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How Life in Jakarta Turned Into a Nightmare for George Pritting

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Today I want to share a story happening right now in Jakarta.

We all remember the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was a worldwide fundraising effort to fight against ALS (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a chronic and rare disease that affects the neuroglial system and leads to a complete paralysis. It had a huge impact and massive funds were raised at that time.

It hasn’t reached George Pritting yet. 

The thing is George is not really as sympathetic and fun as the challenge. To be honest, George is not really friendly:  He insults people, screams and requests help that no one wants to give. George is not really "bankable" i.e. the kind of guy that generates a lot of empathy. Worse, he has even been suspected of scams.

The reality though is that George is ill and stuck in the middle of Jakarta suffering from ALS and nobody seems to care. Every day his condition is getting worse. He cannot walk and he has difficulties for eating and breathing.

I am writing an article about his story today to highlight the gap between all the nice intentions we read every day and the fact that someone is left to die alone because of his personality / communication skills.

Yes George is quite antipathetic but does that justify to let him die in the middle of nowhere far from his family?

Let’s go back in time.

Originally from Tennessee in the US, attracted by a different culture & seeking new life - George decided in 2012 to take on a new adventure: He flew to Jakarta. Quickly, he took on a the position of a teacher for a small wage. All was going well. He got married with a local Indonesian, had a daughter, and was happily running a new chapter of his life.  

Everything went well until 2013 when he was diagnosed with ALS. Thunder.

He ended up losing his job, his wife and his daughter, while all the money he had saved was going into day-to-day treatment.

As of now, George is stuck in a kos in the suburb of Jakarta with no money. Yet, he needs special assistance, nurses and medical equipment to be able to go home. The doctors are saying that in his condition he cannot travel without a dedicated flight and crew. The trip is worth 140,000 USD that the embassy is not in a position to cover.

This is a what George said himself about his condition:
“I have lost every function of my body. My arm and half of my body is paralyzed and I don’t have any money to cover my daily needs anymore. To be honest, I am not smelling great and each day is much more than ice bucket on the face. I am dying second per second. I just want to see my country again, my family and die as a human being. Really nice people are helping me here on the day to day but my condition requires professional help and environment. The US Embassy has been visiting me and is regularly trying to help me but they are unable to organize the repatriation. I have only one wish: To go home and to see my country again”
Tata, George's help said:
“George is in critical condition, he cannot walk, he needs permanent assistance. He went to the hospital as he couldn't go to the toilet for one week, his body needs professional care. His leg circulation is getting worse and worse. Sometimes he doesn’t get out for months and he is depressed. I'm trying my best but George can be really annoying, nervous and insulting. I am thinking about giving up.”

What can we do to help him?

A few things
⇨ Email him or visit him. For those living in Jakarta, you can contact him via his Facebook Page. Even a simple message will cheer him up.

⇨ Share that article on your social networks

⇨ Share that article with people who can create some kind of buzz among important people

More informations about his story Help George Pritting and JakartatoUSA.com

Note from Jakarta100bars: This article was written by my friend Julien. It reminded me of the one I wrote urging expats to subscribe to a travel/health insurance (Why You Absolutely Need Travel Insurance in Indonesia). 

Pad@28 Bar, Bistro & Coffee Corner

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
This review was written by a Max, a reader of this blog:

Located there, on the corner of Jalan Senopati and the road that takes you to SCBD, Pacific Place, SCBD Beergarden etc., lies a really nice restaurant called PAD@28. And I happen to believe that it is just about to make a big splash onto the gastro-scene of Jakarta.

There are a few reasons for this belief:

    1.    It is always buzzing with action. Weirdly enough, there aren't as many expats as you might expect from a place that serves duck confit, very well executed steaks, pork dishes (you heard me right - PORK, including a charcutterie platter) and really nice shots and cocktails. Mostly right now the clientel is still rich Jakartans in their late twenties and early thirties, with some 40+ people who still feel young.

    2.    The food is absolutely excellent. Whether it's a good-value-for-money snack at lunch-time (50-60k) or a real treat like an USDA steak (180-280k) all of their stuff is cooked with great attention to detail. Personally, I'm a sucker for their Duck Confit (89k).

    3.    The staff is really well-trained and the training manager really knows what she's doing, which is rare in Jakarta. Apart from Loewy, Union and a few others I usually find the service to either be to giggly and pushy or too lazy. Here, it's perfect!

    4.    The interior is pretty damn cool too. Downstairs, you feel like you're in the living-room of a hip NYC loft, while upstairs feels like a posh but unpretentious dining room.

So, there's my advice, check out PAD@28!

PAD@28
Jalan Tulodong Atas 28, Jakarta
(Near Senopati)
Tel: +62-21 527 4088
Mail: info@pad28.com

Facebook: Pad@28 (where all the photos come from)
Twitter: http://twitter.com/padkeeper28
Website: http://www.pad28.com/
Blog: http://pad28.wordpress.com/

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.

10 Signs Your Indonesian Girl Is Cheating On You

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

By Marc, a teacher who lived 5 years in Jakarta. You can read more tips about how to spot a cheating spouse by clicking here! :

You are an expat living in Jakarta involved in a relationship with an Indonesian girl? Are you wondering how serious she is with you? We know that the bar scene in Indonesia is very adventurous, and though it is easy to meet a decent girl, you may also end up with someone whose only interest is to suck you dry.

Ayam, man-eaters, etc.. There are a lot of expressions to designate these girls but my favourite term is "Professional Girlfriend": Her job, the one activity that earns her revenue, is to be your girlfriend, or to make you believe she is. And they are great at it because they are pros.

There are some easy things to spot in her behaviour that will help you guess if she's faking the whole thing or not. I listed 10 of them and I hope they will help you realize if yours is on the game or not:

1) You met your girlfriend in a bar in Jakarta: To be honest, if it was a massage parlour, a club in Kota, a bar in Blok M, or a karaoke, there is a 99% chance she is a fake. All girls there will be after your money. Your only chance is that she was in such a place by accident, but that never really happens.

2) Your Indonesian girlfriend protects her phone in an abnormal manner. My ex (which I found out was cheating) was behaving very strangely with her phone: First, the screen was locked with a password. It meant that if she wanted to call someone, she had to type a password first... a real pain in the ass don't you think? Then, wherever she would go, she would always, always take her phone with her: In the toilet, in the shower, in the kitchen... She would never forget it, and if she did, she would come back in a hurry to get it, and she would ask me, worried: Did you take a look at my phone? Clearly, I understand the concept of privacy, but such behaviour is a clear indicator that your Indonesian girl is hiding something.


3) She, who once cheated, will cheat again. If you believe that, then you can ask her about the previous men she was dating. I remember my ex was very confuse about it: She was telling me about her Dutch guy with whom she had been for 3 years, her American guy she had dated for 2 and a half year, her German guy that she had loved for 4 years, etc. She was only 24, but she had had lots of relationships, and long ones. The secret for that, I discovered, was that all of them were dated during the same period of 3 years, at the same time. Don't expect a girl who did that kind of cheating to be nicer with you!

4) She lies all the time to you and to other people. The reason for that is simple: It's hard to be deceptive, and when someone's life is a lie, he cannot always find good excuses for everything. She cannot keep track of all the lies she is saying because it is not possible for a normal human being. Normal girls don't lie because they don't have to and if you indo girlfriend is lying to you; it means that she is not behaving normally. This is not something you want.
Be strict with her: First lie and she's out.

5) Another sign that can help you see if the girl you are dating is having multiple boyfriends: She refuses to talk to you about problems that make her mad/sad/depressed. Usually, she will say she has "problems at home", but don't take her word too seriously: Chances are she is angry because one of the expats she is dating stopped sending her money, or because she fought with her Indonesian guy.

6) When you meet your girlfriend's friends, you realize that all of them have a rich expat boyfriend, and most of them are cheating on him. When you talk about this to your girl, she demonstrates full support for her friends, and you even feel that she thinks it's normal. She will tell you that you are different, because your love is so special, etc.. Be smart and ask yourself if this is the kind of world you want to live in.

7) The sex part is tricky: It is very easy for a girl to fake orgasm, or at least pleasure. Also, it won't be difficult for her to make you believe she is attracted to you physically and that she enjoys having sex. I don't think you should put to much emphasis on it, but still, if you have the feeling that for her having sex with you is a chore, you are right to be suspicious. You may also see that she uses sex to get things from you or to make you forgive her. This is never a very good sign of a healthy relationship...


8) You feel in your gut that something is wrong. This is the most important sign of all. You feel that your Indonesian girl is not being faithful, for tons of reasons that adds up. You may be in love and you are doing everything you can to believe her lies, but it actually makes you feel down to think you can be that stupid. There are no reasons to feel ashamed because you love someone, even a bargirl/prostitute, but at one point, you need to protect yourself from your girlfriend because miracles don't happen: Trust your instinct, and make a courageous decision.

9) She is extremely jealous, and I mean jealous like crazy. She doesn't trust you one bit, and never gives you any freedom when you want to go out with your friends in bars or night clubs. Once again, it's not hard to understand her behaviour: How can you trust someone when you cannot be trusted?

10) She doesn't give a damn about you: She misses many of your calls, she does not reply to your emails, or she does not try to gain your trust... You feel you are giving her all the time but you don't get anything in return except sex once in a while (if she sees you're angry). This is not a normal relationship, stop listening to all her bullshit about love, and make an objective analysis of your relationship with her: Is this woman making you happy? What does she like about you exactly that other expats don't have? Do you feel that she values you?

Jakarta is a decadent city: Male expats cheat on their wife and they end up with local Indonesian women who cheat on them too. After 5 years leaving in Jakarta, I think I’ve heard 100 hundred of these stories. It is very common for anyone familiar with Jakarta nightlife. Prostitutes are not a precise category of the population like in Europe: Things are more complicated: In any given night club in Jakarta, you will meet many girls who will be ready to sleep with you without giving too much thought about whether they like you or not: You are an expat, presumably rich, and they know they may get what she wants later. Those “prostitutes” do not look like hookers: They are young, cute, and they seem so nice that it is hard to imagine what is behind their smiles: That doesn’t mean you should stop enjoying your time in Jakarta: If the sex with her is good and you are not emotionally attached, I say don't pay too much attention to it, but then protect yourself and do not fall in love. However, if you are looking for a serious partner, then do not tolerate a relationship based on mistrust and lies.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the signs that can exist showing your Indonesian girlfriend is cheating on you. If you have experienced or observed on other expat/bargirl couples some behaviours that could help other readers determine how sincere their relationship is, please feel free to share with us!

7 Living Tips In Jakarta

By The Jakarta Team →

Living in Jakarta is confusing, and it's getting at me: Here are 7 random tips for those of you living or travelling to Jakarta. I'm sure at least one of them will improve your life here.. at least I hope... Don't hesitate to add your own!

1) The best tip ever for avoiding the traffic in Jakarta:

Ok, I’m a little exaggerating here since you cannot avoid traffic in Jakarta. But trust me; you can save precious time by following this advice:

- ALWAYS position yourself on the good side of the street when you want a taxi. I mean that if you want to go to a building that is on the right side of the road, you should always take the taxi on the right side of the road. In other, normal cities it may not be that important, but in Jakarta it is essential because of what we call the "putar balik" (Turn back). Cars can rarely just turn on the right to go to a building. They have to go far, far away, and come back to go on the other side of the road. This is the putar balik and it explains why you have to position yourself correctly when taking a taxi. I have a small example here (with a small putar balik, but just imagine it is a few kilometres long, and that the traffic is horrible).

I guess you can easily see how you could save a lot of time on this drawing. Of course you have to use your legs a little but you can't have everything...




2) Money tip: High End malls are more expensive in Jakarta than in the US or Europe.
Many people completely lost the sense of reality being in Jakarta, and they go shopping in luxury malls like Senayan City or Grand Indonesia, just before flying back to their home countries. The common sense is that the stuff there is cheaper. Wrong: A Lacoste polo, a Levi's jeans, a Diesel T-Shirt, all this is more expensive. Save your money and go to middle class malls like Mangga Dua Square or Casablanca is you want to find a bargain... Another money tip: Don't buy cigarettes in the airport, you will find them twice as cheap right outside the gates..

3) Family means it's suitable for everyone: Family Karaoke, Family massage, etc... If the word family is not mentioned next to those words, you have a 95% chance to be offered sexual services...

4) Never bribe a policeman when you did not do anything wrong... The guy will try to scare you and make you wait maximum 10 minutes, but that's it... If you start paying him something, he will be under the impression that Bules are easy targets so do us a favour too...

5) If you don't have kids, don't go living in Kemang (except if your work there)! Don't be silly... Traffic is horrible nowadays in Kemang, and you should try to do anything you can to avoid it. Apart from following my tip number 1), you should always choose the location of your house or apartment according to your workplace ONLY. You have amazing houses in Menteng, twice as big as any house you could get in Europe for the same price; you don't need to go so far south to find a quiet, relaxing place to live. If you are not into houses, the best apartments in Jakarta are on Jalan Sudirman. If all your friends are in Kemang, don't worry, you will find new, saner people here in the centre.


6) For your weekends, save yourself some money and visit Indonesia. Come on: Have you seen how big this country is? Indonesia has 17,500++ islands, hundreds of ethnic groups, of languages, and travelling from tip to tip is like going from Madrid to Moscow. You have everything other countries in Asia have in here, no need to go anywhere else... You will save yourself the Rp 1M exit tax, plus the plane ticket.

7) If you like to party, try partying in Kota. People are often scared of venturing up North at night because of the bad reputation surrounding it, but I can tell you that this is where the heart of Jakarta nightlife beats. Kota has more clubs, with more variety, and greater music than in the south. The crowd is eclectic, young and loves to party. It’s not just about hanging with socialites and executives.

Stéphanie is French and she has been living in Jakarta for 18 months. It is her first article for Jakarta 100bars. Contribute to this blog too by sending your reviews or photos about living in Jakarta or about the nightlife in Jakarta. Many thanks!

“Jakarta Suckers”: Exploring the relationship between Expats and Bargirls

By The Jakarta Team →

Many of you may have had a relationship with a bargirl, most of the time with terrible results for your wallet and for your sorry heart. I asked Ross McKay, author of “Jakarta Suckers” to give us a little introduction for everyone interested in the relationships between Expats and Bargirls. The book is available from Morfiny Books, 85000 rupiah, at morfinybooks@yahoo.ca. If you are currently dating a bargirl or if you ever dated one, I strongly recommend it to you. Thibaud, from Jakarta100bars.com

Jakarta Suckers, by Ross McKay

Who hasn't been taken in by a bar-girl? Most expats in Jakarta for more than a year will have sampled the delights the Big Durian's nights have to offer. But while we are all bitten by that exotic bug, few too will not have been pained when the sharper specimens of the wildlife put the bite on you!!

It's not just the squeeze for a bit extra on the agreed price, but the endless extortion that occurs when you think you're having a 'relationship' with one of these demimondes.
Sure, this one is 'different,' you tell yourself, then when you've convinced yourself, you tell your mates and watch their faces, either dissimulating to avoid shaming you, or dissolving into laughter, which ultimately has the same effect.

My new book, 'Jakarta Suckers!' may, when you first see the title, suggest interesting oral exercises undertaken during your struggle to communicate across the language barrier.
But it actually refers to the way so many bules are taken for a ride (sorry, double entendre again) by local blossoms. And it cuts both ways, for in their Draculesque need to live off us foreign guys, a lot of these chicks resemble the way vampires suck the life-blood from their victims.

Though it aims to deal with some serious matters, my novel tackles issues in a light-hearted way, a first-person narrative by an expat tasting the 'last of the summer wine' who struggles to rekindle the white-hot ardour of his youth via the services of a seductive but relentlessly deceptive wanita malam.

Barrie and Losari canter through the chapters (and hotel rooms), his Western logic rarely triumphant against the wiles of the wayward woman. But gradually he susses her deceits and eases out of her clutches, 'a sadder but a wiser man.'
Then all at once, her luscious lips part once too often, blabbing about the wrong people in the wrong places and that lands her in a heap of bother. Despite everything, Barrie charges off to the rescue...


I won't reveal the denouement of their adventures, but what readers of this blog may appreciate are the impressionistic data concerning bule-bargirl interaction that I've sprinkled throughout the narrative: not least, I'd add, a few strategies to check-mate your cheating mate.

Armed with a few of these tips,you can start checking as soon as you start thinking she's not all she seems to be; why does she time her temper tantrums for certain days of the week...how can you figure out how many guys she's emailing as you read her sweet-nothings when you're apart.. how to thwart blackmail bids; how can you know when she's answering truthfully (that's an easy one - when you ask her what she wants to drink!). There's many a man I've met who's come a cropper through entanglement with their enticements and I've distilled some of their tales.

Bules, especially 'new kids on the Blok,' deserve some cautionary words, while Old Jakarta Hands will likely nod sagely as they read it. Some of these girls may be honky-tonk angels, but many others are best described in Rudyard Kipling's phrase, 'half-devil and half -child.' Their dulcet giggles mask avid greed and a readiness to exploit green Jakarta Suckers for their every red cent.

And yet...no matter how pissed off you get, never forget they emerge from a society that is infinitely harsher than anything that we have ever experienced in our comfortable Western homelands.

Little honest employ to be found, and even less when your folks lacked the hard cash to send you to school. Nor is there much more than a vestigial welfare safety net.
They are making their way through a desperate life as best they can, utilising only what the Good Lord gave them. Happily for us foreign men, the Almighty has seen fit to bless Indonesia's females with a beauty that often surpasses all understanding,

I hope my book facilitates everybody's understanding of both kinds of Jakarta Suckers!

Thanks Ross for the text, and thanks Bart for the pictures! More pics on his professional website: www.bart.la.

Baku Dapa Live Music (Reader's Post)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Last Saturday, despite it being Hallowe'en, Jaksa mid-evening was quieter than usual, so we repaired round the corner, to a place called Baku Dapa, which means ‘handshake’ in the Manado language. Manado is up on Sulawesi island, and I’ve not been there, but the bar was fine, excellent live music, old songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s, both local and Western, and beer at Rp.36.00 a bottle.

It runs till 3am, and when we moved on at 1 o'clock, people were still arriving, mostly respectable Indonesians, but a few Arabs, though I was the only Western patron.

It didn't seem to be a pick-up bar, though waitresses/hostesses will happily sit and dance with customers - once you've got to know them, it is no doubt up to you and your hostess if the friendship deepens!

The only black mark I can give it is their choice of music when the singers take their break, that hideous monkey-music played, I believe, at the Stadium, a Jakarta disco where frying one’s brains is almost compulsory. I mean that electronic ear-bashing garbage, metallic and mindless, that leaves you deafened. But Ms.Novi and the other live singers were all in good voice, so I guess we can forgive the cacaphonous interlude.

It's pretty dark -one of the Arabs at the adjacent table inadvertently joined ours, before realising he'd misplaced his pals!
Bakudapa (Paula) Café, Resto & Live Music
Jalan KH. Wahid Hasyim 116, Jakarta
Telepon 3905987, 92927449

Review by Ross McKay, author of ‘White Trash’ and "Jakarta Suckers", both books avalaible from morfinybooks@yahoo.ca. You can also check his blog: rossrightangle.info

Bimasena Dharmawangsa Spa (Couple Massage)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

Bimasena, the luxurious spa in the Dharmawangsa Hotel, in South Jakarta, is a fantastic place to get a massage, especially if you are a newcomer to Asia. Some will say that it is overpriced, and it may be true for a country like Indonesia. However, if you compare the price of a massage in France and in Indonesia, the whole perspective changes. The low cost of living in Jakarta gives you a very good opportunity to enjoy pleasures that can only be rare when in your home(western) countries.
Bimasena, as it is located in a 5-star hotel, has mostly expatriates patrons and travelers, plus it is popular with a small Indonesian elite.
Apart from the traditional Indonesian massages, including lulur and aromatherapy, Bimasena spa also provides some more uncommon massages, like the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Nui massage or the 90-minute Ayuslomi Ritual. A very special selection of oil is used but I won't describe them here since the massage girls will let you smell them before you start.
Yet, the best part of the spa in Dharmawangsa is not what you think it is: The private rooms upstairs are actually an excellent way to enjoy an erotic spa experience with your partner. You do not need to go to kinky, dodgy massage parlours in North Jakarta to do that: It is right here in the upper class neighborood of Kebayoran Baru. A huge difference however, you cannot find or get a girl there, it is for "real" couples... so no hookers or prostitutes.. be warned haha..
This blog features a lot of massage parlours and spas for men in Jakarta, sometimes with special or extra services provided. Some women spas are mentioned for us girls, like Bersih Sehat or Martha Tilaar. However, concerning couple massages, with at least a private room with a jacuzzi and sauna, even the owner of this blog couldn't tell me where I should go.
I searched a little and found out that most 5 stars hotels spa offer some kind of romantic couple massage experience. But whether it is Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Nikko Hotel or Borobudur to name a few, they do not allow its customers to have a private jacuzzi for two with a male and a female together. I wanted something else.. I wanted to be able after the massage to enjoy some private moments with my man, without having the massage girl in the room with us.. Finally, people told me that Bimasena had such intimate rooms and I decided to go there. The private suites for couples there can be rented for 4 hours for Rp 1,000,000 with a minimum of Rp 500,000 more spent on massages. For me and my boyfriend, the whole spa experience ended up costing us Rp 1,500,000. The room is absolutely stunning compared to what have seen elsewhere in Jakarta, the atmosphere is so relaxing, and the massages are great. The overall quality of service makes it in my opinion the best spa in Jakarta. The suite has a private Jacuzzi, steam room and hot showers, and the best of all, you can lock yourself inside once the massage girl is done! And of course, you are free to do whatever you want... A great erotic experience for any couples who want to spice up their relationship in Jakarta.. The sequence of the activities is up to you, but the room can only be rented for 4 hours.

Note from Jakarta100bars: This is a readers' Jakarta nightlife review by Sylvz. Thanks a lot to her! If you are Indonesian, expats or travellers and you want to contribute to this blog by sharing your experiences of Jakarta's bars, clubs, karaokes, restaurants and massage parlours, please send me an email or write comments on existing posts.
Bimasena Spa
The Dharmawangsa Jl. Brawijaya Raya No. 26
Kebayoran Baru Jakarta 12160 Indonesia
Tel: +62-21-7258181
Fax: +62-21-7258383
Website: Jakarta's Spa Bimasena

Highway To Elle Bar - Blok M

By The Jakarta Team →



Randy Travis once sang that he'd 'read tell, the road to hell, was paved with good intentions.'

The Highway to Elle, by way of contrast, is replete with good inventions, like an all night Happy Hour (buy one, get one free) on Thursdays, that starts at 8pm and continues till...well, very late, but this writer's perceptions became unclear after about 11 o'clock on the night of April 1st.

An amnesiac state thereafter is mute testimony to one's enjoyment of a night-spot, and the Highway is enjoyable. Run by an Englishman, Darryl Patton, who is usually present and mingles sociably with the guests, whilst ensuring that the delightful barmaids keep the taps turned on, the place opened about three years ago.

It differs from some other Falatehan joints in that the search for new friends is not quite at the level of 'shooting fish in a barrel,' which can be found elsewhere in this short street. But neither does it resemble the nearby Sportsman's 'escorted ladies only' environment.
As the clock moves inexorably forward, there is a steady trickle of unattached females, which may not amount to tsunami dimensions but nevertheless would surely be described by my long-dead grammar school teacher as 'an adequate sufficiency.'

The management entertains its patrons with regular performances by the staff, who mount the low stage and dance - with more determination than flair, it must be said - but they are followed later by dancers imported from outwith the premises, who are not only more professional, in every sense, but much more provocative. These latter lasses have been known to seek one-to-one feedback from their audience once the gyrations end, flitting and flirting among the customers along the bar.

Darryl is a noted country and western song-writer and his CD music is on sale there. Billiards fans can indulge in their favourite pastime too.

Stationed between D's Place and the Sportsmans, the Highway to Elle is appropriately in between the styles of each of those bars. Libertines of the staider sort ( now there's an oxymoronic phrase!) can relax and have fun here.

Review by Ross McKay, author of ‘White Trash’ and "Jakarta Suckers", both books avalaible from morfinybooks@yahoo.ca.

Highway to Elle Bar & Club
Jalan Faletehan 1/14, BLOK M, South Jakarta
+(62) 21-7278-9967

Soulnation Festival Jakarta 2010

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →


If you come to Indonesia around the end of October this year, there is a cool event that you may want to check out. The Soulnation, a festival of music artists, is happening at the Istora Senayan venue in the city. Grab your ticket, pick up some travel insurance, and get ready to party.

The SoulNation Festival is a major deal in Java. Soulnation has been running for a couple of years now, holding events every few months, and attracting a lot of local, regional and overseas artists. This is a rap, hip-hop, and R&B event, and has previously included artists like the Ting Tings, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Arrested Development and Ashanti.

This is a music event with a difference. It also includes extreme sports, BMX, Skate Board, and Battle DJs. The Soulnation concept is also doing a lot to help the local music artists and industry, and is becoming an Indonesian must-see experience. It’s also a lot of fun, and Soulnation has a wish list of artists it’s trying to get to expand.

This is a typical Indonesian low-key local idea which has just kept growing. Indonesia has a tendency to create these events, which start up as local, and wind up as international drawcards. Even Bali, one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, was actually discovered by surfers, not the tourist industry. Given Indonesia’s progressively developing tourist trade, the chances are good that Soulnation will add yet another place to see to Indonesia’s expanding list.
This time, an Indonesian event has been discovered by the internet, which is generating the interest that normal media simply couldn’t for local bands and artists. Soulnation is featured on YouTube, Facebook, and other sites, and like many modern acts, isn’t using the mainstream channels to get noticed.

That’s good business sense, and the message is definitely getting out. The internet strategy’s working. Soulnation, like any promotion, needs to be ahead of its costs and in touch with its market, and the net-based operations are getting good reviews from foreign sources in the process.

It’s not commonly known outside the country that Indonesia has a large modern music industry, with a lot of different types of music. It’s not easy to achieve a profile in two years of operations in the music industry anywhere. But Soulnation is making its point in a country where local artists have to work through sometimes tough career paths to make a living. Soulnation is no minor accomplishment, and the support for local artists is a particularly good idea in terms of developing the local industry.

Interestingly, Soulnation also has an agenda as well as music, according to its Facebook materials. It “aims to enhance the country's image and demonstrate to the world that Indonesia is a safe place to visit, promote music and tourism industry, and provide Jakarta with an event that strengthens its identity as a metropolitan city.”

It’s achieving that, and presenting itself well to the world. Soulnation is a generational phenomenon, and in many ways the voice of a generation.
The photos were taken on Soulnation Festival facebook group here.
This article was written by Nadia, who has volunteered to help organize the Soulnation festival since 2009.

Terrazza Bianco, Hotel Akmani (Jalan Wahid Hasyim)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →


Being an observant soul, I noticed an intriguing ad outside the Akmani, promising 'all the beer you can drink' for Rp 130,000 between 7pm and 10pm on a daily basis, so in we went last Thursday.

It's located on what they call the Podium level of the first floor, which is basically one floor up from ground. The place is very dark, but clean and paradoxically bright, - after all, bianca does mean white - and its furnishing and decor is extremely modernist.

The music, alas, is an echo of the metallic cacaphony one gets in certain down-market discos, but that's a matter of taste, though it's hard to have a conversation unless you're close-up to your compaion, which can of course be no bad thing!

The staff, the girls that is, are kitted out in short skirts, and those waitresses who served us were friendly and polite, and once they realised they had a beer-hog on their hands they kept it flowing very freely (San Miguel beer for the special offer)

It was far from crowded but midweek after all, and the clientele were a slightly unusual selection of people, e.g a trio of African businessmen with an unspeaking girl trailing around after them, a few loners who sat over their drinks at the bar, a bohemian couple who seemed mesmerised by the music, which droned on in complete inconsistency with the fashion show playing on the big screen tv. A couple of likely lasses drifted in mid-evening but it was not exactly a pick-up joint.
We took a seat in a far corner, the better to observe, It was too dark to read the glossy magazines provided but you don't come to a bar to read mags, do you?.

It was only towards the end of the evening that we discovered the actual terrace, which has very comfortable chairs outdoors, overlooking the main drag below, which in itself is a most entertaining spectacle at any time of day or night!

I wouldn't make it my local, but for a change from jaksa or Falatehan, it's an okay bar.

Terrazza Bianco in Akmani Hotel
Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim No. 91
Central Jakarta (DKI Jakarta) 13050, Indonesia
(0)21 3190 5335

Review by Ross McKay, author of ‘White Trash’ and "Jakarta Suckers", both books avalaible from morfinybooks@yahoo.ca.

The Best Night of Clubbing Ever (Reader's post)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

This blog article is a reader's contribution by Ashley Purcell from the Australian website Bars and Nightclubs. If you have anything interesting to say about nightlife in Jakarta, reviews, reports or pictures, I will publish it so don't hesitate me to send it to me.

So for all you westerners out there who love bars and nightclubs, and think your respective country has the best clubs ever... think again. Whilst I would agree that the venues in London, New York, Miami, Sydney etc are better than Jakarta, let it be known that what makes a great night out is not the venue... but the people.

So this is a story that happened to me about 1 year ago during a night out on the town in Jakarta. To give you some background, me and 5 mates were travelling around South East Asia. Prior to this we had been to Cosa Mui, Phuket, Bangkok and Bali and had decided to stop by in Jakarta for a few nights before flying out to Singapore.

So on the night before we flew out to Singapore (at 11am) we decided to have a big one. We started at the a small bar just having a few quiet ones before heading out to NU China, which for people that don’t know is where many of the locals go. So after a few hours, the place was absolutely packed and pumping.

So after a heap of drinks, 2 things happened. 1, my mate passed out from too much to drink, and the rest of us all met some sexy local girls who were very much into us.

They convinced us to come with them to the hotel they were staying at (well it wasn’t that hard to convince us to be honest) however given the fact that our mate was out of it, we had a dilemma as to what we should do. This dilemma however lasted not much longer than 5 minutes, as we decided it would be funny to put him in a taxi (without any pants or money) and instruct the taxi driver to drive him to the other side of the city whilst we went back to the hotel.

Sounds funny??? Well it was... just not for him however.

So after a great night (we won’t go into the details) we woke up at about 9am at the hotel, wondering where our mate was. At the time, it seemed funny however given our flight was in 2 hours, the funny side of the story turned to sheer panic, realising we were going to miss our flights.

So by 10am we had checked out of the hotel, and were out the front, when all of a sudden we saw our friend running down the street with no pants, with a taxi/jeepee looking thing following him beeping his horn like crazy. It was obvious to us ou friend had jumped the taxi as he had no money.

So to cut a long story short, we gave the taxi driver his money (with a nice little tip) rushed to the airport only to find out we missed our flight. We decided to book a flight the next day and eventually made it to Singapore.

Moral to the story is that Jakarta clubbing is awesome, the locals are great and unlike anywhere in the world, Taxi’s will stop for you even if you have no pants.

Photo credit: CharlieBoy88

I love clubbing in Jakarta because... (By Ashley Purcell)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →

For those looking to experience the best nightlife South East Asia has to offer, look no further than Jakarta. Combining the relaxed, easy going, laid back nature that the inhabitants of South East Asia are known worldwide for, with big city architecture and venue design, Jakarta is the epicentre of clubbing in South East Asia.

So if you are reading this at your desk between in between dealing with whinging customers and watching the hour hand inch ever close to 5.00pm, here is a brief summary of why you will love the bars and nightclubs in Jakarta.

Dress Code... What Is Dress Code?
The guys reading this know what I’m talking about. You’ve planned for an awesome night out, only to have it ruined by a bunch of angry megalomaniac bouncers looking to ruin your night. In Jakarta, the bouncers are friendly and no matter what you can get in as long as you wear a shirt and shiny shoes.. In Stadium, Jakarta's most famous clubbing haunt, they will even let you in with just a short and flip-flops.

Sooooo Cheap!!!!
After spending a weekend hitting the bars and nightclubs in Jakarta, you will never be able to look at bourbon and coke or Midori and lemon the same way. The drinks in Jakarta are so cheap compared to European prices... Just a tip however, there is a distinct likely hood they will be watered down, which is just an excuse to drink more. The only problem is that you ending spending a lot more money because you can afford paying the $5 entrance fees and the $6 cocktails...

The Locals
Without question some of the most friendly people on earth... People talk to you and you will finish the evening with the feeling you know everyone in the club. Enough said.

When You Pick Up There Are No Surprises When You Get Back To The Hotel
Everyone knows a friend of a friend who has met a great looking “girl” on the streets of Bangkok or Phuket, only to realise the next morning that “she” is not a “she” at all.

The Venues:
What sets Jakarta bars and nightclubs apart from the rest of South East Asia is the quality of the venues. Unlike some of the other countries in the region, Jakarta has some amazing club venues that rival that of London, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

So by now, it should be 5.00pm and time to go home. However if you’re looking to escape the daily grind for a week or two, a return trip to Jakarta will only set you back about $1,000. A small price to pay for the time of your life.

About the writer: Ashley Purcell lives in Australia but she often comes to Jakarta for business. You can visit her website about nightlife in Australia: http://www.barsandnightclubs.com.au/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/discomate/

My 3 Favourite Nightclubs in Jakarta (By Ashley Purcell)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
When westerners think Indonesia, invariably they think of lazing about on one of the many beautiful beaches in the tropical sun, watching fat beads of condensation roll down the side of a their cocktail glass until they’ve developed a healthy sun tan. Undoubtedly this is one of the attractions that Indonesia offers by day, however for the bar and nightclub enthusiasts, it is when the sun goes down that the real fun begins. So if you are a bar and nightclub enthusiast looking for a good time on this archipelago nation, you might be tempted to book a ticket to Bali (especially if you are Australian). If this is the case... then think again.

With a population just under 8,500,000 million, Jakarta is the largest city in Indonesia, and the 12th biggest in the world. Combine this with the ultra friendly locals, relaxed nightlife regulations and a bunch of expats, Jakarta nightlife is absolutely pumping if you know where to go. So without further adieu here are a the three spots any bar and nightclub enthusiast needs to go to when hitting the town in Jakarta.

1. Red Square
Don’t let the name fool you, communism has no place within these walls. This is the place that girls go for a good time, which is inevitably is where the boys go for a good time too.

2. Dragonfly
If you are from Sydney, let it be known this is nothing like the nightclub of the same name where unless you are lathered in fake tan or are wearing shoes that equate to a week’s wage, they won’t let you through the front door. This nightclub can be summed in one simple phrase (as many of the nightclubs in Jakarta can be)... “Happy go lucky.” As one of the larger nightclubs in Jakarta, this venue attracts a healthy mix of locals and tourists, making for a top night out.

3. Nu China
If you are in town for a good time but not a long time, and want to experience the authentic Jakarta clubbing experience, then this is the place to be. Very much a local haunt, Nu China is the place to be for the younger crowds just out of school and on their way to UNI.
So armed with the knowledge you have about Jakarta nightclubs... forget Bali, this is where it is at.

About the writer:
Ashley Purcell lives in Australia but she often comes to Jakarta for business. You can visit her website about nightlife in Australia: http://www.barsandnightclubs.com.au/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/discomate/

A Bangkok Expat's Trip to Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Jakarta nightlife didn't mean anything to me until a few months ago, when a good friend living in Thailand had some business to attend to in Jakarta. When he came back, he couldn't stop telling us how Jakarta was better than Bangkok concerning the nightlife.. I made a small research, read this blog (Jakarta100bars), and decided it was time for me also to discover the bars and nightclubs of Southeast Asia's most populous city.

First of all, we went to Classic Hotel for a massage. The massage I would describe it as soapy without soap if you know what I mean. With the soapy massages the girl glide on your body by using plenty of water and soap. At the Classic Hotel, they don't apply all that however (at least the gal I was with), they do do the body kissing and body-to-body massage, the whole 9 yards! Price was reasonable: 550k for 1.5 hour with a tight and firm 19 year old girl!

Right after that we went to Alexis, drank and ate in the club while watching the shows. Then we went upstairs and did the pool and the rest. Prices are still the same as mentioned on this blog. 1jt for indo, 2 jt for thai and chinese. They hadeven a colombian girl running around. She may have been more expensive..

That all happened on Thursday which was scheduled as the naughtiest day of the stag do. Because following Alexis we went to Blok M. We went to My Bar after 3 am and only the leftovers were there as you can imagine. Following that, we headedover to Stadium till close (6 or 7 am) and even Mille's until Friday noon. I Had never been in a hole resembling Mille's before, and there are no such things in Bangkok. Hilarious though! Packed as well! My guys couldn't believe their eyes Jakarta was still going strong even on Friday afternoon:-)

I almost forgot the Wednesday before.. We had good times in Dragonfly, packed with nice looking high class girls. Finally, Friday we had a great group together in Red Square which all of my people really enjoyed.

For anybody living in Bangkok or Thailand, I need to say also that Jakarta is way better: The naughty nightlife is not as obvious and it is not a tourist attraction, but the atmosphere is completely crazy here.. I will be back!

Mark is an expat in Bangkok, Thailand, and this review is the feedback of the few days he spent in Jakarta for a bachelor party. Jakarta 100 Bars Blog.

Photo taken on Dragonfly facebook page here

More reviews about Nightlife in Asia? Check my report about the Best Nightlife in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, 30 Best Bangkok Nightclubs and the Best Gogo Bars in Bangkok.