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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1004 - 30 November 2015


Shake a Stick at This!
Fun for All at Bali National Crazy Festive Golf Tournament Sunday, December 20, 2015

“I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.” Gerald R. Ford

The Bali National Golf Resort is hosting a fun and highly social way to bid farewell to 2015 via the Bali National Crazy Festive Tournament on Sunday, December 20, 2015.

With the emphasis on “fun,” the tournament is using scoring systems that will keep even rank beginners within striking distance of winning a trophy or prize.

How is this possible? The Bali National Crazy Festive Tournament will employ the “Four Ball Best Ball (4BBB)" format of play and “System 36” same day handicapping system. The 4BBB format sees golfers play in a group of two-person teams. While everyone plays his or her own ball, only one ball (the better ball, or low ball) is counted per team. Meanwhile, the “System 36” handicapping system is an equitable way to establish handicaps for mixed ability fields allowing a golfer of lesser ability to compete with accomplished players.

There will also be other chances to win interesting prizes with novelty events that include: Nearest the Pin; Longest Drive; Beat the Pro; Nearest the Line; 2 Club Hole; Short Putter Hole, Chip to the 18th and more.

Style can also count over skill with a number of trophies, including a prize for the most “festively” dressed golfer.

Event entry is limited to player pairs, but if you need a partner the Bali National Golf Club will find you one!

Participation cost is only Rp. 1.3 million net per person and covers a pre-tournament golf clinic; practice range balls; post event BBQ; happy hour beverages; lucky draw and a generous range of prizes.

The event gets underway on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 11:30 am with registration and a shotgun start at 12:30 pm. The BBQ dinner starts at 5:30 pm with the awards and prize ceremony at 6:30 pm.

The Bali National Crazy Festive Tournament is expected to be a sell out. To obtain an entry form Email or telephone +62-(0)361-771791.

In Heated Anticipation of Rain
Bali Weather Forecasters Say Current Heat Wave will Continue Until Delayed Rainy Seasons Starts in December

The Bali Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BMKG-Bali) has recorded extremely high temperatures in late November 2015 that are 3 degrees Celsius above the average.

Speaking on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, I Nyoman Gede Wiryajaya of the BMKG-Bali's division of data keeping and information division, said, “Based on our records around Denpasar over the past two days temperatures have hit 37 degree Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), well above the daily average of 31.4 degrees Celsius.”

According to Wiryajaya, such a large deviation from average temperature qualifies as an extreme heat wave.

During the period November 22-23, 2015, the average temperature recorded at the Sanglah BMKG office was 37 degrees Celsius.

Meteorologists were quick to point out that observations and temperature readings from Denpasar is not necessarily representative of the entire Island of Bali. Bali has only four weather stations recording daily temperatures: Negara (Jembrana Regency), Sanglah (Denpasar), Ngurah Rai (Airport) and Kahang-Kahang (Karangasem Regency).

On Monday, November 23, 2015 the weather stations at Negara and Ngurah Rai recorded temperatures that were 2 degrees above the average.

BMKG predicted the current heat wave would hold until the long-awaited rainy season begins to deliver rainfall to most areas of Bali. The delay in the rain in the current year is being accentuated by the El Nino effect.

In normal times, the rainy seasons commences in Bali in September or October, but due to El Nino wind conditions will only come to Bali in December.

The El Nino effect occurs when ocean surface temperatures increase around the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean. High temperatures are also influenced by the position of the sun directly over the equator that raises temperature across equatorial Indonesia.

Too Big to Fail?
AirAsia Records US$96 Million Loss in 3rd Quarter 2015 and Reuters reports that AirAsia has incurred a third-quarter net loss due to weak foreign exchange rates and the need to write down a loss for its Indonesia AirAsia operation.

Moving toward a more consolidate form of bookkeeping, AirAsia came under fire earlier this year from GMT Research in Hong Kong who claimed the airline inflated earnings reports via the manner in which they reported transactions with their foreign affiliates.

The financial health of AirAsia is a matter of critical concern across the region where the company founded by CEO Tony Fernandes in 2002 has grown to a billion dollar business that has driven tourism growth in the Southeast Asia region.

Concerns have been expressed in many quarters regarding debts and losses attributed to Indonesia AirAsia and Philippines AirAsia. Both of which failed to meet forecasted results for the current quarter. Indonesia AirAsia recorded an after tax loss of US$19.9 million and Philippines AirAsia a loss after tax of US#29.1 million.

As a whole, AirAsia reported a loss of MYR406 million ringgit (US$96 million) for the 3rd quarter, markedly different from the MYR5.4 million ringgit profit reported for the third quarter in 2014. The extraordinary loss was blamed by the Airline on foreign exchange losses and on one-off write down for its Indonesian operation involving the sale and leaseback of aircraft.

Meanwhile, options are being studied that could take AirAsia private.

I Got Plenty of Truffles & Truffles Plenty for Me
White Truffle Dinner with the Wines of Piedmont at Mozaic Restaurant Ubud Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nature most exotic and most expensive ingredient is back in Season. Ferreted from beneath the forest floors of northwest Italy, white truffles from the Piedmont are being hand-carried to the Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud where, for the 6th consecutive year, a degustation menu inspired by white truffles and carefully paired with select wines by Batasiolo from the hills of Piedmont will be served on Saturday, December 12, 2015 starting from 6:00 pm.

White truffles are rare and considered “diamonds of the kitchen”, valued for their powerful, yet delicate aroma and are expensive because production is highly limited. They grow solely in the wild, and fluctuations in weather play havoc with their reproduction and growth. A combination of freshly ploughed ground, autumn rains and the specific terroir, Piedmont is the favored growing region for white truffles and this region also produces Italy’s greatest wines.

The evening of rare white truffles is made possible by one kilogram of white truffles that will be hand carried all the way to Bali for the December 12th dinner at which the entire kilogram will be lavished in the limited number of diners traveling to Ubud’s iconic Mozaic Restaurant on that night.

Mozaic’s masterchefs of Chris Salans and James Ephraim will be on hand, combining their immense culinary talents using paper-thin slices of white truffles renowned for their forestière aroma and creamy exquisite taste.

Both the truffles of the Piedmont and the fine wines of that region share a common genesis – the unique terroir of that region of the world.

Accordingly, dinner on Saturday, December 12th will be accompanied by famed Batasiolo wines with the owner of the Batasiolo Winery on hand to share his love for the craft of winemaking. Batasiolo Wines are made by the Dogliani family who has been making wine in the Barolo DOCG (controlled designation of origin guaranteed) area since 1882. Now totaling 140 hectares Batasiolo Wines now encompass four growing regions: Barolo, La Morra, Monforte D’Alba and Serralunga D’Alba.

This memorable evening of outstanding food and exquisite wine pairing costs Rp. 1.5 million plus tax and service, including wine pairings.

Both the wines and truffles are in limited supply and advance reservations are essential by Emailing 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mozaic Restaurant – Ubud, Bali

White Truffles and Wines by Batasiolo

Atlantic Scallop Carpaccio, Russina Caviar, Fresh White Truffles and 
and Andalima Lemon Pepper

7 Cascine Prosecco, N/V

+ + + + +

Canadian Lobster and Kenari Nut Crumble

Gavi D.O.C.G. Del Comune Di Gavi, Granée

+ + + + +

Crisy Seared Foie Gras, Fresh White Truffles and New Season Jerusalem Artichoke

Moscato d’Asti, D.O.C.G. ‘Bosc Dla Rei’

+ + + + +


Barolo D.O.C.G.

+ + + + +

Fresh White Truffle Honey, Peaches and Coconut Sablé

Barbera d’Alba D.O.C. ‘Sovrana’

+ + + + +

Fresh White Truffle Ice Cream

Moscato d’Asti D.O.C.G. ‘Bosc Dla Rei’

+ + + + +


Tourism as The Goose with the Golden Egg
Indonesian Tourism Minister Predicts Tourism to Become Nation's Top Foreign Exchange Earner

Indonesia's Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, predicted in Jakarta on Tuesday, November 24. 2015, that tourism is destined to become the Nation's top foreign exchange earner.

Tourism currently ranks 4th in terms of foreign exchange earnings after mineral and gas resources, coal and palm oil production.

Yahya portends that tourism as a renewable resource will eventually supplant its competitors that will decline over time. Meanwhile, he sees tourism growing by leaps and bounds, contributing Rp. 280 trillion to the economy in five years time - an amount equal to 8% of the Gross National Product and providing employment to 13 million Indonesian workers.

"President Jokowi has already set the target that tourism must double within 5 years. If this year sees us welcoming 10 million foreign tourists, then by 2019 there will be 20 million visitors producing US$22 billion in foreign exchange," explained Yahya.

The Indonesian Minister of Tourism said 5 elements must be synergized to reach National tourism targets, namely: academia, business, government, the community and the media. By coordinating these 5 elements the Minister is confident Indonesia will welcome 20 million tourists by the end of 2019 and support 275 million domestic tourism journeys each year.

Supremely confident, Yahya boasted, "It is not impossible that the target of 20 million foreign tourists and 275 million domestic journeys will be easily achieved."

To make this happen Yahya said that a certain strengthening of a shared understanding and common vision is needed to created a coordinated and sustainable tourism industry.

As reported by The Bali Post, the government is concentrating on developing 10 key strategic tourism destinations (KSPN) in Indonesia: Borobudur (Central Java), Mandalika (Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat), Labuhan Bajo (NTT), Bromo-Tengger Semeru (East Java), the Thousand Islands (DKI Jakarta), Toba (North Sumatra), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), Morotai (North Maluku) and Tanjung Kelayanh (Bangka-Belitung).

A Rush that Starts in Dribbles and Drabs
ASITA: Little Impact Yet on Tourism Arrivals Due to Liberalized Visa Policy

The chairman of the Indonesia Association of Travel Agency (ASITA), Asnawi Bahar, told the State News Agency Antara that the decision to extend free visa to 94 countries has yet to have a significant impact on foreign tourist arrivals, although signs do exist of a gradual improvement in arrivals.

Bahar pledged that his Association representing the professional tour and travel agents in Indonesia would improve their services in anticipation the growing number of visitors expected to travel to the Country.

"Improving the quality of service includes improvement in management of manpower to held promote more tourist visitors to Indonesia," said Bahar.

Improvements would also be made, he said, in the quality and variety of tourism packets offered to the public. These improvements include upgrades in the quality of tourism accommodation, restaurants, transportation, tourist attractions and guide services.

Death After Dinner
Russian Tourist Found Dead in East Bali Tourist Inn

The Bali Post reports a Russian tourist has died under mysterious circumstances in a hotel in Karangasem, East Bali.

Discovered dead in the bathroom of his village by the owner and a security officer early on the morning of Wednesday, November 25, 2015, was Viktor Mozaleva, aged 53.

It is not clear, in the absence of a complete autopsy, if the Russian died from a chronic illness or food poisoning following a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

An alarm was raised for the man's safety by his wife, Tatiana Mozoleva (53), after her husband failed to reappear at 2:00 am after excusing himself earlier to go to the bathroom.

A preliminary examination of the man's body by the doctor at the Penta Medika Clinic in Manggis showed no external injuries. The body was removed to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar for a possible autopsy.

The Danger of Drinks and Drugs
Mixture of Drug and Alcohol May Have Precipitated Death of 35-Year-Old Canadian in Kuta, Bali

A 35-year-old Canadian tourist, Trent Parker Tiviotdale, was found dead in the Komala Home Stay on Jalan Poppies in Kuta on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm.

As reported by NusaBali, police suspect that Tiviotdale may have succumbed to a mixture of drugs and alcohol after attending a local night club the night before.

The man's body was discovered when a local woman left his accommodation in search of food on Wedneday morning, only to return to find the Canadian unresponsive. The woman had met the man at a local night club the previous evening.

An ambulance was called to evacuate the man who was pronounced dead on arrival at the BIMC Hospital in Kuta.

The woman said the couple met at a bar on Jalan Legian in Kuta where they drank from 11:00 pm until 1:30 am on Wednesday morning. The couple purchased 5 bottles of beer to bring to the man's hotel where they continued to drink until 5:30 a.m.. Following the drinking binge, Tiviotdale reportedly took an unknown medication.

When police inspected the man's room they found no medications.

Police are seeking an autopsy in order to gain a fuller understanding of the man's death.

A Fragrant Waste
Two Contractor Die in Industrial Accident at South Bali Resort

Two outside contractors hired to clear a sewage line at The Laguna, Luxury Collection Resort and Spa in Nusa Dua died and another injured on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 when they were apparently overcome with noxious fumes while trying to clear an enclosed drain.

As reported by NusaBali, DenPost and The Bali Post, pronounced dead at the scene were two employees of CV Dewata Bimantara - Suyono (45) and Gimin Harianto (39), while a third worker Susiadi (42) was rushed to the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar for further treatment.

The company employing the men had been called in the late afternoon on Wednesday to the Hotel to repair a clogged septic line. The 3 men were reportedly overcome when they opened a manhole cover and inhaled a rush of poisonous gas.

A subsequent report in Radar Bali quoted the owner of the CV Dewata Bimantara, Muhammad Ramli, telling the press that although standard operating procedures (SOP) are in place to ensure job safety, his company responded to an urgent call for assistance from the Hotel without bringing their full range of equipment.

Ramli, speaking during an interview at the Denpasar Police Station that despite labor and manpower regulations stipulating to the contrary, he will not be paying any compensation to the families of the deceased men.

ISIS is Not Welcome in Bali
Police and Military in Bali on Guard Against Returning Radicals with Past ISIS Connections

The State Intelligence Agency (BIN) estimates that 100 Indonesians who joined ISIS in Syria have returned to the Republic to possibly foment unrest and terrorism.

As reported by DenPost, this situation is being monitored by intelligence officers assigned to the 9th Udayana Military Command and the Provincial Police of Bali who have enhanced security measures and stepped up the alert status in order to eradicate any incipient radical and terrorist movements.

The chief information office for the Udayana Command, Lt. Col Julius Hotman Hotahaean, told the press that there are no concrete indications that radical elements have entered into the Province of Bali. At the same time, he warned, the Indonesian Armed Forces cannot relax their guard and have therefore increased their vigilance to prepare for a variety of situations.

“The Armed Forces are coordinating and synergizing with the national police and other relevant agencies in order to bar entry by radical elements into Bali and Nusa Tenggara, areas that remains under the Udayana Military Command,” said Julius on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

He explained that current preventative efforts are focused on the seaports and airport entrances to Bali. Meanwhile, joint patrols carried out by the military and the police have been increased, areas exposed to infiltration by radicals have been placed under strict surveillance, and foreigners resident in Bali are also being monitored.

The spokesman for the Bali Police, Hery Wiyanto, said the Bali police are seeking the identity of the 100 Indonesian citizens said to have returned from Syria in order to coordinate surveillance of these people in cooperation with BIN and the elite Densus 88 Anti-terror squad,

Wiyanto reminded that the public has a key role to play in controlling and detecting radical elements harboring bad intentions. In this regard, he said police are coordinating with the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to be made aware of the names and background of those renting accommodation in Bali.

Seeking to be Understood
Bali Has Urgent Need for 200 More Chinese Speaking Tour Guides

Bali is suffering an acute shortage of Mandarin-speaking licensed guides to meet the needs of the fast-growing Mainland Chinese market to the Island.

Quoted by, the head of the Bali Tourism Academy (STP), Dewa Byomantara, speaking in Jakarta on Wednesday, November 25, 2015, confirmed that Bali needs an additional 200 guides with Chinese language proficiency. This is in addition to the current 600 Mandarin-speaking guides that Byomantara says are now available on the Island.

“The growth in Chinese visitors is dramatic. The number of Chinese visitors has displaced Japan in the rankings. At the same time, many Chinese visitors do not speak English,” he explained.

In an effort to meet the need for more Chinese-speaking guides, Chinese language training is being given to guides who already have an English language proficiency.

In 2014 some 950,000 Chinese tourists visited Indonesia. While Chinese visitors rank fourth in importance nationally, Chinese visitors now hold second-place in Bali rankings after visitors from Australia.

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism has identified Chinese travelers as essential to plans to double overall tourist arrivals within five years.

Pointing to Indonesia's near neighbors of Thailand and Singapore that manage to attract some 10 million Chinese tourists every year, tourism officials are confident that there remains room for substantial growth from the Chinese market.

Bali's Airport as a Transit Point
Bali to Have Airport Hotel in Early 2016

PT Angkasa Pura I – the management authority for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has announced that they will open an airport hotel at the Island’s Airport in 2016. Upon opening, the Bali airport hotel will be the third of its kind owned by Angkasa Pura, after hotels already in place at the Surabaya and Makassar airports.

Quoted by, Sulistyo Wimbo Hardjito, the CEO of PT Angkasa Pura I based in Jakarta said that the hotel might open as early as March 2016.

Saying he hoped that the Bali airport hotel would duplicate the success of the first two airport hotels operated by PT Angkasa Pura, Wimbo said that the Makassar airport property has achieved a 70% average occupancy rate generated by transit passengers.

PT Angkasa Pura I's subsidiary PT Angkasa Pura Hotels is working in cooperation with the Accor Group to manages the Angkasa Pura’s hotel business. PT Angkasa Pura Hotels opened its first property in 2013 with the opening of the IBIS Budget Surabaya Airport property followed by the IBIS Budget Makassar Airport that opened in April 2014.

Keeping Things Equal
Garuda Indonesia Charged with Sex Discrimination by its Female Cabin Crew reports that the Indonesian national flag carrier is embroiled in a case before the Indonesia Industrial Relations Court in Jakarta accused of age and sex discrimination by a former member of its award-winning cabin crew.

A former stewardess, Sri Yanelvia Dewi, told the Court on Monday, November 23, 2015: “ PT Garuda Indonesia has ignored our service. Skytrax has praised Garuda for ‘The World’s Best Cabin Crew’ for the past two years. This is not unconnected with our hard work and dedication. However, PT Garuda Indonesia just tossed us aside.”

Sri Yanelvia Dewi is a member of the cabin crew for Garuda Indonesia who is being required to retire at age 46, an age younger than the age of 56 agreed in the joint working agreement signed between the Airline and its employees.

Sri, joined by 32 other Garuda stewardesses, was in attendance at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday, November 23, 2015 in a hearing challenging an August 15, 2005 decision made by the Airline’s former CEO, Emirsyah Satar that allededly was unilateral in changing the retirement age for stewardesses to 46.

Emirsyah’s decision, according to the stewardesses, was in opposition to the joint labor agreements negotiated with the airline stipulating a retirement age for both stewards and stewardesses of 56.

In addressing objections filed by the defendants, the lead judge hearing the case affirmed that the stewardesses retirement age of 56 formed a part of the joint labor agreement. In January 2004, Garuda distributed a memorandum asking the stewardesses to sign an understanding agreeing to a lower retirement age of 46.

Meanwhile, according to the Court, PT Garuda Indonesia has not distributed a similar memorandum to its male stewards, creating the impression sex discrimination by the National carrier.

The attorney representing the plaintiffs told the Court that such discriminatory behavior by Garuda was in violation of the labor law of 2004 that guarantees equal treatment in the workplace, regardless of sex. Because of this, the attorney said stewardess should be allowed to work until the agreed retirement age of 56.

Irfansyah Siregar, an attorney representing Garuda Indonesia before the court refused to comment on the case to the press. However, in earlier pleadings before the Court, Siregar rejected the stewardesses’ claims of discrimination, saying the lower retirement age was undertaken at the request of the female cabin crew.

The case continues before the Court.

All Roads do Not Necessarily Lead to Mecca
Bali Rejects Moves to Promote Island as Syariah Tourism Destination

After being the focus of an angry barrage of criticism and street demonstrations, the chairman of the Islamic Economic Society (Masyarakat Ekonomi Syariah-MES), Dr. Dadang Hermawan, has vehemently denied accusations that the MES is attempting to establish Islamic-oriented Syariah tourism villages (Wisata Desa Syariah) in Bali. Moreover, as quoted by, Dadang admitted that syariah tourism was not appropriate for Bali.

The MES is a Jakarta-based non-profit organization that seeks to develop and assist Islamic banking and other Islamic businesses in Indonesia.

Speaking in Denpasar at a gathering of community organizations, Dadang insisted he had the right to respond to misrepresentations on his position in the mass media, said: “I never discussed that. It incorrectly reported. There was no discussion of syariah tourism villages.”

After receiving input from leaders in Bali, Dadang has concluded that syariah tourism is not appropriate in Bali where it will foster a tendency toward sectarianism and misinformation regarding certain religions. Adding, “We will avoid using religious symbols in Bali and change our working program to avoid the use of the word ‘syariah’in Bali – a very sensitive topic in Bali.”

Some participating in the discussion of syariah tourism in Bali were outspoken in their opposition to the concept, claiming it could be seen as creating a monotone character to Indonesian tourism by limiting diversity and that the very term contains religious inferences not acceptable to Bali’s majority Hindu population.

One contributor, Adnyana of the Hindu Nusantara Network pled that Bali should not involve itself in syariah tourism with its religious undertones. Adding: “Such terms as ‘warung muslim’ or ‘warung mualaf’ should not be used in Bali. Later, there will be ‘warung halal’ that will lead to ‘warung haram.’ These things are not appropriate in Bali and we ask for calmness and peace for all religions in Bali. If you have a personal religious conviction, feel free, as this will bring you peace, but not via syariah tourism.”

Another speaker, Ngurah Harta, called for Bali to retain its individual character and protect the principle of pluralism, saying the plan for syariah tourism threatened public peace.

Meanwhile, Bali’s Governor Made Pastika has voiced his opinion on syariah tourism, saying it had no place in Bali’s Hindu-dominated culture.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Pastika discounted any need for Islamic-based tourism in Bali, saying: "I disagree with it. It would only cause an uproar; [tourism] has been running well."

Meanwhile, those defending the concept contend that Islamic-based tourism was not about changing local culture, but simply about presenting a destination as Islamic-friendly to those of that faith. Defenders point to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand as countries promoting syariah tourism without compromising local cultural values and traditions. In fact, Thailand, where the majority of citizens are Buddhists, was recently voted the world’s best Islamic Health Destination.

Love Among Island Republics
TripAdvisor: Singapore Travelers Picking Bali as their Top Holiday Destination for Q1 2016

TripAdvisor reports that Bali is the most popular holiday destination for Singaporean planning a trip in Q1 2016.

Based on search data over the TripAdvisor website, Singaporeans visited Bali-related hotels and attractions featured on their website with greater frequency than any other destination. Among the other holiday spots frequented by Singapore TripAdvisor users were Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Osaka, Kyoto, Seoul, Sapporo, Boracay and Langkawi.

Within the group of the top ten destinations, Bali ranked as the third cheapest with a one-week holiday costing an average S$1,706. Langkawai was the cheapest place to visit an average cost of S$1,428. Those in the mood to spend more paid S$3,051 for a week in Kyoto.

For the period January-September 2015, Singaporean visitors to Bali ranked #7 among all foreign visitors, but are down 18.2% year-on-year for the first nine months of 2015 versus the same period in 2014.

Bali Hai Cruises Sailing into the Future
Bali Hai Cruises Awards Contract for Design of a New Day Vessel for their Bali-based Cruise Operation reports that Bali Hai Cruises has given a contract to International Maritime Consultants (IMC) for the design of a new vessel for their popular Bali-based day cruise and dinner cruise market.

The design prepared to a brief from the Bali cruise operator also tasked IMC to help find the right shipyard to build the ship.

The new ship will have a twin propulsion system capable to carrying the ship through the water at 25 knots per hour.

Made from aluminum, the 40-meter-long catamaran will also have the ability to sail quietly under electrical power for Bali’s Hai evening dinner cruises in Benoa Harbor.

The design brief calls for a vessel capable of carrying 400 passengers, an increase from the 36-meter-long Bali Hai II that carries 315 passengers.

Founder and managing director of Bali Hai Cruises, Dick Chandler, commenting on plans for the new vessels said,” A foundation of our success has been bespoke quality vessels, maintained to the highest standards. This new project reflects both our confidence in Bali's tourism industry and our intention to consolidate our leading market position through the introduction of another world-class vessel.”

Playing Possum on the Death Penalty
Indonesian Coordinating Minister Accused of Sending Mixed Signals on Plans for Imminent Executions

The Jakarta Globe reports that Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs for Indonesia, Luhut Pandjaitan, is back tracking and denying widely-reported comments attributed to him in the Indonesian press suggesting Indonesia was putting on hold plans for more executions at least until such a time as the economy improves. 

In a breathtaking reversal, Pandjaitan said: “There is no moratorium on the death penalty. The government never mentioned any moratorium.”

The Minister now vehemently denies ever saying executions would stop to allow the national leadership to focus on the economy.

While Pandjaitan admits he said the main focus of the government was on the economy, he denies every making any linkage to a delay in executions,

Related Article

Ready, Aim. . . Wait!

Balancing Baliís North and South
BTDC Exploring a Second Nusa Dua Style Complex for North Bali

DenPost reports that the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) – the State-owned Company that owns and managed the Nusa Dua Complex has expressed a desire to soon develop and manage a 600-hectare development located near Pulau Menjangan in Buleleng, North Bali.

The plans for the second major BTDC project in Bali were revealed by the CEO of the Company, Abdulbar M. Mansoer, in Nusa Dua on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

Mansoer said the North Bali development was being done at the invitation of Bali’s Vice-governor, Ketut Sudikerta.

Sudikerta offered the large North Bali Parcel to BTDC in the hope that a more equitable distribution of development could be achieved between the Island’s North and South.

Mansoer has taken action on Sudikerta’s offer via a meeting with provincial officials to collect data and details on the parcel of land in order to seek a principle permit for the project. Eventually, Mansoer said, a proposal for cooperation between BTDC and the Province of Bali would be put forward.

Supporting the plan for the BTDC North Bali Project is the State-Owned Company’s Commissioner, Gede Ardika, who applauds the plan as an example of sustainable development. Ardika is the former Minister of Tourism for Indonesia.

An Official Check Up
9 Foreign Workers Examined in Immigration Inspection of Bali Health Services Provider

Surprise inspections by Bali Immigration officers over two days in Kuta has netted nine foreigners reportedly unable to present the proper immigration and work permits.

DenPost says that three of the nine were unable to present a legal work permit. Reportedly taken into custody by immigration officials, one of the three was an Australian national without a work permit while two were French nationals found to be misusing their stay permits.

The remaining six netted in the inspections raids were two Australians, one New Zealander, one Pilipino, one Indian and one Japanese. Based on data supplied by personnel managers of the relevant companies, the six were working as hospital advisor, project manager and quality control.

Hermansyah, the head of the Foreigner Surveillance Team (PORA), said the nine would be processed according to the law. The immigration department would administer those violating immigration rules, while those having issues with their working papers would be handled by the Manpower Department.

The two-day inspection focused on companies providing health services in the area under the supervision of the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office.

Optimistic About Baliís Economy in 2016
Bank Indonesia Predicts 6.53% Economic Growth and Inflation of 2.98% for Bali in 2016.

Bank Indonesia is predicting the Island of Bali's economy will grow 6.53% in 2016, driven primarily strong consumer demand, investments and exports.

The head of the Bank Indonesia Bali office, Dewi Setyowati, told Nusa Bali that the local economy would also be boosted by increased government spending on infrastructure projects and increased investment and exports that the Bank sees as following a global trend.

The 6.53% growth rate is, however, below the official targeted growth rate of between 6.83-7.56%. In order to meet these targets, the Bank Indonesia – Bali chief said added extraordinary effort by the regional government is required.

Bank Indonesia is projecting that inflation in Bali in 2016 will be somewhat lower that the national average that is projected at between 5.3 -5.9%. Setyowati is optimistic that inflation in Bali can be held at 2.98% in 2016.

Bank Indonesia also highlights plans to upgrade and improve facilities at major ports around Bali as key to stimulating economic growth.

Don't Be Gone in a Flash! Shares Safety Tips for Motorcyclists and Other Outdoor Sports Enthusiasts on What to Do When Lightning Strikes

With Bali’s delayed rainy season showing signs of commencing in fits and starts, the island recorded its first fatalities by lightning strike with the death of two watermelon farmer in West Bali.

With an estimated more than one million motorcycles traveling on Bali’s roads, offers some practical tips to motorcyclists who may be at added risk of being hit by a life-threatening bolt of lightening during the almost daily rainstorms expected in Bali starting in early December.

This information, culled from various sources, including the National Lightning Safety Institute (USA), may also be of value to golfers, hikers, cyclists, surfers, fishermen and anyone who may get caught in a sudden downpour.

Be Aware of the Weather. Know that you are in Bali on holiday during the rainy season and plan accordingly. When it even starts looking like rain, it's time to find a safe, dry place to wait for the weather to pass and calmly accept that whatever your plans for the rest of the day, the Bali weatherman has made other plans for you. Remeber, patience is a virtue.

And, while raincoats and ponchos reflect good planning, they offer no protection from a lightening strike. In fact, an umbrella deployed on a nature walk or during a round of golf can transform a humble tourist into a lightning rod in a “flash.”

Be Aware of your Location. The best place to be when weather turns to rain is in a substantial building (not a thatched covered road side stand). Proper buildings will absorb a lightning strike without injuring those inside.

If you’re outside as a storm descends or approaches, avoid water, high ground and open spaces. Keep a distance from ALL metal objects; this includes your motorcycle, bicycle, golf clubs, metal fences, street lighting poles and machinery.

However, if you are driving in a car and not in direct contact with any steel portion of the vehicle, you are relatively immune from the ill effects of a lightning strike.

Be Prepared to Wait. Take shelter as the clouds darken and you see signs of rain ahead. If you can't turn back away from the coming rains, then take shelter in a nearby building. Experts advise that the risk of a lightning strike can persists for up to 30-minutes after the rains have stopped

Warning Signs. In a rain storm or as you approach a storm's perimeter, should you feel your hair standing on end or hear ‘crackling noises” - this means you are in the electrical field or strike zone of a bolt of lightning and a potentially fatal lightning strike may only be moments away.

IMMEDIATELY remove metal objects, including hats, helmets and jewelry. IMMEDIATELY move away from metal objects, including motorcycles and golf clubs.
IMMEDIATELY place your feet together, lower your head and assume a crouching position with your hands on your knees.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has specific recommendations for motorcyclists.

The ONLY safe choice is to be inside a safe building. If you are riding a motorcycle and there is no safe shelter available, the following steps will slightly lessen the odds of a deadly lightning strike:
  • Don’t seek shelter under a tall, isolated tree. While the tall tree will keep you dry, they have repreatedly been hit by lightning in the past and will undoubtedly be struck again. Standing under a tall tree in a storm can kill you.
  • Don’t seek shelter in roadside food stands or picnic stands. They offer no safety from a lightning strike and may, in fact, increase the possibility of a strike.
  • In general, stay away from tall, isolated objects, Lighting seeks out the tallest object. Make sure you are not the object (on an open highway) or anywhere near such an object.
  • Be aware of the weather, read the forecasts and keep an eye to the sky. Bali is an island and weather can change very quickly and dramatically. 
  • Stay away from metal objects. This includes your motorcycle. As a lightning strike dissipates it can carry over a long distance. 
  • Pull over and take shelter in a building when you see menacing clouds and then wait 30 minutes after the last thunder burst before resuming your trip.
  • If you see dark clouds gathering ahead, consider turning around and heading back in the direction from which you came.
  • Absolutely never ride your motorcycle in a lightning storm
  • While highway underpasses offer some safety from lightning, for cultural reasons they are almost non-existent in Bali and it is in all probability both futile and dangerous to drive on looking for one as possible shelter in a rain storm in Bali.
  • If high voltage tension wires cross the road, you should seriously consider standing beneath the wires. While you should not be within 20 meters of the metal towers that carry the wires, these high voltage wires have been designed to withstand and absorb lightning strikes by sending the charge deep into the ground. While you’ll get wet standing under a high-voltage line in a thunderstorm, you are relatively safe from a lightning strike. Again, remove metal objects (e.g. a framed backpack and your helmet) and park your motorcycle at least 20 meters from where you’ll be standing.
  •  If you get caught in the open and see lightning occurring within 8-10 kilometers and can't get immediate shelter in a building then you are best to stop riding, dismount your motorcycle and take refuge by sitting or lying down in a low spot or ditch. For obvious reasons, DO NOT lie down in a rain or drainage ditch.
Deadly lightning strikes happen almost every year in Bali. We hope these tips of traveling safe help keep our readers safe.

Related Article

Two Strikes  . . . 

Two Strikes . . .
Lightning Strike Kills Two Farmers in West Bali

Two watermelon farmers in the Jembrana Regency of Bali were killed on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm by a lightning strike on the small farming hut in which they sought shelter from the rain.

Dead are Ketut Budiastra (52) and Ni Made Sutiari (50) from the village of Gumbrik in Jembrana. The man and the woman were busy planting watermelons in a field as rains began to fall with increasing intensity. The two went to a lean-to in the middle of the field to shelter form the rain when lightning stuck the simple structure and apparently killed the pair instantly.

Other farmers working in nearby fields saw the lightning strike and ran to the shelter to lend assistance where they discovered the two were dead.

Police who have examined the bodies of the dead farmers, spoken with witnesses and visited the lean-to have concluded their death was due to a lighting strike.

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We Get Mail
Readers Respond to Coverage of an Aging Dokar Driver and Express Concerns About Island's Overdevelopment

Our article on the hard times faced by an 80-year-old dokar driver in Denpasar Buy My Horse, He’s Hungry!  and his hungry horse brought a number of concerned emails.
  • David reflected many other comments and suggested someone set up a fund for the man and his horse when he wrote:
"So sad . . .how can we help? Could you set up a secure funding for him? We will be happy to contribute."
  • Pamela from the USA sounded the same note:

"Could you tell me if there is there a way to help this man? Could someone perhaps set up a Go Fund Me page or something similar?"
  • Well know humanitarian Helen Flavel from Australia wrote:
"I read about that poor old man and his horse in Denpasar and I wonder if you could let me have some contact details , as whilst I may not be able to help the old man in his business, I might be able to arrange for the poor old horse to have a retirement instead of going to the knackers yard.(Editor’s note: the man’s address was in the article."
  • Caine wrote offering a suggestion that the man and his horse be moved to the crowded streets of Bud or Sanur:
"Is there a possibility for this dokar driver to work in an area of tourism where tourists would see it as a novel experience of traditional transport...for a higher fee .... bring him to Ubud/Sanur?"
  • Janice Girardi of the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) who crusades tirelessly on behalf of animals in Bali said:
"Thank you so much for publishing the article "Competing with Modernity, 80-year Old Dokar Driver in Bali's Capital of Denpasar Faces Difficulty in Feeding Himself and His Horse". BAWA receives countless calls and e-mails from concerned tourists every month about the horses in Kuta and throughout Bali. However, when we have tried to assist with the provision of water/ food/ veterinary care for the horses in Kuta, we have received a rather hostile response!"

"We are very touched by I Nengah Purna's story and for the compassion he expresses for his horse. We will endeavor to make contact with him and to see how we can best assist to ensure both I Nengah Purna and his horse are cared for."

  • Bali Beach Farm in South Bali wrote to say:
"We have plenty of land and can offer the old man a place for both him and his horse on the southwest coast of Bali. The buffalo herders and cow herders seem to find plenty of "grass" three times a day and there is a 'river' for the horse to bathe . Sadly, however, we do not have any spare cash to pay for the Dokar driver's food or the medical expenses for his horse. If any of your other readers could help with cash we can allow him and his horse to retire and live on our farm. We have 1.5 hectares."

Our Article Bali is Best  heaping praise on moves in Bali to reduce bureaucratic corruption and inefficiency and other article on Bali, brought moans from several quarters:
  • A writer identifying himself as Peter Beilby wrote:
“This praise is a joke! On behalf of a client we have just completed the process of obtaining a Surat Penyanding in Badung. A Surat Penyanding is a statement from adjoining businesses/neighbours that they have no objection to your business being located next to them. The illegal payments demanded of us by the Kepala Lingkungan Legian Kaja, the Kelurahan Legian and Kecamatan Kuta were totally exhorbitant! But they forced us to pay by refusing to sign the Surat Penyanding until we did. Some months ago we did a similar exercise in the region of Kota Denpasar. We did not encounter this graft. Badung is renown in the business community for the graft payments it continues to elicit from businesses for all manner of administrative requirements. In Jakarta, the Governor Ah Hok, has almost totally removed such corruption. Would that Badung follows suit!"
  • Henry wrote to complain about urban development said:
“Hotels and more is about time some thought went into infrastructure and overcrowded roads if they want more tourists. A reduction, or a complete ban on outdoor advertising would also be very welcome. And they are wondering why many tourists will never come back? "

The Jewel of Baliís North Shore
The Lovina Bali - the Way Luxury in North Bali was Meant to Be

Located some 2-3 hours scenic drive from South Bali, The Lovina Bali occupies a 200-meter stretch of unspoiled beachfront on the Island’s north shore at Lovina.

Lovina – a termed coined by the North Bali Indonesian novelist and royal prince Anak Agung Pandji Tisna, is an acronym for “Love Indonesia” reflecting both the natural beauty of this area and Pandji Tisna’s deep regard for his Kingdom.
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In keeping with its name and reputation, The Lovina Bali is framed by a backdrop of the Bedugul Mounntains, bordered by a glistening black sand beach and facing the azure Bali Sea. The Resort offers the luxury of privacy with the option of mingling with the personable locals in nearby shops, restaurants and bar. Singaraja, the provincial capital of the Regency of Buleleng and the former capital of Bali in colonial times, is only a 15-minute drive from the Resort.
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The accommodation on offer at The Lovina Bali is every bit as palatial as its setting. There are no “standard” rooms to be found among the Resorts collection of 48 suites, 16 villas and 2 penthouses that are served by 27 swimming pools, including the 2 main public pools.

There is a choice of ocean, garden or mountain-view accommodation spread across 10 room categories – each generous in space and built to welcome sea breezes and radiant sunlight.

Lovina and Bali’s north shore remain something of an unexplored secret to most Bali visitors. Within easy reach of The Lovina Bali are natural waterfalls, hot springs, and rich coral reef that are  home to playful pods of dolphins.

Culture and recreation seekers will need to decide between snorkeling and diving, championship golf, a Buddhist monastery, strawberry fields, wine vineyards and Bali’s only national park and a working pearl farm.

Guest staying at The Lovina Bali often feel compelled to extend their stay in order to be able to visit local attraction and still have time to simply luxuriate, enjoying the many indulgences available without ever leaving the Resort. While away the entire day at the Body Tonic Spa or, upon request, request in room spa therapies for those stubbornly steadfast in refusing to abandon the opulence of their accommodation. Feeling peckish? The Heliconia Restaurant offers both international and local cuisine while gazing over the other end of the food chain – the rice fields of Bali. There’s also a well-stocked Beach Bar, Fitness Studio and Kid’s Club.
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Doing nothing is a highly refined art, mastered by few. But for those staying at The Lovina Bali will never be in a position to complain there’s "nothing to do" either in the hotel or along the north coast of the world’s most beautiful island.
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Dwi Dharmawijaya - General Manager
The right man in the right job is the best way to describe the very capable general manager of The Lovina Bali. A native Balinese committed to sharing the many wonders of his island with his guests, Dwi Dharmawijaya has held senior management roles at some of Bali’s finest hotels and resorts, including an extended period as Chief Purser on a luxury cruise ship. Along the way he acquired an understanding of five-star service and a love of the ocean – both perfectly joined as he helms the beachside The Lovina Bali.

The Lovina Bali

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Bali Update #650
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Bali Update #645
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Bali Update #644
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Bali Update #643
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Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #601
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #598
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #592
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
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Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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