Is Bali safe and a good place to visit?
Apparently, both Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla think so. During separate visits over the past week, Indonesia's #1 and #2 leaders made high profile visits to Bali demonstrating that they are genuinely "men of the people," at ease with the local security situation.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2006, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady "Ibu Ani" made an unannounced visit to Bali's Kuta beach area. For more than an hour the President and his wife strolled along Bali's most famous stretch of beach where they purchased souvenirs while chatting with foreign tourists, local shop owners, and beach masseuses.
Shaking hundreds of hands with both local and international visitors, the Susilo's happily obliged the many requests from tourists eager to have a photo opportunity with Indonesia's CEO. Apparently very much at ease with Bali's current security situation, the Chief Executive's security team appeared relatively relaxed as the President plunged into crowds of tourists along the beach and the throngs at Kuta's traditional market.
During his visit the President stayed at the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur.
In a separate visit to Bali on Thursday, January 26, 2006, Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla returned from Japan and a four country foreign tour on board a commercial Garuda flight. During the long flight from Tokyo to Bali the Vice President actively paced the aisles of the aircraft engaging in conversations with the pleasantly surprised Bali-bound passengers.
After a surprise inspection of the immigration services at Bali's airport, the president continued on to Jakarta, again using a commercial aircraft where he repeated his public contact foray, asking Jakarta bound passengers for feedback on their just completed visit to Bali.
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