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Partnership Jakarta100bars & Discover Jakarta City App for Mobile

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Discover Jakarta – Free City Mobile Guide

The Smartphone App "Discover Jakarta" is a location based mobile guide that shows insider places and special offers in Jakarta. The app targets mainly the clubbing and nightlife community, both for locals and expats. 

The content is listed in 25 categories such as Nightlife, Food & Dining, Events, Health & Beauty and others and it has photos and comprehensive descriptions. 

Especially the Google Maps function is very nice. If e.g. you are looking for the closest spa in the category Health & Beauty it shows you all offers and the directions how to get there.

Jakarta100Bars has teamed up with Discover Jakarta and you can find our recommendations of the places in the App.

The App is available in the Apple app store for iPhone/iPad and in Google Play for all Android devices (download for free).

Download Links:
Apple Store

Google Play Store

Here are some screenshots to understand how it works:




The Best Restaurants for Dim Sum in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
In this post, I will give some recommendations about the best places to eat Dim Sum in Jakarta. Since the offer is plentiful, I made small categories to help you choose which restaurant is the one for you:

The "Top 5": The following restaurants are generally regarded as serving the best Dim Sum in Jakarta: 

1) Ah Yat Abalone in Golden Boutique Hotel Angkasa (Tel: +62-21 6220 2388) and in Mid Plaza 2 (Tel: +62-21 570 7333) with non-halal available.

2) May Star (Halal) in Central Park Mall LG (Tel: +62-21 5698 5422), in Gandaria City GF (+62-21 2905 2922), in Hotel Le Grandeur Mangga Dua ( Tel: +62-21 612 7880), in Mall Pluit Emporium (Tel: +62-21 6667 6280). The ones in Pluit and Mangga Dua have non halal available.

3) Samudra Seafood Restaurant in BRI Tower, Jl. Sudirman (Tel: +62 21 571 3600) and in Living World (Alam Sutera)

4) Taipan in WTC Mangga Dua (Tel: +62-21 3001 8877). Non halal available. All you can eat for Rp108,000++. 

5) Sun City in Mall Lindeteves, Jl. Hayam Wuruk (Tel:+62-21 6220 1900). Non halal available.

Chinese restaurants located in Jakarta's 5-star hotels: Usually more expensive, though not always tastier, but with better design and atmosphere. They are non-halal.

Table 8, Hotel Mulia Senayan (T: 021 574 7777)

Shang Palace in 
Shangri-La (
Tel: +62-21 570 7440) with a very famous "All You Can Eat" (AYCE) lunch for Rp138,000 all taxes included.

Xin Hwa, Mandarin Oriental (Tel: +62 21 2993 8888) with AYCE at Rp128,000 all included.

Pearl, JW Marriott (Tel: +62-21 5798 8888)

Teratai, Hotel Borobudur (Tel: +62-21 3805555) with AYCE at Rp141,000 all included.

Lai Ching, Four Seasons Hotel (Tel: +62-21 252 3456) with AYCE at Rp118,000 all included.

Tien Chao in Gran Melià Kuningan (Tel: +62-21 5268080) - Currently under renovation.

Large Chinese restaurants chains:

Crystal Jade: Under different names, it can be found in Grand Indonesia, Pacific Place, Plaza Senayan. Halal.

Duck King, halal, and its non-halal branch Imperial Chef

Din Tai Fung (Halal)

From the Tung Lok group (behind Taipan and Sun City), you also have:
Ming Dine and Chill in Epicentrum Building I (Tel: +62-21 2991 2323)
Ming in Kelapa Gading (Tel: +62-21 4585 0039)

Ming Village in Senayan City (Tel: +62-21 7278 1627) (Halal) is not related to the group I believe.

Other restaurants with decent and affordable all-you-can-eat Dim Sum buffets:

Eastern: In Lippo Karawaci, Tangerang (Tel: +62-21 558 4288). Used to be in Permata Hijau, not great but very popular for its all-you-can-eat Dim Sum (Rp60,000 all included). Halal.

OenPao: In many different locations across Jakarta. All you can eat Rp60,000 all included. Halal.

Clover Palace: In Central Park Slipi (Tel: +62-21 5698 5318): All you can eat for 49,999++. Halal.

Sands Restaurant: In Mangga Dua Square (Tel: +62-21 6231 2888), all you can eat for Rp49,000++. Non-halal.

Golden Ming in Acacia Hotel on Jalan Kramat Raya (Tel: +62-21 390 3030): All you can eat for Rp76,000 all included. Non-halal.

The prices and conditions are given as indications only. You should call the restaurant first to make sure their offer is still valid. If possible, leave me a comment with the updated price. Thanks a lot! Idem with the mention halal or not, I didn't check for every restaurant.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanghaidaddy/

If you love Chinese food, please read my guide about the Best Chinese Restaurants in Jakarta.

The Best Indian Restaurants in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Indian restaurants are relatively easy to find in Jakarta, and their overall quality is decent. The most authentic and cheapest options are usually located where the Indian community lives (mainly in Sunter and Pasar Baru), while in the the Center and in the South, where expatriates live, you have some more expensive and stylish restaurants. 

Here is my list of Jakarta's best Indian restaurants, by category:

- Indian restaurants with both excellent food and atmosphere (Fine Dining):
1) Kinara (Kemang Raya No. 78-B, Phone number: +62 21-719 2677)
2) Hazara (click to read my review on this blog)
3) Ganesha Ek Sanskriti (BRI II Building, Jl Jend Sudirman Kav 44-46., Phone number: +62-21 5719415 / 5713567)
4) Ganesha Ek Sanskriti (Kemang Square Lt 2, Jl Kemang Raya No 5., Phone number: +62-21 7196837).

- Indian restaurants with good food and average atmosphere
1) Queen's Tandoor (click to read my review on this blog)
2) Queen of India (Sunlake Hotel, Jalan Danau Permai Raya Blok C, Sunter, Phone number: +62-21 6583 1477): Same owner as Queen's Tandoor, same opinion.
3) Namaste Hindustan (click to read my review on this blog)
4) Komala's (Sarinah Building Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.11, Phone number +62-21 3903 533): 100% Vegetarian.
5) Royal Kitchen (Bellagio Boutique Mall, GF 16 Kawasan Mega Kuningan, Phone number: +62-21 3002 9975): Great brunch on Sundays for Rp69,000++.
6) Koh-e-noor (Pasar Festival GF, Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. C-22, Phone number: +62-21-527-6531): Moderately priced, serves Indian and Pakistani favourites
7) Man Aur Tan (Manhattan Hotel, Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio, Phone number: +62-21 3004 0888): I didn't try it yet, and there hasn't been a lot of buzz about it so far.

- Cheap Indian restaurants with decent food:
1) Taj Mahal (click to read my review on this blog): Must-try, cheap, friendly and authentic.
2) Bombay Tandoori (click to read my review on this blog): Slow service, but cheap and decent.
3) Martabak Har (Jl. Hayam Wuruk No.19, Phone number: +62-21 3506 094): Cheap, but limited choice of food.
4) Restaurant Pakistan (Jl. Fatmawati 23, Phone number: +62-21 7504 037): Mainly Pakistani food, around Rp60,000 for a meal.
5) Rumah Makan Rasa Sayang (Jl. Paradise Barat Raya Blok K-31 Sunter, Phone number: +62-21 6450 367): I once went to Sunter's "Little India" just to eat in Rasa Sayang, but I wasn't able to find the restaurant. Since Sunter is quite far from where I live, I'll try again but not soon. Your comments are welcome.

- Restaurants serving a mix of continental and Indian food:
1) Satoo in Shangri-La Hotel (click to read my review on this blog)
2) Eastern Promise (click to read my review on this blog)
3) Frontpage (click to read my review on this blog)

I've called each places before posting this review, so on October 2011, all the Indian restaurants listed above were operating. If you hear about any changes, please let me know.

Top German & Dutch Restaurants in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
After ranking the best Italian, French and Arab restaurants in Jakarta, I have a much easier task listing German and Dutch food in Jakarta. Let me know if I forgot one, but the only ones I can think of are:
  • Imbiss Stube (Cilandak Town Square) - Same owner as Die Stube, Patrick Widjaja, born and raised in Germany. 
  • Ya Udah (click to read my review), owned by a Swiss from Zurich
I've only tried Die Stube, Ya Udah and Paulaner. Among those three, Die Stube seemed like the best, followed by Paulaner (which is too expensive) and at last Ya Udah (which I recommend because it is affordable).

To complete this review, and even though the food is different, I'm also listing some restaurants serving Dutch food:
  • Dijan's Pannekoeken & Poffertjes, famous for its desserts, on Jl. Kemang Selatan, no. 102A, Kemang, Tel 021 7179 3538
Photo Credit: Die Stube/Imbiss Stube

Italian Restaurants in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
There is a wide range of Italian restaurants in Jakarta, from fast-food pizza chains to fine dining options.

I have tried, or heard of, the majority of the good places in Jakarta, and I hope this page will help you decide where you will find your favourite Italian food in the city.
 
Among the chains of restaurants, there are two names that are above the competition: Izzi Pizza and Pizza Marzano. The last one is actually a British brand, but they make thin crust pizza and they have a whole Italian menu. In none of these venues you will eat authentic Italian, but they have fair standards when it comes to quality and service. They can be found a bit everywhere, more specifically in malls, and the average price for a pizza is Rp80,000 and Rp60,000 for a plate of pasta.

In the same price range, I advise you to try Pepenero and Trattoria, two favourites among Jakarta expats. Without sacrificing taste, they offer excellent value dishes in a quite authentic atmosphere. If you are not looking for fine dining, but for a normal, affordable meal, these two places are ideal: Though I've been disappointed at times, they maintain high standards in their cooking and in the ingredients they use.

I recently tried Fashion Pasta and Basilico and for me they are just as good as Pepenero and Trattoria, with similar prices.

Toscana in Kemang is also in that category but more expensive. I consider it the best Italian in Jakarta as it manages to keep its prices at reasonable levels while offering excellent cuisine. It is always crowded, especially with the Italian community in Jakarta.
More sophisticated than Toscana, there are numerous trendy Italian restaurants in Jakarta. For them, Italy is about fashion and style more than tradition. Though their prices are much higher than the previous venues, the food is not always superior in taste (if never). Some addresses should be avoided, others can be visited with moderation. My recommended addresses for chic Italian dining are:
Puro in the same building than Blowfish.
Sopra: In Pacific Place, popular with the high society.
Capoccacia: See review in my blog.
Pesto: See review.
Luna Negra: See review, similar with Sopra.
Opera Blanc: See review, same owner than Sopra, more expensive
Gaia: See review. Very expensive.
Balboni: In Kota Kasablanka, authentic Italian
La Luce: In SCBD, very pricey.

The Italian restaurants of Jakarta's 5-star hotels offer similar high standards, but for a price of at least Rp350,000 for a meal. Though it is cheaper than flying to Rome, it cannot be a daily treat for everyone. I only tried Casa d'Oro in this price range, which I found overpriced (see review Casa d'Oro) but still worth it. I have also heard very positive comments from the following places:

- Rosso in Shangri-La. (Update June 2011: I went there, here is my review Rosso Jakarta)
- Il Mare in Mulia
- Scusa in Intercontinental MidPlaza
- Bruschetta in Borobudur Hotel
- Lobo in Ritz-Carlton (but not 100% Italian)

The main problem with those venues is that the chefs do not stay very long, and from year to year, the quality may change a lot...

More italian restaurants are opening in Jakarta regularly so I will update this page with the best venues. You're welcome to leave comments or send a review if I missed an important one!

Izzi Pizza:
The list of branches can be found on their website: http://izzicompany.com/ and their menu here: Menu Restaurant Izzi Pizza.

Pizza Marzano:
Idem at http://www.pizzamarzano.co.id/ and the menu here.

Trattoria Kuningan
The East Building Lobby Ground Floor #1-10
Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav. E 3.2 No.1
Jakarta 12950
Phone number: +62-21 5793 8574
Fax: +62-21 5793 8594

Pepenero
Website: Pepenero Italian Cuisine

Menara Karya, Ground Floor,
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said, Block X-5 Kav.1-2
Phone number: +62-21 5794 4727

Plaza Pondok Indah 2, Blok BA 25 - 26,
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah
Phone number: +62-21 750 0959

Gedung The Energy, Mezzanine Level,
Jl. Jend Sudirman Lot 11A, Kawasan SCBD
Phone number: +62-21 5296 4006

Fashion Pasta
City Walk 1st floor unit 5.
Jl. KH Mas Mansyur No. 121
Tanah Abang
Central Jakarta 10220
Phone number: +62-21 2555 8972 or +62-21 2555 8973

Toscana
Jalan Kemang Raya 120
Cilandak, Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 718 1216
Website: http://www.toscana-italianrestaurant.com/jakarta.html

Puro (Blowfish)
City Plaza at Wisma Mulia
Jl Jend Gatot Subroto Kav 42, Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 5297-1234
Website: http://www.ismayagroup.com/puro

Sopra
Pacific Place, Level 1
SCBD, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Phone number: +62 2 5140 0557
Website http://www.sopraristorante.com

Capoccacia Pacific Place
Pacific Place Mall
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Tel: +62 21 5797 3658
Fax: +62 21 5797 3659
Website: Capoccacia Jakarta

Luna Negra
Plaza Bapindo, Citibank Bulding, GF
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 54-44
South Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2995 0077
Website: http://www.lunanegra.co.id

Casa D'Oro
Hotel Kempinski - Ganesha Wing
Jalan MH Thamrin No.1
Jakarta Capital Region 10310, Indonesia
Phone number: +62 21 2358 3896
Email: casadoro.jakarta@kempinski.com
Website: Kempinski Dining

Scusa
Hotel InterContinental Mid Plaza
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10-11
Jakarta Pusat 10220, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 251 0888 ext. 6996
Website: Intercontinental Dining

Rosso, Hotel Shangri-La
Kota BNI
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta 10220, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 570 7440
Fax: +62-21 570 3530
Website: Shangri-La Rosso

Il Mare
Hotel Mulia Senayan
Jl Asia Afrika, Jakarta, Indonesia 10270
Phone number: +62-21 5753272/5747777 Exr. 4708, 4588
Website: http://www.hotelmulia.com/

Bruschetta
Hotel Borobudur
1 Jalan Lapangan Banteng Selatan
Jakarta Capital Region 10110, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 380 5555

Lobo
Ritz-Carlton
JL. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav. E.1.1 NO.1
Mega Kuningan, Jakarta 12950 Indonesia  
Phone number: +62-21 2551 8888
Fax: +62-21 2551 8889
Website: Lobo Restaurant

Opera Blanc Restaurant
Pacific Place
SCBD, Jl Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Jakarta 12190
Phone number: +62-21 5797 3815

Altitude: Gaia
The Plaza, 46th floor
Plaza Indonesia
Jl. M.H. Thamrin
Kav. 28 - 30, Jakarta 10350, Indonesia

La Luce Italian Restaurant Jakarta
18Parc Tower C - GF

SCBD Lot.18

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53, South Jakarta
 
Balboni Italian Restaurant Jakarta
Kota Kasablanka Mall, Tower A
Jalan Casablanca Raya Kav. 88
South Jakarta

The Exciting Nightlife of Pasar Rumput!

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Pasar Rumput is a great place to visit during the day if you are a tourist or an expat. It is close from the city center, and only 5 minutes away from Jalan Sudirman or Jalan Rasuna Said.

It is one of the biggest traditional markets in the center of Jakarta, and I don't think it will be long before new towers and buildings replace it. It is a bit dark, but still, you can see some very colourful stalls and people will be quite amused to see you wandering in its alleys. Great place to take photos as well:



Surprisingly, it is also a famous area for low-end nightlife, along with nearby Pasar Manggis and the Manggarai Railroad. You will never see an expat in there, nor a colleague, but maybe your ojek driver or your gardener. In Pasar Rumput, you will find everything there can be, just like in Kota's biggest one stop entertainment (except for the spa): Massage Parlours, Karaoke, Discos, Bars, etc.. Prices are extremely low: Rp. 50,000 for a massage, Rp 25,000 for a large beer. I had the chance to meet with the security guards of this night club called Pantura Bar, a venue for dancing and listening to dangdut. It has opened only a few months ago and it is the biggest in Pasar Rumput. It is very basic but not that dirty. I'm sure any night out starting out ending here will be great fun...



Preparing for the Dangdut's evening session

One floor under is where dozens of massage parlours and beauty salon can be found. Apparently most of the tenants are gays and/or ladyboys, which is not surprising since Pasar Rumput is very close for Jakarta's "bencong" district (ladyboy) in Taman Lawang. I don't know what kind of service is provided in the little massage room, but judging from the look of the masseuse I talked to, I would say it is most likely a plus-plus..

You can get a $5 massage here!

I was already surprised to see that the famous "Happy Karaoke", to which I paid a visit a few years ago is still there, as strong as a Viking ship:



Street Food In Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →




I have to feel very ambitious today to write an article in this blog about street food in Jakarta.

It's pretty much like planning to write about French cheeses in 500 words: Too much information, too little time... So I won't aim to be exhaustive, but only give a short overview of the street foods in Jakarta.

A huge majority of Indonesian never set foot in a restaurant, and even a meal in a Rumah Makan (basic eatery) is not always common. However, eating in street stalls, because it is very cheap, can be considered almost as common as eating at home. In fact, you will see in Jakarta's smallest streets that a woman cooking at home may sell some of her dishes, while buying another dish to someone's other house.

Street food is one of the most authentic Indonesian experience you can have in Jakarta, and with so many places to choose from, it is also the easiest way to integrate for expats and practise your bahasa Indonesia. You will sit elbow to elbow with the other customers and since expats are not always a common sight, you won't have any difficulties to engage in some chitchat. Eating in the street is also quite lively: You often have some singers or musicians trying to make a few rupiah as well as street vendors approaching you..


So what are the best areas in Jakarta for street food?

- Jalan Sabang, about 1 km North of Plaza Indonesia and 200 meters from Jalan Jaksa used to be a very active spot, almost 24h/24h, but the City Council has made it harder for street food stalls to stay on the sideway, and now it is very quiet. If you are a tourist, there is a big chance that your hotel is near Jalan Sabang so don't hesitate to grab a cab, it is perfectly safe and everyone knows where it is (see my Safety in Jakarta guide).

- Not far from Sabang, in Menteng, you can try Jalan Sidoarjo. This place is popular at night especially with young people, who come to enjoy "Anggur Hitam" (black wine).

- Another street, popular to eat seafood, but more expensive that average, is Jalan Kendal, just after Jalan Blora.

- For those who like Chinese food, my favourite is Jalan Pangeran, in North Jakarta. It is extremely busy, but cheap and excellent. Jalan Mangga Besar is also famous for its Chinese food, and also becasue they have some unusual dishes: Dogs, Turtles, Cobras, Frogs, etc.. They stay open 24h in that area too.

- Some areas worth mentioning as well: Blok S, Blok M, Jalan Tebet, Pasar Festival in Kemang. 
 
Actually, once you'll have settled in a neighborood, I hope you can try and explore some of the stalls around your house. If there is a place we should know about, please share with us!
The street food available in Jakarta is usually as follow:

The Kaki Lima (5 legs) are small wheeled carts that usually only offer a few kind of dishes: Bakso (meatball), soto (soup), ketoprak (rice with tofu), etc.. and also desserts and drinks: Pisang Goreng (fried banana), fresh juices... The portions are small and you are served quickly since the food has already been prepared. It's extremely cheap, Rp. 3000 to 10,000. You may have to pay a few thousands rupiah more if you look like an expat, but consider it as a tip!


If you are looking for a full meal, you can also have, usually half on the sidewalk, half on the road, some stalls with plastic chairs. They have very colourful banners with a list of all the dishes they prepare. It is a bit more expensive, from Rp10,000 to Rp20,000 for a meal, plus Rp5,000 for a drink.


In Jakarta, the ones you are the most likely to see are Nasi Uduk (Rice cooked in coconut milk), Pecel Lele (catfish), Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), and of course Mie Goreng/Mie Rebus (Fried/Boiled noodles) and Nasi Goreng (fried rice)!

In all these places, you can always have take-away, they will put your food inside a paper and you can eat it at home in your own plates if you worry about hygiene. If you don't like spicy food, really insist in the fact that you want no "cabe" at all (hot pepper) because saying" not so spicy" for an Indonesian and an expat is not the same thing!

At last, Jalan Sabang is actually famous for its "sate", a sort of chicken or goat kebab with a spicy peanut sauce. Not my favourite, but surely one of Jakarta's street food most popular dishes!

All the great photos on this article were taken by Peter Cuce, thanks to him for letting me put them in the blog. You can visit his website here!

10 Sexiest Indonesian Women

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
FHM models, actresses, singers, TV presenters, "selebritis"... If you just arrived in Indonesia as an expat, there are some girls' names that you will hear over and over... In no particular order, here is a list of the 10 sexiest Indonesian celebrities of the moment. Please add a comment at the bottom of the page indicating your favourite Indonesian girls, so I can make an updated list soon.

More pics of sexy Indonesian model and actresses: Hot Indonesian girls with tattoo.

1) Sandra Dewi
Actress, she is also famous for shooting many TV spots, for brands such as Ponds, Clear and You C1000.


2) Tiara Lestari
Tiara, the "first Nude Playboy Model from Indonesia".



3) Dwi Putrantiwi
FHM model...


4) Julia Perez (Jupe)
Julia had an article about her in the NY Times... I don't find her that sexy but I would get complain if I didn't mention her here...



5) Sarah Azhari
The "Paris Hilton of Indonesia", she had some nude photos of her that leaked on the internet... Half Indo/Half Arab.



6) Ratu Felisha
FHM model and actress.


7) Cynthiara Alona
FHM model, she also did some acting... Very sexy but she had some plastic surgery...


8) Indah Kalalo
Model and actress in a few sitcoms. She is also the presenter for Indonesian Models on Indosiar.


9) Aura Kasih
Both cute and sexy, Aura was born in 1988, she was a finalist of Miss Indonesia in 2007 from the Lampung province. She then had a small success with the song Mari Bercinta.


10) Farah Quinn
Presented as the sexiest chef in the world, I don't really find her that pretty... She had her boob, lips and nose done, and she looks more like a Californian porn actress more than an Indonesian girl.


By the way, you may think these women are unaccessible? You are wrong... I actually have friends who dated some of these girls. You are most likely to meet them (and other models/actresses) in nightclubs like Dragonfly, Immigrant, SKYE, X2 or Blowfish. As a foreigner, if you are young, you have your chance if you decide to go talk to them... I'm not saying it will always work but you should at least give it a try... Check all the best places for clubbing in Jakarta in 2014 here: Jakarta Nightlife Update 2014.

For tips about dating in Jakarta, you can also read this: How to Meet Girls in Jakarta? and Expats Dating Indonesian Girls.

Is Jakarta Dangerous?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Many people ask me if Jakarta is a dangerous city or not. I tend to think that it is very safe because after living four years here, I’ve never had a problem except for a few very minor annoyances.

But bad things happened to other people and I want to be as fair as possible in order to give you an objective point of you on whether Jakarta is a dangerous city or not.

Danger is not limited to robbery or crime. To be complete, here is a list of the 10 dangers you may face while staying or living in Jakarta as an expat or foreigner. I also write an estimation of the level of risk.

If you are going to Jakarta without a travel insurance, you should read the following: Choosing Your Travel Insurance in Indonesia.

Safety on the road: High
I think that your biggest threat while being in Jakarta will be dealing with motorized vehicles, whether your are walking, in a car, or in a motorcycle. If you take the taxi for instance, you will notice cars don’t have a safety belt in the back. If you take an ojek (moto-taxi), the driver will give you a shitty helmet and drive recklessly, putting your life in danger every second.
How to avoid it: Take silver bird taxis, go in the passenger seat, avoid taking ojeks, be very careful when walking in Jakarta.

Natural Disaster: High
Flood, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis… Jakarta, as the rest of the country, is prone to natural disasters. In fact, according to the Natural Disaster Risk Index, Indonesia is the world’s second most dangerous nation regarding natural catastrophes after Bangladesh. I don’t think it can impact your stay in Jakarta though, because it is something you cannot really protect yourself from. All you can do is cross your finger and hope that everything will be OK.

Terrorism: Medium to High
I don’t know what I should say about terrorism. It happened in Jakarta and Bali, and even though the government is very active in fighting terrorists, we cannot ignore that new bombings could happen again in Jakarta/Indonesia in the future.
The targets of terrorists have always been places frequented by expats, like embassies, night clubs, restaurants or 5-star hotels. A safe precaution therefore is to avoid too crowded areas.
Some extremist religious groups have been attacking entertainment venues too, especially during religious times of the year like Ramadan. It is quite rare though and they are more scary than dangerous.


Pickpockets: Medium
It is the most common offence in Jakarta affecting expats: Having a small thing stolen while in a bar (usually a phone) or in a crowd. It is not so common either, but it happened to me with a camera, and it happened to a few of my friends, in particular in Stadium nightclub. I had once a problem with a drink that almost made me pass out… The guy I was with may have put something in it, but I’ll never know that for sure.

Robbery: Medium
I don’t have statistics about robbery, but from what I could observe, it involves most of the time the people working in your house: Maids, cooks, guards. It is usually low value items (in my situation, I had all my cleaning products disappearing…), but very annoying. To avoid any problems, look for staff that has been recommended to you by fellow expats, and pay them more than average.

Scams: High
Getting to pay the right price for things is a challenge in Jakarta when you are or when you look like an expat. Most of the times, it only requires negotiation, but sometimes, it gets tougher. Taxis are usually a pain in the ass: Apart from the reputed Blue Bird and Express brands, many drivers will try to get more from you by using various tricks: No meter, longer routes, fiddled meters. Beware also of “fake” Blue Bird taxis: They look exactly like them but belong to other companies. The danger is not so high, usually you only end up paying a few dollars extra, but in some cases, drivers can get violent (it happened with girls travelling alone).
Some people will warn you about credit card fraud, and you should be cautious about that. The same precaution applies when you want to change money: Always prefer a bank rather than street vendors.

Police: High
Having to deal with the police is one of the worst annoyances in Jakarta for an expat, especially if you own a car or a motorbike. Personally I take a personal pride in never bribing policemen, but to do so you need to be “clean” and have all the appropriate documentation with you (a copy of the passport, driving license, etc..).

Political instability: Low
Many tourists are afraid of the potential instability of Jakarta and Indonesia. I know many people in Malaysia from Chinese descent who refuses to come to Jakarta, because they are scared of what happened during the 1998 riots. I also know many people who are afraid of going to a Muslim country, because they think people won’t be tolerant if they say they are Catholics. I think there is absolutely no reason to be scared. Indonesians are among the most welcoming and tolerant people on earth. Terrorism is only supported by a extremely tiny minority, and you will realize that Indonesia is not the dark, dangerous country some medias are trying to describe.

Health Hazards (Food poisoning, pollution, etc): Average
Jakarta is often dirty and not always very hygienic. It is very easy to get small diseases or asthma. If you are fragile, or if you are travelling with children or elderly people, I would advise you to be prepared to be in a hostile environment. I think if you avoid the most risky situation everything should be OK: No walking, no street food, do wash your hands, peel your fruits, drink bottled water, etc…

Physical assault: Low
It is very uncommon, but it happens. The most often, crime happens in Jakarta among gangs so you shouldn’t have troubles with it. Some clubs in North Jakarta have the reputation to be controlled by mafias, so if you want to be safe, you can start avoiding those.

For updated information about the security in Jakarta, you can check the website of the American embassy in Jakarta: Safety in Jakarta for travellers and expatriates.

Photo Credit: Enda, Indrani.

What Do Indonesian Girls Look Like?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Some of the readers of this blog have never been to Indonesia. They are preparing a business trip or an expatriation here and they wonder about the nightlife in Jakarta. Surprisingly, the first question men ask me usually before arriving is not about their housing, their kid's school or the number of medical facilities.

No, the question I get the most is this one: "Are the Indonesian girls pretty?"

Western people can rarely differentiate two Asian girls: Ask anybody in Europe what is the difference between a Thai girl and a Korean girl, I bet you they will not be able to answer that. Yet, after many years spent in Indonesia, I can proudly say that I will recognize an Indonesian girl very easily, and if I'm wrong it will mean the girl is from Malaysia.

Malay-Indo girls are very different from other Asian girls: Apart from the long black hair and the tiny body, they are easy to recognize for many reasons that are hard to explain: It's a combination of different elements, but to sum up, I would say that on average Indonesian girls have a darker skin, larger eyes, thicker eyebrows, a small nose and a fantastic smile.

There are different kind of Indonesian girls of course, and I will give an example of the most typical girls you have a good chance to meet:

The Jilbab girl: (Photo Credit: Rikie Rizza)
Except in Jakarta and in Christian or Hindu areas, the Jilbab is a very common sight in Indonesia. If you go in the country's provinces, at least 1/3rd of the girls will use one. There, girls usually hide skin from their bodies too by wearing jeans and long sleeves shirts. The jilbab is coulorful most of the time, but do not let us see any hair.


In Jakarta, girls are more liberal. The typical middle class girl is 1m60, slim but not skinny, and she wears jeans + a T-shirt that covers a shoulders. Since there are so many counterfeit products, it is not surprising to see girls carrying a Louis Vuitton. In malls like Mangga Dua Square or in the buses, you will see a lot of them, looking simple, but pretty (Photo Credit: Moriza):




In the bars and nightclubs, there are a few broad types of girls:

The fashionistas/models/selebriti/socialites and all the girls who wish they were like them. You will meet them in X2 or Dragonfly. Many are half Chinese or mixed expat/indo, and you will see their skin is whiter than other Indonesian girls. The great thing with Jakarta is that you actually have a window of opportunity to date models and actresses, even if you are a very average man. Many reasons can explain why Indonesian girls like so much being with expats, but one thing is sure, if you are decent looking, you stand a chance with everyone in Jakarta. Those girls may look like these:



You also have in this category the upper class clubbing girl: Very sexy but never trashy, perfect make-up and hairdo (Photo Credit: Thanks John)


The bargirls are different in the South (Blok M and the 5-stars hotels bar) and the North (Stadium, etc): In the South, they are trying a bit too hard to be sexy and they tend to show off with expensive accessories their boyfriends bought them. It will sound like a cliché but it's true: 90% of them smoke Menthol cigarettes. In the north, they often have a black (or at least a unicolor) mini-skirt, whitening cream on the face, and maybe a Nokia on their hands.

That would be mean to put some photos of girls here and imply they are prostitutes so I will let you imagine the picture. For the skirt, it's something like that (Photo Credit: Vabio Aurelio)


The Balinese girl, in my opinion, is a concept of its own: Balinese girls are very difficult to go out with compared to Javanese girls. They are not as sexy but they are exactly what we imagine the exotic girl is like (Photo Credit, for this photo plus the first one in the article: Sukandia).


The SPG (Sales Promotion Girl), and her friends the PR (Public Relations) and the GRO (Guest Relation Officer) are middle class, very cute girls who use their charms to promote whatever they are paid to promote (Photo Credit: Basi Banget):


At last, the Party Girl, especially in Jakarta, is a fun girl to hang out with, one you will not very long to fall in love with because she is beautiful and because she makes you feel alive:


Overall, girls in Indonesia are stunning and it's difficult not to fall in love quickly upon arrival. Actually I think this will be your main problem: Avoid falling in love too quickly, before you've got a clear understanding of how the relationships work in Indonesia.

I hope now you have a clearer idea of what do Indonesian girls look like. Of course each of them is unique, but I'm sure expats who've lived in Jakarta will agree that there is an Indo style.

Please, feel free to comment!

More picture: Check those articles: Top 20 FHM Models, 10 Sexiest Models and Actresses and Hot Indonesian Girls with Tattoos.