Even though Indonesia is a muslim country and prostitution is illegal, there are hundreds of thousands of sex workers all over the country. So yes, to some extent the industry is comparable to Thailand where the “oldest profession of the world” is also illegal by law, but mostly tolerated by the authorities.
Indonesia is still different though: You won’t find any go go bars with naked girls like in Bangkok or Pattaya, and even beer bars with regular bar girls are surprisingly hard to come by.
That’s why many foreigners get the impression that the sex industry in Indonesia is nothing compared to Thailand, while I can tell you that the opposite is the case – because the red light venues are just more discrete and not as much in-your-face as in other countries in Southeast Asia (well, at least for the most part, because like you can see in my picture from Kuta, Bali, it will never be possible to stop girls offering “massages” on the side of the street).
So because the sex scene in Indonesia is more difficult to grasp than elsewhere in the region, in this guide I’ll give you the complete overview of hookers here and how much they typically charge (or more precisely: how much you should pay for them).
Indonesian Bar Girls
If you’ve already been to Thailand, you probably know the “beer bars”: Relaxed bars where you can have a beer and if you like one of the girls, you can buy her a lady drink so she sits and chats with you and makes sure you have a good time. Pool tables, TVs with live sports and other tourists and expats add to the great atmosphere and overall popularity of these bars.
You can find these kind of foreigner-oriented bars on Jalan Falatehan I in Jakarta, as well as on Jalan Legian in Kuta Bali. But that’s about it. There are no such girly bars in other cities like Bandung, Yogyakarta or Surabaya – partly because there are fewer foreigners, and partly because the authorities don’t really like to have too many of these places around.
- Prices: The drink prices in the girly bars are similar like in the “regular” bars, means beers for about 30k-55k and imported spirits for about 70-80k (it’s expensive because the import tax on alcohol is so high in Indonesia). A lady drink usually costs 60-70k (or 50k for a shot). They don’t really have a bar fine system for taking out girls from the bars, so you will have to check in each place what their rules are. Most bars don’t allow their girls to leave before the bar closes. If you do wait and take her back to your hotel, a fair sex price would be around 500k.
See also: Having Sex With An Indonesian Bar Girl
Indonesian Club Freelancers
No matter how many prostitution places get cracked down by the authorities in the future – there will always be night clubs with freelancing girls in Indonesia. Most of them are obviously found where the majority of tourists go – Jakarta and Bali. Just check out my guides to each place where I’ll tell you exactly which clubs are best for picking up girls (for example X2 in Jakarta or Sky Garden in Bali).
- Prices: Just like with the bar girls (see above) it’s all negotiable. So don’t be surprised if they quote you a ridiculous 2 million for sex – of course you shouldn’t pay that much. This is the price for the top-notch girls in the massage parlors. The going rate for a bar or club freelancer is 500k, maybe 100-200k more if she’s really young and attractive. But certainly not a million or more, so don’t let them screw you.
Indonesian Massage Girls
You will find small massage salons and spas everywhere you go in Indonesia. But again, this is not like Thailand where you will see half naked girls standing in front of their salon, waving with their service menu as soon as they see you and yell things like “hello, lovely man, welcome massage!”.
The only exception here is Kuta Bali that has a thriving naughty massage scene. Just walk down Jalan Legian or one of its side streets, and you’ll surely get an offer for a “sexy massage” from some young and attractive girls.
- Prices: The standard rate for a massage in these “special” spas in Kuta is 70-80k, but the problem are the Australians who drove up the prices for happy endings during the last few years, means most of the ladies ask for a 500k tip to give you a hand job, which is ridiculous of course and not worth it if you look at your other options.
Indonesian Soapy Massage Girls
Not to be confused with the small massage shops, the massage parlors are the most popular type of place to get sex among the local Indonesians, most Asian tourists and also more and more westerners. They are often referred to as “One Stop Entertainment” places, because they have different facilities like pool and sauna, massage, karaoke, club, nude dancing shows and, of course, short time rooms for sex with one (or two) of the many ladies.
Malio Club in Jakarta and Riverview Spa in Bali are two of the most famous places in this category. You can find full guides with more places in my Indonesia Section, just be aware that every once in a while a place gets shut down by the government, like the infamous Alexis Hotel that recently didn’t get its business license extended.
- Prices: The prices for girls in the sex clubs vary extremely. Like Malio Club in Jakarta charges around 1 million for their locals girls, while you can get a threesome at the Travel Hotel for 450k – and even two shots! The price always includes access to their spa area (pool and sauna, if they have one). Again, just take a look at my city guides for more detailed price information.
See also: Overview to Sex Massages in Indonesia
Indonesian Brothel Girls
Known as “Panti Pijat”, the small brothels are the lowest type of prostitution in Indonesia – but one of the widest spread ones. Most foreigners don’t know about them because they are located in local residential areas where women of all different ages sit in front of their old houses and wait for someone to have sex with inside in exchange for some cash.
You can find Panti Pijat for example in a side alley off Jalan Ps. Kembang in Yogyakarta, or in a slightly different form in the infamous X-Houses in Sanur, Bali.
- Prices: If you are a foreigner, it will usually cost you 300k.
Indonesian Street Hookers
Just like the freelancing prostitutes in the bars and clubs, the street hookers in Indonesia will never “die out”. So it made really no difference to the number of sex workers in Jakarta after the authorities cleaned up Kalijodo (formerly the oldest red light district in Jakarta), if anything it will only worsen the situation and make more girls work on the streets in different parts of the city instead inside the “karaoke bars”.
- Prices: 300-400k for short time sex.
Indonesian KTV Girls
I didn’t really want to write about it, but just to make this guide complete: There are also lots of KTVs in every major town in Indonesia, but if you are a foreigner they usually charge ridiculous prices and it’s not worth it.
- Prices: Even though most places say they give you a “free room”, the drink and girl prices are still excessively expensive – expect to pay at least 1 million just for a couple of hours of drinking and singing. And regarding the sex prices, well, usually you will have to wait until the club closes, which is very late of course (like 4am), or make a special arrangement with the management to take out your girl before – and that will cost you at least another million.
Indonesian Dating Site Girls
If you go on Indonesian Cupid (the biggest dating site of the country with more than 1 million members), you will find mostly girls who aren’t interested in money, just normal dating. But there are also quite a few hookers on that site as well, and they will be ready to skip the dating part if you agree to pay them some money.
Online prostitution is huge in Indonesia, partly because the authorities make it so difficult for the girls to work in the bars, and partly because more and more guys prefer the convenience of making arrangements right from their hotel rooms, instead of actively going out and looking for girls.
- Prices: Like I said, most girls on Cupid won’t ask for money, but if they are working as freelancers, you can expect to give them a “pocket money” between 300k and 500k.
Indonesian Escort Girls
Another way to make arrangements with girls online are the different escort platforms. Just google “escorts in (city)” to find some local listings.
- Prices: The main problem with escorts and the reason why I never use them is because their high prices: They are the most expensive type of hooker in Indonesia, charging like 1 million for 1 hour, some of them even quoting prices in USD. I think if you want to go the route of meeting someone online, then better use Indonesian Cupid (see above) where the working ladies have much more reasonable price expectations – and you can even have sex for free if you take some time to chat, and do the usual dating thing.
Indonesian Ladyboy Hookers
While there is no way you can compare the ladyboy scene in Indonesia to Thailand, the country still ranks number 4 in terms of numbers of shemales in Asia – after Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia. Most of the “waria” sex workers go where most of the tourists go – Jakarta and Bali. Well, there are a lot more in Bali actually, with a couple of ladyboy massage salons in Kuta and ladyboy bars in the gay area of Jalan Camplung Tanduk in Seminyak.
- More info in my guides to Jakarta Ladyboys and Bali Ladyboys.
I hope you now have a clearer picture of the different sex workers and prices in Indonesia (I’m sure you have), and if you have any interesting experiences or stories to share, or want to explain which type of girl you prefer the most – feel free to leave a comment below.