The main problem in Indonesia is visas. Very hard to get anything permanent. And marriage to a woman does not get you a visa there.
The visa issue took it off my list.
Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
I never did meet any Muslims being radical toward me when I was there. I didn't go to the US embassy when there was a group protesting the invasion of Afghanistan.
I did say goodbye to the drivers at one organization I worked for who drove us from place to place if we had to travel on the job. I had to work at another site a couple of times a week. And 'driver' for regular cars and van is a job over there.
I'd never been in the room the drivers waited in. There was a picture of Osama Bin Lauden on he well. That was a little surprising to me.
I did drive near a place where they said there were some Muslims training to do some kind of jihad, one of those Muslim boarding schools in Java. But most Muslims in Java are really laid back about it. There are some hot spots in Sulaweisi, and there used to be in the Malukas. By and large, I felt fairly safe in Jakarta from Muslim extremists except during the 1998 riots. That was aimed more at Chinese. There were a few bombings of a hotel and an embassy by extremists who killed a bunch of probably mostly Muslim taxi drivers and security guards in front of those buildings. The people and the government hate organizations that do such things, so it's a loss for radical Islam when they do that. Some say it's usually Malaysian extremists that can't get away with it at home.
There are some rural regions where you aren't going to meet hardly any Muslims. One I am familiar with is in the highlands of Sumatra. Usually, you can find all religions in the cities.
Thanks Jester, glad you enjoyed all the photos.
Well it was the end of my contract in Thailand, so I left. Nothing wrong about Thai women in particular, just that I moved on in life.
Last edited by Falcon on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know several Javanese Christians too. There's a sizable Catholic presence throughout Central Java, as well as Protestants (usually the more moderate types). American-style Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christianity is gaining a lot of popularity in large cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, especially among Chinese Indonesians and the upper-middle class.
The Malaysian government endorses a much stricter, more orthodox version of Islam, and you'll see nearly all Malay women walking around with hijabs (headscarves). This is because they've been influenced more and more by the Middle East ever since their independence from the British. This is not the case in rural Indonesia, although you'll see many more women in hijabs in some places like Yogyakarta. Malaysia has a star and crescent on its flag, but Indonesia does not. On the other hand, Indonesia was founded as a multi-religious nation, and one of their founding principles was actually the Hindu-Buddhist-inspired "Pancasila" (Five Precepts).
In the photos, notice how none of the women are wearing orthodox Islamic garb.
In both Indonesia and Malaysia, beer is sold everywhere, and there's plenty of food being served during the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims don't eat or drink from sunrise to sundown. You can't do that in many Middle Eastern countries.
I get the impression that 'the moderate types' you speak of are old school conservative versions to a greater extent than in the US. At least a lot of them still teach sexual morality.
I've never been to Malaysia, but I hear they persecute Malays who convert and won't allow someone to be a 'putri bumi' (corresponds with 'pribumi' in Indonesian) a kind of 'native son of the land' status, unless they are Muslim.
When I was in Indonesia, the jilbap (jilbab?), what they call the hijab, was growing in popularity. One expat who'd been there a long time said people turned out to sign up for membership in mosques as evidence they weren't Communist when Soeharto took over. He said many of their children got more serious about Islam and that's how it started to be more entrenched in the culture. The fact that the government basically requires people to put one of five legal religions on their national ID card, Islam, Kristen, Katolic, Hindu, or Buddha. It's strange to me that a predominantly Islamic country would allow Hinduism, but Judaism is more or less illegal. I don't think they hunt down foreign Jews or anything. They just don't have a legal category for it.
I'm not a beer-drinker. But I know they sell it at restaurants and hotels. I doubt you can find it in most warung or rumah makan. At night, there are special sort enclosed tents where someone could go get a beer. But beer-drinking doesn't seem to be as big a part of Jakarta culture, and I get the impression that the majority of people don't drink it. Now, the women at work who were Muslims would spike their punch with just a little liquor at times for celebrations. That surprised me a bit. Essence of rum as a flavoring is popular for certain desserts. They may have been putting rum in their drinks. It's still a violation of their religion. One woman would drink snake's blood as some sort of tonic, maybe an attempt to look young or something (yuck), which is against Islam, but she'd say it's okay if it's medicine.
Some regions are not majority Muslims, but I didn't notice huge amounts of drinking. There are special warung for drinking tuak and stuff like that up in Sumatra.
and there's plenty of food being served during the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims don't eat or drink from sunrise to sundown. You can't do that in many Middle Eastern countries.[/quote]
Im gonna check out indonesia next time i go to asia. Probably wont be for a few years. Definitely think indonesia is the next "philippines" but the beauty is with 250 million and being farther away from korea there will be no shortage of hot young willing women EVEN IF ALL the expats and tourist from phil moved in.
It says only 30 days visa though do i need a visa before i land at the airport? Do i have to keep flying in and out of the country? That seems expensive if i want to stay there 6 months fly out 6 times LOL?
I'm not sure about the visas. The Indonesian Expat site has lots of details about all sorts of things like that. I'd get my wife to sponsor a family visit visa, I think, for three months. That's the way it was years ago. A business visit visa for three months is another way to go. Maybe the family visit visa is only 1 month because I had a friend whose company sponsored a visit visa for me when I was looking for work for an extended period of time some time back.
If you don't know people, you may have to take trips in and out. About 8 years or so ago, you could fly to Singapore for about $100, or go to Batam and take a fast boat for about $35. So you could fly to Batam as a kind of trip. I've been there. I didn't find it all that impressive. At the time, they had big empty roads that looked like US highways, people living in make-shift shelters because population was growing faster than housing, and lots of nice, well built buildings. Parts of it looked like another country, like the US, except for the houses with some kind of black tarps for roofs built by squatters.
As far as willing women go, that depends on what you mean by 'willing.' Willing to date an expat? Yes, you could probably find lots of women willing to date and maybe eventually marry a Caucasian. Willing to be mongered? Prostitutes and women at certain sleazy bars or sleazy hangouts, yes if you know the locations. But I don't think it would be as easy to 'game' the typical single Indonesian girl as it would be in some of the western countries.
Even in a city the size of jakarta there is only a few hundred profiles of active indo girls and throw out the extreme muslims and it wont be much. not sure how well they will know english too? maybe i should just make it a very short visit on my way to thailand so that way if i hate the place i wont be stuck there too long. You think a week is a good plan after arriving in manila? The thing is you sort of have to have the plane tickets ahead of time cause immigration or the airplane will want forward tickets and i wont have time to be thinking of booking hotels and tickets while im there so thats why when you do this stuff you sort of have to determine ahead of time how long you want to be ther. Maybe one week in thailand and one week in indonesia then back to phil unless i find somethign that sparks my interest.
interesting enough my original idea was to go through vietnam or china on the way to thailand so i can visit it all together a bunch of coutnries in one fell swoop. but it turns out jakarta is just south of phuket thailand so maybe instead i could fly from manila to jakarta and then up to phuket and then back to jakarta or manila. Its basically on the way to phuket. Id probably take a bus from phuket to the rest of thailand but the point is indonesia is so far id have to have it going on the way to somewhere else even if i liked the place. i might not be traveling for a few years it seems like it requires lots of money and time and im just not ready to deal with all that right now i gotta focus on my work.
Ladislav, this is changing though. And with Jokowi in power now, bureaucracy should be streamlining faster.
http://indonesia.angloinfo.com/moving/r ... itas-visa/
I spent almost a month in Indonesia. Could't get out of Jakarta soon enough--it is a squalid dump. Bali is nice, as is Lombok, and Java is ok once well past Jakarta. But I don't plan to go back. Indonesian food is the worst in Asia along with the Phils and Cambodia. If I go that far south, I'll stick to Malaysia and Singapore.
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