What’s up guys, King Epic here!
Today, I will talk about my experience of visiting Jakarta for 2 weeks. This visit was solely for the purpose of doing a visa-run; to leave Thailand and apply for a new 3 month tourist visa.
I could’ve chosen any neighboring country. Vietnam I had been to already, the Philippines didn’t excited me. For China, I would’ve needed a proper visa. Cambodia – not as developed for my taste.
Ultimately, Jakarta was a rather random decision but I’ve heard good things about this place & the fact that tourism there is practically non-existent made me curious.
For better understanding, I will compare all aspects – dating, nightlife, culture – to Bangkok, Thailand.
Day #1 – Jakarta Airport Arrival
In terms of arrival, I don’t want to say much. Very similar to Bangkok airport. Got my SIM card right outside of the terminal, then headed to the taxi stand to get a queue number.
It’s pretty much identical to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) in that you can either get a ticket number for your taxi at the machine or you hire a taxi privately.
Blue Bird is the taxi company I’ve used. Silver Bird is another reputable one. Be aware that there’s another taxi company that uses similar branding to Blue Bird …
Taxi meter on and in less than 40 minutes I arrived at my AirBnb condo in South Jakarta. Taxi fare was less than $10.
I’m a big fan of AirBnb and on this trip, I decided to rent a condo that’s located on top of a shopping mall & supermarket.
There’s also a gym & pool; the former is mandatory because even when I am traveling, I want to keep up my routines and one of them is working out.
Same applies to having a proper kitchen. I prepare most of my meals, which means a hotel room is often out of question.
When I go to travel or live at a new place, the things I’m obviously most interested in are the local women, nightlife and perhaps some other activities during the day.
Everything else – from the food I eat to working on projects – remains the same and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The AirBnb apartment I stayed at was $30 per night, quite spacious. 24h security but no issues whatsoever in regards to bringing home girl.
Not even a check-in with ID was required. (Same in Bangkok though. I was never asked to check-in girls at any condo I’ve rented there.)
Day #1-3 – Jakarta Malls & Cruising Around
The first few days were spent checking out half a dozen malls during the day. Jakarta has over 170 malls but based on what I’ve seen, most are not worth checking out.
The bigger, more popular ones are worth a visit though.
- For example, Kota Kasablanca I would compare to Terminal 21 in Bangkok.
- Then you have Plaza Indonesia, which is similar to Siam Paragon.
- Mall Taman Anggrek somewhat resembles MBK.
During the day, all of these malls are about as empty as my heart. The crowd really only arrives after 5pm, which again, is the case in Bangkok as well.
Multiple coffee shops at every mall, so if you plan on doing dates … no shortage of meet up spots. Coffee is around $2.
In terms of the girls you see at those malls or out and about in general, I am not impressed. I don’t remember having seen any hot girls in those first 3 days.
Day #4 – Blok M / Jakarta Red Light District
The next day, I checked out one of the Red Light Areas outside of Blok M square. Some bars & massage places there but overall it looked pretty deserted.
About as empty as Soi Cowboy at 5 in the morning when everything has been closed and perhaps a few girls still wandering around.
Blok M also seemed to be visited by Japanese guys only. No other foreigners I’ve seen. Similar to Soi Thaniya in Bangkok.
By the way, for getting around in Jakarta, I recommend you use GrabTaxi as there won’t always be taxis around and driving past. Blok M was such a case where there was literally nothing else closeby and when I decided to go home, I simply ordered a taxi using this app.
Taxi costs are similar to Bangkok – the only difference being that using a taxi app in Bangkok is often times more inconvenient than hailing a taxi.
I only had some minor issues where either the driver took forever to arrive (in which case I canceled the order) or pretended not to have any change available.
Day #5 – Jakarta Sex Clubs & Spas
The pay for play scene here reminds me a lot of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where most places appear to be completely dead from the outside.
I remember the first time I went to this happy ending massage/spa place in Saigon. Initially, I thought I was at the wrong location. The lobby of the hotel was dead empty & somewhat run down.
I didn’t expect much … was told to take the elevator upstairs and boom!
Packed massage place, looked quite fancy and had pool, sauna, steaming room, etc.
The same is the case here at some of the bars at Blok M but mostly in regards to the hotels/spas that double as brothels, such as
- Classic and Travel hotel
- Malioboro hotel & spa
The first place I didn’t see any girl I liked that night, at Malioboro I didn’t want to spend close to $80 for an Indonesian girl.
IMO the prices at Classic Hotel are alright. $35 for a girl is quite a good deal (that’s slightly more than 1,000 Thai Baht). For that amount, you don’t get much in Thailand – certainly not a happy ending at a massage parlor.
Day #6 – Tinder in Jakarta (600+ Matches)
After day 5, my mate left and I did some online dating. Or rather, I went on 1 date and deleted Tinder afterwards.
Take what I say with a grain of salt (because your experience might be radically different), but I find online dating here works OK.
Tinder in Jakarta/Online Dating isn’t as great as some reports would want to make you believe,
‘OMG you’re a foreigner/god here, so supermodels will line up to meet up with you.’
On Tinder, I got quite a few matches. Roughly 600 in 2 days but really only a handful of cute to attractive girls were among those matches.
Speaking of online dating, as you might know I am not the biggest fan of it. Nevertheless, I find it useful here and there as an alternative to pay for play.
Maybe ‘alternative’ isn’t the right word. What I mean is that after going on a date, I am reassured in my decision to do pay for play.
Not that I think dating is bad, I just don’t see the point of doing it. It’s literally nothing more than meeting up for sex. (That is if you are after hook-ups. There are many other ways of dating though.)
Going on a regular date is something I find interesting when I visit a new place or country but I couldn’t see myself hooking up with one Indonesia girl after another.
In fact, after the first one, I already cancelled the dates I had scheduled with others.
You can also find massage girls on Tinder & WeChat. WeChat didn’t work for me (no girls showed up in my area) but my mate got a hooker from there to his hotel room one night for I think less than $10.
Jakarta VS. Bangkok
Jakarta is nice. You can have it all here – dating girls, pay for play, warm climate, cheap food. Still, I can’t think of a reason why I would want to choose Jakarta over Bangkok.
Jakarta is the Muslim version of Bangkok with a few features missing. Pay for play scene is not comparable. I prefer Thai girls. The convenience stores here don’t sell alcohol and aren’t up to Thailand’s 7-Eleven standards.
For the most part, English here is not better or worse than in Thailand, but worse than in Vietnam. Probably somewhat related to the lack of tourism.
All in all, Thailand is still #1 for me in terms of nightlife and the overall package, which is also a bit problematic in the long-run if there are no real alternatives and should Thailand ever change for the worse.
Jakarta Is For You IF …
First of all, the obvious: If you have to do a visa run anyway or simply want to see something different other than Thailand, then Jakarta is well worth your consideration.
Many women here are super tiny/petite. If you’re into that, you have another reason to come.
In terms of foreigners, Jakarta is nothing like Bangkok. If you go to any mall in central Bangkok, you see another foreigner every few minutes.
As such, you’re not really special by any means. Not even if you’re a younger guy and average-looking.
In Jakarta, I have 5 foreigners in 3 days.
If you’re someone that wants to capitalize on your 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, or at least I haven’t notice it myself … more than it would happen in any Western country.
Lastly, culture-wise Jakarta is worth a shot. If you want to experience an alternative to the mostly negative version of Islam that Western media presents us with, staying in Jakarta for a few days will work wonders.
Most girls in Jakarta are Muslim but in terms of dating, it’s not an issue at all.
Alright, hope you enjoyed this video.