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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

Is It Better to Date a Javanese or a Sundanese Girl?

By Tibs →
Until today, I had never dared writing an article about ethnicity in Indonesia. I didn't want to appear racist and also because my knowledge on the subject is limited. As I'm growing older I start to care less, so here I am giving you advice on whether it is best to date/marry a Javanese or a Sundanese girl. Be aware that I am basing this whole piece on personal experience only. This is not a scientific paper, it's just entertainment. You may have a completely different opinion and I would love to hear it (especially if you are an Indonesian reader). Please just write a comment below. The two main ethnic groups in Indonesia are the Javanese (90 million people, 40% of the population) and the Sundanese (36 million people, 15.5% of the population). Both have distinct traditions, languages, cultures and cuisines. Javanese live mostly in East Java (Yogyakarta, Surabaya) while Sundanese are from the Bandung region. In Jakarta, most of the girls you meet will be eith

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

How I Became Fat in Indonesia

By Tibs →
One thing I didn't expect would happen in Indonesia was that I would get fat. I come from France, a country where we use sugar, syrup, butter, cream, sauces or oil in almost every single dish. And yet, in Paris my weight was a steady 70 kilograms. While in Indonesia, I reached almost 90 kilos within a year, even though I was eating less. I tried to understand how it could happen, and I came up with a few possible explanations. Here is the 6-step story of how I became fat in Indonesia: Step 1: Eating Indonesian Food All The Time I love Indonesian food and I think it is one of the most underrated cuisines in the world. Needless to say, when I'm in Indonesia, I eat Indonesian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The problem is that most dishes are extremely fat. Ingredients are rarely boiled in water, they are fried, sautéed, stir-fried or cooked in coconut milk, for instance Beef Rendang or Gulai.

How Dangerous Is It to Use Drugs in Indonesia?

By Tibs →
From time to time, I receive an email from a reader asking me if it is safe to use drugs in Jakarta. The obvious reply is that it is extremely dangerous, as even carrying a small joint might land you in jail.  But Indonesia is much more complicated than that, hence the need for a longer article to explain you the subtleties of drug use in the country. Why foreigners should be extra careful when using drugs in Indonesia From my personal perspective, the law in Indonesia only exists to give a pretext to powerful people to extort some money or benefits. Most often, it is used when the authorities want to target someone in particular, with some categories that are more at risks than others. The most vulnerable are poor people, ethnic and religious minorities, foreigners, or anyone without a network among government officials. The laws of Indonesia, including drug laws, will normally apply to them with greater severity, meaning they will either receive harsher sentences or

7 Reasons Thailand Attracts More Tourists Than Indonesia

By Tibs →
Thailand welcomed over 29 million foreign visitors in 2015 while Indonesia only had 10.41 million. Almost 3 times less.  This is quite an abnormal situation considering Indonesia is a much larger country with better beaches, better surfing, better diving and better hiking. The cultural and natural diversity of Indonesia is unmatched in Southeast Asia. There are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia and only 5 in Thailand. If only Indonesian cuisine was more famous, it could compete with Thai food (similar Malaysian food was named  6th Best in the World by CNN ). Indonesians are just as nice as Thai people, and they speak English better. 

Is Jakarta Worth Visiting?

By Tibs →
There are barely any tourists visiting Jakarta. Most foreigners you see are expats or businessmen. In the backpacker street of Jalan Jaksa, you will have a maximum of 50 travelers on any given night. For a capital city with 10 million inhabitants, this is exceptionally small.  It is not difficult to understand why most people avoid Jakarta: It is noisy, smelly, dirty, polluted, hot and messy. Getting around is difficult with massive traffic jams, no sidewalks and bad public transportation. There are no spectacular tourist sights and the attractions are disappointing compared to those in Bali, Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur .  Things are not as bad as they seem though. If you can get past your first negative impression, you will discover that Jakarta is home to museums , modern malls, authentic neighborhoods, traditional markets , monuments, religious buildings, parks, cultural centers, art galleries, a beachfront and of course one of the best nightlife in Asia

10 Weird Stuff Indonesians Typically Post on Facebook

By Tibs →
Indonesia has the fourth largest number of Facebook users in the world, but the way Indonesians use Facebook is sometimes unique. From a Westerners perspective, some posts will appear to be weird, if not totally inappropriate. Here is my top 10 of weird things I regularly read on my Facebook newsfeed: 1) The "I'm on my period" status Short translation: "I'm on my period and you should all know about it" Being on your period in Indonesia is not something you keep for yourself. If you work in an office, you will probably be informed of every details of your colleagues' periods, either by looking if there is a bottle of Kiranti on their desk, or by checking their facebook/twitter/instagram statuses.