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Living in Jakarta: Best Neighborhoods for Expats (2021)

By Tibs →
I previously wrote about the best areas to in Jakarta for tourists . You may want to read this article as well to get a first introduction to the city's neighborhoods. I wouldn't say that there isn't one best place to live in Jakarta, as the criteria for each person will be different. The most important factor when deciding where to stay should be the distance between your home and your work or, if you have children, between your home and their school.

Why You Need Travel Insurance in Indonesia (2021-COVID Update)

By Tibs →
When I speak with tourists visiting Indonesia, I am often shocked to learn that they don't have proper travel insurance or medical evacuation insurance. Among long-term residents, there are also many who do not have health insurance, particularly those without a working permit (typically the digital nomads). The objective of this article is to convince you that spending a few dollars per day on insurance is not a waste of money, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can get cheap insurance ( as low as 3$ per day if you take a yearly subscription - check here ) that will at least save your ass in case of a serious illness or accident. If you cannot afford it, then you probably should not travel to Indonesia. Why you need travel insurance in Indonesia While you certainly need insurance everywhere, there are even more reasons to get it when you travel in Bali , Jakarta, or the rest of Indonesia: You are exposed to more risks When y

How to Getting Around in Jakarta? - Transportation Guide (2021)

By The Jakarta Team →
Article updated in May 2021. It is a challenge to get around in Jakarta. The city is huge, its streets are clogged by traffic jams, and the public transportation system is underdeveloped. But don't despair yet. Knowing the different options available for transportation can save you some time, money, and energy. This is why I wrote this article which is based on my experience living in Jakarta for over 10 years. Hopefully, it will be useful to you during your stay!

15 Most Useful Apps for Living in Jakarta (Updated 2021)

By Tibs →
You can make your life in Jakarta much easier by downloading a few apps on your phone. They will be helpful in numerous everyday situations, from getting around the city to buying your groceries. There's even an app to order a massage! I've selected here my 15 favorites, most of them free. Please leave me a comment if you think I forgot one worth mentioning! Here are the most useful apps for living in Jakarta: Waze Owned by Google, Waze is a GPS navigator with real-time traffic information. For instance, it tells you if there are traffic jams, accidents, road repairs and even police stops on your way. It is an essential tool to estimate the length of your road trips within Jakarta. It can also give you excellent advice on the best routes from a point A to a point B. Alternative: Lewat Mana  has webcams pointed at the main thoroughfares in Jakarta. Price: FREE Maps Me Maps Me is similar to Google Maps with one additional benefit: You can download the m

How to Unblock Blocked Websites in Indonesia (Updated 2021)

By Tibs →
Internet in Indonesia is heavily censored. This means that thousands of websites are unavailable when you are staying in the country. To be precise, as of today, there are over 1 million blocked URLs in Indonesia, including some very famous ones such as Reddit, Tumblr, as well as all Torrent, Gambling, or Porn websites. They are blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Indonesia, following orders from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies (Kementrian Komunikasi dan Informatika). The ban is part of the "Safe Internet" initiative whose idea is to protect Indonesian users from visiting websites that do not follow the "moral, ethics and spirit" of the nation. Luckily, you don't have to worry about accessing your favorite site while visiting or living in Indonesia because the ban is very easy to circumvent. In the following article, I will show you how to unblock any website in Indonesia in less than 5 minutes.

Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia (Avoid Bank Fees!)

By Tibs →
There are many reasons people send money to Indonesia, but only a few ways that are cheap, easy, and safe. This article will be very useful to you if you are: - A foreigner living abroad who supports his Indonesian girlfriend financially - An Indonesian working abroad who needs to remit his salary in his Indonesian bank account - An expat who wants to transfer funds to Indonesia to make a purchase (car, home) or an investment - A traveler who lost his wallet and urgently needs money

Guide to Meeting and Dating Indonesian Girls (2021)

By Tibs →
The following guide is a datasheet with all the essential information you'll need to know about meeting and dating Indonesian girls. It's a list of questions that people have asked me over time. I tried to answer them as concisely as possible so you won't lose time reading it. If you still have interrogations, please ask them in the comment section below.

Best VPNs in Indonesia- How to Access Blocked Websites (2021)

By Tibs →
In this review, I will explain how to bypass Internet censorship in Indonesia (mostly targeting porn websites) by using a VPN service  (Virtual Private Network) . I will also give you tips on how to watch Netflix in Indonesia. Note : The VPNs I recommend here also work well for China, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, etc.  Most porn and torrent websites are blocked in Indonesia . This includes all the most famous ones like XVideos, YouPorn, PornHub, XHamster, KickAss Torrents, and The Pirate Bay. It is also not possible to visit some forums like Reddit or InternationalSexGuide. Same thing with the hook-up website Adult Friend Finder  and the cam website Chaturbate . Some regular websites have also been banned, like Vimeo. Tumblr has been shut down in March 2018 after its management refused to remove porn content from the platform. Another problem internet users are facing in Indonesia is the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Act. This vague set of laws can mak

How to Watch US Netflix from Indonesia?

By Tibs →
I had previously written an article to explain how to unblock Netflix in Indonesia. Indeed, for several years, Telkom, a government-owned company and one of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country (under the brand IndiHome) had blocked Netflix. The official reason was that its content was deemed offensive to Indonesians, but the real motivation was to protect IndiHome's own streaming service called iFlix. Anyway, I deleted the content of this article entirely since Telkom/IndiHome finally allowed Netflix on its network. I guess it was bad for their reputation and they were losing customers to their competitors.

9 Best Things to Do at Night in Jakarta (2021)

By Tibs →
I recently wrote about the best things to do in Jakarta . In the following review, I will be more specific and focus on night-time activities. A cliché used to describe Jakarta is that of "a city that never sleeps." While this could apply to any major capitals in the world, I think it is particularly accurate here. There is always some kind of life in Jakarta, whatever the time and whatever the location. It is quite logical considering the city has one of the highest population densities in the world. Another reason is that there are a lot of Indonesians working long shifts or night shifts, especially small business owners and independent workers. As long as money can be made, they won't close shop or go home. This is why you can always get food, cigarettes, or a taxi ride at any time of the night. For the traveler, the advantage of this situation is that there are a lot of things to do at night. Even better, if you go out after 9pm, you'll also enjoy less t

Are VPNs legal in Indonesia?

By Tibs →
Within the past two weeks, both China and Russia have made VPNs illegal. This has made people worry that other countries might soon forbid them as well. In particular, we can wonder if Indonesia, where thousands of websites are blocked (because of porn, streaming, gambling, hate speech, terrorism, etc), will follow the lead. First, let me remind you quickly what VPNs are and why so many people are using them in Indonesia. VPN, an acronym for Virtual Private Network, is a technology that allows you to bypass internet censorship and to remain anonymous on the web. Basically, it connects your computer to a protected server in another country, from where you will be free to visit any sites you want. The best VPN companies do not keep track of your activity in their servers, meaning nobody will ever know what you did online.

Why Porn Sites Are Blocked in Indonesia (And How to Unblock Them)

By Tibs →
As of today, there are over 1 million porn websites blocked in Indonesia, but also thousands of betting sites, streaming sites and extremist websites. 10 years ago, there was no censorship in the country. It all started under President SBY in 2008, when the parliament passed the now-famous Anti-Porn bill. This law stipulates that possessing or downloading porn can be punishable by up to 4 years in jail. Worse, being involved in a "sexually suggestive performance" is worth up to 12 years in prison. Now you understand why there aren't any active Indonesian pornstars. At first, only the most famous porn sites were blocked, but the rest was easily accessible. Then slowly, more and more sites were filtered, until it became impossible to see anything without the use of a VPN. Even typing naughty words on Google will be censored. So what should you do if you really want to access a blocked site ? The solution is simple, cheap, and it will be useful to you in so many sit

How Life in Jakarta Turned Into a Nightmare for George Pritting

By Tibs →
Update 2019: George Pritting passed away: Below is the original article that was published: 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.

Is Gambling Legal in Indonesia?

By Tibs →
Indonesia is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia where gambling is completely illegal, for both locals and foreigners. You will not find any proper casinos in the country, and you risk being thrown to jail if you are caught betting money. Of course, there is the law, and then there is reality. The truth is that Indonesians love gambling and many will find a way to do so, even with the restrictions. I've seen several forms of gambling while living in Indonesia. The most spectacular was an underground casino with slot machines and poker tables inside a nightclub of North Jakarta. It was in 2003 and, to my knowledge, this kind of casino does not exist anymore. They were member-only and reserved for the elite, with a membership fee that could cost over ten thousand dollars. It is now probably easier to just go to Singapore or Macau. Middle-class Indonesians will more likely bet while playing pool, board games or dominoes. In Bali, it is also common to witness cockfig

Guide to Staying Healthy in Jakarta

By Tibs →
If you are even the least bit health-conscious, you have plenty of reasons to be worried about living in Jakarta. Let's start with air pollution . Jakarta was the most polluted city in Southeast Asia in 2018 , with 191 days out of 365 that were considered unhealthy. During that time, the levels of PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) reached up to 10 times the recommended exposure limit set by the World Health Organization. Just to remind you, air pollution has been considered to reduce life expectancy by up to 6 years in some cities in India or China, which is much more than smoking cigarettes, alcohol, HIV, drug use or road injuries. Then, there is the sedentary lifestyle . Have you ever walked more than 1 hour outside in Jakarta? Probably not, or at least very rarely. The sidewalks are either non-existent or unsafe, the heat is unbearable, there are no parks, and the air is disgusting. No wonder Indonesians are the people wh

My Experience Buying from Amazon in Indonesia

By Tibs →
I have bought countless goods on Amazon over the years (books, toys, air purifier, pollution masks , etc) and had them shipped to Indonesia, in Jakarta or Bali, without any difficulties. In spite of this, I know quite many expats who are still not confident using the website. That's a shame because there are still many products that are hard to find in Indonesia, especially if you live in smaller cities. Amazon also has competitive prices (in particular on its " Today's Deals " page) and it is much safer to use than local alternatives like Lazada or Tokopedia. If you are still hesitating, this guide will explain everything you need to know about buying on Amazon from Indonesia and why you should not worry about it. I will answer common questions like: - Is it safe to ship from Amazon to Indonesia? - What kind of products should you avoid buying on Amazon for Indonesia? - What is the AmazonGlobal shipping program and how does it work? - Does A

How to Watch Live Sports in Indonesia? Best Streaming Sites

By Tibs →
If you live in Indonesia (Bali, Jakarta, etc), you probably feel frustrated by the lack of options available to watch sports, and especially football. You can forget national TV channels. Some, such as RCTI, TransTV, and TVOne, will broadcast important events like the World Cup or the English Premier League. Yet, the image quality is often low and the commentaries are in Indonesian. Also, they won't hesitate to cut a few minutes of a game just to show commercials.

Salsa, Tango and Latin Dancing in Jakarta

By Tibs →
Update June 2019: Classes by Damaris are held every Tuesday at 6.30 PM in Up in Smoke Restaurant in RDTX building (Mega Kuningan), every Saturday at 6 PM in Grand Kemang Hotel, and every Sunday at 5PM in Al-Jazeerah Signature Menteng. The cost is IDR100,000 for group classes, and IDR600,000 per private classes. More info on Facebook: Cuban Salsa Indonesia .  Salsa has been popular in Jakarta since the early 2000s.   You can actually dance and listen to Latin music any single night of the week in selected bars, clubs and restaurants in the city (see the lastest schedule below).   The best Salsa nights in Jakarta are run by two teachers who have lived in Indonesia for many years now, Luisa and Damaris. They have contributed to the building of a passionate Salsa community, which is made of both locals and expats.  Luisa Damaris - Please note the woman wearing a jilbab next to her

Are Sex Toys Legal in Indonesia?

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

Happy Hours, Free Flows and Ladies Nights in Jakarta

By Tibs →
This article is an update on all the promotions (Happy Hours, Ladies Nights, All-You-Can-Drink) that the best bars in Jakarta are currently offering. The deals may change over time so I added the Facebook or Instagram of each venue for you to double check. In general, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best nights to drink cheap in Jakarta (especially if you are a woman). If you are on a really tight budget, you can get a few bottles delivered to your home too (Read:  How to Buy Alcohol Online in Jakarta ). Here are some of the best happy hours, free flow deals and ladies nights in Jakarta: