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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

Jakarta Nightlife: Best Bars and Clubs (2021 Covid Update)

By Tibs →
This Jakarta nightlife guide was updated in May 2021. I removed many bars and clubs that have closed down because of COVID-19, and I added a few as well. If you are a first-time visitor, you might also be interested in my  Jakarta Travel Guide . Nightlife Areas There are so many nightlife areas in Jakarta that it can be confusing even for residents.

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

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.

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.

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

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

10 Best Countries to Find a Wife or a Serious Girlfriend

By Tibs →
Are you struggling to meet a potential wife in your home country? Are you unsatisfied with your dating life at home? If yes, maybe you should expand your horizons and start looking for love abroad. In most cases, if you target the right countries, you are almost certain to find girls that are much better than the ones you could have hoped for back home. I have traveled to more than 60 countries in the past 4 years and I can tell you exactly where you should start looking for a serious relationship. I know where you will find the prettiest, sweetest, most caring women in the world. I can also tell you what you should be cautious about and how to avoid the most common scams. In the countries below, even if you are just a regular guy with a normal job and an average look, you should be able to be successful within just a few weeks or months. You can try your luck on the dating sites I recommend (all are free to register) and you will see for yourself. SeekingArrange

Where to Party in Jakarta - Nightlife Areas + Hotels (2021 Update)

By Tibs →
If you are wondering where you can party in Jakarta, this review will guide you through all the most famous nightlife areas in the city. You can also read Jakarta Nightlife  and Where to Stay in Jakarta for more detailed information. I've circled in blue  two main areas: South Jakarta and North Jakarta. Each has its own characteristics: • South Jakarta is the most modern part of the city, with plenty of skyscrapers, luxury malls, and upmarket houses. Naturally, this is where you will find the most high-end nightclubs and bars in Jakarta. Expats and rich Indonesians will normally party there.

Where to Stay in Jakarta - Best Areas for Tourists (2021)

By Tibs →
If you visit Jakarta as a tourist, you are probably wondering about the best areas to stay in the city . Due to the horrible traffic and the lack of public transportation, I advise you to choose your location carefully. 1 kilometer in Jakarta is like 10 kilometer in normal cities. Just going to the opposite side of a street by car can sometimes take up to 30 minutes! If you don't have time to read my entire review , the following paragraph is a short summary: The best place to stay in Jakarta, either you are a tourist or a businessman, is around Plaza Indonesia or Grand Indonesia, for instance:  Kempinski ,  Grand Hyatt ,  Pullman ,  Mandarin Oriental . It is an expensive area though so if you are on a budget, you can stay near Sarinah Mall instead. You'll find backpacker hostels ( Jalan Jaksa ), 2-star hotels ( Favehotel ), 3-star hotels ( Holiday Inn  or  Ibis Tamarin ) and 4-star hotels ( Morrissey , Four Points by Sheraton , AONE or  Akmani ). Need more address

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.

Can You Buy Modafinil in Indonesia? Is it Legal?

By Tibs →
Modafinil is the most popular "smart drug" or "study drug", along with Ritalin and Adderall. Basically, taking a pill of Modafinil is like drinking a coffee in the morning, only 10 times stronger. It helps you stay focus, it keeps you awake and motivated, and it prevents your mind to wander. It is especially popular with students preparing exams: In the UK or in the US, it is reported that between 25% and 30% of them have tried them at least once. What has made this drug so appealing is that it has been considered safe  by researchers from both Harvard and Oxford. According to them, the side effects are mild (sometimes headaches or migraines) and there are no risks of physical addiction. However, I also read elsewhere that it is not recommended in the long term as your brain will adapt and the stimulating effect will slowly fade away. After a few weeks, you might feel less alert and more tired than before. Can you Buy Modafinil in Indonesia?

10 Reasons You are Failing at Tinder

By Tibs →
Tinder has become the easiest and fastest way to meet girls online, and yet I know a lot of single guys who suck at it. Even in Asia, they can't get a decent match, and if they do, they fail to transform it into a date or a hook-up.  Does it sound familiar to you? Are you struggling to meet attractive girls on Tinder because they rarely match with you or reply to your messages? If yes, this article will help you identify the reasons you are failing and, more importantly, what you can do about it. Here is my list of the 10 reasons you may be unsuccessful on Tinder :

Guide to Choosing Your Hotel in Jakarta

By Tibs →
I am asked daily by readers for tips about choosing a hotel in Jakarta . This little guide should answer all the questions I've ever received such as: - What is the best area to stay in Jakarta? - Where can I find a cheap guesthouse for under 10$ per night? Is there a backpacker area in Jakarta? - What are the best budget hotels in Jakarta? Which hotel chain offers the best value for money ? - What is the best accommodation for less than 50$? - Which 5-star hotel should I choose? Which 5-star hotel is the closest from action ? Which 5-star hotel has the best bars and restaurants? - Can I bring girls to my hotel in Jakarta? What are the names of girl-friendly or guest-friendly hotels in Jakarta ? - Can I actually sleep in Alexis Hotel , Malioboro Hotel, Travel Hotel or Classic Hotel? - Is there a spa or massage parlour near my hotel? - Which hotel do you recommend near the airport ? - Which hotels are connected to popular malls?