Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, a country that is blossoming to become one of SE Asia’s powerhouse economies. Jakarta, as the commercial, political and cultural capital of the world’s fourth largest country, is a buzzing metropolis of over 10 million.
With such a frenetic melting pot Indonesians and foreigners alike, Jakarta is witnessing an emerging gay scene. Apollo is perhaps the most famous gay venues in Jakarta. The 500-person capacity bar and club features a strange and a huge dance floor. Expect some of the region’s most talented DJs spinning an elclectic mix of top 40 hits a long with tribal and progressive house music. There are regular drag performances and some of the city’s best go-go boys. If you’re visiting snap up the “foreigner Tuesday” drinks deals!
Another popular choice is gay-friendly Stadium. This club boasts one of the largest dance floors in Asia with a staggering 5000-person capacity. The venue attracts a mixed young crowd of progressives who are accepting of all sexualities. There are also a number of gay saunas that have opened in recent years.
Although things are fairly progressive in some areas of Jakarta and same-sex sexual activity is officially legal in the country, there is no equality legislation or same-sex marriage. A traditional mindset means change is slow but there are a lot of LGBT organisations including Lambda, the oldest and most well established LGBT movement in SE Asia.
As Indonesian continues to grow and the international gay community becomes more visible, the Jakarta LGBT scene is sure to expand and be ever more welcoming to travelling LGBT.