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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

Best Online Dating Apps In Indonesia (Updated 2021)

By Tibs →
Whether you are holidaying in Bali or working in Jakarta, online dating is by far your best chance at finding someone special in Indonesia. It is now very common for Indonesians of any age or background to use dating apps, and the most popular ones have tens of thousands of members. Among my friends living in the country, the majority of them have met their partners online and it is no longer something to feel shameful about. To quote a famous pick-up line: No, you no longer need to pretend you've "met at the zoo" when you introduce your boyfriend or girlfriend to your parents. As dating apps became mainstream, the quality and the diversity of the profiles have improved as well. Gone are the days when datings apps were full of creeps and freaks. Nowadays, you can definitely find a potential wife or husband, someone attractive, smart, with a good job or career with whom you can build a serious relationship. That said, if you are a newcomer to the online dating scene in In

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

10 Best Gifts Ideas For Your Indonesian Girlfriend or Wife

By Tibs →
If you have a local girlfriend or wife, you certainly know that Indonesian girls absolutely love receiving gifts. In fact, I would say that being generous is one of the surest ways to keep your relationship strong and happy. The list below will give you 10 ideas of gifts that all Indonesian girls would love to receive. I've included links to trusted websites you can buy them from. Flowers

How to Send Money From Indonesia to Another Country?

By Tibs →
Update 2021 : When I wrote this article, it was not possible to send money from Indonesia to another country using Transferwise (now Wise). The company has improved its offer and this option is now available. You can check here for more details: Wise .  While it is relatively easy to send money from abroad to Indonesia , it can be more complicated to do the opposite: To send money from Indonesia (IDR) to another country with a different currency. Since my salary is paid in rupiah on an Indonesian bank account, I often have to send money back to France and I’ve used several methods to do so. In the article below, I will give you my best recommendations based on my personal experience. I’ve ranked the options from best to worst, depending on the speed of the transfer, its convenience, and its cost. If you feel I’ve forgotten something or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me a comment. Transfez This is by far the easiest way to send money f

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.

Cheap Travel to Bali: 16 Ways to Save Money

By Tibs →
Enjoying a budget holiday in Bali is possible if you are well-prepared and well-informed. The following guide is a must-read for any visitor wanting to get the most out of her/his dollars without sacrificing quality. I've lived 3 years on the island, enough time to know the best tricks and tips to save money on what is unnecessary. My goal is to help you make the right decisions regarding your flights, your hotels, your meals, your transportation, and the attractions you visit. If you have any questions about your trip, you can leave a comment below or contact me directly: thibaud@jakarta100bars.com. 1) Choose Your Season Carefully

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 I Learned to Speak Indonesian in 1 Month

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

Why Online Gambling Has Become So Popular in Indonesia?

By Tibs →
Gambling is famously illegal in Indonesia, mainly because it is forbidden in the Koran. Despite this, millions of Indonesians still love to bet or gamble, especially among the non-Muslim population. To satisfy their craving, some underground casinos used to operate under the radar until the early 2000s. Most of them have now disappeared as social media and the internet have made it almost impossible for them to hide from the public eye. Moreover, it has become easier and less risky for Indonesians to gamble without having to go to an illegal venue. Some Indonesians just choose to go to neighboring countries where gambling is legal, such as Malaysia or Singapore. Others, especially the younger generation, have moved to the online world. Gambling websites are blocked by the Indonesian government, but they can easily be accessed with a  VPN . The largest and most popular ones, such as  Garuda Game  gather tens of thousands of users, enabling them to play dozens of different games. Several

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

4 Best Ways to Learn Indonesian Online for Free

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

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

Online Prostitution is Booming in Indonesia

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