Bali News Update Week 12.

Vivacious Rhythms of Bali: A Journey Through Art

Painting by Dennis Ho to Adorn Uma by Como, Ubud, Bali for Three Months Starting April 5, 2014

 

Uma by COMO, Ubud – Bali is about to transform into art gallery for three months for a special charity exhibition by Malaysian Artist, Dennis Ho, to raise fund to help preserve traditional Balinese art and culture.

 

The exhibition, “Vivacious Rhythms of Bali: A Journey Through Art’ begins on April 5, 2014 and will run for three months, reflects COMO Hotels and Resorts long-standing respect and desire to nurture the culture of the communities surrounding its properties. In an effort to preserve Balinese culture, 15 per cent of all painting sales will be donated to the Balerung Foundation, based in Peliatan, near Ubud. 

 

The Balureng Foundation was established as a place for artists on the island to practice and perform.

 

Dennis Ho, who lives in Peliatan, is known for using Asian culture and classical performance art as his subject. He said: ‘ I am blessed to be surrounded by many ancient civilizations and the richness of the East. As I indulge in these subjects of art, tradition, and beauty while disseminating my paintings among patrons and friends, I hope I can in some small way help educate and preserve these wonderful cultures.”

 

At 5:00 pm on April 5, 2014, there will be an opening evening and dinner at Uma Cucina - Uma Ubud’s Italian-inspired restaurant. As well as canapés and welcome drinks, the night will feature a ‘kebyar’ dance performance, a slideshow on the history of Balinese dance, and a brief discussion on how dance inspired the paintings on sow. 

 

In addition to the proceeds raised through sales of art, 25 per cent of the sales price of the dinner menu will be donated to the Foundation. 

 

Dinner is priced at Rp. 450,000 plus tax and service per person (US$48).

 

Throughout the course of the exhibition the paintings will be on display in Uma Cucina, Kemiri Restaurant and the poolside Uma Bar. 

 

Additional works of can be viewed in the hotel’s lobby and meeting rooms. 

 

For more information about the exhibition or to book one of the limited places at the opening dinner [Email]  or phone +62-(0) 361 972448.

 

The Point of Diminishing Returns

Surcharges on Indonesian Domestic Flights Causing Drop in Passenger Numbers

 

Sales outlets for domestic low-cost carriers are reporting a 20% drop in sales following the implementation of a government authorized surcharge on February 26, 2014, intended to offset currency exchange losses suffered by Indonesian airlines due to the weak Rupiah.

 

The airlines successfully lobbied the government to allow the surcharge to compensate for losses incurred due to the cost of fuel and foreign crew, both of which are denominated in U.S. dollars.

 

The surcharge charged on domestic routes is Rp. 60,000 (US$5.20) on flight flown by jets and Rp. 50,000 (US$4.30) on flights serve by turbo-props.

 

As reported by Bisnis.com, the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Asnawi Bahar is blaming the ticket surcharge on the decline in domestic ticket sales experienced by his members. ‘Ticket sales for low-cost carriers declined 10-20% at the introduction of the surcharge,” said Asnawi.

 

Asnawi said the surcharge created a psychological resistance to purchasing the low-cost carrier tickets that following the application of the additional charge were nearly the same price as tickets offered by full-service airlines. 

 

The ASITA chairman predicts that demand for the low-cost carrier tickets would eventually return to normal within two month of the surcharge’s implementation.

 

ASITA is asking the government and the airlines to remove the surcharge as soon as possible. “If the Rupiah improves and the price of aviation fuel remains unchanged, the surcharge must be removed in order to bolster demand for airline tickets,” Asnawi explained.

 

In response, the chairman of the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA), Arif Wibowo, said that any contraction in tickets sales caused by the surcharge would be short-lived.

 

Arif said ticket sales would return to normal in May and that demand for tickets remains strong. “There is no reason for tickets agents to worry,” he said.

 

A Delightful Step Back to Another Era

Seven – Cut for Men Barber in Denpasar Pampers Both in Service and Price

 

In Balidiscovery.com’s list of Bali’s experiences too good not to share is now added a visit to a recently opened barber shop in downtown Denpasar : Seven – Cut for Men Barber.

 

Lured by a road side banner and a Twitter account @SevenBarber, Bali Update Editor J.M. Daniels took the short trip into town and was greeted by a tastefully decorated three-chair barber shops. Wood floors and antique items hinted of an earlier era, any mistaken suggestion that Seven-Cut is “artsy” is quickly swept away by a barbershop that's strictly business and unwaveringly dedicated to the delivery service and value.

 

Greeted at reception a young man who gave me a queuing number, he explained that there would be a wait of around 75 minutes for the next available barber. 

 

Taking advantage of an interesting and very reasonably priced coffee shop and restaurant next door I enjoyed a good pizza for only Rp. 20,000 (US$1.75). Ahead of schedule, the receptionist came to fetch me for my turn in the waiting line that was, in fact, closer to a half-hour that the projected hour and a quarter.

 

Both the layout of this barber shop and its prices harks back to a time when guys went to shops rather than salons to get their haircut. The prices posted on the wall also seem to come form earlied era:

Basic Cut (haircut only) Rp. 35,000 (US$3.00)

Classic Cut– including cut, shampoo, tonic, pomade and and head massage Rp. 50,000 (US$4.30)

Junior Cut – for young customers 12 year or under. Rp. 35,000 (US$3.00)

Father and Son Cut – the classic treatment for a man and his accompanying son Rp. 80,000 (US$7.00)

Styling – including washing and pomade Rp. 25,000 (US$2.20)

Trimming and Shaving - Rp. 20,000 (US$2.20)

Hair Coloring Rp. 80,000 (US$7.00)

Hair Tattoo Rp, 80,000 (US$7.00)

I opted for the Classic Cut and a shave – the combination of which cost only Rp. 70,000 (US$6.00). A real bargain for a shampoo, excellent cut, tonic treatment, head massage and a super close shave done with a new razor - demonstrably opened in front of the customer to demonstrate hygiene.

 

The entire visit was an exercise in manly indulgence. If I would change anything about my visit, I think the hot towel used to sooth my closely shaved face could be followed up with a dash of Old Spice or Aqua Velva – the astringency of either helping to ward off  my slight case of razor burn.

 

With prices and service like this, I think I’ve found my barber shop for years to come.

 

Keeping it Organic

Westin Resort Offers Organic Wine Dinner under the Stars Dinner to celebrate Earth Hour March 29, 2014

 

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali is participating in Earth Hour on March 29, 2014 via an inspiring evening under the stars with special emphasis on reducing energy consumption to help preserve the environment.

 

The “Starlight Organic Wine Dinner” will present wholesome food and uplifting entertainment that will include a screening of Home a film by Yann Arthus Bertand. This thought-provoking documentary is composed of aerial shots showing the diversity of earth and how its ecological balance is currently under threat. 

 

A flavorsome menu using locally sourced ingredients grown and cooked with integrity will be served along with a selection of organic wines. There will also be a performance of ethnic fusion acoustic music performed by Anello Capuano. 

 

In recognition of Earth Hour and joining millions of others around the globe, lights will be turned off between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm.

 

Managing Director of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, Bipan Kapur said: “We are proud to participate in Earth Hour and to help spread the message about reduced energy consumption. It is directly in line with many of the environmentally friendly practices that we have in place at the resort. I am sure that our Starlight Organic Wine Dinner will encourage guests to evaluate their own energy needs at home and during travel.” 

 

With Murderous Forethought

Men Who Murdered American Expat in Bali to be Charged with Premeditated Murder

 

The State News Agency Antara reports that the two men held in the death of an American expatriate in Bali may be charged on Section 340 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) with premeditated murder.

 

The head of the criminal division for the Denpasar Police Precinct, Commissioner Dewa Tagel Wijasa said, “The two suspects, MA (20) and MS (31) had the intention to kill beforehand.

 

While Wijasa only identified the suspects by initials, earlier reports by Antara identified the two men as Multawan Aulawi or Awi (MA) from East Lombok and Marsianus alias Marsi (MS).

 

Police ran a reconstruction of the crime at the scene of the crime on Friday, March 20, 2014, recording on film 68 separate scenes depicting the murder of the American.

 

According to police, prior to the reconstruction the two men purchased the knife they used in the murder at the Kereneng market in Denpasar at 5:00 pm on February 15, 2014, just hours before the crimal attack.

 

“Both men admitted they knew the victim well and before the murder one of them claimed he was sodomized by the victime, precipitating the desire to kill,” said Wijasa.

 

In the reconstruction supervised by the police, Marsi invited Awi to Latourell’s home at 1:00 am on February 16, 2014.

 

The prime suspect allegedly knocked on Latourell’s door before being invited in for drinks and a discussion with the victim. An invitation to sex followed, leading to the murder in the early hours of February 16, 2014.

 

AW told police he refused Latourell’s sexual approach, after which the American allegedly struck the man’s face.

 

The man told police he then drew his knife and repeatedly stabbed the victim. While Latourell tried to resist the attack, he was stabbed a total of 117 times.

 

Police say the men wrapped Latourell’s body in three towels.

 

Following the murder, the men stole a Toyota Kijang owned by Latourell that the later sold for Rp. 110 million (US$9,600) on the island of Lombok.

 

The proceeds of the sale of the stolen vehicle were used to purchase a motorcycle, big screen television, video player and unpaid university fees.

 

What’s New at Neo

Archipelago International to Open 112-room Neo Gatot Subroto in Denpasar, Bali in 2014

 

Neo Gatot Subroto – Archipelago International’s brand for “affordable designer hotels” is set to open in Bali in the middle of 2014.

 

A City Hotel in the Balinese capital, Neo Gatot Subroto will offer 112 non-smoking rooms and suites, 3 meeting rooms, free WiFi and ample off-street parking. 

 

Other facilities include a swimming pool and a Neo signature “Noodles Now” coffee shop.

 

Norbert Vas, Vice President Sales & Marketing Archipelago International, says “Bali and surrounding Indonesia is seeing an increasing need for affordable hotels fully equipped with complete facilities. The breakthrough of our Neo hotels answer this demand by offering a chic hotel concept with amenities that are usually found in more expensive hotels. Considering that Bali remains one of the top tourism destinations in the world, we are confident that NEO Gatot Subroto - Bali will be another welcomed addition to our NEO portfolio.” 

 

Also in the works from Neo Hotels in Bali is the Neo Kuta – Tuban, located close to the airport and Kuta beach. ??

 

?Archipelago International now operates a portfolio of more than 75 hotels with 12,000 rooms in Indonesia. The company has 90 more hotels in the pipeline with new properties under development in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.??

 

Archipelago International hotels operate under the hotel brands Grand Aston, Aston, Aston City, Alana, Harper, Quest, Quest Vibe, favehotels, NEO and Kamuela - ranging from ultra luxurious private pool villas to serviced apartments and select service economy class hotels.

 

 

Chris Salan’s Guide to Bali

Sydney Morning Herald Interviews Mozaic’s Chris Salans

 

The Sydney Morning Herald travel section carries an article “I know this great little place ... Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique” containing an interview with Bali’s culinary legend Chef Chris Salans.

 

Interviewed by veteran travel writer Nina Karnikowski, Salan shares his views on the best place to eat in Ubud, other than his own restaurant; Lawar Nyawan - a local dish that uses bee larvae as a main ingredient; favorite eateries for a night out on the town; his favorite beaches; dessert indulgences and what places he tends to avoids in Bali

 

Andaz Lands in Bali

Hyatt Hotels to Open First Indonesian Andaz Hotel on Bali Hyatt Site in 2016

 

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hyatt Hotels Corporations have entered into an agreement to establish an Andaz Resort in Bali, Indonesia.

 

The Indonesian partner for the venture is PT Wynncor Bali - the owner of the Grand Hyatt Bali and the iconic Bali Hyatt.

 

The Bali Hyatt on Sanur beach in Bali recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and then promptly closed its doors to undergo a two-year renovation and rebuilding program. 

 

When the former Bali Hyatt in Sanur property reopens it will bear an Andaz branding.

 

Jefri Darmadi, a commissioner of PT Wynncor, said: "We have worked with Hyatt for more than two decades, and continue to be very satisfied and optimistic about our current and future relationship with the Company. Working again with Hyatt is an honor for us, and we look forward to introducing Andaz Bali to the region."

 

The new hotel is scheduled to open in 2016 with an exterior design concept from Tierra Design and interiors by Spin Design Studio of Japan. The hotel will have 144 guestrooms and villas, meeting facilities, multiple dining options, numerous pools and a spa.

 

There are currently eleven Andaz Hotels now in operation worldwide

 

PT Wynncor is a joint venture between PT Jakarta Setiabudi Internasional, JC Hotels Hong Kong and Hyatt International Corporation.

 

We Ought to be in Pictures

BALINALE – Bali Film Festival Returns October 12-18, 2014

 

The BALINALE – the Bali International Film Festival returns to the Indonesian tropical island for the 8th year October 12-18, 2014.

 

Recognized internationally for the quality and diversity of its programming, delivery of the associated film industry events and the opportunities offered foreign filmmakers to experience the country's rich culture, diverse locations and unique story ideas for possible film projects - BALINALE provides an important platform for showcasing Indonesian films to a global audience while networking with international filmmakers.

 

BALINALE’s 2014 program will continue to bring a mix of interesting and entertaining guests and films. This year BALINALE will focus on Women in Film, acknowledging the enormous contribution women make in all aspects of the filmmaking process. Invited Indonesian and international filmmakers; writers, producers, director and actors will travel to Bali share their unique perspective.

 

BALINALE 2014 is partnering with American Film Showcase (AFS) program where over the past month, two distinguished award winning American filmmakers - Freida Mock and Richard Pearce, have conducted workshops, and master classes in Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. BALINALE will carry on this unique program in showing a series of AFS films in a lead up to the festival. 

 

Another highlight of the pre-festival program is the prestigious Sundance Institute Film Forward. BALINALE will take part in its first in Indonesia international touring program by exhibiting films, workshops and conversations (September 6-13, 2014). 

 

The BALINALE is affiliated with two ASEAN Film Festivals, the Asian Film Commissions Network’s 20 member countries, supported by Motion Picture Association and has been appointed as the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Consulting Organization in Indonesia. 

 

2014 Calls for Film Submissions will open 10 April.

 

World Premieres, People Choice Awards, Film Industry Forums and a yearlong series of Educational Workshops conducted by award-winning filmmakers are all an important part of past festival programs. There is also an annual Children’s Charity Program where under privileged children experience the world of cinema for the very first time. 

 

Established in 2007 by Bali Taksu Indonesia Foundation, co-founders Christine Hakim and Deborah Gabinetti see film as a viable means of promoting Indonesia, the Country’s creative individuals and essential support industries. 

 

The Spy Who Got Left Out in the Cold

Former CIA Officer Valerie Plame Coming to Bali with Tales of Trade Craft in Ubud on Thursday, April 17, 2013

 

Valerie Plame is a former spy with an extraordinary story to tell and that’s what she will do in Ubud on Thursday April 17, 2014, at the Indus Restaurant between 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm, doors will open at 6:00 pm.

 

Valerie Plame's name earned the unwanted notoriety disdained by one in the cloak and dagger trade when the Bush administration “blew her cover” in 2003, making her name ‘fair game’ in the White House's campaign of misinformation about the Weapons of Mass Destruction as the raison d'être for going to war in Iraq. 

 

In 2007 she published a memoir that was turned into a film starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. 

 

More recently, she has co-authored with Sarah Lovett the best selling Blowback Series relating the exploits of a, “young, blonde, lithe” Vanessa Pierson, who Plame describes as a, “younger, smarter version of me.”

 

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) is hosting Valerie Plame’s visit to Ubud to participate in an intimate evening of literary conversation on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

 

Join the fun at Indus to hear more about Valerie’s fascinating life’s journey, her transformation into a writer and her fiery fictional alter ego, Vanessa.

 

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is held annually in Ubud, Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland, where it has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event.

 

This year’s festival is dedicated to Saraswati, the Balinese Hindu goddess of learning, with the theme ‘Wisdom & Knowledge’ and will be held October 1-5, 2014 in Ubud.

 

Leading writers, thinkers, artists and performers from across Indonesia and across the globe will come together over five days of events to celebrate knowledge and the arts, education, wisdom and science.

 

London on Hold

Garuda Delays Launch of Non-Stop Jakarta to London Flights until September 2014

 

Traveldailymedia.com reports that Garuda Indonesia has postponed plans for direct flights between Jakarta and London, opting to fly non-stop to Amsterdam instead over the coming European Summer period.

 

Reportedly Garuda has had to change plans to fly to Gatwick when the time slots requested were not available.

 

Garuda will now reportedly start its new London service in September and not May, as originally planned.

 

The non-stop service to Amsterdam five time per week will operate using Boeing 777-300ER.

 

Far From Home, Needing Help

Bali Working with Police to Create Travelers Aid Station in Kuta

 

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that The Bali Police’s Tourism Assistance Center (TAC) in Kuta is helping to establish a travelers’ aid center for foreign visitors encountering difficulties while in Bali.

 

Called the Foreigner Community Club (FCC), police lauded the new organization saying it was supported by expatriates living in Bali, some of who have donated personal funds to ensure the program’s success.

 

The FCC will be located in Bali behind the TAC office already established in Kuta.

 

A senior Balinese police official, Comr. R. Umar Faroq, said: ??“[The] FCC is a group of expatriates in Bali. We warmly welcome the initiative because it is for good reasons.”

 

Through providing assistance to island visitors, by helping tourists who have lost passports or bags or encounter other difficulties, Faroq said the FCC represented an innovative program of cooperation between the public and the police.

 

The FCC, now in the process of being built, will have a rooms to temporarily house a tourist in need of assistance for 24-hours. The office will offer WiFi and provide networking with immigration, banking authorities, the Indonesian legal system and others to help sort out problems encountered by foreign tourists.

 

Speaking to the role of expatriate volunteers who will support the FCC, Faroq said they would work closely with local hospitals and other institutions of community support.

 

Faroq said the FCC will be launched in April with plans, if successful in Kuta, to launch similar centers in other tourist areas of the Island.

 

A Landing at Sea

Canadian Airport Consultants Urges Bali to Build Next Airport on an Offshore Island

 

A Canadian-based consultancy firm - Airport Kinesis Consulting (AKC) is urging the Provincial Government of Bali to consider creating a man-made offshore island to accommodate Bali’s need for a new airport.

 

The proposal by the Canadian company was put forth as Bali appears is at at least a temporary impasse in deciding the final location for a North Bali airport. Meanwhile, experts predict that the newly renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport will exceed its expanded capacity in as little as three more years.

 

As reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), the Canadian airport experts presented a bold plan to Governor Pastika and North Bali officials on Monday, March 17, 2014. Shad Servounce of AKC proposed that Bali’s new airport should be located on an artificial island located 1 kilometer offshore where the terminals and runways would also be located. On the adjoining  nearby shoreline the supporting facilities for the airport could be constructed, creating an "airport city."

 

The Canadians contend this approach to airport construction is a more economical way to develop an airport, substantially reducing the need for expensive land acquisition. Also, with the airport located offshore, approach and departure patterns for aircraft would reduce noise pollution for surrounding communities.

 

Noting the current urgency among officials to start the construction of a second airport, Servounce said construction could start in as little as 10 months after the necessary permits being issued by the government.

 

Governor Pastika generally endorsed the idea of an offshore airport, asking AKC to make another presentation to leading members of Balinese society in order to build community-wide consensus.

 

Said Pastika: ??“I hope you can present the concept once again, in the Indonesian language, in front of prominent Balinese figures, spiritual leaders, environmental activists, academics and others, so that they can give advice. This is for the future of Bali.” 

 

A polemic is currently taking place between differing factions arguing for the new airport in North Bali to be located either in Gerokgak in Western Buleleng or Kubutambahan village in the eastern portion of the regency. 

 

Rumors regarding where the new airport will be located have fueled activites by land speculators grabbing up vast tracts of land in both locations in anticipation of a possible financial windfall.

 

Taking Leave of Bali

Bali by the Numbers: Domestic Flight Decreased 2.71% While International Flights increased 6.23% in January 2014

 

The State News Agency Antara reports that Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport counted 3,661 domestic flight departures during the month of January 2014.

 

The chief of the Bali Statistic Bureau, Panusunan Siregar, said, “These figures represent a 2.71% decline when compared to December when 3,763 domestic departures took place.”

 

Siregar said the main destinations for domestic flights departing from Bali were Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Ujung Pandang.

 

In January, 203,754 passengers departing for Jakarta were down 1.55% percent from December 2013.

 

Surabaya departures declined 4.34% in January as compared to December, while Bandung, Yogyakarta and Ujung Pandang all increased 9.12%, 2.91% and 13.49%, respectively.

 

Siregar added that combined baggage and freight sent on a domestic journey in January totaled 3,740,3 tons, an increase of 4.55% compared to December 2013.

 

Actual cargo lifted on domestic segments in December declined 3.90% totaling only 644.4 tons.

 

Panusunan Siregar continued saying that international departures from Ngurah Rai Airport totaled 2,234 flights in January 2014, increasing 6.23% from December when 2,103 international flights departed the Island.

 

The number of international passenger totals were also up in January when 345,360 passengers left Bali bound for foreign locales. This was a 15.34% increase over January 2013 when 299,432 people flew internationally.

 

International cargo in January decreased 28.38% in January when compared to December.

 

A Fifth of Alila

Luxury Boutique Brand Alila to Open its Fifth Bali Hotel in Late 2014

 

Alila Hotels and Resorts will premiere their fifth Bali property in late 2014 with the opening of the Alila Seminyak, Bali.

 

Located on the less-developed stretch of beach on Bali’s southwest coast, the hotel is claimed by its developers to adhere to rigorous environmental standards striving to create a sustainable tourism product. These measures include use of local, recycled or reclaimed building materials, low-energy light fixtures, rainwater harvesting, solar energy and environmental management system.

 

The Alila Seminyak will have 240 rooms ranging in size from 46 to 177 square meters. The Resort’s penthouse will occupy an expansive 811 square meters.

 

The new resort will appeal to the life style crowd, located within easy striking distance of Ku De Ta, La Lucciola, Potato Head and the bevy of fine dining venues that now populate this part of Bali.

 

Picking the Right Plate

Governor Pastika Renews Call for Cars Operating in Bali to Acquire Provincial Registration

 

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika is again calling for the local registration of all vehicles operating on a long-term basis in Bali in order in order to increase regional tax revenues.

 

Quoted in Metrobali.com, Pastika focused his comments on Bali-based businesses that use out-of-Bali registered vehicles in their daily operations. He specifically mentioned trucks carrying beverages that cause traffic jams and do not have Bali police registration numbers.

 

“I hope these companies would have the conscience to register their vehicles in Bali in order that our regional tax basis grows generating funds that we can use for the construction and maintenance of our roads,” said Pastika.

 

Promises, Promises

Provincial Authorities in Bali Promise to Get Tough on Illegal Transport Operators and Illegal Guides

 

The Bali Daily (Jakarta Post) reports that the provincial administration of Bali is once again promising to toughen enforcement on illegal tourist transportation and illegal tour guides.

 

In a somewhat seemingly contradictory, if not ironic, move, provincial authorities believe that enforcement could be improved by rewriting the current laws to provide for lighter sentences.

 

According to Ketut Arnawa of the Bali Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), throughout all of 2013 his office had taken legal steps against 324 violators of 27 by-laws, including violations of the province's tourism laws.

 

Said Arnawa: “Some of these violations were related to tourism, such as illegal tour guides and transport services. We have taken the matter to the court and the punishments ranged from ‘tipiring’ to deportation.” 

 

Tipiring sees the violator brought before a special court to speed up the judicial process, typically resulting in a modest fine imposed by a magistrate.

 

Promising that enforcement would be increased on illegal tour guides and illegal tourist transportation in 2014, Arnawa said that his office had limited enforcement powers against illegal guides and illegal transport and even less enforcement authority against illegal accommodation providers - a matter left solely to the regencies.

 

“So far, 80 percent of the violations were found during inspections launched by our team, and only 20 percent originated from reports submitted by concerned citizens. In the future, we hope that the public will play a bigger role in reporting violations to us,” Arnawa explained.

 

The province is planning more surprise inspections of at least twice each month at tourist attractions in Bali to capture illegal guides and illegal transport operators.

 

86 tourist transportation operators were processed through speedy trials in 2013 and ended up paying a small fine. 

 

While hundreds of illegal guides were rounded up in 2013, only 8 were actually brought to trial. Because the possible prison term for working as an illegal guide is six months means the amount of supporting documents needed to bring a case to trial is substantial, creating an overwhelming burden on law enforcement and prosecutors who are overwhelmed and fail to bring all those caught breaking the law to trial. 

 

After four months is spent preparing the legal dossier for trial, many charged with acting as an illegal guide simply fail to show up on their court date. The maximum sentence of six months does not allow the suspects to be held until trial and while police do confiscate the suspects ID cards, these are easily replaced in the home village of the illegal guide.

 

A suggestion has been floated of increasing the monetary fine that can be levied against illegal guides and reducing the sentence to just three months, preparing the way for violatorsto then be processed in the less bureaucratic Tipiring court process. “By doing so, we would be able to send the violators to the ‘tipiring’ court and process hundreds of cases in one week,” Arnawa explained.

 

Foreigners found working as illegal tour guides are, however, a different matter. Once caught in the act they are detained and handed over to immigration for eventual deportation.

 

A Clean End to an Old Year

Denpasar to Deploy Army of Street Cleaners to Remove the Debris of Ogoh-Ogoh Celebrations

 

Metrobali.com reports that 1,700 cleaners will be dispatched to deal with the large amount of trash generated by “ogoh-ogoh” parades on the eve before Hari Nyepi, March 31, 2014.

 

The head of the cleaning and parks department, I Ketut Wisada, said on Monday, March 17. 2014, “Beginning from sweepers and up to including local environmental leaders, we will all be involved in cleaning up the trash after the parades.”

 

For the clean up after the parades Wisada said his teams would swing into action at 9:00 pm on March 30, 2013 and dump trucks would be mobilized starting at 11:00 pm.

 

“We will limit the clean up until 3:00 am to prevent cleaners from being rounded up by local enforcement teams (pecalang) who are deployed on Hari Raya Nyepi,” explained Wisada.

 

The Denpasar Cleaning and Parks department will be working to make sure the streets are clean on the official day of silence. Officials are also asking the public to help clean up the refused generated by their participation in the ogoh-ogoh festivities.

 

Wisada has asked that members of the community burning the left over ogoh-ogoh do so in local cemeteries in order to keep the main streets clean and avoid traffic jams.

 

The public is reminded that streetlights will be turned off starting at 1:00 am on March 31, 2014 in anticipation of the “Day of Silence.”

 

53 staff will be deployed to shut down a total of 643 electrical panels in Denpasar, only to be turned on again on the morning of April 1, 2014. 

 

The Roads Less Travelled

Public Reminded that Permits to Travel Roads on Bali During 24-Hour Nyepi Period March 31, 2014 Strictly Limited to Emergency Transport to Local Hospitals

 

All the relevant departments of government in Bali are unanimous in their decision not to issue special dispensations to vehicles to travel the roads of Bali during the 24-hours of absolute silence on Hari Raya Nyepi beginning from sunrise on March 31, 2014 until sunrise the following morning.

 

The only valid permits to travel the roads on Hari Suci Nyepi Tahun Baru Saka 1936 will be those issued by the chiefs of traditional villages for local residents needing to travel to a hospital on a medical emergency.

 

As reported by Suara Pembaruan, the agreement to respect the pact of silence on Nyepi was confirmed by the provincial spokesman for Bali, I Ketut Teneng, on Saturday, March 22, 2014

 

Teneng reminded all businesses that must remain in operation on Nyepi Day, such as hotels, hospitals and public utilities, to prepare to accommodate their staff at the place of employment over the 24-hour period as trips back and forth from their place of employment to their private residence will not be possible.

 

Pilots Who Don’t Eat

Hungry Pilots and Staff of Merpati Airline Plead for Help from Indonesian Lawmakers

 

Detik.com reports that hundreds of employees of State-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airline visited the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) on Monday, March 17, 2014.

 

The airline staff comprised of pilots, cabin staff and technicians met with a member of Commission X of the DPR, Sumaryoto, for a question and answer session regarding the fate of the troubled airline.

 

One or Merpati’s captains, Wahyudin explained the presence of the delegation at the DPR was not being done in the name of any union or association, but in the name of “hungry employees who have not been paid for four months.”

 

Wahyudin told the lawmakers how the pilots and other workers at Merpati had already visited the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in order to obtain an explanation from the airline's main shareholder. That delegation had called on the BUMN Minister Dahlan Iskan to fire the CEO of Merpati, Captain Asep Ekanugraha, who has proven himself unable to resolve the Airline’s financial problems.

 

“We demand that Captain Asep be replaced. If the Company is to be liquidated then Rp. 1.7 billion is needed be paid (in severance) to its employees. If the Airline wants to continue to operate, then Merpati needs Rp 700 billion,” said Wahyudin,

 

The Merpati employees say promises from BUMN to give them an answer to their plea within one week’s time have come and gone.

 

Meanwhile, Captain Adithya Priyo, who is the Secretary General of Merpati’s Pilots Association, explained that the current state of the Airline’s finances are the worst they have ever been since the company was established in the 1960s.

 

Our Cup Runneth Over

Flooding Around Bali’s Lake Batur Prompts Suggestions to Send Excess Water to Drier Regions of the Island.

 

The water level at Bali’ volcanic Lake Batur has risen dramatically over the past two month, flooding lakeside homes and gardens of people in the traditional Bali Aga community of Trunyan.

 

In order to address what has become a reoccurring problem, the government is being asked to make infrastructure alterations that would create an underground channel to carry the excess water to other regencies badly in need of fresh water. 

 

Beritabali.com reports that on Friday, March 31, 2014, the high waters surrounded tens of homes in the village of Trunyan. High water had also flooded agricultural fields and cut off the sole road leading to the community.

One member of the Trunyan Village, Nyoman Sulam, said that flooding over the past two months had compelled 25 families to seek refuge on higher grounds.

 

“The Depth of water surrounding the homes is 50 centimeters of more. The people living in these home have evacuated to relative’s or friend’s homes in higher locations,” Sulam explained.

 

Nyoman Sulam blamed the rising water level on the lake on heavy rainfall, a situation that local folklore relates occured several times in the past. The

Sulam said that the water level in Lake Batur would subside naturally with the arrival of the coming dry season.

 

A Bali-based infrastructure expert, AA Putu Ngurah Wirawan, said that the government needs to take anticipative steps to prevent future flooding by building an underground water channel.

 

“It already the time for the Government to think of a way so the excess amount of water in Lake Batur can be enjoyed by other regencies in Bali experiencing a water deficit. The blessing of lake water can be channeled through underground channels or flood gates to the regency of Karangasem where water is badly needed,” said Wirawan.

 

Wirawan said the technology to make the needed water channels was not complicated and could be accomplished through cooperation of the government and the local community.

 

Bali’s Singular Welcome to Visitors from the Sea

Benoa Harbor Cited for “Best Port Welcome” by Cruise Insight Magazine

 

Bisnis.com reports that Cruise Insight Magazine has named Bali’s southernmost cruise port of Benoa as “Best Port Welcome “ in awards recently presented in Miami, Florida.

 

The number of cruise ship visits in 2013 saw Benoa visited by 41 cruise ships with an estimated 39.105 foreign tourists on board. This was a significant increase from the 27,253 tourists who visited Benoa on a cruise ship in 2012.

 

Benoa is now Bali’s main cruise port, easily outpacing Padang Bai, Tanah Amp and Celukan Bawang. 

 

Benoa won the award for “Best Port Welcome” for the cultural welcome afforded visiting ships that generally include traditional Balinese dancers and a live gamelan orchestra.

 

God Bless the Tools of Our Trades

Bali Marks Tumpek Landep – a Day Dedicated to Machines and Tools

 

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, the Balinese Hindus marked Tumpek Landep – a special day in the ritual cycle of the Island set aside to honor physical objects made from metals and weapons used in combat.

 

On this day, hand-made and highly decorative offerings of palm leaves, flowers and fruits are carefully fashioned and then offered to the Almighty in prayer.

 

With the passage of timel the list of items honored on Tumpek Landap has expanded. Sacred weapons and farming implements honored in years gone by are now joined by mechanical tools, factory machinery, vehicles of every description and, more recently, even computerized gadgets.

 

Prayers to the mechanical devices of our daily life performed on Tumpek Landep are normally carried out at every Balinese home, as grand or as modestly as family finances permit. The series of prayers and offerings can stretch from morning and throughout the door until the evening hours.

 

Visitors to Bali on Tumpek Landep day are certain to see cars, motorcycles and even public transport traveling down the Island’s roadways sporting elaborate woven palm ornamentation hanging from drills and side-mirrors.

 

Celebrated once every 210 days during the Bali-Hindu calendar year, Balinese farm communities will also make living sacrifices to their farming implements before adorning those same tools of the agricultural trade with woven decorations made from lontar leaves.

 

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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