22 August 2009
Jakarta Night Life & Ramadan...
The government of Jakarta has suggested that private organizations and others (I am guessing that the government may be thinking about the track record of organizations like the Front Pembela Islam / FPI, among others) must not attack entertainment venues (bars, clubs, discos, massage parlours, and karaoke, among others) or other controversial businesses during the fasting month of Ramadan. It will be interesting to see whether these organizations heed this warning and what the government will do if they do not heed the warning.
The government has issued strict guidelines with regards to operational hours for places that are permitted to open. However, it is clear that community or other forms of vigilante justice are not the way to deal with recalcitrant entertainment venues. The police have a mandate to deal with entertainment venues who fail to comply with the prevailing laws and regulations.
The reality is that most of these organizations do not believe that the police will use their mandate to deal with those breaching not only the law, but also the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan (at least as they see it), and therefore believe that they must assume the role of protector of the holiness of the month.
The most interesting part of this story is that the government has sent out 1,129 notices to all of the "legal" bars, clubs, massage parlours, nightclubs, and karaoke operators detailing the prevailing laws and regulations that will operate specifically for Ramadan. Why is this interesting? It had never dawned on me that there were this many legal venues in Jakarta. That said, it does not surprise me that there are, but it certainly would be one very long and drawn out bar crawl.
Generally, opening hours for the venues permitted to open will be 20.30 through to 01.30.
The rules for star-rated hotels are that they can operate regular hours. However, experience would suggest that even star-rated hotels tend to reduce operating hours and most tend to operate similar hours to other entertainment venues. Nevertheless, the big hotels and their bars, such as 30 in the Le Meridien, BATS in the Shangri La, CJ's in the Mulia Hotel, Musro in the Borobudur Hotel, and the Untitled Bar in the Marriott are all worth a shot during Ramadan. However, even these places tend to be closed on the first couple of days of Ramadan and during Idul Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr) and a few days after that.
If you are looking for a blog that details the night life of Jakarta, then I found this one: The Best Nightlife In Jakarta (the photo for this post is also from this blog).