Reliability and Credibility We are members in good standing of The Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Bali Village, and the International Conference Association (ICCA)
Leading Balinese Dancers to Present Adhipusengara for Boston Area Audiences at College of Holy Cross.
Some of Bali's most accomplished traditional dancers will soon be visiting The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts to present Adhipusengara - a classical Arja Balinese dance opera, loosely based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.
Part of a tour of New England (USA), the performance will feature a Balinese dance troupe, including I Wayan Dibia, Ni Made Wiratini, Ni Nyoman Manik Suryani, I Nengah Susila, Ni Made Pujawati, I Nyoman Saptanyana, and Ida Ayu Ari Candrawati.
Dr. I Wayan Dibia is currently engaged as a visiting fellow in Balinese arts at the College of The Holy Cross – one of America's most distinguished undergraduate institution and the oldest Catholic college in New England.
The April 19, 2006 performance will commence at 8 p.m. in the Brooks Music Hall at the Worcester campus. Attendance is free and open to the general public. Because this is a rare performance of such magnitude at the College, local coordinators are recommending those planning to attend the performance arrive early.
Arja - Balinese dance opera, is at once one of Bali's oldest theatrical forms while, at the same time, managing to remain topical in its willingness to incorporate issues of contemporary interest in its repertoire. According to Dr. Dibia, who is also a leading force and a Professor at Bali's prestigious School of the Performing Arts (ISI), Adhipusengara is about "the consequences of not believing in the power of God."
Dibia is one of the world's most distinguished performers, composers, and choreographers of Balinese music and dance. With a Ph.D from UCLA, he is the author of numerous books and articles on Balinese dance and music. A living cultural icon on the Island of Bali, Dr. Dibia has performed extensively throughout Australia, Europe and the United States.
For more information about the concert, contact Joe Mader (USA) at ++1-508-793-3490.
They Still Call Bali 'Home Away from Home'
Sydney Morning Herald Writer Kate Cox Discovers that Bali Stil Has So Much to Offer Visitors Seeking Indulgence, Relaxation and Fun.
Recently Sydney Morning Herald writer Kate Cox chose to ignore naysayers, travel warnings and even a Syndey cab driver bringing her to the airport for her flight to Bali – all urging her that NOW was not the time to visit what has traditionally been Australia's most preferred overseas holiday destination.
Throwing caution to the wind and, perhaps, knowng first had that you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper, the intrepid journalist boarded her Garuda flight to Bali and discovered an island that is placing added emphasis on security while still maintaining the simple charm and grace for which the Balinese are famous.
Bali Has Changed – Well, Just Maybe Just a Little
Descrbing an island where security is "super tight," Cox encountered security checks, guards and dogs at hotel entrances, restaurants and beach areas across the island.
Like many of her fellow countrymen and women, this was not Cox's first visit to Bali. Her past familiarity with what the Island has on offer left her pleasantly surprised when she encountered Bali’s new and very chic life-style products targetted at a new, more sophisticated high-end traveler. Quality housegold furnishings, hip fashions produced by island-based "known" local and international designers, and dining venues the equal to any of Sydney's finest eateries – all await the visitor to Bali.
In the words of the pleasantly surprised Australian journalist, "It's a long way from foam parties and $2 batik sarongs," that she remembered from earlier Bali sojourns.
Be sure to follow the link provided and read Kate Cox's complete article containing lots of practical tips on where to eat, shop and be pampered during a trip to Bali.
Details Emerge on 3rd Annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival September 28 – October 3, 2006 in Ubud.
Last year's wildly successful Ubud Writers & Readers Festival played host to a number of celebrated writers including Michael Ondaatje, Amitav Ghosh, Xanana Gusmao, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Putu Wijaya and Shaun Tan – each exploring from their perspective the theme "Between Worlds." This year's Festival has adopted the theme "Desa-Kala-Patra: Place-Time-Identity" inviting another exciting line-up of authors from all over the world.
In 2006, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will spotlight brave, new writers who have dared to challenge and expose the ways of the world in which we live. Invited writers include Orhan Pamuk - one of Turkey's most notable literary figures, who will discuss the responsibility of the writer in today’s world. Su Tong, of Raise the Red Lantern fame, will turn the light on China, the world's most populated country, and discuss his inspiration and challenges in writing and film-making. Ziauddin Sadar will discuss the Islamic identity and the new fundamentalists. William Dalrymple will share his stories of researching the White Moghuls and the days of the Raj in India. Foreign correspondent, Eric Campbell, will give you an Absurdistan account of how he's been stoned by the Taliban, wounded by a suicide bomber, and arrested and drugged in some of the most dysfunctional places on earth.
Bali's Indian neighbors are expected to steal the show with a line up of young stars. Suketu Mehta will take participants on an unforgettable journey through the crowded streets of Bombay with his award-winning Maximum City. Kunal Basu will reveal the secrets of a bizarre racial experiment on a remote African island, from his latest book, The Racists. Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka fame will wrap listeners up in the Alchemy of Desire and Rana Dasgupta will spin a tale of Tokyo, travel and undisputed fate. From across the seas in Canada, Shauna Singh Baldwin will pick up the threads with her story of identity and displacement and Indian-Fijian, Shalini Akhil, will add pepper and spice to the narrative.
Award-winning Sri Lankan writers, Romesh Gunesekara, Nihal de Silva and Elmo Jayawardena will shed light on the days of civil war and the rebuilding of Sri Lanka. The Festival's line-up of intrepid travel writers will bring participants to the departure lounge of adventure and share their stories of discovery and the importance of place. Poets from all over the world will startle, sing, beat-box, recite, shout and add inspiration to four unforgettable days of literary wonder.
According to organizers, the new faces of Indonesia will be celebrated alongside Indonesia's most exciting thinkers and writers. This year's hot topics will include the censorship and pornography reform laws of Indonesia and the concept of "Islamaphobia."
And, as with past festivals, days of discussion will drift into nights of hilarious entertainment – all part of the Balinese hospitality for which the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is becoming world famous.
7th Annual Ultimate Frisbee Nusantara Cup in Bali April 14-15, 2006.
For the seventh consecutive Easter weekend since 2000, DiscIndo - Jakarta's Ultimate Frisbee Team, will host the annual Nusantara Cup in Bali. This year's tournament will take place April 9-10, 2006 at Lapangan Pegok Sports Field in Sesetan, Bali.
Now a regular event on the international Frisbee tournament calendar, the Nusantara Cup continues to draw increasingly larger numbers of both players and spectators each year.
This year's event is expected to attract more than 100 players from Indonesia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Saipan, and the Philippines
The event kicks off Friday, April 9th with opening ceremonies at 8:00 a.m. when the first Frisbee disc will be thrown by Bali Tourism Authority Chief Gede Nurjaya. Competition continues all day until 5:00 p.m.. With Saturday play also beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m..
Admission is free and the public is welcome. Food, beverages and shade are available at the field.
Ultimate Frisbee Action
Ultimate Frisbee originated in the 1960s in the USA as a simple, fun game for everyone to enjoy. Camaraderie and celebration after the matches are considered equally important as the competition itself. Today, Ultimate Frisbee continues to attract new devotees with millions of players participating on a world-wide basis.
This is the seventh time the event has been held n Bali and the third consecutive year the Bali tournament is organized by The Works.
Among event sponsors are All Seasons Hotel, Bali Advertiser, Bali International Medical Centre (BIMC), Bir Bintang, Coca Cola, Danone Aqua, Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Garuda Indonesia, Global TV, Sanur Deli, Vodka Vibe and Warung Bonita.
For more information contact Debe Campbell at telephone ++62-(0)361-425754.
Still in the Doldrums
Bali by the Numbers: March Arrivals Down -28.63%
Preliminary foreign arrival figures from Bali's Airport indicate that Bali's revival, following the terrorist attack of 6 months ago, continues to lag totaling 83,608 foreign visitors, down -28.63% from the same month just one year before. Although deepening slightly from the month-to-month performance for February 2006 when arrivals (73,430) were down only -27.04%, the overall performance for Q1 2006 showed a more moderate average decline of -25.95% from the same quarter one year before.
Bali's four main source markets continue to under perform:
• Japan - Bali's main source of visitors Japan generated 19,391 visitors in March 2006, down -23.7% from Japanese March arrivals in 2005 (25,437).
• Australia - Bali's second largest producer of tourist visitors produced 8,511 visitors in March; that's a drop of -60.38% from the 21,483 visitors arriving from Australia in March 2005.
• Taiwan - Taiwan – the 3rd largest source of visitors for Bali – sent 8,403 visitors to Bali in March 2006. Compared to March 2005, when 9,249 Taiwanese visitors came to the Island, this translates into a downturn of -9.15% from the same month last year.
• South Korea - The 4th largest source of Bali-bound travelers continued to suffer in March producing only 4,258 visitors; down 39.89% from the 7,083 visitors from South Korea who came to Bali in March 2005.
A Tale of Two Bombs
While local pundits are eager to compare Bali's current business downturn with the aftereffects of the 2002 Bali bombing, several facts emerge:
• While March arrivals 2006 versus 2005 are down -28.63%, this is an improvement over the March 2003 performance following the first Bali bombing when business was down a more substantial -36.36%.
• While business is definitely down in the current period, there are more visitors on Bali this year than was the case in 2003 after the first bombing. Actual arrival numbers for Q1 2006 are, in fact, 15.7% ahead of Q1 2003.
• As shown on the accompany chart on balidiscovery.com, when tracking monthly arrivals for 2002/2003 versus 2005/2006, the recovery pattern from both bombings largely mirror each other with the current period operating at a somewhat higher level of arrivals.
VOA Promised for Dutch Nationals
President Promises Holland to be Added to List of Countries Eligible for Visa on Arrival Facility.
Following meetings last week in Jakarta between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Dutch Prime Minister Peter Ballkenende Indonesia announced its attention to immediately review the current immigration policy to include Dutch nationals in the list of those eligible to purchase a visa-on-arrival (VOA) upon landing in Indonesia.
The President asked that the public be patient while steps are taken to change the current policy, underling that the Government is "committed" to including Dutch citizens in the VOA facility.
Following meetings between the two heads of state agreements were reached to increase economic and business links between the two countries. Commenting on the results of the meetings, Balkenende said, "I feel the VOA will facilitate relations between our two countries, primarily in the fields of investment, tourism, and business."
Aussie cricketers score clean sweep of Bali's Goodwill.
A team of Australian cricket champions returned home in early April after making history closer to home than South Africa.
The team of former Test and State players volunteered their time to showcase their sport in Bali and show support for the youth affected by the island’s tourist downturn.
Former Australian Test and State cricketers Jo Angel, Ryan Campbell, David Colley, Wayne Holdsworth, Paul Wilson, David Fitzgerald, Brian Taber and Richard Chee Quee played a series of limited-overs matches against Balinese players.
The "Aussie Legends" – sponsored and organized by Garuda Indonesia - undertook coaching clinics and workshops. They visited schools to spread the message about cricket, a fledgling sport in Bali, and took kits of new and used cricket equipment, clothing and merchandise to donate to Balinese cricket clubs.
The Regional Manager of Garuda Indonesia South West Pacific, Suranto Yitnopawiro, said the Garuda Aussie Legends are confident that this first tour to Bali by top class former players will help generate interest in the game while generating goodwill between Indonesia and Australia.
Suranto explained, "The presence of these cricketers has attracted great coverage in Indonesia and has been an outstanding success among the local people. It shows Australians that they are very welcome in Bali as we rebuild to once again become Australia's No 1 overseas holiday destination."
Seen on balidiscovery.com are pictures of Western Australian "Garuda Aussie Legend" Jo Angel providing practical tips on the game of cricket to an enthusiastic group of young Balinese players. Angel has represented both the his State and the Country of Australia in a large number of nation and international cricket matches.
Hitting the Road Domestically
Bali Tourism Officials Make Plans to Undertake Domestic Road Shows Across Indonesia.
The Bali Tourism Authority (BTA) has announced its intention to begin an intensive program of domestic tourism promotion at major population centers across the Nation in order to increase tourism flows to Bali by both domestic travelers and the many expatriate foreign workers living Indonesia in areas such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Kalimantan and Bantam.
While accurate figures measuring the size of Bali’s domestic market are hard to come by, many estimate that domestic arrivals represent 50-60% of all visitors to the Island.
According to Mr. Gde Nurjaya, Chief of the BTA, plans are underway Bali to make a coordinated presence at the Gebyar Wisata Nusantara show to be held in Jakarta May 28, 2006; Majapahit Travel Fair in Surabaya on May 12, 2006; and a May road show to Jakarta, West Java, Kalimantan and Batam.
Garuda Indonesia and Emirates to Align?
Looking for Business Partners and Funds, Garuda Suggests European Flights May Start as Soon as 2007.
According to the Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia, the national airline Garuda Indonesia is eyeing an alliance with Emirate Airlines.
According to Garuda’s President Director, Emirsyah Satar, Emirates together with several yet-to-be-named European carriers, have expressed at least a preliminary interest in forming a business alliance with the Indonesian carrier or one of its subsidiary business units.
While unprepared to list the names of the "several" European carriers considering a business partnership with Garuda, Emirsyah has previously mentioned the German airline Lufthansa as being among the list of potential partners.
Uncertain Financial Status Continues
Both Deutsche Bank and the Asian Development Bank have indicated their readiness to inject a badly needed US$105 million in short-term funds to keep the Airline operating on the provision that the Indonesian Government will guarantee the Company's massive debt now estimated at US$790 million. Whether or not, however, current laws permit the Government to issue the letters of undertaking needed to guarantee Garuda's debt remains a hotly debated issue within the Presidential Cabinet, where final approval on the guarantee now resides.
Garuda to Fly to Europes?
Emrisyah has also indicated that his airline is now actively studying the feasibility of recommencing fight service between Bali and Europe starting as early as 2007. Because a successful European flight operation requires market access that evaporated with Garuda’s close-down all its European services, local observers suggest that a strategic alliance with a major European airlines must be a top priority to the Indonesian airline's survival and its European expansion plans.
Many Foreign Artists at 28th Bali Arts Festival
15 Foreign Art Groups to Perform in Bali Arts Festival June 17 - July 15, 2006.
The Indonesian national press agency ANTARA reports that a record-setting 15 foreign performing groups are expected in Bali to participate in the 28th Annual Bali Arts Festival to be held June 17- July 15, 2006.
Organizers of the event, which showcases musical and performing groups from Bali and the rest of Indonesia, said the 15 foreign performing groups are scheduled to perform throughout the month-long event.
While 15 groups from abroad have formally confirmed their participation, it is not unusual for last-minute entries from abroad to contact the organizers and request performance slots.
The growing interest by foreign performers has outstripped past participation by international artists and reflects the widening reputation of the Bali Arts Festival and the confidence felt by participating musicians and dancers in Bali's overall security situation.
Among the foreign groups registered to participate in the 2006 festival are from the U.S.A., Japan, South Korea, Germany, Canada, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the U.K..
Visions of Paradise
An Exhibition by Didik Nurhadi at Bali's Ganesha Gallery through May 12, 2006.
In his newest exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, the Javanese artist Didik Nurhadi focuses his unique vision on a new subject – the famed Island of Paradise – Bali.
Didik's art can best understood as a parallel, somewhat curious version of contemporary Indonesian life and society. At initial glance, his caricatures evoke humor; but tread with care – on re-examination his characters also offer biting commentaries reflecting Didik's take on his nation's hypocrisies and foibles. While his criticism is subtle and self-depreciating, his inflated and literally "balloon-life" human subjects sometimes border on the grotesque - especially when dressed in traditional costume and struggling for material gain.
Although the art of Didik suggest an influence by the Columbian artist Botero, the art critic Jean Couteau argues that Didik's world of fat people is an independent discovery. Unlike Botero, Didik's work is always a commentary and never an escape from reality. As the son of a military man who came of age during the iron fisted rule of General Suharto, Didik is no stranger to discipline or censorship. The shortcomings of democracy and the reform movement after the euphoria that followed immediately in the wake of Suharto's fall have also taught him to take no one, including himself, too seriously.
This young man embarked on his artistic career as Indonesia slid into a tumultuous decade of political and social change. Accordingly, his work reflects a biting commentary on the tragedies that have befallen his country and the very human failings of those whose job it is to safeguard the nation. However, social criticism lacking introspection and a modicum of self-deprecation, becomes a tiresome harangue, faults absent in the work of Didik Nurhadi who captures the irony of the Indonesian situation by satirically depicting his subjects as hugely rotund characters with prominent lips who reside in surrealistic landscapes
Born in Central Java in 1972, Didik Nurhadi attended the Faculty of Art at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta, graduating in 1992.
Visions of Paradise
Didik Nurhadi's Visions of Paradise, an exhibition by Didik Nurhadi at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, open daily from April 19 through May 12, 2006. Gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m..
For more information call the Gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.
Pearls at Sea
Bali Hai Cruises Offers Pearl Farm Visit as a Bonus to Day Cruise Passengers.
Taking advantage of the pristine tropical waters surrounding Bali considered perfect for nurturing and production of South Sea Pearls, Bali's near neighbour of Nusa Lembongan is now home to a fully operational pearl farm.
A joint venture between Bali Hai Cruises and Atlas Pacific - acknowledged leaders in the field of pearl cultivation, the pearl farm will allow passengers on board Bali Hai's popular day cruise the chance to see first-hand how valuable pearls are produced by nature, all done with a little help from man.
The pearl experience tour begins with a cruise along the coral reef aboard Bali Hai's Semi Submersible Coral Viewer. Guests can observe the long line nets from which developing oysters are suspended beneath the ocean’s surface in a process that takes up to four years.
Two years into the growth process, the oysters are momentarily removed from the sea and "starved" overnight, encouraging the shell to open naturally. Seeding involves an intricate procedure in which a tiny bead or nucleus, made from donated pearl shell, is introduced into the oyster around which a pearl should eventually form.
Guests on the new pearl experience tour will have the opportunity to watch technicians performing this surgery at the Visitors Center, located within Bali Hai's Private Beach Club. In the often secretive and well guarded world of pearl cultivation, this will be a rare opportunity for the public to observe the seeding procedure.
Once seeded, the oysters are returned to their nets for an additional two years during which they "grow" a pearl. Also at the Visitor's Center a nine minute movie illustrating the life of a pearl producing oyster this process. And, yes, pearls are available for purchase with helpful staff ready to impart how size, color, shape, surface and luster of a pearl determine its commercial value.
Pearl Evening Cruise
As part of Bali Hai Cruises new emphasis on the pearl industry, the Company has also launched a Pearl Evening Cruise onboard their sailing catamaran Aristocat. Evening departures from Benoa Harbor an evening cruise of fine dining and musical entertainment will also include an opportunity to taste pearl meat.
Bali Hotel Association Raises Rp. 200 Million for Gianyar Temesi Recycling Center.
On a memorable Saturday evening in late March, a group of almost 100 guests traveled to the dramatic dining pavilion of the Chedi Ubud where, surrounded by a moonlit rice terrace, they enjoyed a 5-course gourmet dinner prepared by three of Bali's leading chefs.
Commencing with a sunset champagne reception that started at 6 p.m., the diners gathered not only to enjoy a memorable meal but to also raise funds for the Temesi Recycling Center located in Gianyar regency. A pilot project with potential wider applications across greater Southeast Asia, the Temesi Recycling Center manages to sort, process and recycle waste materials, reducing the trash that threatens to choke the island by a factor of almost 90%.
Following cocktails and before dinner, David Kuper a Swiss chemist and the project planner of the Rotary Ubud Project gave a brief, informative presentation on the Center and it's potential to grow to handle all the waste materials generated in Gianyar, and eventually Bali as a whole. The fund-raising evening was convened to provide critical bridging funds to keep the center in operation while awaiting potential funding support under the Kyoto Protocols.
The lavish dinner - designed and cooked by Nam Nguyen of The Legian, Stuart Blair of Alila Ubud and Gary Tyson of Amandari, was accompanied by a range of outstanding wines all sponsored by local food suppliers.
As a result of the evening's festivities, during which Bali Discovery's Jack Daniels served as Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer, in excess of US$20,000 was raised for the recycling center. Furniture, privately catered dinners, designer clothing, fine works of art, and exciting hotel stays were among the items bid upon between courses.
The total funds raised were sufficient to ensure that the Temesi Recycling Center will remain in operation for the next year and will permit the purchase of a shredder that will assist compost production at the Center.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.