Mention the villages of North Tugu and South Tugu in the Cisarua district, Bogor regency, and most people will promptly associate them with the Puncak tourist zone, Arab visitors, and contract-based or unregistered marriages locally called nikah siri.
The two neighboring villages, only separated by the Puncak highway, have become a money circulation center where tourists, mostly Arab visitors, exchange their dollars in 17 moneychangers to the average sum of US$1,000 per person a day. In North Tugu, during the Arab tourist visit season, the money exchanged in seven changers may reach Rp 7 billion ($700,000) a day.
Arabs are renowned for coming to Puncak — which they refer to as Jabal (mountain) — for holidays and “dates” with Indonesian women.
Now the dangdut or jablai, the local term for working girls, not only include women from Cianjur, Cimahi and Garut, West Java, but also from Jakarta and Cengkareng, Tangerang.
While in previous years Puncak foreign visitors always used airport taxis, today rental car drivers from Tugu villages are picking up Arab tourists at the airport and helping them pick out girls they
like. These rental cars are known as “Arab taxis.”