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(2/22/2010) [Editorial: Defacing Bali]
• Danny Machgenzie wrote:
"Thank you for your article "Defacing Bali" and other articles. Thank you for bringing this news, it's really sad to see Bali quickly disappearing this way, soon there will be nothing left! I also have been coming to stay in Canggu and see a lot of horrible development coming up in the past year, are these legal and how can this be stopped? Is the governor aware of how destroyed this Canggu area is as well? Buildings (I heard big hotels & restaurants) are being built so close to the beach and the temple with nothing in accordance to Balinese style."
• Barry Hyland in Australia:
"Jack, unfortunately it's way too late to save Dreamland Beach. I was sickened to see what had been done to this once magical place. It's criminal. I come to Bali once a year, and I always visited Dreamland and had surf there. No longer. What a shame."
• Kate Crellin, Australia:
"I was disgusted last year when I went to Dreamland. It used to be a beautiful spot to visit for the day, but never will I go there again. It was development gone mad."
Craig from Australia:
"Here here! As you said, the picture tells the story so nothing more need be said about the impact. Like you I just hope that someone with some common sense, vision and political will is listening."
• David in East Bali wrote:
"Well done, Bali Discovery. Thank you for putting into succinct terms what many of us would like to say and echo to Bali-philes. I am an expat who chose Bali for my life back in 1993 when beaches were pristine and Balinese people were not enticed to sell their heritage that rightly is for their descendants. Uluwatu was beautiful. No western-style hotels sat on the shores. there was no plastic on the beaches, nor any landslides. Bali was a pristine island, deserving of awards. Now, I am ashamed to see the Uluwatu peninsular. It is looking more like the centre of Bangkok than a paradise beach."
• A Balinese reader, Nyoman Peringatan said:
The C-151, Anatara Uluwatu and the Bupati of Badung should just remember that the 100 meter set back rule is there to protect a public right-of-way. The space from the high tide mark inland to 100 meters land is to separate an area for the common enjoyment of the Balinese (and others) so everyone can enjoy the seafront and conduct religious ceremonies. So, guys, feel free to break the law and build your apartments and hotels. Just don't be shocked when you find my family sitting at your pool or relaxing in your living room enjoying a picnic, flying kites or saying our Melasti prayers. A hundreds meters wide band around the shore of Bali belongs to everyone. If you block it off and build on it, do so at your own risk."
[New Law Proposed for Bali Travel Companies]
• Jimmy Roland of South Bali wrote:
"Sounds great that the Bali government wants to bring in changes with a new law which seeks to bring an end to the practice of ‘buying and selling heads’ in which travel agencies handle guests to unscrupulous operators who then earn a return on their purchase by forcing guest to travel to restaurants and shops paying very high levels of commission. The new law also should curb the use of illegal foreign workers by Bali travel companies. I just find it a bit funny to read about new laws since nobody cares about the existing laws in Bali and the rest of the country. And yes, of course, get rid of the illegal foreigners working here. I wonder how operations in so many businesses would look like without foreigners, even illegal ones. I also would like to ask who is controlling travel agencies and travel related businesses (to see) that those new laws are followed? Because if there is such a ‘watch dog,’ why are all this illegal operations possible?!"
• Colin Anderson in Indonesia wrote:
"Laws, rules, regulations, policies, decrees and edicts are all useless without enforcement. In the words of Blaise Pascal, ‘Force without law is tyranny, and law without force is impotent.’"
[Blue Bird on the Wing]
• Jimmy Roland of Bali wrote, again:
"Blue Bird Taxi is operating in Bali for so many years and suddenly Bali Transportation Officials come up and say that Blue Bird is operating without required licenses and permits. Are you kidding me! May I ask where the Bali Transportation Officials were when Blue Bird started operating in Bali? After all, we are talking here about a big company with a large operation. Now they asking Blue Bird to operate under another name, give up their branding,etc.?!
Isn't it possible that there is another agenda behind this matter. Like jealous competitors. Hmmmhh’
• Bea from Switzerland wrote:
"No way! The only thing that really works in Bali (I've lived there 3 years)! And they want to remove Blue Bird? Or is it just the name that has to go, not the great, clean, punctual, honest, friendly taxis and their drivers? Please try to stop that."
• Jean-Jacques Amella wrote:
"I do not understand the removal of the Blue bird taxi. I have been coming to Bali since 1999 and I am married to an Indonesian Balinese and have family in Jogia, Nusa Dua and Denpasar. I remember the brand being the most trusted taxi in Bali and tourists insisting on using them due to their honesty. Why can't the brand be sold to the present owner and continue to function. The marketing name is invaluable, why get rid of it?"
• An Australian, John Grosvenor wrote:
"I holidays in Bali twice a year as well as spending shorter periods in Jakarta. I first found that Blue Bird in Jakarta were the preferred taxi as they had the newest and cleanest fleet; were more likely to be on time for a booking and were the most courteous.
In Bali, I had an even greater sense of the difference in quality of taxis, with Blue Bird way out in front. The 'local' taxis until recently had no apparent air conditioning, untidy drivers and a bad attitude. When I waited for a Blue Bird to hail, passing local taxis would often stop and give me and the Blue Bird drivers abuse.
Many sites seem to ban Blue Bird from pick ups. I think the Galleria is one and the seafood restaurants on the beach at Jimbaran another.
Let's call a spade a spade. Often the employees of Blue Bird are not Balinese and I guess Blue Bird is not a Balinese company. This appears to be the basis of the moves against Blue Bird.
As a tourist / regular visitor I would like to be able to choose my transport on their ability to give me an honest and courteous ride with a sense that if there is a dispute I can get some resolution.
There are quite a few issues that you raise that interest me, but the issue of taxis is a priority because most tourists see the taxis as an important face of Bali and judge their experience of Bali on the quality of these services . . .Thanks for a fine web site.
[Indonesian Ranks High for Australian Holiday Makers]
• Jane Milojevic in Sydney offered a correction:
"In actual fact, based of figures from the same source that I believe yours came (the Australian Bureau of Statistics Short term departures of Australian Resident) if you break these figures into purpose of journey and look at those traveling for purpose of holiday, Indonesia ranked as Australia's most popular holiday destination, ahead of NZ and USA. The majority of these holiday makers would have been traveling to Bali. In 2009 - 456,348 Australians traveled to Indonesia on holiday, 455,629 to NZ and 334,130 to USA and Thailand came in at number 4 with 321,384. The Total departures figure in include business travelers and VFR who will be traveling to other parts of Indonesia. As most visitors to Bali are holiday makers, the figures for those traveling on holiday provide a more accurate reflection of where Bali stands in relation to other destinations. And it is NUMBER ONE!