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Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #943 - 29 September 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Out in Force
Bali Police to Deploy 7,000 Personnel to Keep Lebaran Holidays Safe

The Bali Police will assign 7,000 personnel spread across key areas of the island to maintain peace and order in the period leading up to and during the Lebaran Holidays.

The spokesman for the Bali police, Hariadi, quoted by Seputarbali.com, said on Thursday, July 26, 2012, “We will deploy two-thirds of our force or around seven thousand officers.”

He said his office would deploy officers at key selected locations based on their experience over previous holidays.

The thousands of policemen on duty over the holidays will be assigned to busy areas of Bali such as shopping centers, tourist objects, places of worship, seaports, land transport terminals and the Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Banks and financial institutions are also on the list of key locations following the theft of Rp. 490 million (US$52,700) from a customer of the BCA Bank on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. In that incident, a customer  was robbed after leaving the bank when his tires were punctured and men offering to assist made off with the cash.

Hariadi also asked the public to contact the police and ask assistance whenever they are carrying large sums of money to and from a bank.


A Rose by Any Other Name
Patra Jasa Rebrands its Bali Hotel as Patra Jasa Bali Resort and Villas

PT Patra Jasa, the corporate holding company for The Patra Bali Resort & Villa, have announced a name and logo change for their 228-room beach side property on South Kuta Beach.

The new logo (shown on Balidiscovery.com) and new branding as Patra Jasa Bali Resort and Villas become effective July 17, 2012.

In business for 37 years, PT Patra Jasa operates a total of 7 hotels and resorts across Indonesia, an office complex in Jakarta, a residential and town house complex in Jakarta and a catering service company.

The company affirmed that the change in branding will not affect websites, email addresses, telephones or facsimiles – that will all remain unchanged.


Key Man to Know in Bali
Humphrey Andreas Head Concierge of St. Regis Bali Recognized by Les Clefs díOr

Humphrey Andreas Zuther, chief concierge at The St. Regis Bali Resort has been accorded full membership status in Les Clefs d’Or Singapore – an elite association of the world’s leading concierges employed at some of the world’s most highly regarded hotels and resorts.

Enrolled as an “adherent member” in the Les Clefs d’Or Singapore since 2009, Humphrey's proven expertise and adherence to the highest standards of the profession concierge allows him to now wear the coveted golden keys on his lapel

Commenting on the distinction, Zuther said: “I am the only member in Bali to achieve this status and I take it very seriously. I waited for 5 years for these keys and I am very proud of my accomplishment, but what that tells me is there is more work to be done. I must continue improving my knowledge, not only for the Bali clients but also the international market - each with different requirements.”

Les Clefs d'Or is an international network of men and women committed to assisting international travellers and tourist via their chosen profession as concierges. Each concierge prides him or herself on possessing an encyclopaedic understanding of their hotel and destination, able to impart inside information and expertise to their clients visiting on business or holiday.

Encouraging friendship and solidarity among its members, Les Clefs d'Or also emphasizes the need to continually improve professional skills.

By their Charter, Les Clefs d’Or members are always expected to be presentable, courteous, helpful, knowledgeable and experienced and, ideally, multi-lingual.

In order to qualify for membership in The Les Clefs d’Or an individual must have a minimum of 7 years experience in the hospitality industry and a minimum of 5 years in the capacity of a concierge.

Born in East Java, Humphrey Andreas Zuther joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1993 in the Front Office and Reservations Department with the then named Sheraton Laguna Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. Excelling in his front office role and earning high praise for his guest handling skills, he became part of the concierge team at the rebranded The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in 2006. In 2008 he was promoted to Assistant Chief Concierge and later, in 2010, to Chief Concierge.

In 2011, The St. Regis Resort Bali, a sister-hotel, enlisted Humphrey to benefit from the expert guidance of the Lead Butler, St. Regis Asia Pacific, Carlos Constanzo. Carlos quickly recognized Humphrey’s special gifts for bespoke service at the St. Regis where he manages a team of 4 concierges.

Married and with two sons, Humphrey mixes his love of travel with a serious interest in photography. Weekends in Bali are spent exploring the island with his boys, recording the beautiful aspects of the island with his camera. He uses these forays to also further sharpen his knowledge base, gathering new insights and information to be shared with his hotel’s guests.

Revealing the secrets of his success, Humphrey says “you must maintain the highest level of networking with concierges around the world to deliver to your guest that same experience wherever they may travel, but mostly, you’ve got to love what you do!”

[Book a Stay at the St. Regis Resort Bali]


New Boss at Anantara Seminyak
Anantara Seminyak Bali Appoints new General Manager

Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort & Spa have appointed Christiane Doris Wasfy as general manager.

Wasfy assumed her new post in June 2012.

Before joining Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort & Spa, Wasfy served as general manager of the Anantara Sanya Resort & Spa on Hainan Island in China, successfully overseeing the property’s pre-opening phase.

Born in Austria, Christiane Wasfy was born to the hospitality business growing up in a family that owned a farm and a hotel. Graduating from Austria’s Commercial Academy, she has spent the past 30 years establishing a reputation as a professional hotelier.

Past hospitality assignments have brought her to Austria, Myanmar and Dubai, before assuming general manager roles at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel, the Philippines and the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, Vietnam. She then spent six years in China as general manager for Marriott properties in Sanya, Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, as well as the Renaissance in Shanghai.

Active in the community, Wasfy’s has served as a vice-president for the American Chamber Commerce, European Chamber of Commerce and German Business Association, as well as a board member for various tourism committees.

Wasfy speaks English, German, Italian, French and Arabic, and is a keen cultural explorer.

[Book a Stay at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort and Spa]


Get Well Soon, Pak Made!
Absence of Baliís Governor Undergoing Medical Treatment in Singapore Fuels Rumors and Concern

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika’s absence from the island since July 11, 2012 has been the focus of much widespread speculation and concern.

In Singapore for what is officially described as a "routine medical check-up," the spokesman for the governor’s office, I Ketut Teneng, assured the press that Pastika remains in regular contact with his staff via telephone from Singapore.

Teneng said on Thursday that he was in communication with governor Pastika on matters related to provincial administration. During a recent conversation, said Teneng, the governor issued his profound thanks to the deputy-governor A.A.N. Puspayoga, members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) and the people of Bali for their expression of concern for his state of health.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the governor announced via his spokesman that he “was fine, had never collapsed, not fainted, nor was he in critical condition as some have recently indicated was the case.”

Teneng said the governor was indeed fine and hoped to return to Denpasar in the very near future. Earlier, Teneng had told the press that the governor was in a "sterile" room that did not allow distractions from outside visitors and caller.

As reported, the general check up carried out at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on July 12, 2012, indicated the governor required a non-specified medical procedure. Dr. Philip Koh from Mount Elizabeth in a statement issued on July 21st said about the governor, “He needs to rest well in order to fully recover.”

Dr. Philip Koh medical specialty at Mount Elizabeth Hospital is listed as a cardiologist.

Missing From Buleleng Regent’s Installation

The continuing absence of the governor necessitated the deputy-governor AAN Puspayoga filling in for the ailing governor at a ceremony inaugurating the new regent Putu Agus Suradnyana and vice-regent Nyoman Sutjidra for Buleleng regency.

The inauguration in Buleleng remains hotly contested with the defeated candidates appealing the election results before the Indonesian Supreme Court and the Bali Election Committee.


An Island Most Appealing
Bali Post Files Formal Appeals of Court Decision in Favor of Bali Governor Pastika

The Bali Post, via attorney Agus Sujoko and a team of lawters, formally filed an appeal on July 27, 2012, challenging the ruling in favor of Bali’s governor in his suit against Bali’s largest daily newspaper.

The team of lawyers representing the newspaper personally delivered the appeal to the Denpasar High Court.

Sujoko told the press, as reported by The Bali Post, that the basis of the appeal rested on his client’s belief that the judges ruling set aside and did not consider a number of legal facts in coming to their verdict. Among the facts cited by Sujoko was the testimony of the vice-regent of Klungkung Tjokorda Gede Agung who confirmed before the court that the governor did call for the dissolution of the traditional villages (desa pakraman).

Governor Pastika has vehemently and steadfastly denied ever making such a statement.

According to The Bali Post legal team, the governor admitted before the court that he did call for the dissolution of two traditional villages should the two warring communities continued in their open state of conflict.

A member of the newspaper’s legal team, Suryatin Lijaya, had earlier explained that the appeal is based on a misinterpretation of the facts and a misapplication of the law. He said the material presented in the appeal process would revolve around two key issues. First, the fact that the governor did call for the dissolution of the traditional villages, even though he may have only intended the two villages in conflict at the time. “In fact, this point was clarified by the plaintiff himself. Even though this was admitted (by the governor), it did not form part of the decision issued by the judicial panel chaired by Amser Simandjuntak,” explained Lijaya.

Lijaya also claimed, in the response of the plaintiff to the answer provided by the defendant (The Bali Post) the governor freely admitted calling for the dissolution. “Only the defendant didn’t call for all desa pakraman to be dissolved, but only those involved in the current case. This is an admission,” said Lijaya.

Suryatin Lijaya questioned why the judges did not apply the Indonesian Press Law in the case. He said from a legal viewpoint there were already two prominent cases available to the court as a basis for comparison: the case of the family of former president Soeharto against TIME Magazine and another case in which businessman Tomi Winata sued Tempo Magazine. Both cases are still being reviewed before the courts, but in both instances the right of response to press reports was given priority.

It is Lijaya’s opinion that it is premature to decide that the press has broken the law if the right of response has yet to be exercised by the plaintiff. He went on to say that if the press preserved the right to respond, it cannot be said that they have violated the law. He bemoaned the fact that the governor failed to exercise his right of response, choosing instead to file a civil suit.


Tall Ship Calls on Bali
Chilean Navy Ship - T.S. Esmeralda Pays Visit to Bali

As part of a word cruise, the majestic T.S. Esmeralda - a steel-hulled four-masted barquentine tall ship of the Chilean Navy, and currently the second tallest and longest sailing ship in the world paid a call on the port of Benoa July 25-29, 2012.

A training ship with 321 officers, seamen, midshipmen and invited guests on board, the Esmeralda was first launched on May of 1953 and is now on its 57th major training cruise.

The ship was open to visits by the public from July 26-29th.

Before arriving in Bali the ship, nicknamed as La Dama Blanca (The White Lady), called on New Zealand and Australia. Its next port of call is Singapore before sailing to India, Israel, Turkey, Spain, Columbia and Ecuador. The ship will end its nine month world tour on December 21, 2012 when is sails into Valparaiso, Chile.
 


Bali Hyatt Kite Festival
17th Annual Kite Competition Between Staff of Bali Hyatt Hotel in Sanur Held on July 20, 2012

The Bali Hyatt in Sanur celebrated its 17th Annual Kite Festival on July 20, 2012.

This year’s event began with a parade from the Telaga Naga Restaurant to the beachfront with musical accompaniment for the marchers provided by a traditional Beleganjur Orchestra.

In all, eight lovingly fashioned Balinese kites made by different departments of the hotel competed for honors. Expressing the personalities and artistic aspirations of each group, the kits launches into the sky included:
  • Human Resources, Guest Activities, SPA and Security Department - Kite theme: Save the turtle
  • Kitchen and Steward Department - Kite theme: Culture of preserving the lobster
  • Accounting and Materials Department - Kite theme: Dewi Saraswati
  • Housekeeping and Laundry Department - Kite theme: Dewi Subadra
  • Engineering Department - Kite theme: Naga Basuki
  • Gardening - Kite theme: The legend of Koi fish
  • Food & Beverage Service Departments - Kite theme: Birds
  • Front Office and Sales Department - Kite theme: Garbage Bin
Each of the 8 groups were give a five-minute slot to send their kites skyward with a supporting cast performing dance and theatre in keeping with their kite’s theme.

Participants were scored for their efforts based on creativity, kite design, concept, teamwork and ingenuity, as well as its ability to fly.

The team awarded the highest score was the Engineering group whose theme was Naga Basuki.

Shown on Balidiscovery.com are pictures taken at the festivities of the Bali Hyatt’s 17th Annual Kite Festival

[Book a Stay at the Bali Hyatt]


Whatís Cooking in Jimbaran
InterContinental Bali Resort Welcomes Two New Chefs

InterContinental Bali Resort recently welcomed two highly talented new additions to their kitchen brigades. Italian Chef Egidio Latorraca has assumed responsibility for the kitchen of Bella Cucina while Chef Setyo Widjonanto brings over 20 years of Japanese culinary experience to KO.

Chef Egidio Latorraca

Egidio is a graduate from the Istituto Amerigo Vespucci and a Certified Master Chef of Italian Cuisine. His reputation for outstanding cuisine has paved a career path that has brought him from his native Italy to Europe, Australia and Asia.

A passionate traveler, Chef Egidio is happiest when he is exploring new destinations and sampling authentic cuisine. He believes that good food has the power to unite – be it the street delicacies of a traditional marketplace to the award-winning dishes of a star-rated restaurant.

At Bella Cucina, Chef Egidio shares the dining traditions of his native Italy via a repertoire of dishes infused with his own modernist twist. He has upgraded the menu of the already popular Italian restaurant situated on Jimbaran Bay to include cuisine that celebrates seasonal flavors and evokes emotion.

Chef Setyo Widjonanto

Chef Setyo is an Indonesian chef who has trained under the guidance of some of Japan’s finest chefs. Since 2005, he has worked exclusively at various outlets of the internationally renowned Nobu restaurant chain specializing in modern Japanese cuisine.

Well-versed in the art of preparing sushi, sashimi and omakase, Chef Setyo is meticulous about the quality of food that is served from his kitchen.

Understanding that Japanese cuisine is truly a feast for the senses, every dish he prepares must take the diner on a journey that both pleases the palate and is visually appealing.


An Unintended Extended Stay in Bali
Australian Hairdresser Gets 8 Years Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Bali

A 54-year-old Australian former hairdresser, Norman Myatt, was sentenced to 8-years in prison on Monday, July 27, 2012 after being found guilty of smuggling 1.1 kilograms of methamphetamines and hashish into Bali.

The sentence handed down by the panel of judges was considerably less than the 15 years sought by prosecutors.

As quoted in Beritabali.com, the chief presiding judge Gunawan Tri Budiono said, “The crime of the defendant was in opposition with the government program to abolish narcotics.”

In their written decision the judges found Myatt guilty of importing a Class I drug in violation of the national anti-narcotics laws.

Upon hearing the sentence, the Australian declared he would not appeal the decision of the court.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Atmaja, expressed his unhappiness at the light sentence, leaving open the possibility that his office might seek a heavier sentence

Myatt arrived on Thai Airways on February 27, 2012 where custom officials found 72 capsules of narcotics weighing 1.11 kilograms concealed in his gut.
 


Ladies First
Bali WISE Foundation Established to Improve the Life of Baliís Impoverished Women

The ROLE Foundation has launched Bali Women and Girls International Skills Education (Bali WISE).

Bali WISE is a community-based program that supports skills education for women in some of the most deprived areas of Bali. The program aims to improve the education of women, enhance their empowerment, increase their skill-base within the community and reduce overall poverty.

Bali WISE estimates that over two hundred thousand women are illiterate in Bali, and close to five hundred thousand women lack the necessary vocational training required to secure a job. As traditional jobs in agriculture and fisheries have disappeared in recent years, there is now an acute need to educate women in vocational skills such as hospitality, administration and sales.

Bali WISE aims to increase employment opportunities by providing literacy education, life skills and vocational training at its learning and development centre in Nusa Dua. The program also fosters a culture of on-going learning to encourage the transfer of learnt skills from women to their children so that the welfare of disadvantaged and poor families can be improved in a sustainable manner.

Mike O’Leary, CEO of ROLE and founder of Bali WISE said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the Bali WISE program. With the support from local and overseas companies and individuals, we are able to give back to this beautiful island in a sustainable and meaningful way through the education of women and girls.”

The Bali WISE learning and development centre has started with a program to educate 200 women. The centre also has a café and retail shop run by students to help with their training and to raise funds, and will be holding an annual fundraising event in October 2012.

[Bali Wise Website]
 


Bravo Maestro!
Bali Artist Nyoman Gunarsa Given Honorary Doctorate by ISI Yogyakarta

I Nyoman Gunarsa (60), known as the “Maestro of Contemporary Balinese Art,” has been given an honorary doctorate degree from the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of Arts (ISI).

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Gunarsa, a world-renowned artist in his own right and the founder of the Bali Museum of Classical Balinese Art (Museum Seni Lukis Klasik Bali), was presented with his honorary degree on Saturday, July 14, 2012, by the Rector of ISI Yogyakarta, Professor Dr. AM Hermien Kusamayati.

In presenting the honor, Gunarsa was cited for his services to contemporary painting. At the award ceremony Gunarsa delivered an address entitled” “Between Kerta Gosa and Yogyakarta: the Enlightenment of a Multi-cultural Aesthetic.

Gunarsa told his listeners that his exposure to art and artistry in Bali, such as the rich artifacts encountered at Kertagosa in Klungkung, formed the visual memories that became the “cultural capital” that allowed him to absorb the aesthetic and lessons taught during his years of study at ISI.

He credited his wide scope of painting and artistic activities available to him as a student in Yogyakarta as forming the cornerstone of his subsequent artistic development.

Gunarsa, a former instructor at ISI Yogyakarta, then thrilled the audience by demonstrating his ability to rapidly paint a portrait of a female model.


The Cost of Curbing Rabies
Bali Needs US$2.15 million Per Year to Keep Rabies Under Control

Bali needs an estimated Rp. 20 billion (US$2.15 million) each year to control rabies on the island. To date, however, the funds allocated to this purpose have only totaled between Rp. 10 – 13 billion (US$1.07 – US$1.4 million) annually. The funds used in fighting rabies have been primarily spent on buying rabies vaccine, operational costs in the administering of the vaccines and education of the local community on rabies-related issues.

The head of the Bali Agriculture and Animal Health Department for the Province of Bali, Putu Sumantra, told Beritabali.com on July 25, 2012, that funds used to fight rabies have been drawn approximately half from the provincial budget and half from the national budget.

The shortfall of funds has been covered in the past by donations from international agencies, such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Sumantra explained how the FAO gave 130,000 dosages of anti-rabies vaccines to Bali in the current year. These much needed medicines allowed Bali to carry on with the third phase of the current anti-rabies program.

Related Articles

[Bali Records its 6th Rabies Death of 2012]

[New Leash on Life]

[Bali Turning the Corner in Rabies War]

[A Hair of the Dog]


Flush with Success
Indonesian Tourism Ministry Preparing Special Awards for Public Parks with Clean Toilets

The Jakarta Globe reports that the Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is undertaking a form of “toilet training” by trying to instill higher standards for public toilet facilities at parks and other public places.

In order to shift focus by park managers to rest room standards, the Ministry plans to give awards to operations maintaining clean toilets.

Firmansyah Rahim, 

Director General of Tourist Destination Development at the Ministry of Tourism, recently announced to the press that a toilet assessment program commenced on May 14, 2012, and will continue until September 9, 2012 at 62 recreation parks spread across 16 different provinces of Indonesia.

Bathrooms passing muster will be eligible to win a 2012 Sapta Pesona Award for Clean toilets.

Working on the “blue ribbon committee” assessing whether or not a park’s toilets are up to snuff (or do we mean sniff?) are Naning S. Adiwoso, the chairman of the Indonesian Toilet Association, and Surdaryatmo of the Indonesian Consumer Foundation.

The awards will be presented on September 27, 2012 timed to fall on World Tourism Day.

Firmansyah said, “Toilet management should maintain cleanliness in order to improve services for both domestic and foreign tourists.”

The program for parks duplicates similar awards given in the past by the government to zoos, airports and museums who successfully maintain clean toilets.

The 2011 World Toilet Organization Survey ranked Indonesia’s public facilities below the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Scientific evaluation means used to objectify cleanliness standards include swabs to count the germ counts on toilets included in the survey.

[How to be Flush with Success]


Promoting Conferences to Bali
Bali Tourism Chief Urges Plans Move Ahead Without Delay to Form a Bali Convention Bureau

According to the Head of the Bali Tourism Service, IB Kade Subhiksu (Kadisparda), the island’s continuing failure to form a Bali Tourism Promotion Board need not represent an obstacle to the formation of a Bali Convention Bureau.

BisnisBali.com reports that Subhisku’s office fully supports the establishment of a Bali Convention Bureau, with Subhiksu citing to the National Tourism Law of 2009 and a subsequent decree issued by the Minister of Tourism and Culture in 2009, as authorizing the creation of a legal body charged with promoting meetings, conferences, incentives and exhibitions to Bali.

Moreover, because the laws governing the creation of an umbrella Bali Tourism Promotion Board or a Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association on Tourism (GIPI) stipulate their foundation be based on groupings of various stake holder organizations, Subhiksu contends that the BCB could merely act as one of the catalyst stake holding groups that would help found the long-awaited Promotion Board.

While his office is still awaiting suggestions and nominees for the formation of a Bali Tourism Promotion Board, Subhiksu insists plans to form a Bali Convention Bureau can move ahead without delay.


Instructions Included?
Airport Authority Asked to Keep Public and Travel Industry Fully Informed on Changes Underway at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport

Bagus Soediana, the head of the Bali Tourist Transport Association (PAWIBA) is calling on the managers of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to dedicate more time to explaining changing service standards to the public and travel industry during the period of rapid development now underway at the island’s sole air gateway.

Soediana says the many changes underway at the airport prompt many questions from tourist visitors. Because of this, he said changes in facilities and services need to be advised beforehand to all those who use the airport. Airport managers must communicate these changes to tourism stakeholder organizations such as the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), the Indonesian Conference and Convention Association (INCCA) and the Indonesian Association of Professional Conference Organizers (SIPCO) in order that these organizations can, in turn, inform their membership and clients.

The senior figure in Bali tourism said an improved level of communication between the airport authority and stakeholder organizations will also result in fewer complaints from the public.

Expanding on his theme, Soediana also called for the airport to be made user-friendlier through better signage and more information available to passengers.


AirAsia Seeking to Purchase Batavia Air
Plan by AirAsia Indonesia and Air Asia Berhad (Malaysia) to Purchase Batavia Air Subject to Indonesian Government Approval

Plans by Malaysia AirAsia to acquire Batavia Air may be sidetracked if the Indonesian Transportation Ministry does not issue its approval for the purchase. Quoted by The Jakarta Globe, the air transportation director Herry Bhakti said: “That means it is not yet certain if the ministry will approve the acquisition.”

Still to be determined is whether or not the proposed acquisition meets Indonesian government regulations of the maximum foreign ownership allowed for an Indonesian air carrier. Currently, foreign shareholdings in an Indonesian airline cannot exceed 49%.

The Malaysia Company AirAsia Berhad and its Indonesian partner AirAsia Indonesia owned by Fersindo Nusaperkasa and AirAsia Berhad are reported to be contemplating the proposed purchase of Batavia Air.

Fersindo’s president director, Dharmadi, is telling the press that AirAsia Indonesia will hold the mandatory 51% share in Batavia Air.

Press reports suggest that Batavia Air will be purchased at a price of US$80 million.



Batavia Air operates 33 aircraft comprised of 15 Boeing B737-300s, nine Boeing B737-400s, one Boeing B737-500s, one Airbus A321, five Airbus A320s and two Airbus 330s. 18 planes of the Batavia Air fleet are owned by the airline with the remaining aircraft on lease.


Family Planning
10 Things to Do with Your Kids on a Bali Holiday

Conde Nast Traveller has published a list of ten things for people visiting Bali with their children to do.

Some of the options included in their list and other options are:

[Sea Walking: Club Aqua Bali (For ages 9 to 12)]  Suitable for people who can’t swim and with no previous diving experience, children (and their parents) can walk on the ocean’s bottom viewing the sea life at depths of 3-5 meters using special breathing apparatuses.

[Adventure Time: Bali Treetop (For ages 4 to 17)] located in Bedugul, in the cooler mountain lake district of Bali, families with children as young as four can literally swing from tree to tree. A special Squirrel Yellow Circuit has been designed for the very youngest set (aged 4 to 8 years). Be sure to try the footbridge, monkey track, fishing net and mini Flying fox.

[Up Close with the wildlife: Bali Zoo (For ages 2 to 14)]  Located a short distance from Bali’s capital of Denpasar, the Bali Zoo features a petting area in addition to its extensive display of exotic wildlife.

White water rafting: [Bali SOBEK]  and [Bali Adventure Tours]  (For ages 7 to 15). Bali two leading white-water operators offer rafting adventures on the Ayung River and Telaga Waja River suitable for families with children as young as 7 year of age. Trips range for 1.5 to 2.5 hours and include a delicious lunch.

A natural education: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (For ages 3 to 12) – Bali has a number of unique temples that serve as sacred preserves for tribes of monkeys. Hang on to your glasses, camera and pocket contents that are often flinched by the cheeky monkeys. [Rent a Car with Driver for an Entire Day]  and “monkey around” with you children.

[Feathers aplenty: Bali Bird Park (For ages 2 to 12)]  The Bali Bird Park is home to some 1,000 birds covering 250 species. There are exciting walk-through displays where guests share an enclosure with the birds and plenty of chances to pose for a photograph with a tame feathered friend.

[Water sports and more: Waterbom Park (For ages 2 to 12)]  A landmark in Bali since 1993, the constantly evolving park has a mind-boggling array of water attractions including giant slides, boomerangs and meandering moats to float on.

[Animals and more: Bali Safari and Marine Park (For all age groups)]  This park has it all! The largest collection of exotic animals, a marine park and now an exciting theatre with stage performances presented by 250 performers and an entire menagerie of wildlife.

[Go diving: Nusa Lembongan Island (For ages 8 and above)
]  Put yourself in the capable hands of one of Bali’s most experience dive operators and explore the underwater wonders surrounding Bali’s nearest island neighbors.

[Burst of culture: Devdan Show Bali (For ages 4 to 12)]  The Devdan show is definitely on the list of “most do” in Nusa Dua. A 90-minute show stage by a talented troupe of dancers using spectacular stagecrafts, including daring rope and wire effects, are just part of the fun that awaits at these evening performances.

Clearly, Bali offers a large range of fun-filled family options.


Bali Trade Talk Set for December 2013
World Trade Organizer Ministerial Meeting Coming to Bali in Early December 2013

Bali will host an inter-ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) during the first week of December 2013.

The 9th Ministerial Conference (MC9) is being hosted by Indonesia while the exact dates of the meeting in early December will only be decided at the end of the European Summer holidays.

The meeting in Bali is seen as critical, taking place during a world economic crisis when a strong commitment to world trade is viewed as essential to helping alleviate the current downturn.

The meeting is also pegged to help restart stalled negotiations on the Doha Accords meant to dismantle obstacles to trade among poor nations.

Organizers of the event have lauded the location selected for the meeting, citing the “exotic ambiance, the warm weather and the hospitality of the people of Bali” as having the potential to “rejuvenate and renew the constructive spirit" of the Doha negotiations.

The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision making body of the WTO and is held once every two years.


Me and Bobby McGee
Bali Update Editor Jack Daniels Remembers his Much Loved Editorial Assistant Ė Bobby McGee

The Bali Update - the weekly newsletter of Balidiscovery.com, is produced at the end of each week, consuming the weekend after spending the preceding week helping to run a busy destination management company. Translating press reports from the Indonesian press while compiling the 20-25 stories sent out with each Monday’s edition is how I spend my weekend days and late nights.

This has been the rhythm of life for the past 14 years, producing a newsletter sent to some 29,000 subscribers and regularly quoted as a reliable source for Bali news by growing list of leading media around the globe.

These weekends spent writing the Bali Update are largely solitary affairs, consuming hours on end of personally editing, translating and finally posting articles onto the www.balidiscovery.com website.

With the current edition of Bali Update this job has suddenly become an even more monastic enterprise due to the sudden death of a companion of many years, Bobby McGee. Steadfastly content to sit quietly, keeping me company, week after week,  while I toiled away at the keyboard, Bobby McGee was my 13-year-old Labrador. Bobby collapsed and died on Saturday morning, July 27, 2012, while I was gathering the news for Edition #830 of the Bali Update.

In his life span that covered much of the entire history of the Update, Bobby began his apprenticeship over a decade ago as a puppy, distracting the editorial process as I fretted over which pair of shoes he was chewing into oblivion.

Fortunately, puppyhood soon passed into a more sedate canine adolescence and middle age, revealing the unconditional adoring companionship known to anyone who is “owned” by a Labrador. Never complaining about missed walks or playful romps in the yard, Bobby, seemd to looked forward to my enforced weekend servitude as an opportunity to spend long stretches with me. Curled up next to my chair, with one paw extended and touching my foot or listening earnestly while I read him an early draft of an article, Bobby became a trusted editorial assistant.

My friend Bobby indulged me to the limit. He was an enthusiastic audience of one for my solo air guitar recitals – an essential part of my remedy for writer’s block.

But, best of all, Bobby never criticized my writing. At the same time, he displayed both an uncanny and  "un-canine" interest in print. As I went through a each week’s load of newspapers, discarding them one by one on the floor, Bobby insisted on planting himself on top, and sometimes under, the growing stack of daily papers where he promptly fall asleep.

Bobby will be missed. His daily swims in the pool and annoying tracks of water and footprints that marked his exit from the pool are gone. Absent also will be a his preoccupation with carrying a broom or wastebasket as he followed the gardner round the yard. Sorely rued, too, will be his habit of falling asleep with his head resting on my thigh as I sit typing at my desk. These are a few of the endearing antics “Booby-Boo” brought to all those who lived or visited at my house in Bali.

But most all, I will miss Bob’s unqualified admiration and the simple joy in the here and now so evident whenever he shared my company. Feeling good was good enough for me; good enough for Bobby and me.

Bobbie served as an inspiration in both my life and my work; causing me to pray each day that I might strive to become the kind of person my dog thought I was.

This happy relationship ended on Saturday when I buried Bobby under the hundred-year-old Katapang Tree where we marked the spot with his beloved broom and well-chewed wastebasket.

Those who have cherished a pet will understand the profound sense of loss that follows Bobby’s passing. Those less privileged and yet to experience such fellowship will probably question why I bother to include a mention of a dog's passing in the Bali Update.

Bobby McGee is gone. Our favorite song “Me and Bobby McGee” won’t be heard again on the CD player; the memories too painful to endure.

And, now, the job of preparing next week’s Bali Update now rests solely with “me.”

Bobby’s gone on to other writing assignments.
 


Giving Gas to Inflation
New Policies on Subsidized Fuel May threaten Baliís Plans to Keep Inflation Below 4.5%

Bali remains optimistic that the rate of the inflation for the island through the end of 2012 will remain at approximately 4.32%, somewhat lower than the 4.5% projected in the official provincial budget. Economist warn, however, that the rate of inflation could suddenly soar as a results of the government's plans to reduce the use of subsidized fuel.

I Gede Suarsa, chief of the Bali Statistic Bureau, see the rate of inflation during the first half of 2012 as “moderate.” The second half of 2012 may suffer inflationary influences resulting from increases in prices for basic commodities, religious holidays and year-end holiday celebrations.

As a member of the Regional Coordination Team for the Control of Inflation (TKPID), Suarsa said the team would work to keep the cumulative rate of inflation within plus or minus 4.5%.

The head of the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia, Dwi Pranoto, warned that while inflation in Bali remains relatively low, a potential exists for spikes in prices resulting from prices administered by the government. Chief among these is the price of fuel at the pumps and government plans to ban red-plated vehicles (official vehicles) from buying subsidized fuel beginning in August.
 


 
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