Dolly, Surabaya

Aug 25th, 2006, in News, by

The denizens of “Dolly”, the red light district in Surabaya, East Java, are spreading the safe sex message.

Dolly was apparently named after the first, Dutch, brothel madam in the area, in colonial times. Its fame, or notoriety, has spread far and wide with Dolly sometimes being the first thing non-locals think of when they hear the name of Surabaya mentioned.

There are estimated to be about 1600 prostitutes (pekerja seks komersial (PSK)) living and working in the legal red light district of Dolly, in rather close proximity to ordinary residential neighbourhoods, with their mosques, houses, kindergartens, etc. Of these 1600 women and girls it is reported mediaindo that about 70 took part in a “jalan sehat”, or mini walkathon, on August 20th, to mark the 61st anniversary of Indonesian independence on August 17th. One of the aims of the walk, apart from paying respects to the national day, was to raise awareness of the issue of safe sex and condom usage.

The walk, beginning, perhaps rather oddly, from outside the Islamic Centre building on Jalan Dukuh Kupang Timur, wound its way through the district and into the aforesaid regular neighbourhoods, or kampungs. After the walk finished the girls offered condom packets to passers-by, packets which evidently did not actually contain the product itself, but instead a ticket for a lucky draw in which various prizes such as mobile phones and rice cookers were given away.

The “Kampanye Wajib Kondom”, or Use a Condom Campaign, began on 11th of June 2006, said a local government official.

It’s based on regional law number 5 of 2005 dealing with combating AIDS, especially in the Dolly and Jarak red light districts, which have 1600 prostitutes and which have experienced an increase in the incidence of AIDS.
(Itu didasari Perda 5 Tahun 2005 di Jatim untuk mencegah HIV/AIDS, apalagi di lokalisasi Dolly dan Jarak yang berpenghuni 1.600 PSK itu mengalami peningkatan kasus HIV/AIDS.)

About 8% of working girls in Dolly are believed to be infected with HIV this year, up from 3.2% in 2002.

One prostitute in Dolly, a girl hailing from Pandaan in East Java, said that she and all her friends supported the condom usage campaign because they were afraid of getting the dreaded disease. The problem, she said, was that many brothel patrons were loathe to use “protection”. She only “served” them and hence could not press the issue.

Article in India News of April 28th, 2007 says the working girls of Dolly have nothing much to do due to the Sidoarjo mudflow disaster causing a slow-down in business to the area. Eva Sasmito, 26, a prostitute in Dolly for almost two years says:

It has been unbelievably quiet for us these past months after the mud disaster hit. I used to get up to eight clients a night, but now even one per night is considered good, maybe a maximum three.

The mudflow has forced the main toll road between Sidoarjo and Surabaya to close many times as earth dams protecting the freeway have burst. When the toll road is open there are huge traffic jams, and as a result, sex tourists cannot get to Dolly.

In the lower-class area of Jarak, a part of Dolly where older prostitutes work, the hard times are even worse. During good times, they compete with younger girls, but after the mud disaster, there are virtually no customers for them now. indiaenews

40 Comments on “Dolly, Surabaya”

  1. Bradlymail says:

    Safe sex and for thir own safety, I’m surprised there are 1600 prostitutes, working and living at red light area, legally.

  2. kriss grant says:

    I first went to Dolly in 1990 when there were 15,000 prostitutes working there. It was the biggest brothel district in the whole world. Girls from every part of Indonesia served there. Hiv had apparently not reached there. In 1999 I returned to find only 4 streets containing about 500 girls. Before Dolly had been huge, there being a house containing girls every few doors through that warren. I looked up on the internet back home in Australia and found, much to my personal relief, that testing had found the complex HIV free! I waswondering how they accomplished that? A few years later they found 14 of the girls with HIV. Best wishes to Sri of Malang & Ani of Denpasar.

  3. Graham Ellis says:

    How much does a girl charge for sex?

  4. Juariff says:

    I visited Dolly last month and got a value for money PSK for 130,000. For a foreigner, i can say that it is quite a safe place to visit but make sure to bring along your condom because the girls there can have sex with you without condom. High risk. Room is clean, big, got bathroom and aircon. Happy hunting

  5. Robert says:

    Still a great place to find your “love” for one night…..and yes if you wanna have sex no problem to get it but bring your condoms with you, because before you know it you’re doing it without a condom, all the girls seems to hate condoms, they never have one with them.

  6. yaya_melon says:

    What its dolly in holiday ramadhan???

  7. AkhtaR786K says:

    Hey can someone please tell me the location as I am planning to visit surabaya next month. Just want to go to that place and take a look around and if possible then :)….

    Can we get safer room i mean to say one room one girl for the whole night and waht would be the charges?


  8. Oigal says:

    Dolly is a sad, dirty exploitive place… and I ain’t no prude. If you want/need to pay girl for sex then not here..too young and exploitive.. UGH!

  9. Andry Moreno says:

    Doly, the worst place in surabaya, I’ve been there few times and I love the girls, don’t forget to use condom.

  10. Kriss Grant says:

    Dolly/Jarak is a bit sad compared to its heyday in early 90s and before. The girls there before who were so beautiful it was like melting chocolate in your mouth seem to travel to Bali now as less chance of catching HIV as the western tourists always use a condom. a pale shadow of its former self, mostly shut down and the streets in Jarak returned to families etc. Alas the prettier they are the less chance you have (unless you are physically handsome). I have never yet find out where to look in Bali for the beautiful ones — at Sanur it seems. Tretes SW from Surabaya is still a brothel town and flooded with girls (but a bit medically unsafe). If you want a gorgeous freelancer try the disco-nightclub opposite the Hilton Hotel.


  11. David says:

    If you want a gorgeous freelancer try the disco-nightclub opposite the Hilton Hotel.

    There’s a disco in front of the Hilton/Singgasana? I thought there was just a very wide stretch of dirty river.

  12. Kriss Grant says:

    Sorry there , the free lancers congregate in a disco a few doors down from the shopping complex Tunga something forget its name and have no map of Indonesia.

  13. Kriss Grant says:

    Oh sorry could that hotel be the Sheraton?

  14. David says:

    The disco near Tunjangan Plaza, or in it, is the Station, probably you mean that one. It’s sort of behind the Sheraton yes.

  15. Gregory says:

    The best place to go out in Surabaya
    Desperados in Shangri-la hotel
    Fantastic music and girls

  16. Patrick says:

    Well Dolly is behind the Shangrila Hotel. About 10USD will get you what you need.
    Regarding Desperados, great music but the girls are only fare and a bit pricy but can negotiate. If your looking for freelancers try Blowfish, Foreplay or the Buma Hotel Bar. But if you are an Expat it is real easy to pull them out of Tunjungan Plaza Shopping Mall. A little dinner and then back to the room. Lots of young, sexy and easy girls all over. Matahari and Sogo are full of them as well. Happy Hunting 🙂

  17. rob says:

    The campaign to let the girls use condoms seems not to be working at all anymore,most girls don´t bring them along.
    I´m always surprised if i hear men talking proudly in bars about they f*cked a nice girl without condom….Have to confess that it happened to me also…in a slightly drunk mood i sometimes end up with a girl doing it with out using one….no consequenses yet, but it stays a risk.
    Last month i was surprised to see that the number of very sexy and willing girls in the malls seems to be increasing, everywhere you look you see them…if you want you have one with in 60 seconds time,for short or long time for low prices.Only it´s a shame that there are also very young girls, between 12 and 16 years old, are walking around:stay away from them, ask for their id card first!!It can give big trouble if you are cought by the police with one of them……

  18. gila says:

    do you ever know that free sex will go to hell in the next life ?

  19. rob says:

    in that case i have nothing to fear then,,,i don´t believe in next life

  20. boy says:

    I think Dolly it’s good place,like heaven,because I live near Dolly.and make me happy.I LOVE YOU FULL

  21. kriss grant says:

    Funny thing you talk about underage sex workers. I was chatting to two East Timorese students at a bus stop outside my university in Western Australia. I mentioned seeing east timorese girl who looked only 12 or 13 in Dolly brothel. I expected them to be outraged somewhat. But they both seemed to get ‘turned on’ by the thought of that as if it was a delicacy!! Different cultural values I suppose?

  22. kriss grant says:

    Hey I think someone mentioned somewhere that the biggest brothel complex in the world is a slum city in eastern India — what was its name please? I know a few middle-aged australian bachelor guys who once every few years sneak off on a cheap ‘spiritual’ holiday to Madras, India for 3 months. Suddenly I realized where exactly they were going…..!! Dolly in its heyday before the arrival of HIV/Aids was like a sort of paradise to me. Like to experience something similar again.

  23. David says:

    Hey I think someone mentioned somewhere that the biggest brothel complex in the world is a slum city in eastern India — what was its name please?

    Kriss, Kamathipura slum in Bombay, from here.

  24. kriss grant says:

    Fuck Dubai, give me Kamathipura!

  25. kriss grant says:

    What is the safest way to get to Surabaya from Bali? The last time I left from Ubud Bali on a Perama package trip to Mt Bromo the driver between Ubud and Gilimanuk drove like he was possessed by a demon. Later I figured he must have been on ‘speed’.So sick of sitting on the edge of my seat in terrified apprehension throughout the whole drive, it has dampened my enthusiasm for travel within Indonesia.

  26. neroneoba says:

    Going to dolly in a couple of days, hoping to hv a jolly good time there..can’t

  27. Edmond says:

    Hey Kriss! I see you are into hunting pretty much eh ? Anyway im from Belgium live in Surabaya and forget about Dolly it’s time has long gone away , if u thinkin about comming here and have some fun the best way is to do that in Shopping Mall’s lots of pretty girls and it’s Free! they are pretty easy , but what im into now is Chinese girls from here man they are HOT! kinda difficoult to get to them but still easyer then in Western country’s 😉

    Been to Dolly, loveley girls but never done it it’s dangerous with HIV thing, i think they should make Dolly safer by makeing girls haveing medical check up every few months at least, Gov should do that since they alove prostitution here , just like in Belgium where girls in Red District get medical check up every three months and no clients without condoms. I would rather pay 50 euros in Europe and being safe then 7 Euros here and worry about it later.

  28. Oigal says:

    It would have to be a hard up hooker these days who accepted Euros for payment wouldn’t it?
    Given whole new meaning to Euro Trash.

  29. fabian says:

    I think that prostitution should be a commercial activity inspected by the government, the girls should have a weekly medical exam, they must pay taxes, and they should be allowed to contribute some of their earnings to a bank account for the day when they are retired, to avoid poverty.

    And the use of condoms should be mandatory, like the use of hard hats by construction workers, or helmets by motorcycle riders.

    -Can you tell me something about LEGALLY AUTHORIZED brothels in Indonesia ?

  30. Aprianti says:


    Should they also follow the standard of quality management in doing their job? 😀
    And we can hardly expect them to pay tax since they’re already f*cked up (pun) by the obligation to share their income with the brothel owner, the pimp, the bodyguard, the “calo” (intermediary), the police, RT, RW, you name it.

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