If you talk to guys who have already been to Indonesia several times, they usually tell you that it’s so easy to meet local girls here. But if you carefully listen to them, it almost always turns out that they are referring to hookers.
And while there’s nothing wrong with paying for sex every once in a while, this is just one of the different options to meet girls here.
Because you don’t always need to spend money to enjoy yourself here as a single guy – there are so many nice ladies in Indonesia who work regular jobs and are looking for a foreign date or boyfriend.
1. Dating Site
You may find it quite difficult in a place like Bali where most of the Indonesian girls just look at you as a tourist who will be gone after two weeks.
You’ll note that very soon when walking around the beach towns and no one really shows genuine interest in you but just does her job – if you’re lucky they are friendly (yet superficial) in the restaurant, but don’t even think about chatting with you in the shops or shopping mall if you aren’t interested in buying from them.
Fortunately there is the popular dating site with nice local girls from virtually every island and every city in Indonesia, who are all single and looking for a foreigner to meet, hang out with, date, or even marry one day. Exactly the type of women you won’t usually come across while walking along Jalan Legian in Kuta.
2. Girls in Everyday Life
I’ve already mentioned the problem with trying to flirt with the girls in the everyday life situations in touristy Bali, where they usually take your wallet more serious than your character. Similar in Jakarta, where the women are often too stressed or busy to start a small talk with a “Bule” (that’s how they call Caucasians in Indonesia).
This option works best in the smaller and not so touristic towns. Just try and walk along Jalan Malioboro in Yogyakarta and you’ll not only get loads of views from the local girls, but often they even ask if they can take a picture with you. Just go where not so many tourists go (Sumatra and Sulawesi are even better).
3. Girls in the Nightlife
The most logical place to meet girls here would be the nightlife of course. Just check out my Indonesian City Guides where I’ll tell you the best bars and clubs with lots of “open-minded” Indonesian girls.
The problem here is that with so many freelancers (= self-employed hookers) in the popular nightlife spots like Sky Garden in Bali or Club 36 in Jakarta you never really know if a particular girl is “working” or just wants to have some fun or potentially looks for a boyfriend. That’s why I’d highly recommend you to ask her what she is doing for work after you bought her the first drink (you could be polite and ask her “are you a student?”) so you will know if she goes with men for money or not.
The prostitution scene in Indonesia isn’t nearly as open and in-your-face as in Thailand or the Philippines, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any options – it’s just different and much more discrete. That’s why the massage parlors are such a big business here – just look at places like Malio Club in Jakarta or Riverview Spa in Bali, they don’t even look like typical brothels from outside.
There isn’t a big girly bar scene though, there’s mainly Jalan Falatehan I in Jakarta (mostly foreigner owned bars with plenty of sexy girls you can buy drinks and probably also more) as well as a few joints on Jalan Legian in Bali that have bar girls employed.
But the lack of girly bars is more than compensated by the huge amount of club freelancers, escort girls, dating site girls and street hookers. I’ve written a comprehensive Overview of Indonesian Hookers, so make sure to check it out – I also tell you the price ranges you can expect for each type of working girl.
I think after reading this you know my opinion on the best place to meet girls in Indonesia if you don’t want to pay for sex – the dating site. But if you are traveling to smaller towns outside Bali or Jakarta, then you should also have good success with tactics like asking the ladies for the direction, before starting some sort of small talk and eventually asking her for her contact, because you are “alone and it would be great to have someone to show me around”.