

A transfer from a foreign bank to an Indonesian bank with SWIFT is out of the question. You shouldn't even consider it. I did it once to send 200$ and I paid 40$ in fees (that's a 20% commission!).

If you know a cheaper and more convenient way than TransferWise to send money to Indonesia, please leave me a comment below. I wouldn't mind saving even more on my transfers. I'm also interested if you have tips about how to send money from Indonesia to another country.

10 Best Gifts Ideas For Your Indonesian Girlfriend or Wife

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
If you have a local girlfriend or wife, you certainly know that Indonesian girls absolutely love receiving gifts. In fact, I would say that being generous is one of the surest ways to keep your relationship strong and happy (the only most important thing is to be committed and faithful).

At the very least, you should always offer a gift on your partner's birthday. A failure to do so is only excusable if you've just met or if you're trying to get rid of her. Depending on the girl you're seeing, you should probably buy something for Valentine's day and Christmas as well (yes, even if she is a Muslim).

Some relationships may require more frequent gifts, for instance if you are dating someone out of your league. If you are 50 years old and your girlfriend is 25-year old bombshell (like the girl on the picture above), it goes without saying that you'll need to have deep pockets. Similarly, if you are dating a girl that you don't intend to marry, a few gifts may keep her hooked for a little longer. I'm not saying that every Indonesian girl is materialistic, most are not, but they can sometimes be pragmatic.

The list below will give you 10 ideas of gifts that all Indonesian girls would love to receive. I've included links to trusted websites you can buy them from.

Flowers
Flowers are the most romantic gift you can make, for any type of girls and for any occasions. Red and white roses are the preferred choice, unless your girlfriend is a bit more sophisticated and requires originality. You can buy them at the cheapest price in flower markets (see my review Traditional Markets in Jakarta) or you can buy them online directly on Flower Advisor. A bouquet costs around 25$ and it will be delivered on the same day with a personalized note. I used it a lot when I had a long distance relationship and it was very practical.

→ Ideal to show that you care
→ Price range: From 10$ to 50$
→ Delivery in Indonesia: Flower Advisor

Perfume, Make Up and Beauty Products
A classic gift if you don't want to take any risks. You are always sure to make your woman happy with beauty products but always choose a famous brand.

If you are a frequent traveler, it is always easy to buy a fragrance bottle at the duty free shop before arriving in Jakarta. The prices are much cheaper than anywhere else and you get to choose the smell you like the most. In Indonesia, you can buy from Sephora Indonesia or from department stores like Sogo with prices a bit higher.

→ Perfect gift if you want to be 100% sure she'll like it
→ Price range: From 50$ to 130$
→ Delivery in Indonesia: Not recommended for perfume to avoid counterfeit products but you can buy safely from Sephora Indonesia for make up and other beauty products.

Chocolate, Candies, Cakes and Snacks
This is an inexpensive gift to make, especially if you buy them in your home country. Chocolate in Indonesia is 2 to 3 times more expensive than in Europe so it is considered a bit of a luxury here. I always bring as much as I can from France and then gives them around. It's a very easy way to make people smile!

Since Indonesian love eating sweet food, an alternative is to buy any kind of sweets that come with a nice packaging (for instance a heart-shaped box).

→ Ideal for Valentine's day
→ Price range: From 5$ to 20$
→ Delivery in Indonesia: Flower Advisor sells romantic chocolates and you can buy cakes/desserts on BoBoBoBo.com. You can also get standard chocolates delivered to your door on HappyFresh.com.

Photo Frame/Album or Video
A more unique way to show that you care if you are 18, penniless and deeply in love. It sounds a bit girly and cheesy, yet it will very certainly be a hit if your girlfriend is young.

If you really don't have any money, you can make a short video or slideshow online and send it to her as well.

→ Perfect gift for younger girls
→ Price range: 0$ for a video, 4$ for a frame, 20$ for an album, 0.50$ to print a photo
→ To buy online and get delivered in Jakarta: Photo Frames can be bought on Matahari Mall (Indonesian). You can print photos on Pictalogy or Snapy (Indonesian). You can make a free slideshow/video on Smilebox.

Romantic Trips
Photo: https://www.instagram.com/sukiminthio/
The perspective of going on a romantic trip is extremely exciting to every Indonesian girls. Not only because they have few opportunities to go anywhere alone, but more importantly because it will give them plenty of occasions to update their Instagram with new pictures.

Even if you don't have money, you can at least go to Bandung or Bogor. With a bigger budget, Bali, Belitung, the Thousand Islands and Lombok are great choices. Singapore and KL are also quite cheap and easy to reach from Jakarta.

A good way to find amazing prices is to visit Kiwi.com. This travel website allows you to find flights without entering the destination. The result will be a display of the cheapest flights available on a particular date, from Jakarta (Yes I know, Skyscanner does that also, but please try Kiwi and you'll see it has many more possibilities).
Is Kiwi.com better than Skyscanner? I think so.
→ Smart gift if you already have a wife
→ Price range: From 50$ (weekend in Bogor) to 5,000$ (weekend in Velaa Resort in Maldives)
→ Buying online: Keep an eye on the deals from Groupon Indonesia - Travel or Bobobobo - Hotels and Resorts.

Anything Cute and/or Cheesy
This is a bit vague but you probably understand what I mean. Asian girls love cute accessories or toys, especially if they are somewhat romantic. It can be dolls, teddy bears, cups, pillows, watches, sunglasses, t-shirts, pencils, cards, etc as long as there is a funny face or a heartbreaking sentence on it.

→ Easy gift if you're back from a business trip in Japan
→ Price range: From 5$ to 30$
→ Buying online: Check the gift section on FlowerAdvisor.com and Bobobobo.com, they have some cute teddy bears and other plush dolls.

Designer Clothes, Bags and Shoes
Why not give her designer lingerie?
Guys who buy designer clothes and accessories are either very rich, crazy in love or dating above their league. Whatever your reason, you can never go wrong as long as you buy genuine stuff either from abroad or from any of the luxury malls in Jakarta.

→ Perfect gift if you were caught cheating and need forgiveness
→ Price range: Starting from 200$ up to several thousand dollars
→ Delivery to Indonesia/Buying online: The best Indonesian-based website with a large choice of designer clothes, bags, shoes and accessories is certainly Bobobobo.com. You can check their brands directly here Woman Fashion.

Spa or Salon Treatment
Have you ever met a girl who didn't like going to the spa?
You can either buy a treatment that your wife or girlfriend will do alone or buy a couple's massage. Several venues allow it in Jakarta and I've listed them in my review: Best Luxury Hotel Spas in Jakarta. I also recommend you to try any of the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa (check for deals on Groupon).

→ Perfect gift if you want to please her while still meeting your friends
→ Price range: 30$ to 80$
→ Where to purchase online: You can have a look at the Spa Deals on Groupon: Best Spa Deals in Indonesia

Phone, Laptop and Tablets
It is almost a tradition for the boyfriend to pay for his girlfriend's phone in Indonesia. This is why you'll see so many girls who earn less than 300$/month with the latest 800$ Iphone. Once the phone is taken care of, you may start to hear things like "I really need a laptop for my work" or "My teacher wants us to buy a laptop". This is the sign you're in for a little present.

→ Must-buy gift if you are dating a gold-digger
→ Price range: 400$-1500$
→ Buying online: If you can speak Indonesian, you can visit MatahariMall or Lazada. Both have a huge choice and they can deliver anywhere in Indonesia.

Sexy Stuff
Offering lingerie or sex toys is actually more a gift to yourself and that's why it is such a good idea. Lingerie can easily be found in any malls, for instance in La Senza or Victoria's Secret. It is much harder to buy sex toys in Indonesia so it is best to bring them from abroad.

→ Perfect gift to yourself
→ Price range: 30$ to 200$
→ Buying lingerie online: Websites like Bobobobo (Lingerie for woman) and Zalora have a limited choice. Matahari Mall and Lazada are better but they are in Indonesian. The best choice would be AliExpress, and especially its page Sexy Lingerie.
→ Buying sex toys online: Limited choice on Lazada - Sex Help. Much better if you import through Aliexpress - Sex Toys but the customs may not allow your stuff to enter the country.

Photo credit: The two awesome pictures with Indonesian beauties were taken by Mr. Ecko. You can see more of his portfolio on Instagram here @rockandrolla_photography.

How to Access Blocked Websites in Indonesia with LiquidVPN?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
As of November 2016, there are are 766,000 porn websites blocked in Indonesia, but also 2,120 betting sites and about 100 radical websites. If you are a sex-addict, a gambler or a fanatic, you can make your life much less miserable by spending less than 5$ a month on a VPN.

I had already written about the best VPNs in Indonesia a few months ago, but since then I've been invited by a company called LiquidVPN to try their services (they have a 7 Days free trial). This review will be about my experience with them and how it helped me access blocked websites in Indonesia.

To make sure everyone can understand this post, I will keep my explanations as simple as possible, especially on the technicalities. Please leave a comment below if you think I left out something important or if you require additional information.

What is a VPN and why you need one?
A VPN client is a small software that you can install on your computer or your phone in order to access a VPN (or Virtual Private Network). When you connect to a VPN, you can surf the web anonymously, from another location than Indonesia and with all your data protected.

In the case of Liquid VPN, the software looks like this:
When you click on the connect button, you will access the internet through a server (here in Singapore). From this moment on, the websites you visit will not know that you are in Indonesia and instead they'll assume you are in Singapore. Since the connection is encrypted and anonymous, there is also no way for third parties to know who you are and what you are doing online.

The benefits of using a VPN in Indonesia are particularly important for 3 main reasons:

- Access websites blocked by the Indonesian government
Almost all porn websites are blocked in Indonesia, including the most famous ones like PornHub, XHamster, YouPorn or XVideos. As soon as a new one is popular, it will get banned almost immediately. Sex-oriented forums and dating sites like internationalsexguide.info or AdultFriendFinder may also be inaccessible.

- Bypass regional restrictions affecting Indonesia
Some internet content may not be available from Indonesia, not because of the government, but because of the content providers themselves. For instance, I cannot watch TV replays from a French TV channel because it only allows viewing from Europe. This is a common problem with many streaming services (Netflix, BeIN Connect, etc).

The leading betting website betfair.com also do not allow bets coming from Indonesia.

When using a VPN, it is very easy to bypass those restrictions as you can simply connect from a server in the country of your choice. This can be done in just one click:
Changing your location is very easy with Liquid VPN
- Protect your identity from the Electronic Information and Transaction Law of 2008
When you surf the web in Indonesia either from a laptop or a mobile phone, you are not anonymous. Your internet provider knows who you are and which websites you visit (even if you are in incognito mode). Worse, he may communicate that information to your employer or to the government. Western countries spy on the internet and there is no reason to think that Indonesia does not. If you are used to exchange sensitive information or to visit unorthodox websites, using a VPN is a necessary protection for your privacy.

Furthermore, after Indonesia voted the law on Electronic Information and Transaction in 2008, it has become more easy to accuse anyone of defamation, insult or blasphemy. If you enjoy political discussions about Indonesia on forums or on the comment section of news sites, I really advise to to remain as anonymous as possible.

If you are regularly traveling to Asia, the VPN will also help you in almost every countries as each have their own restrictions: China blocks pretty much everything (Google, Facebook, Youtube - and even Jakarta100bars.com), Malaysia blocks porn and opposition websites, Thailand blocks any websites criticizing the monarchy, etc. In almost all Asian countries, at least a few people have been arrested for writing "inappropriate" comments on Facebook.

Liquid VPN Features

Servers
I was not familiar LiquidVPN because it does not have (and it does not wish to have) servers in Indonesia. As they explained to me, they prefer having servers only in locations where the internet is not under attack from the local authorities. As I later found out, the fact that they don't have a server in Indonesia did not affect my speed at all (I connected from their Singapore server instead). The only issue I had was to connect to the streaming website LayarKaca21.tv as it is only accessible from Indonesia.

See more: Liquid VPN Servers Location.

Privacy
Liquid is one of the most serious options when it comes to the protection of their users' privacy. The main reason for that is that they do not keep logs from your connection, meaning that even they do not know which websites you visited. Also, they have a Modulating IP feature that modify your IP address continuously while you are surfing. This makes it impossible for anyone to track your whereabouts.

There are several privacy and protection features that would please more demanding users. I invite you to check this page for more information: Liquid VPN Features.

Accessing Blocked Website in Indonesia with Liquid VPN
My most important concern when using a VPN is: Can I surf any websites, even those that are blocked? Can I use any streaming websites (like Netflix)? Can I download movies and torrents fast?

I can answer YES to all of these questions. I managed (for research purpose of course) to access all porn websites I could find, and all the blocked websites mentioned above. I also could watch Netflix USA using my friend's account. I could connect to the torrent website kat.how and I download some movies (only legal ones naturally). Using Liquid VPN did not affect my speed (I was even watching YouTube at the same time). Finally, I visited the website of the French TV channels I mentioned earlier and I could watch all their videos without any restrictions on content.

Is is legal to use a VPN
YES. There are no laws forbidding the use of VPN in Indonesia, even to access illegal websites (like porn). You will not get into any troubles for using one.

Installing and Using Liquid VPN
I was planning to do a very detailed step-by-step guide on how to install and use Liquid VPN but it is so easy that all you need to make it work is a somewhat functioning brain.

Step 1: Register (7 Days Free Trial)
After you choose a Liquid VPN plan, you will be invited to create an account on my.liquidvpn.com. This is where you can update your information and set up your VPN (if you have special needs, otherwise just ignore it). This is also where you can contact the support team and read dozens of tutorials and guides.

Step 2: Install
After you've subscribed to Liquid VPN, you will need to download the VPN client software from your account on my.liquidvpn.com. You just need to click on "Download Liquid VPN" under the Dashboard tab:

I used LiquidVPN on a MacBook but it also works on a PC or an Android phone.

Step 3: Connect
Once the client software is installed and launched, all you will need to do is click on CONNECT and enter your login/password.

Note: You login/password for the VPN client can be found on the top bar of your account at my.liquidvpn.com.
Click on "Show VPN Credentials to see your password"
Step 4: Surf the web freely and anonymously
Once connected, you can now surf any blocked websites and nobody will know what you are visiting (including your boss, your internet provider, etc).

You may switch server location as often as you'd like to and you can also monitor in real-time your traffic speed.

Pricing
Liquid VPN has a similar pricing compared to other VPNs like Hide My Ass or Golden Frog (actually, it is even cheaper if you buy a 12-month plan).

There are 3 packages depending on the number of devices allowed. Here is a summary:

Sidekick Package (2 devices): 7$ per month or 4.75$/month with annual plan
Road Warrior Package (4 devices): 10$ per month or 5.75$/month with annual plan
Ultimate Package (8 devices): 18$ per month or 8.8$/month with annual plan

You can see more details by clicking on this link: Liquid VPN Plans & Pricing.

For most people, 2 devices are normally enough (laptop and phone). This means that with just 57$ (Sidekick package) per year, you can have access to any blocked websites in Indonesia. You'll also enjoy stress-free web browsing, knowing that no one can find out about your online activities.

In case you want to cancel your subscription, you can do it for free after 7 days. If you take a monthly plan, you can cancel any time also.

Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Insurance for Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
When I speak with short-time travelers in Indonesia, I am baffled to realize only a few have a proper travel insurance or a medical evacuation insurance. Among long-term residents and expats, there are also many who do not have health insurance, particularly among those without a working permit.

The objective of this article is to convince you that spending a few dollars per day on an insurance is not a waste of money. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can get a cheap one (as low as 3$ per day if you take a yearly subscription - check here) that will at least save your ass in case of a serious illness or accident. If you cannot afford it, then you probably should not travel to Indonesia.

Why you need a travel insurance in Indonesia
While you certainly need insurance everywhere, there are even more reasons to get it when you travel in Bali, Jakarta or the rest of Indonesia:

You are exposed to more risks
There are several risks specifically related to being in Indonesia. Some are unfortunately too common: Dengue fever, malaria, dog bites, food poisoning or motorbike accidents are really not that rare. If you've lived in the country long enough, you probably know a few people who had these problems.

There are generally lower safety standards in everything in Indonesia: Construction, food, transportation, roads, activities, etc. This increases the likelihood of an unfortunate event as well. You can read more tips about this topic here: WorldNomads Travel Safety Tips.

Medical care in Indonesia is very expensive
According to the AAMI, a day in an intensive care unit in Indonesia can cost up to 3,000$. Even in the cheapest hospitals you can expect to pay 800$/day.

Facebook groups like Bali Expats or Jakarta Expats are full of horrible stories of people who had their lives ruined in a few minutes because they did not plan their trips properly. Here are just a few examples (click on the photos for the whole story):
Some of them actually had an insurance, but they didn't read the fine prints. Not having a a motorbike license is often a reason for not being reimbursed for instance. I will give you tips later in this review on what you should be looking for to make sure your risky activities are covered.

More banal problems can be quite costly as well. Among my friends, several ended up in shitty situation for common accidents or diseases:

First one hit his head by diving into a pool: 1000$ in Sanglah Hospital (local one) for a few stitches and X-rays.

Second one got bit by a street dog in Legian: 3,000$ including anti-rabies medication.

Third one got a very bad case of dengue fever combined with malaria. He went into a coma and he had to stay 4 weeks in hospital. Total bill: 25,000 dollars. Luckily, he was covered and everything was paid for. It was after this unfortunate event that I rushed to get an insurance actually.

Private hospitals will never accept you if you cannot pay
In Indonesia, the decent hospitals are run as a strict business and not a charity. If you arrive bleeding to death after an accident, the doctors will not treat you until they make sure you can pay. If you can't, you'll be left outside. It's as simple as that.

An American will probably understand that. For a French, this concept is a bit hard to grasp as we are used to get healthcare for free.

Hospitals will overcharge you
You should know that as a foreigner with or without a working permit, you will be charged more for medical treatment in Indonesia. Expect to pay at least 2 times more than locals, more if you don't have a resident visa.

Many doctors have a poor ethic. If they can find a way to inflate your final bill, they will probably do it. It is a bit like going to a random auto repair shop in Europe: Most likely you will be charged for stuff you don't need.

Serious accidents will need a medical evacuation
Since many hospitals cannot treat the most serious patients, medical evacuation is often needed. To give you an idea of current prices:

Evacuation from Indonesia to Singapore: From 25,000$ to 50,000$
Evacuation from Indonesia to Australia: From 40,000$ to 70,000$
Evacuation to Europe: Up to 100,000$

Don't expect compensatory damages
The concept of third party responsibility is foreign to most Indonesians. If you are hit by an Indonesian drunk driver, don't expect you'll get any money from the person who was responsible. Actually, even if he is at fault, he could possibly still manage to get money out from you if he is a well-connected assh*le. The same thing apply if you have an accident within your hotel or while doing an activity with a company. If you are dealing with a local company, don't even think about getting compensatory damages.

What types of insurance do you need in Indonesia?
The type of insurance you need in Indonesia depends on your activity (working, retired, tourist, etc), your length of stay, your activities and your area of travel.

Travel Medical Insurance:
An insurance that will cover your medical bills for a limited duration (usually less than 90 days) when you are traveling outside of your home country. If you are traveling to Indonesia, it is the minimum you should get. For expats it is not necessary as long as they have an expat insurance.

Travel Insurance:
A generic term for an insurance that will cover several aspects of a trip: Medical problems, but also flight cancellation, theft, lost luggage, etc.

There are several websites where you can get a price estimate for your travel insurance in Indonesia. You can check WorldNomads which is a partner of Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. Among the famous ones you also have SmartTravel from AXA and Travel Guard from AIG.

You can find more options in your home country. The advantage of WorldNomads is that it is very easy to apply online and you do it even if you've already left home.

You can also search through the comparator Insure My Trip.

International Health Insurance or Expat Medical Insurance:
Travel insurance is for travelers and covers emergency situations. If you live permanently in Indonesia, you need coverage for regular health expenses such as dental care, optics, medical check ups, pregnancies, cancer treatment, etc. Those are typically not included in Travel Insurance policies.

Expats working in Indonesia should subscribe to the mandatory BPJS health insurance scheme. It is cheap, but don't expect to much from it. Many will also have their employer's insurance.

For the other expats without a company plan, you can either purchase a normal travel insurance for long term travel (but then you won't be covered for non-emergency situations) or purchase a dedicated Expat Health Insurance from a private company.

The latter is usually more expensive, but you should consider that you'll get more reimbursements as well. Reputed companies include Allianz, April-International, AXA, GMS, etc.

Repatriation/Medical Evacuation Insurance: An insurance that guarantees your medical evacuation will be paid for if needed.  The cost is usually reasonable, as little as 150$ per year, and it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Remember that for serious injuries, you will not be able to be treated properly in Indonesia. This insurance is particularly needed if you plan on visiting remote areas.

If you purchase an insurance from WorldNomads, it is already included.

Things to check before purchasing a travel insurance

The obvious first step before purchasing a travel insurance is to make sure you don't already have one. You are probably aware that when you buy your plane tickets with a Visa or Mastercard, you are entitled to some kind of (limited) insurance. If you are traveling on a tour group, you may also already have one automatically added (though you can refuse it and buy your own instead).

Once you know for sure that you will need a travel insurance in Indonesia, you should be careful to check the following:

What is the maximum payable amount that I can get?
I think 200,000$ is the minimum amount to get considering how high some hospitals bills can be in Indonesia.

Is the medical evacuation included or not?
If not you will have to pay extra with another company. This is an essential part of your insurance and you need a high ceiling as well (minimum 150,000$).

Can you contact your insurance company 24/7? Can they approve a quotation 24/7?
This is a must in case of a major emergency. If you cannot prove quickly that you can pay for your treatment, the best hospitals may refuse you.

Do you have to advance the money?
Some insurance can give a guarantee to the hospital that your bill will be covered so you don't need to pay upfront.

Are there any exclusions?
There are always a lot of exclusions (things that the insurance does not cover). Read carefully to avoid any surprises. If you are planning to do dangerous sports and outdoor activities in Indonesia, ask for instance if surfing, scuba diving, diving, rafting, hiking, jet-skiing or paragliding are included.

What is the motorbike situation?
Motorbikes are a major cause of accidents for foreigners in Indonesia. Be careful as almost all insurers require a valid international license for the driver (even if you are a passenger). A specific motorbike license is also required for vehicle with more than 150cc. If you were drunk, high or not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you can also say good-bye to any potential claims.

What if you hurt someone?
Check if you can get reimbursement for third party damages.

The website of WorldNomads provides a lot of great tips to help you choose the right insurance. You can also make a simulation for your trip so you'll know exactly how much it will cost you and how long you will be protected. Don't forget to read the fine print very carefully to make sure you won't have any unexpected surprise.

How to save money on travel insurance?
The companies I've mentioned before are quite affordable. You'll only pay a few dollars per day for coverage. You can try to make a test on WorldNomads to see how much you will pay depending on your age, your country of origin, and the number of people you want to protect.
Click to get a a travel insurance quote from WorldNomads
If the amount is really to big for you, there are a few ways to lower the price even more:

Buy longer
This need some commitment, but naturally the longer you purchase, the cheaper it get. I made a test on WorldNomads for myself and got the following:

  • 7 days travel insurance to Indonesia (for a French): 26.70 euros (3.8 euros per day)
  • 4 weeks travel insurance to Indonesia (for a French): 93 euros (3.3 euros per day)
  • 365 days travel insurance to Indonesia (for a French): 804.30 euros (2.2 euros per day)
Make your own simulation here: Quote from WorldNomads.

Buy for several people at once
If you travel with your girlfriend or your family, you should choose the same reputed company for everybody.

Don't insure flights and valuables
This is what I do. Considering I travel alone with cheap flight tickets, last minute hotels bookings and few valuables, I don't really care about getting reimbursements on those things. The only thing I care about is not jeopardizing my whole life with an accident I can't afford to have.

Choose high deductibles and excess
Your insurance deductible and your excess are minimum amounts your insurance will charge you on any claims, not matter what. If your deductible for an accident is 1,000$, the insurance will reimburse you any medical expenses above 1,000$.

The philosophy of choosing a high deductible is the same as the previous point: It is for people who only want help if they are in big trouble. Having to pay 1,000$ from your own pocket sucks, but you can always find the money.

Don't buy it from your airline
When you book a flight, your airline or your tour operator will offer you to buy an insurance. Those are usually pretty bad deals and the prices are not interesting.

Compare
You can use Insure My Trip to search for the best deals. Be careful with cheap insurance companies though. If they can give a very cheap price, it probably means they don't reimburse much. You cannot have it all.

Rely on your credit card insurance only
This is possible but you must know the limitations of this strategy. In general, when you pay your trip with a classic Visa or Mastercard, you get 3 months of insurance with maximum reimbursement of less than 15,000$ (please check again with your banker to be sure). This ceiling is really too low in my opinion. You also have a lot of restrictions on what you can claim as well as high deductibles.

What insurance do you use?
This article would be greatly improved with your input. Which insurance did you choose for traveling to Indonesia? Did you succeed in making claims? If you are an expat, do you have a health insurance? Do you recommend it?

Personally, I have an expat insurance company that only insure French nationals. The name is CFE, if you are French and need more information about it you can email me thibaud@jakarta100bars.com. I pay 100 euros per month and I've made 2 claims that went well. The main one was for a gallbladder infection that kept me a week in Kasih Ibu hospital in Denpasar. The total bill was 7,000$ for 8 days and I had 5,000$ reimbursed.

Online Dating Sites & Apps In Indonesia (2016 Update)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I once wrote a review about dating Indonesian girls and where to meet them. You can still read it here: Where to meet Indonesian girls? Most of the information on the review is still valid, but it certainly needs an update on the world of online dating through websites or social apps such as Badoo, Indonesian Cupid, Tinder, WeChat, Skout, Beetalk, etc.

If you are looking for a great girl in Jakarta, online dating is by far your best chance. 90% of the girls there are looking for a stable relationship. Another 9% is looking for money. And maybe less than 1 percent is looking for a one night stand (not the hottest girls usually). The fact that they are looking for a stable relationship does not mean they want to get married straight away. It means they want to feel a long term relationship is possible. For this reason, it may be more difficult for you to find a date if you are not staying in Indonesia and if you do not speak Indonesian.

Depending on which website or which app you use, you can pretty much chat with any type of women you could think of: Students, employees, executives, single mom, etc from any ethnicity or religion. There is such a diversity that it would be hard to generalize. To give you a better understanding, I will describe the specificities of each dating app or website below:

Tinder (Mobile app only)
When Tinder started in Indonesia, most of its users where either foreign or Western educated girls. Its base has now expanded, but it is still the most trendy app to use. For this reason, this is where you will meet the most girls who can speak English and who have well-paid jobs. This is also where the most girls are interested to meet foreigners.

Pros:
➝ Almost entirely free
➝ Easy to get several matches every day
➝ Thousands of Indonesian girls are using it, including many educated ones
➝ Not too many spam accounts or prostitutes or ladyboys

Cons:
➝ I find it difficult to manage once you have more than 100 matches
➝ You cannot see which girls are online
➝ You cannot chat with a girl if you haven't matched with her already
➝ You cannot like more than 50 girls per day (or you must pay)
➝ You must connect using your Facebook information and pics (your friends on Facebook who are using Tinder will know that you are also a user)
➝ You can only see girls around you (unless you pay). If you stay abroad, this means you cannot chat with any girl in Jakarta before you arrive.
➝ Generally speaking, girls on Tinder love to swipe but they aren't very good at sending or replying to messages

IndonesianCupid.com (website)

Indonesia Cupid is more traditional dating website which is part of a wider network: FilipinoCupid, Muslima (for dating Muslim girls), Thai Cupid, Vietnam Cupid, etc. It is an excellent site for those who are not in Indonesia but who are interested to chat with local girls.

Many Indonesian girls on IndonesianCupid are looking to meet foreigners and they won't turn you down if you say you are far away. The demographic of IndonesianCupid is more middle class compared with Tinder. Typically, you'll chat with employees, teachers, nurses, etc.

Since it is a website and not a mobile phone app, I find it much easier to write messages or browse profiles compared to Tinder. Even if you use it for a month or two, it is still easy to see which girls are online among those you've chatted with before.

You can register here: Sign-Up to Indonesian Cupid for Free. I recommend you to update to the premium version though (only 25$ per month) as it will allow you to send an unlimited number of messages. It will also give you the edge compared with the other guys in terms of visibility.

Pros:
➝ Between 500-1000 Indonesian girls online at any time, but thousands more who were active in the past week or month (you have filters to do that).
➝ Possibility to look for girls in other countries (Thailand, Philippines, etc)
➝ Good website interface, easy to use and fast.
➝ Fast chatting application
➝ Mostly serious girls who are interested in relationships
➝ Detailed profiles

Cons:
➝ The free version is too restricted (not a problem if you can afford 25$)
➝ No mobile app
➝ Many girls have limited English proficiency (especially outside Jakarta)

Badoo (Mobile app and website)
Badoo used to be the best dating website in Indonesia but it is clearly not as popular as it used to be. It still has a large number of users though: I checked on 15 December 2016 at 7pm and there were 522 women online in Jakarta (vs 537 on Indonesian Cupid). They also have a mobile app (called "Hot or Not"). 

Badoo attracts 99,9% of Indonesian girls, from all background. You can filter girls by age, location, status, body type, etc. More than half the girls can speak English and many are interested to meet foreigners. Online prostitution on Badoo is unfortunately a problem. Many "girls" on Badoo are in fact pimp looking for clients.

Pros:
➝ Lots of girls online
➝ Fun, colorful website interface with large photos (but also more slow to load)
➝ Both a website and an app with geo-localization
➝ You can send messages to 5 girls per day for free and you "like" as many as you want
➝ Cheaper than other websites

Cons:
➝ Privacy concern (they sent advertising emails to all my contact on my behalf saying I was inviting them to join Badoo)
➝ Many prostitutes
➝ Because it is cheaper, there are more guys on Badoo. This means it is harder to get girls' attention and your messages may be ignored. You can get seen/read before other guys but you need to pay extra money (even if you are already a premium user).

Instagram
Yes, Instagram can be considered a dating website in Indonesia. I know some guys who've met dozens of girls using it.

Of course, you need to create an Instagram account and to upload interesting pictures regularly. If you are an expat who visits nice restaurants and hotels, it shouldn't be too hard to add at least a great photo every two days.

You can then follow some Instagram accounts of girls you like and write comments on their pictures.

Pros:
➝ Free
➝ There are more girls on Instagram than on any other dating websites (especially in Indonesia)
➝ You can search for girls who have special interests using the location or tags (for instance, if you want to find a girl who went to the Djakarta Warehouse Festival, you can search the tag "DWP 2016").
➝ It is easy to find a topic to start a conversation (just comment a photo)

Cons:
➝ You need to create and maintain an interesting Instagram account
➝ Many girls are not single or not actively looking for a boyfriend
➝ Time consuming

WeChat (Mobile app only)
WeChat has a "look around" feature which allows you to add girls located within a few kilometers from you. If they accept your invitation, you can start chatting with them.

Many ladyboys and prostitutes use that feature so it can be quite annoying if this is not what you are looking for. You will also probably receive a lot of invitations from other guys. Girls using this feature do not always speak English very well. It is popular with the Chinese community but your chances of getting a reply is low unless you speak Chinese.

Pros:
➝ Free
➝ Location based

Cons:
➝ I don't think you can meet a normal girl using it.

Beetalk (Mobile app only)
Beetalk users are mostly Indonesian and young. It has a "look around" feature as well which is quite invasive as it tells you the exact position of the people around you. If you use it in popular malls like Grand Indonesia or Central Park, it will probably tell you a list of person within a very close range, sometimes a few meters only.

Few girls using Beetalk speak good English so it is more appropriate for those with a basic knowledge of Indonesian. It is a good app but not the most effective for foreigners.

Pros:
➝ Free
➝ Location based
➝ No competition from other Westerners

Cons:
➝ Very few girls who can speak English


➝ Not many replies from girls

Skout (Mobile app and dating site)
Skout is similar to Badoo but it does not have as many girls online. The ads are quite annoying so I didn't like using it. 

Tagged / Hi5 (Mobile app and website)
Tagged and Hi5 are the same service since they merged in 2011. It used to be one of the most popular social networks in Indonesia but it is struggling now. It is still a relatively interesting website to try as the number of Indonesian users is quite large. I would say that girls on Tagged are usually a bit older: They made their Hi5 account 10 years ago and they haven't closed it yet.

Adult Friend Finder
This is a paying hook-up website popular with swingers and those looking for one-night stands. I never used it but a friend of mine did and he met several open-minded couples. He also managed to meet a few single girls but it is more rare.

Note that the website is currently blocked by the government so you'll need to download a VPN to access it. I've written an article here Best VPN in Indonesia to help you with it.

Pros:
➝ If you are not looking for dating but for sex, this is the best website to use
➝ Number 1 hooking website in the World

Cons:
➝ 90% guys and 10% girls so you need to make a really neat profile to succeed. Being handsome would help.
➝ You won't get very far with the Free Version so you'll need to buy a premium membership


➝ Block in Indonesia: You must use a VPN to access it freely.

Conclusion
All these dating apps and websites are free but you have to pay if you want to get some VIP features. For instance, becoming a paid member will generally entitle you to send more messages, to see who clicked on your profile or to be seen first by girls.

There are probably some scammers too so you should naturally always make sure the person you are talking to is real. I would recommend asking for the girl's facebook or skype.

There are other services that I haven't tried but they might work well. If you have used one of the following to find a date in Jakarta, it would be nice if you could write a comment about it below:

OK Cupid: Popular dating website (same group with Match.com and Tinder) but I don't think it is available in Indonesia at this moment.

Zoosk: One of the most popular dating apps in the world but I read some negative reviews about their privacy policy so I did not want to try it.

Ask.fm: Very popular social media in Indonesia, mostly with the younger crowd. It is not a real dating website but it is used as such by many Indonesians to make friends or get a date.

Wavoo is an Indonesian dating app which just started. It does not have a very large database of users at the moment.

Setipe is an Indonesian dating website which could be promising but it is still new and I encountered some problems to register.

Photo Credit: The photos are from Kucluk Oye.