I will talk about my first impressions of Jakarta in terms of girls, dating, being a foreigner – and because everything in life is relative, I will compare those aspects to Bangkok, Thailand.
First off, most of you – including myself – will be able to get the visa on arrival.
During the flight, you fill out the immigration form, then you queue for a few minutes and that’s it.
The process is identical to Thailand immigration except that you might get asked a few questions about the purpose of your trip.
I was specifically asked whether that’s my first time here, if it’s holiday only – whereas in Thailand all those countless times going in and out, I’ve never once been asked anything.
Jakarta Airport Taxi
As is the case at Bangkok airport, you find regulated taxis right outside of the arrival terminal. Either you get one of the regular taxis by going to the ticket machine, or you book a taxi privately.
At Jakarta airport, I recommend you use Blue Bird taxis – just go to their stand and the fare will be slightly over $10 to South Jakarta.
There is at least one other taxi company that uses similar branding as Blue Bird, so be aware of that. Taxis look somewhat similar.
The alternative would be using GrabTaxi, which is also very popular here.
It doesn’t work perfectly and sometimes there seem to be communication problems (e.g. getting lost, pretending not to have change), but for the most part it’s a good way of getting around in Jakarta for cheap.
GrabTaxi in Jakarta is slightly cheaper than hiring a regular (Blue Bird) taxi. Overall taxis are about the same price as Thailand, but much cheaper than say in Vietnam.
Jakarta is not a tourist city & many locals – even when they go shopping – use GrabTaxi (or the competitor app Go-Jek) to be picked up directly in front of the mall.
In Bangkok using a taxi app can be pointless because you see a taxi every few minutes unless you are somewhere in the outskirts. Using a taxi app would take longer …
Here in Jakarta, you don’t always see taxis around and depending on which part of town you are in & the time, you might not see a taxi driving by for a very long time.
That’s why GrabTaxi is super helpful.
You just sign up with your email & can then pay the fare in cash.
Jakarta Accomondation / AirBnb
I’m a big fan of AirBnb whenever I go to a new place – mainly because I like to have a kitchen, gym and perhaps pool as well.
The last thing I would want is having to walk outside just to go to the gym and the pool can be a nice bait for girls to come over.
I paid $30 per night for my AirBnb in Jakarta. That’s probably cheaper than a hotel room but renting for several weeks/over a month, you can usually get hefty discounts on AirBnb.
That being said, check-in at my condo was very straight-forward. The maid met me in the lobby, handed over the keys and that’s it. Any additional questions, I could ask the owner via WhatsApp.
I decided to book an AirBnb condo that’s located right on top of a shopping mall and has a supermarket downstairs. Security guard at the entrance, of course, but no issues bringing someone home.
Girls didn’t even have to check in with their ID. That would be the case at a hotel. I have never had issues bringing girls to my place when I have rented an AirBnb condo – not even in Bangkok.
So far, the only thing I am missing is the convenience store. There are few around and in some areas you don’t see any whereas in Thailand, you would see a 7-Eleven on every corner.
Online Dating in Jakarta
I’m not the biggest fan of online dating as you might know but since I’m new to Jakarta, I decided to give it a try. A few days in advance, I browsed through IndonesiaCupid to see how many girls are online & what the quality was like.
NOT many girls online … so I decided to setup up Tinder Plus and see what that’s like. I have never used Tinder before and don’t even have a personal Facebook account.
I’ve heard so many good things about Tinder in Jakarta that I wanted to give it a try. Although, I’m guessing most personal accounts are an exaggeration …
Tinder in Jakarta is insane! First of all, if you’re a foreigner, you’re exotic value is through the roof & as such meeting hot girls on Tinder is a piece of cake!
If you don’t know how Tinder works, basically you need to like a girl’s profile and she needs to like yours and then you have a match. ONLY once you match with a girl can you send her a private message.
My Tinder Experience in Jakarta
Most of the girls you see on Tinder are indeed girls. Very few ladyboy and of course occasionally you get a match with a girl that is a massage girl looking for customers on Tinder.
I set up my Tinder account 2 days before arrival, upgraded to Tinder Plus and had it run on autopilot. I installed Bluestacks on my VPS and then had AutoClicker set to click every few seconds with a random delay here in there.
I’ve tested 2 different strategies.
The first time, I just set the tool to do over 8,000 swipes in 15 minutes until no more additional girls were available in the area.
Then, I created another account and set the swiping rate lower, occasionally also did manual swiping where I swiped left (= dislike) to make the activity appear more natural.
600+ Tinder Matches in Jakarta
I got a little bit over 600 Tinder matches in 2 days. I don’t know if that number is good or very low for Jakarta … but overall, I am not impressed with the quality of those matches.
Those 600 Tinder matches would roughly break down as follows:
- 600+ Matches in Total
- 3-5 Cute Girls
- ~1-2 Hot Girls
Obviously, tastes vary so you might find that there are significantly more cute/hot girls on Tinder in Jakarta.
Of course, just because I am getting these results, doesn’t mean you have a similar experience.
You might have better pictures or whatever and get end up with hotter girls but the sample size of 600+ matches and only 1-2 hot girls has some significance.
Overall, I think Tinder in Jakarta is a good option – just don’t buy into the hype.
Many reports/reviews are so overlay positive almost to the point where you’d think being a foreigner here makes things so easy that you match with super models only – all of which are waiting to come over to your place the same day.
Foreigner/Bule in Indonesia
In terms of foreigners, Jakarta is nothing like Bangkok. If you go to any mall in central Bangkok (say Terminal21), you’d see another foreigner every few minutes.
As such being a foreigner in Thailand doesn’t mean much. You’re just another “falang” … even if you’re a younger guy and average-looking.
In Jakarta, I have seen 5 foreigners in 3 days.
If you’re someone that wants to capitalize on his exotic value and is okay with cute girls, then I think Jakarta can really be worth a shot for you.
If you don’t like standing out and people looking at you, then perhaps Jakarta isn’t for you. Although, I think most online reports are a wild exaggeration in terms of standing out and people staring at you.
3 days in and I have not noticed a single person looking or staring at me – any more than it would happen in any Western country.
Indonesian Girls/Jakarta Girls
Many are wearing the Hijab but you can still get an idea whether they are cute/good-looking and many are indeed cute (based on my taste).
I have not seen many stunners but again the same would be the case in Bangkok, where on an average day out, I’d perhaps come across 3-4 really hot girls.
Most girls in Jakarta are Muslim but in terms of dating, that’s not an issue at all.
There are many large malls in Jakarta but most will only get busy late afternoon/early evening. I don’t recommend you go there before that time as they’ll be about as empty as my heart.
Kota Kasablance is most similar to Terminal21. Many of the other malls are somewhat dead and are home to luxury brand stores.
Some of the other malls are still worth checking out for the experience, just don’t expect to see a hottie every few minutes.
I recommend the check out the following Jakarta malls:
- Kota Kasablance (KoKas)
- Grand Indonesia
- Senayan City
Random Things to Note:
- No alcohol at convenience stores. You can go to a liquor store or supermarket (such as Carrefour). Beer prices similar to Thailand.
- For the most part, English here is not better or worse than in Thailand, but worse than in Vietnam. Probably somewhat related to lack of tourism.
Jakarta Nightlife, Red Light Areas (Blok M), massages & spas will be covered in a separate article.
Alright, that’s the first Jakarta update. More coming soon!