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How I Learned to Speak Indonesian in 1 Month

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I'm not a genius and I'm not particularly gifted for learning languages. Before Indonesia, I lived 2 years in Italy and 2 years in Brazil, and yet I can barely speak any Italian or Portuguese. Indonesian, or Bahasa Indonesia as it is called here, is different. It is by far the easiest language in the world. There are no tenses, no declension, no tones. There is nothing tricky about the spelling, nothing complex about the grammar, and you always pronounce the words the same way. You don't even have regional differences: It is spoken identically in Sumatra, in Papua, in Java or in Bali. I arrived in Jakarta in November 2012. After one week, I had learned enough words to get by in all the most common situations: Greetings, introductions, ordering food, buying groceries, asking for directions, expressing basic feelings, etc. After 1 month, I was able to have a normal conversation with any Indonesians. My new skill has proven extraordinary useful

Best VPNs in Indonesia- How to Access Blocked Websites

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
In this review, I will explain to 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 for 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.

4 Best Ways to Learn Indonesian Online for Free

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Learning Indonesian online has never been so easy. There are so many websites, apps and videos available for free that the real problem is to identify the right one for you. Before choosing, you should ask yourself a few questions: How serious are you about learning Indonesian? Do you want to become fluent or do you only want to learn the basics? Do you want free lessons or are you ready to pay for a subscription? The advantage of paying sites is that you'll usually get a complete program that you can follow every day. By investing money, you will feel more motivated as well. Without paying, you'll need to stick to trial offers with a limited number of free lessons. That's fine for a beginner, but it can be annoying as you make progress. Do you prefer learning through an app or a website? If you don't have too much time to spare, using a mobile app is a convenient way to learn. You can practice for a few minutes from everywhere, for instance while comm

Blocked Websites in Indonesia and How to Unblock Them

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I often receive emails from readers complaining about the internet in Indonesia. In particular, they hate the censorship that makes thousands of websites unavailable. Websites are blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Indonesia, following orders from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies (Kementrian Komunikasi dan Informatika). The ban is part of the "Safe Internet" initiative whose idea is to protect Indonesian users from visiting websites that do not follow the "moral, ethics and spirit" of the nation. As of 2017, there are a total of 769 814 blocked websites in Indonesia. Naturally, I cannot list all of them here, but I will give you the most famous.

20 Best Luxury Yachts to Cruise Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago with over 17,000 islands, yet most tourists only visit the overcrowded and saturated island of Bali. Until recently, it was still difficult to access some of the most remote parts of Indonesia. It required using local transports which, while adventurous, often turned out to be unsafe, uncomfortable, and inconvenient in terms of schedule. If you are on a budget, you can still travel this way and enjoy a truly unique experience. A much nicer alternative is to book a luxury cruise, or even to charter an entire boat and its crew. There are now several ships operating in Indonesia offering liveaboard experiences, mostly in the eastern part of the country (Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, Papua and Sulawesi). The best are privately owned and managed by foreigners who are passionate about sailing, diving, and discovering the culture of the islands they visit. Almost all the luxury boats mentioned below are Indonesian/Dutch schooner (also ca

Online Prostitution is Booming in Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
With the current crackdown on red light districts and massage parlours everywhere in the country, for instance in Kalijodo in Jakarta or Dolly in Surabaya, online prostitution has been booming in Indonesia. Surprisingly, sexual services are not necessarily advertised through specific adult dating sites. Many of the famous online prostitution sites like SeekingArrangement or  Adult Friend Finder , are blocked by the government and only available if you download a VPN (see Best VPN for Indonesia to see how to do). Prostitutes, pimps and mafias use mainstream websites and apps  instead like Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, BeeTalk, Instagram, Badoo or Tinder. If you are using any of these, you have probably noticed that there are more and more profiles of prostitutes, to the point that it can ruin the experience for "normal" users. This is the case on WeChat. They have an interesting feature called "Look Around" that can be used to meet people near you. In

What is a Cheap Way to Send $1,000 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

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

Online Dating Sites & Apps In Indonesia (2017)

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. New Article: 10 Best Countries in Asia to Meet Girls and 15 Best Dating Apps and Websites in Asia . 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 ar

Yes, You Need Travel Insurance for Indonesia. Here's Why:

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 Ind

Abortion in Indonesia: My Personal Experience

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Note from Jakarta100bars: One of my readers sent me the following email regarding abortion in Indonesia. I'm publishing it because it might interest some people. This is NOT a professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor if you need to perform an abortion. You can also get support from Indonesian women's group such as Samsara  (email: samsara.indonesia@gmail.com) or Misocare . "Hi Thibaud, As you know, abortion is officially forbidden in Indonesia. My girlfriend got pregnant a few weeks ago and since we didn't want to keep the baby, we had to find a solution. We considered several options, including going to Vietnam where abortion is legal. Finally, we met an expat who told us it could be done in Jakarta because my girlfriend had been pregnant for just a couple weeks. In my home country in Europe, chemical abortion follow this procedure: → 1st step: The girl takes one pill of Mifepristone (Mifegyne) to stop the pregnancy to develop further →

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

Indonesians React With Joy at Terrorist Attack on Social Media

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I had already written about my surprise after reading Indonesian Facebook comments regarding the Paris attacks in November 2015. I was even more surprised today reading the comments on the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. I checked the Facebook page of mainstream Indonesian media (not the religious ones) and found out that a lot of people were actually cheering at the event. Not everyone, but at least between 30% and 50% of the comments. Not only are they cheering about it, they are also calling for more murders and more attacks on gays.

Cheap Travel to Bali: A Complete Guide

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Traveling cheap in Bali is not difficult if you are well-prepared and well-informed. The following guide is a must-read for any visitor wanting to get the most out of her/his dollars without sacrificing on quality. I've lived 3 years in the island, enough time to know the best tricks and tips to save money on what is unnecessary. My goal is to help you make the right decisions regarding your flights, your hotels, your meals, your transportation and the attractions you visit. If you have any questions about your trip, you can leave a comment below or contact me directly: thibaud@jakarta100bars.com. Best Time to Visit Bali? Choose Your Season Carefully

11 Indonesian Islands You've Never Heard Of

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
The next Bali or the next Lombok is listed below. If you are a tourist considering going to Bali to enjoy a quiet beach holiday, just forget it. Bali is ridiculously overcrowded and it is starting to look no different than Jakarta: Clogged with traffic, disorganized and polluted, it is far from the paradise it pretends to be. The good news is there are 17,000 more islands to explore in Indonesia, with far better beaches and scenery. Sure, they require a bit more effort to visit and you may not find 5-star honeymoon resorts so easily. But once tourism will develop and change the authenticity of these islands, you will probably regret not making the trip earlier.

What Indonesian Bar Girls Say And What They Really Mean

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
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

How I Became Fat in Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
One thing I didn't expect would happen in Indonesia was that I would get fat. I come from France, a country where we use sugar, syrup, butter, cream, sauces or oil in almost every single dish. And yet, in Paris my weight was a steady 70 kilograms. While in Indonesia, I reached almost 90 kilos within a year, even though I was eating less. I tried to understand how it could happen, and I came up with a few possible explanations. Here is the 6-step story of how I became fat in Indonesia: Step 1: Eating Indonesian Food All The Time I love Indonesian food and I think it is one of the most underrated cuisines in the world. Needless to say, when I'm in Indonesia, I eat Indonesian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The problem is that most dishes are extremely fat. Ingredients are rarely boiled in water, they are fried, sautéed, stir-fried or cooked in coconut milk, for instance Beef Rendang or Gulai.

13 International Movies Shot in Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
There aren't that many international movies shot in Indonesia, either from Hollywood or Bollywood. The main problem is that the country does not offer tax incentives at the moment so film producers usually prefer shooting in Malaysia or Thailand. Indonesia is also considered more bureaucratic when it comes to getting permits delivered. Still, there are a few movies with famous actors that were either entirely shot in the country or with some scenes only. I managed to download and watch all the following movies from internet (legally of course). They provided me with an interesting look at how Indonesia is perceived abroad. Blackhat (2015) - Hollywood Chris Hemsworth, wisata di Sunda Kelapa

Buying Sex Toys in Indonesia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Buying sex toys in Indonesia used to be very difficult, but today it has become more easy thanks to the internet (you can buy online on websites like AliExpress ). In this review, I will answer a few questions: Are sex toys legal in Indonesia? Can I import them from abroad? Where can I buy some? Are Sex Toys Legal In Indonesia? NB: I am not a lawyer and I didn't study laws. The following is only my personal interpretation of the law based on internet research. If you can read Indonesian, I recommend you the following: The Legality of The Sex Toys Business in Indonesia . If you think I'm wrong, please leave me a comment below. Officially, there are no laws specifically forbidding sex toys in Indonesia. Possessing a dildo, importing it or carrying it with you when you enter in Indonesia is not explicitly prohibited in any text or regulations.

12 Delicious Indonesian Soups (and Where to Eat Them)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
A common mistake of foreigners visiting Indonesia is to limit their knowledge of Indonesian cuisine to Nasi Goreng and Nasi Padang. Few will taste one of the dozens delicious soups that you can try everywhere, from classy Indonesian restaurants to popular food courts. Indonesian soups are typically made from some of these ingredients: turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, onions, potatoes, coriander, ginger, galangal, tomatoes and of course, coconut milk. Chicken is the most common type of meat, followed by beef, mutton and fish. Pork soups are very rare outside of Bali. Sop or Soto? It seems that even Indonesians are not so sure about the difference between "soto" and "sop". Some friends told me that "sop" are clear soups while "soto" are mixed with coconut milk. Wikipedia tells a different story: It says that traditional soups are called "soto" while modern, western-inspired ones are called "soup". If you know the differ