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The Best Nightlife in Jakarta: Clubs, Bars, Spas, Restaurants
The #1 Reference of Jakarta nightlife: Bars, Night Clubs, Discos, Restaurants, Karaokes, Massage and Spas!...

Published: Wed 02 Sep 2015 10:26:12 AM UTC.

Favicon Bachelor Party in Jakarta
2 Sep 2015, 10:26 am
This guide will give you insider's tips and recommendations to help you prepare a memorable bachelor party (or bachelorette) in Jakarta with your friends.

I will answer all the questions you may have about the best clubs to visit, how to get around in the city, which hotels to choose, how to meet Indonesian girls and how to stay safe.

If there is anything else you would like to know, please write a comment or send me an email thibaud@jakarta100bars.com.

Why choosing Jakarta for a bachelor party:

Really, why Jakarta?
Jakarta is not as popular as Bangkok or Manila for bachelor parties, probably because the city has a poor reputation: Endless traffic jams, pollution, chaos, underdevelopment and very few tourist attractions.

All of the above are true. Jakarta is a mad city, yet it has a few advantages compared to other Asian capitals:

- It is not difficult to mix with Indonesians, guys and girls. Indonesians usually speak good English and are friendly. In particular, if you come for party, you can expect meeting girls easily in clubs or through online dating apps.

- Endless nightlife options, all relatively safe to visit. You have a mix of posh clubs and more local venues where you won't feel uncomfortable even if you are the only foreigners there.

- Nightlife curfews are usually ignored, meaning you can keep on partying until early morning.

- No difficulties to enter clubs with large groups of male.

- There are few foreigners staying in Jakarta compared to Bangkok. For this reason, being a "bule" (white person) can be an advantage, especially with girls.

Is it smart to organize a bachelor party in a Muslim country?

You may also wonder if it is a good idea to organize a weekend of debauchery in the capital of a Muslim country.

As of 2015, many middle-class Jakartans follow a moderate version of Islam and they don't mind drinking a bit of alcohol, having sex before marriage and even eating pork once in a while.
That's not the majority of the population, but that's enough to have all nightclubs packed on Fridays and Saturdays. Most Indonesian-Chinese are protestants or catholics so they amount for a large percentage of clubbers in the city too.

Indonesia is becoming more and more religious though. I think that a ban on nightlife activities and alcohol in Jakarta is very likely to happen in the coming years (I'll write about that in the near future). One more reason to enjoy it while it lasts!

How much will I spend on a 2-night weekend bachelor party in Jakarta?

Jakarta is more expensive than Bangkok. For a decent night out, you must spend at least 150$ per day (excluding the hotel). If you plan to go to the top luxury karaokes and massage parlours in the city, then it will cost even more (up to 500$ per day).

The big problem is that alcohol is heavily taxed and it's hard to get a cocktail for less than 10$.

If you cannot spend that kind of money, I advise you to go somewhere else. Try Vietnam: Saigon Nightlife.

Recommendations to make sure your stag party goes well:

Keep the party in the clubs. Don't show that you are drunk in public space. The country is Muslim and even though Indonesians are easy going, you don't want to offend anybody. Local media love running stories about disrespectful foreigners. If you don't want to make national news, you should understand that and be smart, even when you are drunk.

Do not visit during a religious holidays (Ramadan, Idul Adha). On National Day (August 17th) and at Christmas/New Year, Jakarta is more quiet than usual. It is better to enjoy Bali nightlife during that time. It is also best to avoid Jakarta during the peak of the rainy season (January-February). Jakarta can be flooded during this time, making transport more difficult from one point to the other.

Drugs are not legal, but they are widely available, especially in North Jakarta. Foreigners are more likely to get into troubles because they lack the connections and information that some Indonesians have to avoid going to jail (see for instance the story of Christopher Daniel Sjarif who got away with killing 4 people under LSD). I would recommend not taking drugs in Jakarta. If you do, never ever carry anything with you, buy it from someone you are sure you can trust, and prepare some cash in case you get arrested.

Prostitution is not legal but it is tolerated as well. There are rarely crackdown on brothels and massage parlors in Jakarta (unlike in Medan or Surabaya). To avoid any problems, make sure that your hotel is girl-friendly: Jakarta Hotel Guide.

Since Jakarta can be intimidating, it is best if a local expat help you organize or if you can come to scout the city beforehand.

Jakarta Hotel Guide: Where to sleep in Jakarta for a bachelor party?

You need to make sure that your hotel is located in the center of the city and close from Sudirman street. Jalan Sudirman is the backbone of Jakarta, it is connected to almost all the important streets and buildings you'll need to go to. 

For this reason, I would recommend one of the following (please book through Agoda, I get a small commission out of it):

5-star hotels:
Grand Hyatt Hotel: It is connected to Plaza Indonesia mall, in which you have the Immigrant nightclub, the Dreams lounge and Cloud rooftop bar.

Kempinski: It is connected to Grand Indonesia with several popular bars like Paulaner Brauhaus, Social House or Skye.

The Mandarin Oriental and the Pullman Thamrin are good as well and they were renovated just a few years ago.

The Mulia Hotel and the Shangri La are not as centrally-located but they have very busy bars with lots of working girls. It can also be an option.

4-star hotels:
There are several Accor properties in Jakarta which are relatively new. Mercure Sabang is located in the center. Novotel Gajah Mada is quite up north but it is interesting if you just want to party in that area.

Other central choices: Check the hotels in those locations - Plaza IndonesiaMega Kuningan, Rasuna SaidPlaza Senayan.

If you are wondering if your hotel is girl-friendly or not, you don't have to worry. Almost all hotels in Jakarta are except small family guesthouses.

Best luxury apartments starting 100$ per night per person:

A great way to enjoy your bachelor party is to rent an apartment during your stay. The cost for a 3-bedroom all-inclusive apartment is not that high if you split the bill.

The apartment makes it easy to buy and store booze, and it is a comfy place for starting the party.

I recommend you to check the following, all located in central locations:
Fraser Residence: The best choice - They have 3-bedroom apartments and it is brand new.
Ascott Jakarta and Aston Rasuna have 2-bedroom apartments only.

How to get around in Jakarta?

Considering you might spend a lot of time in traffic jams, your transportation choices are crucial. I strongly recommend renting a minibus or minivan to get around in the city. The price is reasonable and it will assure you continuous fun throughout the weekend.

You can rent a isuzu for instance and pack it with beer and music. The price is about 90$ per day including the driver, cheaper than paying several taxis each time you want to go somewhere.

I used the services of 911 Rental several times and it was always a great experience. You can also try Jakarta Rent Bus. Make sure to explain to the driver that you are planning on partying in the bus to avoid any troubles.

You can also rent a party bus from Royale VIP Party Bus. It is a bus specially made for bachelor parties. You can contact Dhandy 0856 64226056 or email them at royalevipbus@gmail.com.
Inside the Royale VIP Bus - Special for Bachelorette and Bachelor Parties
Finally, if you choose to go with taxis, just remember to negotiate the meter in advance. I use Blue Bird and Express but other brands are fine too. The dangers of taxi is overrated in my opinion. If you go inside a "bad" taxi, your only risk is to lose a 5$ or to do a few extra kilometers.

Are there strip clubs in Jakarta?

This is not an advertisement for Marlboro...
I wrote a review about the best striptease and sexy dancer clubs in Jakarta. That's a good start for you to read. All the places mentioned are great for a bachelor party, but the best ones are naturally the most expensive.

The priciest is Alexis. Renting a karaoke room with a jacuzzi filled with 10 super hot girls is possible but it would cost you around 2,000$ for 1 hour.

Playing volleyball with girls in bikini in the 1001 Sexy Pool is also another option for those who can afford it.

If your budget is limited, you can go to King Cross, Classic or B'Fashion Hotel instead (see my review here: Striptease and Body Massage in B'Fashion).

Otherwise, a private lap dance in a strip club like Malio or Tease is not that expensive. If you pay about 10 ladies drinks (Rp500,000), you will be more than satisfied.

Where to party to meet normal girls?

I wrote several reviews that should help you decide about the best clubs and bars to visit in Jakarta: Jakarta Best Clubs 2015, Jakarta Best Bars 2015, Jakarta Nightlife 2015.

If you are not very familiar with Jakarta, I would just stay with the classics: X2, Immigrant, Dragonfly. Those are the nightclubs with the most foreigners and with the most girls looking to meet foreigners as well.

What are the things to do in Jakarta during the day?

Spa and Massage Parlours
The best thing to do in Jakarta during day time is certainly to go to a spa. They are cheap, well-equipped and you can find them everywhere (see my review: Finding a Spa in Jakarta).

Visiting a museum, a monument, a historical building, a mosque or a traditional market:
If you are interested to do cultural sightseeing, you may want to check my reviews in the category: Things to do in Jakarta.

If you just want to kill time, the best you can do is hangout in a mall such as Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan or Grand Indonesia. I love spending afternoons in De Luca in Plaza Senayan and just look at the people passing by.

Dating an Indonesian girl
You can get a date on Badoo or Tinder quite easily with my guide: Dating Websites in Indonesia. A great place to bring your date is the Blitz Cinema in Pacific Place. Choose the Velvet auditorium which is specially designed for couples. You can also bring her to one of Jakarta's rooftop restaurants.

Bachelor party schedule for a 2-night and 3-day stag weekend:

If you come to Jakarta for a full weekend from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, I would recommend the following schedule:

Friday Evening:
- Dinner in B.A.T.S (steaks + live music + girls): From 8.30pm to 11.30pm
- Drinks in Cloud: From midnight to 1am
- Party in Immigrant (just below Cloud) or X2 or Dragonfly starting after 1am: Book a table + sofa in advance.
- After 3am: Karaoke in Golden Crown or Level 5.

Saturday Afternoon:
- Spa and Karaoke session in Alexis, 1001 Hotel, Illigals, Sun City, Malioboro or King Cross: From 3pm to 6pm.

Saturday Evening:
- Dinner in Loewy or Cork&Screw Pacific Place or Bluegrass: From 8.30pm to 11.30pm
- Drinks in Empirica or Potato Garage or Lucy in the Sky: From midnight to 1am.
- Party in Immigrant or X2 or Dragonfly starting after 1am: Book a table + sofa in advance.
- After closing, go to Mille's Club in North Jakarta.

Sunday morning / afternoon:
- Brunch in Potato Head or Loewy from the moment you wake up until 3pm.
- Spa session: Delta or My Place.

To make your decision, you should also check the DJs coming to Jakarta or if there are any cool festivals like Djakarta Warehouse Project, Java Jazz Festival or Color Run while you are here.


Confused? Please send me a message thibaud@jakarta100bars.com and I'll do my best to help you organize your trip.

Photo credit: Kuclukoye and Indra Kurniawan. I also took the party pics on the facebook page of Immigrant. If your face is in there and you want it removed, just ask.

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Favicon 11 Best Indonesian Islands You've Never Heard Of
11 Aug 2015, 2:53 pm
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.

I selected 11 beautiful secret Indonesian islands that few people know of. They are located off Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Sumba or Borneo. Note that some of them are in fact small archipelagoes.

In case you are curious, the cover photo is from the Banyak Islands which are mentioned below (Photo Source: Vagabundinnen).

Taka Bonerate Islands

Photo Source: Ramadian Bachtiar
The Taka Bonerate Marine Park has 21 small islands and possesses the third largest atoll in the world. It is a paradise for divers from all over the world who can explore its 500km2 of corals. Sea turtles, cuttlefish, crocodile fish, eels and manta ray can be seen at almost every dive.

Its main island, Tinabo, is less than 2km long. It can be reach on a long day trip from Makassar via Selasar by boat.

Banyak Islands

Photo Source: Vagabundinnen
Part of the Aceh province, the Banyak Islands consists of several small islands, including Tuangku (the largest), Bangkaru and Palambak (depicted on the photo above). It is an alternative for surfers to the more "crowded" Nias or Mentawai Islands. With endless yellow-sand beaches, they are also great for adventure couples looking for privacy.

Widi Island 

Photo Source: Henry Wicaksono
Widi Island (or Weda) recently made national headlines after foreign investors from PT Leadership Island Indonesia agreed to disburse IDR 600,000,000,000 for the right to manage it for 35 years.

Located south of Halmahera in Maluku, the island is expected to become a center for ecotourism and diving activities. With crystal clear water and preserved coral, it could become one Indonesia's best diving destinations.

Menui Island

Photo Source: Itsarbolo
Menui Island is part of Morowali district in Central Sulawesi. Its name comes from "manu" which means "chicken" in Bugis language. One of its attractions is the Kumapa cave, a sacred place for residents who use it as a place for meditation. The island is still under-developed and most of it is covered with tropical jungle.

Kei Islands

Photo Source: Dagmarita
The Kei (or Kai) Islands is a small archipelago in Southeast Maluk. Kei Kecil and Kei Besar are its two most famous islands, reputed for their long unspoiled beaches and beautiful sunsets.

A new airport on Kei Kecil is now connecting the islands to Ambon. It is very likely that tourism will grow significantly in the coming years.

Pulau Maratua

Photo Source: fajaradiartha
A few hundred kilometers away from Malaysia, the U-shaped Pulau Maratua is one of 92 outlying Indonesian islands. Most people visiting it go for diving or snorkeling and sleep in the Maratua Paradise Resort made of cottages and bungalows built on stilts.

An airport is set to be inaugurated within the next few months. It will also serve nearby Islands like Derawan, Kakaban and Sangalaki.

Wakatobi Islands

Photo Source: Kristanto Adibuyung
The Wakatobi Islands are part of a Marine National Park which is made of four islands: Wangi Wangi (translated as the Fragrant Island), Kaledupa, Tomea and Binongko. They are part of the larger Tukangbesi Islands group in South Sulawesi.

Most high-end visitors go to the Wakatobi Diving Eco Resort and Spa on the small island of Onemobaa, off Tomea.

Pulau Karimata

Photo from Beingindonesian.com
Pulau Karimata is the main island of a small archipelago located 60km off the coast of Borneo. It is known for having exceptional biodiversity due to to its mountainous relief. Stretching 18 kilometers from east to west and 13 from south to north, it has a large population of cave swiftlets, an endemic species of bird famous for its nests made out of saliva. The nests are hunted and exported, causing a drop in the bird's population.

Pulau Banda Besar

Photo Source: Vagabundinnen
Banda Besar is the largest of the Banda Islands, an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in South Maluku. They have interested foreign nations for their spices (nutmeg and cloves) since 1512, when the Portuguese first visited them.

For this reason, Banda Besar has interesting historical and religious monuments. It is also possible to visit nutmeg plantations. Finally, following a short boat trip, you may enjoy a hike to the 666-meter high Gunung Api (volcano).

Numfor Island

Photo Source: Bowo MW
Noemfoor Island (or Numfor) is part of the Biak Islands, off the coast of Papua. It is actually famous among historians because it was the theater of a military battle between American and Japanese troops in 1944.

Today, Noemfoor has the potential of becoming a tourist hotspot with beautiful reef corals and some great white sand beaches (for instance Pakreki).

Halura Island

Photo Source: Ferdinand
Halura Island (also called Salura or Laharula) is a stunning island located off the Southern coast of Sumba. I spotted it several years ago and I believe it could become the next Gili Trawongan (Lombok).

The island is not inhabited, yet it is still absolutely virgin from tourism. It took me quite a long time to find an image and based on my research, it seems only two tourists have been there so far.

One of them is the travel blogger/adventurer Jalan Blog that I recommend you to follow if you speak Indonesian.

Salura Island has two smaller sister islands: Pulau Kotak and Pulau Mangkudu.

There are many more famous islands in Indonesia, particularly Nias, Belitung, Lombok, Flores, Komodo, Melawai, Bintan, Batam, Java or even the Raja Ampat, but I tried to focus on the lesser-known and the secret ones. 

Please share with me by commenting below if you think I should add a 12th island to this list.

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Favicon Guide to Choosing Your Hotel in Jakarta
2 Sep 2015, 10:28 am
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?
- 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?
    If you have other questions, please write them in the comment section below and I'll do my best to answer it.

    To get the best prices, I usually book directly on the website of the hotel and check for promotions. If the prices are not different from other websites, then I encourage you to book through Agoda

    Why? Because I can get a (small) commission on every booking coming from this page. Jakarta100bars is free so it's a way for you to contribute to this site and to keep it independent. I am not receiving any money from any of the hotels listed below, only a commission on the bookings so my advice is still independent and honest.

    What is the best area to stay in Jakarta?

    Since Jakarta is so big, deciding on where to stay in Jakarta really depends on what you will do there.

    Traffic should be your main consideration and you should choose the location that will minimize as much as possible the time spent going from one place to the other.

    1) If you are in Jakarta for work and you need to go to a lot of meetings, choose a hotel close to your meeting points or close from your office, even if they are not in central locations. The traffic usually gets better starting 9pm so you can still go out quite easily after that.

    Anyway, there are now malls almost everywhere in Jakarta so wherever you'll stay, you will be close from a fair number of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, gyms, cinemas and hang out spots.

    If you are having meetings all over the city, then choose a location near the major roads such as Gatot Subroto, Sudirman, Thamrin, Gajah Mada or the Jakarta Inner Ring Road.

    2) If you are in Jakarta for fun or for party, then you must decide what is your style:

    - You want to party in the expensive nightclubs in Central and South Jakarta?
    It is best to stay anywhere near from Jalan Sudirman, Plaza Indonesia, Mega Kuningan, Jalan Rasuna Said, Plaza Senayan. Kemang is too far in my opinion but it could be an option if you want to be close from the best Western food options.

    - You want to party with locals in North and West Jakarta?
    Choose a hotel in one of these neighborhood: Chinatown (Glodok), Gajah Mada, Mangga Besar, Hayam Wuruk, Tamansari, Lokasari, Pecenongan. Hotels in these areas usually offer a much better value for money than in the South but the surroundings are more dirty and less safe. You also won't have nice malls, only Gajah Mada Plaza and Lokasari Square. Mangga Besar hotels are all girl-friendly and they are close from hundreds of great street food options.

    Another good point with this location is that you can still reach Central Jakarta quite easily within 30 minutes. There is a very convenient busway line running from Kota Station to Blok M that you can use.

    Alternatively, if you are mostly interested with karaokes and massage parlours instead of clubs, you can go to Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua, Grogol and Taman Anggrek. These areas also have huge malls nearby and they are not too far from the airport with the toll road.

    Read my guide: Bachelor Party in Jakarta

    3) If you are in Jakarta as a tourist, then I would recommend staying near Thamrin or Wahid Hasyim. Alternatively, you could also stay near Mangga Besar or Kota, but if you are not familiar with Jakarta you may feel uncomfortable as those areas are 100% local.

    - Where can I find a cheap guesthouse under 10$ per night? Is there a backpacker area in Jakarta?

    As you will read in any guidebooks about Jakarta, the backpacker district is located in Jalan Jaksa. It is nothing compared to other popular traveler hubs in Southeast Asia like Khao San Road in Bangkok or Bui Vien in Saigon. You will only find a handful of guesthouses, usually not well-maintained and not very clean. Nearby, Jalan Wahid Hasyim has more choice but the prices are higher (at least 30$).

    To find a decent room in Jalan Jaksa, you need to go inside the gangs (small streets) and look for guesthouse signs.  The prices are currently set at around Rp70,000 per night for a room with a fan. AC will cost you at least double.

    In the past few years, there has been an increasing number of backpacker hotels that have opened elsewhere in the city, sometimes with higher standards. Teduh Hostel in Kota Tua or Six Degrees in Cikini are good examples. Their prices are quite high though, even for a bed in a dormitory.

    I would still recommend Jalan Jaksa because of its very central location. It is next to Gambir train station (from where you can go to Yogyakarta or Bandung). It is also near from several key things to do in Jakarta like the Monas or the Istiqlal Mosque. 500 meters from Jaksa, the Sabang street is famous for its street food options.

    - What are the best budget hotels in Jakarta?

    There are several budget hotel chains in Jakarta: Ibis Budget, Neo, Fave Hotels, Amaris, Pop Hotel, Whiz, Hotel 88, D'Prima. The price vary between 25$ and 45$ per night.

    Overall, I found that Fave Hotels usually have the best value for money, especially if you book directly from their website. If you enter the code "BOOKDIRECT", you get 15% off. There are also Fave Hotels almost everywhere in the city so it is convenient.

    Based on my experience though, the standards can be quite different within the same chain depending on who is the owner. For instance, the Fave Hotel in LTC Glodok is fantastic, probably because it is owned by Agung Podomoro Land (one of Indonesia's largest developer). Another great one is Fave Hotel Gatot Subroto. On the contrary, I stayed in Fave Hotel Kemang and Pasar Baru, both disappointing.

    Also, the price may vary a lot depending on the location: The Fave Hotel Thamrin costs double compared to the one in Kelapa Gading.

    - What are the best 3-star hotels in Jakarta?

    3-star hotel chains in Jakarta are Ibis, Harris, All Seasons, Santika and Holiday Inn. The price depends on the location and the day of the week (cheaper on weekends). In general, they will cost between 45$ and 60$ per night.

    Again, within a chain there can be big differences. Ibis Tamarin and Ibis Arcadia on Jalan Thamrin are getting old but Ibis Harmoni is brand-new. 

    I think it is best to find out when the hotel was open and to choose the more recent ones. All Seasons Gajah Mada, All Seasons Thamrin and Holiday Inn Thamrin were all opened less than 3 years ago.

    - What are the best 4-star hotel chains in Jakarta?

    The prices of 4-star hotels in Jakarta vary greatly depending on the location. The cheapest ones, located outside the city center in Mangga Dua, Gajah Mada or Ancol can cost less than 60$ while those located near Sudirman or Thamrin cost up to 100$ per night.

    The best chains are Novotel, Mercure, Santika Premiere, Aston, Swiss-Belhotel and Best Western. Again, don't trust a chain blindly, make sure that the hotel was built recently.

    The newest 4-star hotels in Jakarta are: Mercure Sabang, Santika Premiere Hayam Wuruk and Novotel Gajah Mada

    - Which 5-star hotel should I choose? Which one is the closest from nightlife?

    5-star hotels in Jakarta are almost all located within the Golden Triangle (Sudirman - Rasuna Said - Gatot Subroto). For this reason, all are rather close from any happening places.

    Still, it is even more convenient to choose a hotel attached to one of the big malls. For this reason, you may want to choose:

    - Kempinski, attached to Grand Indonesia
    - Grand Hyatt and Keraton at the Plaza, attached to Plaza Indonesia (other options nearby include the Pullman Thamrin and the Mandarin Oriental). The Hyatt is a great option as it is close from Immigrant club, Cloud Lounge, Dreams Ego Lounge and Skye Rooftop.
    - Ritz Carlton SCBD, attached to Pacific Place (there is also a Ritz-Carlton in Mega Kuningan)
    - Fairmont, attached to Plaza Senayan (2 minutes walk)
    - Pullman Grogol, attached to Central Park

    A JW Marriott was suppose to open in Lippo Mall Kemang Village in 2014 but the project seems to be late.

    The Shangri La and the Mulia are also popular with male because of their live music bars, BATS and CJs.

    Can I bring girls to my hotel in Jakarta? Which hotel is guest-friendly or girl-friendly?

    People are always wondering if they are allowed to bring a girl to their room in Jakarta. The answer is: 90% of Jakarta hotels are girl-friendly.

    The only places where you may have problems are family guest-houses or small family hotels located in conservative areas. Outside Jakarta, there have been a few cases of over-zealous mayors raiding hotels to hunt unmarried couples sleeping together. These raids are actually against the law since it is not unlawful to sleep with someone you are not married to. The rule of law does not always apply in Indonesia, but hypocrisy does.

    If you stay in any hotel with 3 stars or more, you will be most certainly allowed to bring guests overnight.

    An ID is generally required so make sure your girl has her papers.

    Hotels located in red-light districts are used to receive night visitors. If you are planning to go wild, then you may want to choose a room in Chinatown, Mangga Besar, Gajah Mada, Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua, Blok M or Taman Anggrek.

    Some naughty hotels also offer plus plus massage services in the room or in their spas. For example: Orchardz Industri, Orchardz Jayakarta, Orchardz Hotel Airport, Sparks LifeB'Fashion, Fashion Hotel (Gunung Sahari), Prinsen Park, Olympic Hotel.

    At last, you also have some famous transit hotels such as Hotel BI Executive in Ancol. In this hotel, rooms have mirrors and porn movies are available at reception. You can also park you car just under your room if you want to be discreet.

    Can I actually sleep in Alexis Hotel, Malioboro Hotel, Classic Hotel, etc?

    Brothels in Jakarta often have a hotel license because it gives them more flexibility with the law. In particular, it allows them to open during ramadan.

    Even though they are not listed on the traditional online booking engines like Agoda or Booking.com, they do accept guests

    Is there a spa or massage parlour near my hotel?

    I wrote a long review that I update regularly about the location of all spas in Jakarta. Please read it: Where are the massage parlours in Jakarta?

    Where can I sleep near the airport?

    There is a growing number of budget hotels that have opened near the airport. You even have one, Orchardz Bandara, which is a hidden bordello.

    The Airport hotels are located on both sides of the highway. If you have a flight early morning, it is best to choose a hotel on the left side of the road so it will save you 10 minutes.

    A very good choice is the Swiss Bellinn or the Ibis Styles Airport.

    Which hotels are connected to popular malls?

    Choosing a hotel located inside a mall is a great idea as it will save you a lot of time. I already listed above the 5-star hotels located inside luxury malls.

    You also have the following:

    Mangga Dua Square: Amaris and Novotel
    Pluit Junction: Fave Hotel (also not far from Emporium Pluit)
    FX Mall: Harris Suites FX
    ITC Mangga Dua: Le Grandeur
    Seasons City: Amaris
    Mahaka Square: Hotel Santika Gading
    Mall Kelapa Gading: Pop Hotel, Harris Hotel and Conventions (and there is a Fave Hotel accross the road as well)

    Some hotels are not connected to malls, but they are just located within walking distance. For instance:
    Mall Of Indonesia: Whiz Prime
    WTC Mangga Dua: Hotel Neo Mangga Dua
    Emporium Pluit: Holiday Inn Express CityGate
    Mal Ciputra: Hotel Ciputra
    Plaza Semanggi: Crowne Plaza
    Plaza Senayan: Century Park
    CityWalk Sudirman: Intercontinental MidPlaza
    Sarinah: Sari Pan Pacific, Artotel, Kosenda
    Rasuna Epicentrum and Pasar Festival: Aston Rasuna and JS Luwansa
    Kuningan City: Manhattan Hotel
    Kota Casablanca: Park Lane
    Ciputra World One: Somerset Grand Citra
    Bellagio Mall: Oakwood Premier Cozmo
    Blok M Plaza: Oak Tree Urban, Hotel Melawai, Amaris Panglima Polim


    I hope this Jakarta hotel guide will cover all your questions about where to stay in Jakarta. Again, if you have any questions, just type them below and I'll answer them.

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    Favicon Museum Bank Indonesia (Jakarta)
    7 Aug 2015, 4:35 pm
    I did not expect much from the Museum Bank Indonesia in North Jakarta, but after my visit I must say that it is one of the best things to do during the day in the city.

    Inaugurated in 2009 in the former building of the De Javasche Bank, the ancestor of Bank Indonesia, it is a modern museum, clean and rather well-organized. The building itself is over a hundred year old and was designed by the famous Dutch architect Eduard Cuypers.

    It presents a good introduction to the history of the economic development of Indonesia, from early spice merchants until today. It is also interesting to understand better the Dutch colonization.

    The last section of the museum focuses on money with hundreds of currencies from all over the world on display. Kids might enjoy this part a little bit more.
    This clock was offered by the Dutch Central Bank to celebrate the 100 years of De Javasche Bank
    How to go there:
    The Museum is located in the Old Town (Kota Tua), near Taman Fatahillah and opposite the Kota train station. If you come from South Jakarta, it can be faster to use the busway line 1 running from Blok M to Kota. Be careful as the Bank Indonesia itself is in a different building on Jalan Thamrin.

    Duration of visit:
    The visit lasts about 2 hours.

    Opening Hours Museum Bank Indonesia:
    From Tuesday to Thursday from 8am to 3h30pm.
    Friday from 8am to 3h30pm (closed from 11h35am to 1pm for prayer)
    Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm
    Closed on Monday and Public Holidays.

    Entrance ticket:
    Rp 5,000

    English explanations:
    75% of the displays.

    Contact details:
    Museum Bank Indonesia
    Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No. 3
    North Jakarta - Indonesia

    Phone number: +62 21 2600 158 
    Fax number: +62 21 260 1730 

    Email: museum@bi.go.id

    Surabaya also has a Bank Indonesia Museum that opened in January 2012.

    Social medias
    Website: Museum BI
    Facebook: Museum Jakarta BI
    Twitter: Bank Indonesia Museum

    Weddings, Receptions, Events
    It is actually possible to rent the Museum Bank Indonesia for private parties, in particular for weddings. To do so, you can contact them directly through their Heritage website.

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    Favicon Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA School) Jakarta
    31 Aug 2015, 12:43 pm
    The Museum of National Awakening in Jakarta (Museum Kebangkitan Nasional) is not a very well known thing to do in Jakarta, but it is worth visiting.

    STOVIA Building

    It is located in the building of the STOVIA (School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Arsten) or School for the Training of Local Doctors. The school and the building were created at the beginning of the 20th century by the Dutch, part of their "Ethical Policy" which consisted in improving the welfare of colonial subjects.

    The STOVIA is famous in Indonesian history because it is the birthplace of Budi Utomo, the first Indonesian political movement. The day of its creation, May 20th 1908 is officially commemorated every year in the country.

    The school changed location to Salemba in the 1920s and the building served different purposes until it was transformed into a museum by Suharto in 1974.

    The story of the building is very helpful in understanding life in Indonesia during colonial times. It is also interesting to see how the Dutch themselves contributed to the Independence movement.
    STOVIA dormitory
    The classrooms have been recreated with statues
    For Jakarta standards, the content of the Museum and the explanations are interesting but be aware that only half the displays are translated in English. You have some great old pictures of Jakarta, some dioramas showing the daily life of the students, and some old artifacts.

    A section of the Museum is more modern and focus on the beginning of modern medicine in Indonesia.
    The garden is very peaceful and it costs only 5,000rp to get in. If you stay near Senen, it is a pleasant place to walk around, especially with kids.
    Overall: The Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA) is among my favourites in Jakarta along with the Museum Nasional and the Museum Bank Indonesia. If you have been living in Jakarta for a while and you are interested in the history of Indonesia, you will probably enjoy it also.

    Museum of National Awakening (STOVIA Building)
    Museum Kebangkitan Nasional 
    Jalan Dr. Abdul Rahman Saleh No. 26 (Walking distance from Senen Atrium)
    Central Jakarta 10410

    Phone number: +62 (0) 3483 0033 or +62 (0) 21 384 7975
    Fax: +62 (0) 21 3847975
    Email: muskitnas@museumkebangkitannasional.go.id

    Opening/Visiting Hours:
    From Tuesday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm
    Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 8am to 2pm
    Closed on Monday and on Public Holidays

    Facebook: Museum STOVIA
    Website: Museum Kebangkitan Nasional

    Entrance Ticket:

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