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30 Groups Who Own Jakarta Nightlife

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
You would be surprised to know that 90% of Jakarta's main clubs, bars, spas and karaokes are in the hands of less than 50 persons and only about 30 groups. It is quite difficult to know precisely who owns what because there are usually several partners in each business venture . This is a way to minimize the investment cost, to spread the risks and to help with the promotion. Each of the owners brings his network of friends, family, strategic connections and partners to support the business and to make it grow. Within the same group, it is also not uncommon to have several companies (PT) with different shareholders each.  Another difficulty is that the real owners are sometimes hidden behind a nominee. This is especially true when the venue is reputed for hosting illegal activities such as drugs, prostitution or gambling. The best illustration for that is Tommy Winata who has the particularly of being a nominee who uses other nominees: He owns stakes in multiple compan

Is Bali Becoming a Sex Tourism Destination?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
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. Other naughty KTVs include EC Bali , Tang Chao (for Chinese) and Level One . 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

Jakarta Nightlife: Top 10 Nightclubs (Updated 2017)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
"What are the best nightclubs in Jakarta?" is one of the questions I get asked the most by readers of Jakarta100bars. The following list should answer this question though I imagine some of you may disagree with my rankings. If you do, please leave a comment below about your favorite clubs in the city. Surprisingly, there has not been so many changes in the past few year in the city's clubbing scene. All the venues listed below already existed in 2014.  As I mentioned in my review Jakarta Nightlife Guide 2017 , almost all nightclubs in Jakarta are expensive . If you are a heavy alcohol drinker and if you are with a small group, I would advise to always buy a bottle. That way you can get a table or a sofa close from the dance-floor and also avoid the First Drink Charge, FDC (usually amounting to Rp100,000 - Rp200,000). On weekends, it is essential to book in advance.

6 Best Speakeasy Bars and Lounges in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Several speakeasy bars and lounges have opened recently in Jakarta, following an American trend that started around 2008,  In case you are not familiar with the term, here are a few ways to recognize a speakeasy : - The theme of the bar is the 1920s, particularly anything reminding of the prohibition era (Gatsby, the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties, etc...) - They serve classic cocktails, fine spirits and put a lot of emphasis on the skills of their bartenders/mixologists. - They are hidden, promoted through word of mouth within a specific community, or accessible for members only. - A retro or hipster dress code is encouraged, in particular beards, suspenders, berets, fedoras, forearm tattoos, hats, etc. - They have live jazz, soul, oldies or any kind of laid-back retro music.

Top 10 Beer Bars, Pubs and Beer Gardens in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Starting 2015, you are normally not allowed to buy any alcohol, including beer, from minimarts all over Indonesia. It should take a few months before someone smart finds a way to bypass the law so until then, you'll need to find a friendly and cheap bar to grab a beer when needed. Beer bars are not difficult to find in Jakarta so to avoid listing 100 venues, I made a choice with the following considerations in mind: Is the place crowded? Does it have a large choice of imported beers? Is it friendly? Does it have regular events? Is it popular with expats? Is it affordable? Does it have good food? Is the atmosphere appealing?

Yogyakarta Nightlife: Bars, Clubs, Karaokes and Spas

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
I was disappointed with Yogyakarta nightlife. As a city famous for attracting students and tourists, I was expecting a fun party atmosphere with busy bars and nightclubs. On the contrary, Yogyakarta is quite conservative: Most girls wear the jilbab and you can see all over the city some aggressive banners against gays or Shia Muslims. I've read also about some incidents against a feminist group  just a few days ago. This gave me the impression to be in Saudi Arabia more than in "tolerant" Indonesia. In spite of this, I still had fun but I had to try quite many venues before figuring out which one were crowded and which one were boring. The objective of this guide is to save you some time and give you the best tips to enjoy Yogyakarta nightlife if you are a single traveler there. If new bars and clubs open, please mention them in the comments to help me keep this review up-to-date. Girl-Friendly Hotels in Yogyakarta: I guess you are not going to Yog

Blok M (Jalan Falatehan)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
My previous visit to Jalan Falatehan was 3 years ago, during a memorable pub crawl, the Blok-M-thon. Last week (June 2011) was more healthy, but I still managed to visit each venues (except Highway to Elle ). My objective was to see if there was any update that could be made to this blog. For those unaware of the name, Jalan Falatehan is one of the two main red-light areas in South Jakarta (the other one being " Little Tokyo "). It is not very long, about 200 meters, and you'll find less than 10 bars, usually owned by foreigners . Here is a quick list, by order of appearance:

Jalan Jaksa Nightlife

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
This review will give you tips about the recommended nightlife around Jalan Jaksa, the backpacker street of Jakarta. Click on the names of the venues to see the full review. For those staying in Jalan Jaksa, there is a fair number of bars available walking distance. None of them are high-class, but some can be fun and laid-back, perfect for meeting people or having a beer. There are three places that are usually the most lively, with a healthy mixed crowd of locals, expats and tourists: Cocktail and Friends , Equal Park , and Melly's Garden (a bit further on Jalan Wahid Hasyim). They are quite similar, with an open-air space (bring mosquito repellent!), cheap beer (around Rp25K for large bintang) and basic food (western snacks and street food dishes). Equal Park is more of a live music venue, with reggae or rock bands every night. If you are looking for a bar with no frills to spend the night, these are the best spots.

Jakarta Nightlife During Ramadhan

By The Jakarta Team →
BATS is usually the best bar in Jakarta during Ramadhan. Nightlife in Jakarta during Ramadan is quiet and rather boring. For expats, it can be nice to rest for a few weeks because partying in Jakarta can be exhausting. It is a great way to save money too. For those who don't want to wait until the end of Ramadan, you can still have some fun, but the atmosphere is different than usual. Each year, the government announces new rules concerning the opening/closure of entertainment venue: The more often, during the first 2 days following the beginning of ramadan, everything is closed and you should really avoid going out. After that, the nightlife start again slowly, with shorter opening hours, for the following venues:

Kemang Nightlife: The Best Bars and Clubs

By The Jakarta Team →
In this post I will list quickly the most interesting nightlife places in the area of Kemang. I do not party so much there for two reasons: It is a bit far from where I live (Menteng)  The crowd in Kemang's clubs and bars is usually a bit younger than me. Most of the patrons indeed are sons & daughters of middle to upper class Indonesian families, plus some expat kids, rather than executives. Kemang is one of the most dynamic clubbing areas in Jakarta though: The scene is constantly changing and, apart for a lucky few, new bars close within 2 or 3 years. I've seen 3 different periods in Kemang nightlife: When I first arrived in Jakarta, 6 years ago, Kemang clubs were very cheap and basic. People would go there only because you could get drunk for almost nothing.  Then, slowly, nicer and trendier clubs began to appear, like Amor or Barcode. This was a period when almost every club looked identical. Each places had the ambition to attract classy/stylish people.

The Far Away Nightlife of Tanjung Priok (North Jakarta)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
In 10 years in Jakarta, I had never been to Tanjung Priok at night. For those who don't know, Tanjung Priok is located in the extreme North of the city and it is home to the city's main harbour. It is not a very recommended area to hangout. Don't bring your girlfriend here on a date. Anyway, we were actually planning to go to Senen from Kelapa Gading, but our taxi driver was tricky and he tried to extend our journey (and fare) with him. My friend looked at his GPS and it was clear that we were completely off-track, going North West instead of going South East. We started to argue and after a little fight with him, he dropped us off at the corner of Jalan Laksamana Yos Sudarso and Jalan Raya Enggano.

Semarang Nightlife: Best Bars, Clubs, Karaokes and Spas

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Semarang is the 5th largest city in Indonesia with almost 2 millions inhabitants. Yet, its nightlife is not very developed apart from a few male-oriented bars, clubs, karaokes and spas. As a friend from Semarang told me, the problem is that most young people fall into one of these categories: - They are single but they still live with parents - They are conservative or not interested with clubbing - They married young and already have kids - They left Semarang for Jakarta, Surabaya or Bali - They cannot afford partying In the end, the few people you see in clubs are Indo-Chinese men/local businessmen/government employees (all of them with their escorts/LCs), some Indonesians on business trips or traveling, very few expats and occasionally, students.

Bali Nightlife 2016

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
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

Karaokes and KTVs in Jakarta (Complete Guide)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Karaoke and KTV bars in Jakarta are used for a multitude of purposes. Singing is one of them, but it is definitely not the only reason. Most commonly, they are used for prostitution, drugs, private parties, striptease and sometimes orgies. As a foreigner, it took me several years to understand what was truly going on behind those doors. It is only after discussing with girls, clients and club owners, that I finally realized what karaokes were for and why Indonesians are so crazy about them.

Jakarta Party Bus: Best Way to Enjoy Jakarta Nightlife with Big Groups

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
If you are planning to party in Jakarta with a group (starting 6 people), you should spend some time considering your transportation options. Clubs in Jakarta are rather far from each other and you'll most likely need to spend a couple hours in traffic to go from one point to another. Until a few years ago, what I was doing with friends was to rent a minivan for the weekend, load it with beers and music, and go from one place to the other with it. It is not that practical if you are more than 6 or 7 though and it is not perfect in terms of facilities (no fridge) and music (poor speakers).

PIK Nightlife: Best Bars and Clubs

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) nightlife barely existed until a few years ago. The bars and clubs I will mention in this review were opened in the past 2 years. The scene is most likely to change a lot more as new residences, hotels, malls and offices open there. Currently, PIK is one of the favorite spots for wealthy, young Indo Chinese to hang out in Jakarta. Many among them live in the Pluit area and they are looking for an alternative to going to South Jakarta's hot spots in SCBD or Senopati. The type of food available is also the one most popular with this community. In particular, the availability of pork on the menu of a restaurant in PIK is the key to success. Before Party: Where to eat? Typically, many restaurants in PIK will fall into one of these categories: - Korean Barbecue : Kimchi GrandMa, Gomawo, Seorae, Born Ga, Mapogalmaegi, Han Ok.

Bachelor Party in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
This guide will give you insider's tips and recommendations to help you prepare a memorable bachelor party (or bachelorette) in Jakarta with your friends. I will answer all the questions you may have about the best clubs to visit, how to get around in the city, which hotels to choose, how to meet Indonesian girls and how to stay safe. If there is anything else you would like to know, please write a comment or send me an email thibaud@jakarta100bars.com. Partying with friends? Read my guide:  18 Best Apartments for Bachelor Parties in Jakarta

Top 10 Best Bars in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Update 2017: I wrote an update on this list available here  50 Best Bars in Jakarta .  As promised on my Jakarta Nightlife Guide , here is a list of my 10 favorite bars in Jakarta. I made the list based on my personal preferences only. If you are a Western expat in your 30s, you will probably find it relevant . If you think a bar should be included here, please drop me a comment and I will visit the place (if I haven't done it already). For more recommendation about the best bars in the city, you can also read  Jakarta's Best Beer Bars and Beer Garden  and last year's ranking: Jakarta's Best Bars 2014 . 1) Cloud Lounge

20 Famous Prostitute Bars in Luxury Hotels in Asia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
If you are familiar with 5-star hotels in Asia, you know that they are often the best places to find freelance prostitutes in a particular city. Many will have a bar or a nightclub where working girls can offer their services without any problems. They are even encouraged to do so in some venues with free entrance and free drinks. The tolerance of the hotel managers/owners for prostitution activities within their walls may seem surprising. It is actually very logical and it can be explained easily. First, most of the clients in these hotels are male who are traveling alone, usually for business purposes. For them, the availability of (paid) sex is the main reason they will choose a brand over another. Any hotel with a happening pick-up bar is guaranteed a high-level of occupancy. Second, many clients prefer staying in hotels that have in-house bars because it is a sign they will be girl-friendly. They will feel more comfortable bringing a girl back to their room: That'

Top 10 Striptease and Sexy Dancer Shows in Jakarta in 2017

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Yes, even in self-righteous Indonesia you will find more strip clubs and sexy dancers than in most other Asian countries. Sure Bangkok has its fair share of gogo bars, but women there rarely go full nude in public. In Jakarta, you have dozens of places with daily naked shows for a male public, obviously, to enjoy. Remember that you are in Jakarta, not in Hollywood. Don't expect a spectacular striptease show with pole dancing, synchronized choreographies and splits, it is usually pretty basic. In most places, you can also book the stripper for a private dance and more depending on the size of your wallet. In all those places, the dancers usually try to get customers to buy them ladies' drinks after they've finished their routine. The price for a drink is between 50k and 100k. If you buy one, you will just get a thank you. If you buy at least 3, you will get a short lap dance. If you buy more than 3, you won't get much more.  The huge majority of those venues