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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

Best Things to Experience In Jakarta (2021)

By Tibs →
Many tourists hate Jakarta because they visit it the wrong way. They check the things to do in a guidebook or on the internet and then try to do as many as possible in a short time. Since they are not familiar with the city, they get stuck for hours in traffic, walk in the heat from one sight to the other, and spend more time bargaining than actually talking with Indonesians. I am not saying that Jakarta is perfect, but if you know what to do, you can definitely have a good time. Below is my list of the most recommended things to do or experience in Jakarta, starting from the best. An alternative title for the article could probably have been "How Not To Hate Jakarta". Your suggestions are welcome, please just write a comment at the end. You can also read  Is Jakarta worth visiting?  for more information. Try Indonesian food Every time I come back to Jakarta from Europe, the first thing I do after landing is to eat some Indonesian food. It is a very underrated cu

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!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Jakarta?

By Tibs →
Are you wondering what is the best time to visit Jakarta? There are several factors to consider before planning your trip: - Weather in Jakarta: What are the best and worst seasons? - When are public holidays in Jakarta? How do they affect the city? - Is it OK to visit Jakarta during Ramadan? - At what time of the year can you get the cheapest prices on flights and hotels?

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

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

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

16 Best Museums in Jakarta

By Tibs →
I visited almost every museums in Jakarta this year (I'm only missing the TNI Satria Mandala Museum and the Galeri Nasional Indonesia). The idea of this review is to give you my recommendations on the best museums to visit and the ones to avoid . I also wrote individual articles for each with a full description, just click on the name of the venues to read it. Contrary to what people might tell you, most are interesting and worth your time. They are a good introduction to Indonesian history and culture, and at the same time they give you an opportunity to explore authentic neighborhoods. The entrance ticket for each museum is very cheap, usually between Rp2,000 and Rp20,000. You can refer to the opening and closing hours on each separate reviews. All museums are rather small and you'll often need only a couple hours to visit them. English explanations are not always available. I don't think it's a big problem: Just take pictures and notes, then find out mo

Jakarta Travel Guide - For Single Guys

By Tibs →
In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about traveling to Jakarta as a single guy. I tried to keep it as concise and short as possible. For more details, you can email me directly at thibaud@jakarta100bars.com. If I wrote something inaccurate, please leave me a comment and I'll correct it. Note: I updated this article in January 2019. Visas for Indonesia The citizens of almost every country on earth can enter Indonesia without a visa for at least 30 days. This visa is non-renewable and non-extendable so you'll have no choice but to leave the country after it has expired. Overstaying is currently charged IDR250,000 per day. For staying for more than 30 days as a tourist, you have 4 options : → Make a 60-day tourist visa in any Indonesian consulate abroad (I did one in Saigon, Bangkok, KL, Singapore and Paris). It takes 3-4 days and costs 50$. This visa can then be extended 4 times 30 days for about 40 dollars (you must use an agent).

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

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

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

25 Best Traditional Markets to Visit in Jakarta

By Tibs →
Apart from the ubiquitous malls, Jakarta is filled with traditional markets and shopping streets. This review covers all the shopping areas to visit as a tourist. Some of them are very famous and some completely off-the-beaten track. I've listed them in 4 different categories: Traditional markets used by Indonesians for their daily household needs Interesting shopping streets for the tourist or the urban explorer Low-cost / wholesale shopping centers and malls with fake goods and great bargains Specialty markets (Precious stones, birds, flowers, fish, etc...)

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.

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?

11 Indonesian Islands You've Never Heard Of

By Tibs →
The next Bali or the next Lombok is listed below. If you are a tourist considering going to Bali to enjoy a quiet beach holiday, just forget it. Bali is ridiculously overcrowded and it is starting to look no different than Jakarta: Clogged with traffic, disorganized and polluted, it is far from the paradise it pretends to be. The good news is there are 17,000 more islands to explore in Indonesia, with far better beaches and scenery. Sure, they require a bit more effort to visit and you may not find 5-star honeymoon resorts so easily. But once tourism will develop and change the authenticity of these islands, you will probably regret not making the trip earlier.

Travel Guide to Salura Island - Sumba

By Tibs →
Salura (called Halura in the local Kambera  language) is an island located at the southern tip of Sumba. It is 4.5 km long and 1.5 km wide, which makes it a bit smaller than Nusa Lembongan, but almost 3 times larger than Gili Trawangan. I traveled there for a few days in November 2017. It is still completely authentic and untouched by tourism. To give you an idea of how rarely visited it is, people told me that I was the first foreigner to ever spend a night there. Occasionally, though, they welcome luxury boats that make a stopover for a few hours, but that's it.  Unsurprisingly, there is still very little information about how to get to Salura, where to stay and what to do. To change that, I wrote this short review that will hopefully answer all the questions you may have about organizing your trip on the island.

What to do in Jakarta in 24 Hours?

By Tibs →
Many tourists stay in Jakarta for only 1 night, usually before heading to Bali. If you are in the same situation, you might be wondering what are the best things to do in the city in 24 hours or less. To help my friend and family when they visit me, I have written for them a complete 24-hour itinerary that covers the town's best attractions. It is a bit rushed but it is realistically doable in a day. You can always skip a few steps to make your tour more relaxed. Don't hesitate to write me directly if you have more specific questions (thibaud@jakarta100bars.com). You can also read 10 Best Things to Do in Jakarta , Jakarta Travel Guide and Is Jakarta Worth Going?