Demonstrators Reopen Access Road to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park in Bali
Metrobali.com reported on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 that the Garuda Winsu Kencana Park (GWK) has reopened after being closed for nearly three days by a blockade of the entrance by neighboring villagers.
The villagers of Banjar Suka Duka Giri Dharma in Ungasan, that borders GWK, dumped coral rocks and installed banners at the Park’s entrance on Sunday, August 24th protesting that a promised access road to a village cemetery and temple complex had not been built. The blocking of the only entrance to the Park effectively closed GWK to the public and threatened a planned meeting in the Park between Indonesian President Suslilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President-elect Joko Widodo.
Park officials estimated the closure was costing the park between Rp. 300-500 million per day in lost revenues.
The director of operations for PT Alam Sutera Realty who are developing the GWK complex, Seno Andikawanto, promised the access road would soon be built.
“We will fulfill the 6 demands regarding past promises made to the villagers. What’s happening at the moment is that we are trying to do the best for both visitors and the GWK neighbors in a fair and equitable way,” Seno explained on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
In addition to demanding the construction of the promised access road villagers are also demanding employment opportunities at GWK equal to 50% of all paid positions.
Major Bali Condotel Deal Signed for Jimbaran
121-Room and 121-Suite Springhill Condotel at Green Jimbaran to be Managed by Australian Mantra Hotels Group
The Springhill Group's subsidiary, PT Bhumi Lestari Makmur, has signed a contract with the leading Australian hotel management company Mantra to build and operate a Condotel property located within the Bali International Park area, adjacent to the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran.
The signing took place on Thursday, August 21, 2014.
PT Bhumi Lestari Makmur is a subsidiary of Island Concepts and the Springhill Group.
The new property - named the Springhill Condotel at Green Jimbaran will occupy a 5-hectare site and consist of two condotel towers hosting 121 five-star rooms and 112 villa units. The complex will be served by a clubhouse, swimming pool, gymnasium, spa, restaurant, children’s play area and an all-purpose area.
The Mantra Group of Australia will manage the complex. Mantra is one of the largest hotel and resort operators in Australia and New Zealand, operating 130 properties.
The Bali property is being designed by the architectural firm Grounds Kent who were involved in the planning of the Four Seasons Resort and the St, Regis Resort
Attending the signing ceremony on behalf of Mantra was Michael Burchett (shown), vice-president operations and development for Indonesia.
Tourists Who Shop ‘Till They Drop
Indonesia Needs More Great Sales and Events to Expand Tourist Travel
The Indonesian Tourist Promotion Board (BPPI) is urging more great events and great sales as a means of attracting foreign tourist visits and stimulating domestic travel.
The chairwoman of the BPPI, Wiryanti Sukamdani, said recently in Jakarta: “This is needed to attract more shopping tourists that is the current trend.”
In this context, Sukamdani proclaimed that tourism operators needs to help develop retail centers for creative products and duty free shops to take full advantage of shopping touristm.
Sukamdani feels that many locally made handicrafts would sell well in local shopping emporiums established to sell batik and handicraft products.
Sukamdani added: “There are also travel fairs and culinary exhibitions that would be very effective in attracting tourists.”
People attending such events could, in turn, purchase locally made products, local tour packages, souvenirs and culinary treats,
The BPPI chairwoman urged that major events and great sales to cities, both large and small, across the nation. This, she feels, will help draw tourists to secondary destination beyond Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia.
Bolllywood is Calling!
Indian Consul General to Bali Invites Indian Film Industry to Shoot Film Projects in Bali
The Consul General of India in Bali has issued an invitation for Indian filmmakers to undertake film projects in Bali.
“I have coordinated with the Indian film industry to invite them to come to Bali and undertake shootings,” said the Indian Consul-General A.S. Takhi (shown).
While Takhi would not provide further detail, he hinted to NusaBali that the Island would soon play host to many Indian film stars,
Pointing to Indian-made film programs such as Mahabharata, Jodha Akbar, Hatim and Mahadewa – all of which are very popular with the Indonesian public, the Consul-General predicts that relations between India and Indonesia will only intensify in the future.
Takhi also said that members of the Indian film industry are also frequently choosing Bali as a holiday destination.
As part of the intensification of relations between India and Indonesia, on Monday, August 25, 2014, the Consulate-General hosted a tourism promotion dubbed “Incredible India” to which leading travel agents in Bali were invited.
Takhi is eager to see tourism visits in both direction increase over the coming years. He estimates 200,000 Indian will visit Bali in the current year, Meanwhile, 6 million foreign tourists visit India each year, approximately 33,000 of which are Indonesians.
Indian travelers coming to Indonesia can obtain a visa-on-arrival, while Indonesians wanting to visit India must apply for and obtain a visa before departing on their travels.
The Consul-General for India in Bali believes tourist numbers between his country and Indonesia will grow when direct flights between India and Bali are available. Adding, “I hope at some point Garuda Indonesia will begin flying to India because there are many tourist from Bali who want to visit our country.”
Bali Treats its Poor Poorly
Bali Academic Says that Bali's Poor Fail to Enjoy the Benefits of the Island's Rapid Development.
A leading professor at Bali's Udayana University, Professor Doctor Wayan Windia is calling on the provincial administrators of Bali to change their policy approach in order to address imbalances in the income of the Balinese and the rates of regional development.
As quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Dr. Windia (shown), who also serves as the chairman of the Center for Subak Research at Udayana University, said, "Gaps in the rates of development between regencies and cities in Bali and the income of the publics are widening."
The respected academic went on to warn that if the obstacles and weaknesses in development programs are not soon remedied he is concerned that the gap between the rapid rate of regional and metropolitan development and average personal incomes will only widen further.
Referring to the State ideology of Pacasila, Windia warned that the Indonesia's shared commitment to social justice will represent little more than lip service if gaps in an equitable distribution in the benefits of development in Bali is not soon addressed.
Windia says that unbalanced approach to development in Bali appears to be based on the liberal-capitalist model of the West that theorizes inequalities in social justice will eventually be addressed through a "trickle down" economic model that results, over time, in benefits to all levels of society.
Questioning the wisdom of "trickle down" economic models in Bali, Windia said, "There appears to be no plan to improve areas that are crowded due to the large influx of migrants."
At the same time, he observed, the southern regions of Bali, that include the capital of Denpasar and the regencies of Badung and Gianyar - continue to be inundated with tourism infrastructure development.
"Moreover, there is the plan to reclaim Benoa Bay. What ill happen? It appears that poverty will remain in Bali. There are about 125,000 impoverished families in Bali," he said.
He continue saying that the 40% of Bali's population categorized as low income receive only 16.21% of the Island's income. At the same time, the number of farming families continues to shrink in Bali while the number of small landholders increases.
The current situation in Bali demonstrates that the concept of unbalanced development and "trickle down economics" in Bali is failing to substantially improve the people's welfare.
Hattens in Bali is Paradise Enow
Bali's Hatten Wines Wins 7 Medals at China Wine and Spirits 2014
Bali's pioneering Hatten Wines has just returned from the China Wine and Spirits 2014 (CWSA) held in Hong Kong with a prodigious total of 7 medals for it's Bali grown and fermented vintages. The prestigious Double Gold was awarded to Hatten's Pino De Bali, Gold to Alexandria and Aga White, Silver to the winery's white sparkling Tunjung, and Silver to their gold to their sparkling Rosé Jepun. Also winning honors in Hong Kong there Hatten's flagship Rosé and the Aga Red - both of which won Bronze awards,
All the award-winning wines winning awards are produced with grapes grown in North Bali, either in the company’s own vineyards or from private vineyards involved in management agreements with Hatten Wines.
The CWSA is the biggest & most prestigious wine & spirits competition held in China.
5,375 wine and spirits from 35 countries were blind tasted during the CWSA Tasting Week by 100 Judges, all selected from among leading importers, distributors and retailers working in Hong Kong and China.
American-born and China-based CWSA Judge Richard Howe, commenting on the composition of the tasting panel, said: "I think it’s critical to have buyers as CWSA Judges. We are the buyers in China and we know the taste of the people and what works here. When I see wines with the CWSA medal stickers, I immediately know they are the ones to watch and have been recommended by my Hong Kong and China-based peers.’
The market for imported wine in China is expected to grow 50% in the coming three years, according to National Australian Bank. Other wines that joined Hattens in earning recognition at CWSA 2014 include Diageo's Ian Macleod (Scotland), Chateau Tanunda, Jacob's Creek, Wolf Blass, Taylor's (Australia), Saint Clair Family Estate, Oyster Bay, Waipara Hills (New Zealand), Camus, Châteaux de Lastours, Remy Cointreau, La Cave du Marmandais (France), Citra Vini Consortium (ltaly) and Qingdao Great River Hill Winery (China).
“Being Balinese wines which continue to be awarded in the competition, we are reaffirming the fact that our wines are best match for local food, not only in Indonesia but regionally: Our wines match the Chinese palate, according to these wine professionals. With a total of 7 medals in the 2014 CWSA competition, it’s again a strong affirmation of the quality of Hatten Wines”, says Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, Founder of Hatten Wines.
"The Medals reward the effort and care we take with our wines at every level," said Hatten's director of sales and marketing, Brett Woodhouse.
The most highly awarded wine in brand’s portfolio is Alexandria that has, over the last 4 years, earned 2 Bronze, 1 Silver and 2 Gold Medal. “This semi sweet wine possesses big potential in the Indonesian wine market, especially for the Indonesian palate, which tends to have a preference for sweet wines,” said James Kalleske, the winemaker at Hatten Wines.
”To be recognized in each category and awarded for each of the Hatten wines is truly an amazing result and only further substantiates that Hatten Wines produced world class wines on a consistent basis,” added Woodhouse.
Defying the popular notion that growing grapes and producing quality wine in the Asian tropics is near impossible, Hatten Wines has managed to establish a successful wine trade while earning international recognition. Founded in 1994 by Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, Hatten Wines are now found in restaurant across the Republic.
Hatten Wines’ range includes its famous semi-dry Rosé, dry white Aga White, light red Aga Red and the award winning floral Muscat Alexandria. The range also includes a white and rosé sparkling, Tunjung and Jepun named after Bali’s beautiful water lily and frangipani flowers. The Pineau des Charentes method delightfully sweet fortified wines Pino de Bali in red or white, offer a sweet desert wines to Bali’s tables.
In 2007, Hatten Wines has also embarked on another venture, introducing Australian wines to Bali, by importing juices vinified in Bali. The brand Two Islands, reminiscing of the relationship between Bali and Australia, is an Australian palate tailor made collection of wines offered in Bali. The assortment includes a lively and fresh Chardonnay, a floral and fruity Riesling, a ruby red peppery Shiraz and a full-bodied, fruity flavored Cabernet Merlot.
Hatten Wines wine tasting and wine shop, The Cellardoor, is opened 6 days a week at Simpang Siur in Bali, and in Kemang, Jakarta.
A Most Rude Awakening
Bali Authorities Unable to Stop Culprits in South Kuta Exploding Firecrackers Disturbing the Sleep of Hotel Guests
Beritadewata.com reports that the management of hotels along South Kuta Beach in Bali are complaining that fireworks being exploded in the middle of the night are frightening guest and disturbing a good night's sleep.
Fenty S. Prawiraatmadja, the marketing communications manager at the Kuta Paradiso Hotel, told the press on August 26, 2014, that the explosions that are happening almost every night are disrupting guests' sleep. Those setting off firecrackers and causing an increasing number of complaints from hotel guests do so at around 3:00 - 4:00 a.m..
The Kuta Pardiso Hotel reports that empty lots adjacent to the hotel are used to explode firecrackers.
Efforts to stop the explosions, occurring as many as 10 times each night, by Hotel security team have done little to stop the disturbances, as those who ignite the firecrackers quickly run away after creating their havoc. Similarly, efforts to seek the assistance of the surrounding banjar have failed to end the disturbing practice that has now become a daily occurrence over the past six months.
As a result, the management of the hotel is calling for action by those in charge of beachside security. "We have reported and coordinated with the surrounding banjar who are unable to stop those exploding firecrackers during sleeping hours. We hope preventative steps are taken that will end these explosions", said Fenty.
Smashing Success Seven Years Running
Bank Mandiri Canggu Classic Open Tennis Tournament September 13-21, 2014
The Bank Mandiri Canggu Classic Open Tennis Tournament returns September 13-21, 2014 at Bali's prestigious Canggu Club.
Now in its 7th year, 15 separate divisions of play ranging from Open, Super Amateur, and Amateur to Juniors will be on offer encouraging participation by all standards of players.
This year’s tournament presents Rp. 30 million in cash prizes for Open Division play.
Back also this year is the popular opening party that will be held on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm held at the Canggu Club.
All tournaments play takes place from 4:00 p.m. until late on weekdays and from 10:00 a.m. on weekend days - all on 3 undercover floodlit courts at Canggu Club West.
Win or lose, all players will receive a complimentary t-shirt, a ticket to the opening and closing party, plus a chance to win division prizes and lucky draw prizes.
Registration closes on September 5, 2014 and can be done at the reception of the Canggu Club
Give Us a Sporting Chance to Earn a Living
Tanjung Benoa Water Sports Operators in Bali Stage Protests Against Plans to Reclaim Benoa Bay
Bali Post reports that 18 members of the Tanjung Benoa Water Sports Association in South Bali staged a peaceful demonstration of Wednesday, August 27, 2014 to show their solidarity in opposing plans to reclaim large sections of Benoa Bay.
The water sports operators, who earn their livings along the shorelines of Tanjung Benoa, installed banners with messages opposing the reclamation outside the entrances of the several water sports centers where tens of protestors screamed their objections to the project.
The chairman of the Alliance of Tanjung Benoa Water Sports Operators, Nyoman Karjaya, said 18 of the 20 water sports operators in the area had joined the grouping and stated their support of the protest movement.
Included in the alliance are the following water sports operator: Pandawa, BMR, Bayu Sutha, Siwa Sempurna, Mawar Kuning, Bali Dolphin, NBC, Bali Indah, Sea-Track, Mekar Sari, Kanaka, Water Mark, Bali Pasifik, Batara, Wibisana, Jet Set, Zooka and North Coast.
Karjaya said the protests on August 27th represented are only the beginning of the group's struggle to oppose the reclamation project, adding he hoped the new government of President Joko Widodo is prepared to hear the objections and aspirations of the people of Bali. He also called for the revocation of the Presidential Declaration, signed by outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, authorizing the project by removing the "conservation area" classification of the wetland area.
The protestors said the planned reclamation project would destroy the local environment and destroy the group’s ability to earn an income and support their families.
Separately, the Green Indonesia Movement (WALHI) have raised concerns about the destruction and defacement of protest banners on the eve of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit to Bali to attend the 6th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilization.
WAHLI's concerns that free speech was being curtailed to hide from the President the widespread opposition to the reclamation project was tabled by the organization's director, Suryadi Darmoko, on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Darmoko pledged to continue to actively and vocally oppose the reclamation project despite continued intimidation. He warned that WAHLI was not alone in opposing Benoa Bay's reclamation, but was joined in their opposition by thousands of Balinese including ForBali, STT, members of the local banjar and many other groupings representing every regency of Bali.
WAHLI has reported the destruction, remove and defacement of protest banners to the National Committee for Human Rights (Komnas HAM). The head of the administration bureau for Komnas HAM, Johan Effendi, has acknowledged receipt of the complaint filed by WALHI, promising the complaint would be followed up.
Looking for Borneo
A Celebration Images, Words, Dance and Music from Kalimantan at the Ubud Botanical Gardens Friday, October 3, 2014
Periplus Publications in conjunction with the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2014 are hosting "Looking for Borneo" to be held Friday, October 3, 2014, starting at 6:00 pm at the Ubud Botanical Gardens.
Highlighting the evening will be peformances by Dayak dancer and musicians flown in especially from Kalimantan, live music by Quisie & Friends, an art exhibition, artwork by Khan and photography by David Metcalf.
The evening will also mark the launch of a new coffee table book "Looking for Borneo" (including a bonus CD),
All proceeds from the evening will be donated to educational program and Kalimantan cultural-wilderness preservation initiatives.
Admission is only Rp. 100,000 (US$8.70) that covers admission, one beverage, snacks and 2 raffle tickets. Door prizes for the evening include a return flight from Bali to Kalimantan and an autographed copy of "Looking for Borneo."
Free transport to the Ubud Botanical Garden will be provided from Nomad's Restaurant on Jalan Raya Ubud every 15 minutes starting from 5:30 p.m..
The World Through Rose Colored Wine Glasses
Plaga Wines Introduces it Latest Bali-fermented Wine - a Sweet Rose
Adding to its range of popularly-priced wines made from the juice of imported Western Australian grapes fermented in Bali, Plaga Wines in September 2014 will introduce a Plaga Sweet Rose - specially designed for enjoyment in tropical climes.
Described as "soft, sweet, sexy and fresh" - Plaga Sweet Rose is being introduced after the first and very successful release of Plaga's dry Rose several years ago.
A preview tasting reveals that Plaga's latest offering is not only suitable for sipping on a hot tropical afternoon, but highly suitable for paring with the salty, sweet and spicy nuances of Asian cuisine.
The introduction of Plaga Sweet Rose follows the current worldwide trend in wine drinking with Rose now outselling both White and Red Wines in France.
Plaga Sweet Rose joins the repertoire of he Bali-based winery producing affordable wines fermented from the grape of Western Australian grapes that now includes:
Palaga Wine Website
Diminishing Staying Power of Bali's Home Stays
Lawmaker Complains that Traditional Home Stays in Ubud are Threatened by Growing Number of City Hotels
The rapid spread of economically priced city hotels in Bali is now spreading beyond locations in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar and penetrating into traditional village areas, threatening the continued operation of traditional home stays operated by Balinese family-based businesses.
The rapid spread of city hotels and the negative impact this is having on local home stays continues unabated with little or no comment from regency and municipal government.
The resulting closure of locally owned accommodation businesses has prompted the chairman of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Nyoman Partha (shown, to call on the government to take a firm stance protecting long-standing indigenous businesses. Commission IV of the DPRD-Bali is charge with supervision of legislative matters connected with education, health and tourism.
Partha, who hails from Gianyar, lamented that in Ubud two city hotels are already in operation with the fear that similar properties are on the way due to a lack of clear regulations and enforcement. The Legislator said the growing presence of city hotels will weaken the community-based economy of Ubud with local businesses operating tradition home stays marginalized by the activity of powerful outside investors.
"Big entrepreneurs come into the village creating cheap hotels or city hotels that have a negative impact on the existing local economy. Existing home stays find themselves unable to compete. This is because the price charged by city hotels is almost the same with that charged by home stays. This means the city hotels engage in price competition with the home stays and manage to take the market share once enjoyed by these local business," Partha complained, as quoted in The Bali Post.
Partha said the increasingly worrying situation for local accommodation providers in areas such as Ubud demands that provincial and regional government heads make regulations forbidding the development of city hotels in traditional village areas.
If that is not possible, he said, at the very least the government working through the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) should set price standards for city hotels.
Signs of Corruption
Three Suspected in Corruption of Bali Airport Sign Taxes
DenPost reports that three individual suspected of involvement in the corruption of sign taxes at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport will soon be called by State Prosecutors.
Aditywarman of the State Prosecutor's office confirmed that three suspect - identified as Purwati, Nur Sapto and Chris Sridana who will all be interviewed as prosecutors continue to develop a case for trial.
Unprepared to commit exactly when the three would be called, Adityawarman did confirm that the number of suspects in the tax manipulation case remained at three.
Earlier an Assistant for Special Criminal Cases (Aspidus) from the State Prosecutor's Office, Sudharma, confirmed that Bali prosecutors had uncovered indications of the corruption of sign tax revenues at the Bali Ngurah Rai Airport involving employees of the Airport Authority - Angkasa Pura I.
One of the suspects, Purwanto, is the previous general manager of Angkasa Pura I. Meanwhile, Nur Sapto was formerly employed at Angkasa Pura I before being transferred to become general manager of the Balikpapan airport.
Other information suggests that taxes on signage at the airports have been manipulated since 2009.
Unlike the case of a massive manipulation of parking fees uncovered during an internal audit by Angkasa Pura I, the current case involving tax payments on advertisements managed by PT Penata Sarana Media was discovered based on information provided by a third-party source.
Prosecutors are unprepared to estimate the amount of losses suffered by the State due to tax manipulation, except to say the amount runs into the billions of rupiah.
The Stark Truth About Drinking Beer
Stark Beer - a World Class Beer Produced in a Modern Brewery on Bali's North Coast
First established as a microbrewery in 2011, Stark Beer is the first wheat beer produced in Indonesia entirely from natural product without preservatives - an additive cited as the cause of "hangovers" in other beers. Produced with pure spring water that undergoes three rigorous filtrations that retains the natural minerals while removing any bacteria and toxic elements.
Stark Beer is produced in Singaraja, North Bali at a modern state-of-the-art brewery in a refrigerated environment
In the few intervening years, Stark Beer has grown to a medium-sized brewery with a growing reputation for the high quality of its wheat, dark wheat and low-carbohydrate beers,
Speaking to Bali Post, general manager of Stark Beer, Raimund Norbert Mester, said that most ingredients for making his brews are still imported from abroad and mixed with the highest-quality local spring water to produce a distinctive and aromatic beer for the Indonesian market.
The low-carbohydrate beer produced by Stark Beer uses a high-technology method that manages to reduce sugars while still retaining a 5% alcohol content in the final product. Mester boasts the finished product - a white beer using special grains and yeast imported from Belgium - is rich in vitamins and half as fattening as competing beers.
Sharing a production secret, Mester said the wheat beer produced by Stark Beer uses local coriander that give the beer a taste with a hint of a Balinese orange. Meanwhile the dark wheat beer - a German-style brew - has a color resembling a ruby bestowed through the marriage of wheat, malt and caramel.
In Urgent Need of Connections
PLTU Celukan Bawang Aiming to Start Producing Electrical Power for Bali in December 2014 - a Year Behind Schedule
The coal-driven steam powered electrical generation plant at Celukan Bawang (PLTU Celukan Bawang) in North Bali continues to be plagued by delays with investors now targeting electrical production to commence in December 2014 - more than a year behind schedule.
There a variety of reasons cited for the delay, including technical delays at the construction site and delays in the construction of a high voltage power lines.
Egon Wisjnu of PT General Energy Bali the first phase of active operations by PLTU Celukan Bawang in December will add 142 megawatts to the Bali power supply with phase two and three adding a further 142 megawatts to the system in January-February 2015.
The project being constructed by PT General Energy Bali (GBE) and China Hundian Engineering Corporation (CHEC) is now estimated to be 75% completed. Wisnju explained: "If we see our contract with PLN, indeed the operation of the plant has been postponed a little. We are now striving to finish the physical construction of the power plant and targeting operations to start in December 2014 and completed in phases two and three in January-February 2015."
He said the delay in constructing high-voltage power lines caused by the refusal of many local citizens to allow high-power lines to be placed over their lands at Celukan Bawang. Wisnju confirmed that the PLTU Celukan Bawang was largely ready to go with generators and fuel tanks already installed, and ready for commissioning.
Wisnju added: "I don't want to fault PLN because we understand the problem of building the high-voltage power line network is not yet completed. But this is one factor why we cannot quickly start operations. If the network of PLN is completed, the production of electrical power can commence."
In addition to the failure to complete the high-voltage power lines leading into the PLTU Celeukan Bawang, PLN is also unable at this time to provide the 20 kilovolts of power needed for the new plant in North Bali to undertake operational testing prior ro full commissioning.
GEB and PLN are currently in discussions to find a solution on the inability to supply the 20 kilovolts of power in order that operations at PLTU Celukan Bawang can commence in December.
In Style and Safety to Gili Trawangan
Bounty Cruises Mounts Luxury Daily Departures from Bali to Gili Trawangan
Bounty Cruises have launched a bold new service connecting Bali - Gili Trawangan using their 44-meter luxury catamaran capable of carrying up to 650 passengers.
Click Image to Enlarge
Filling a gap for a large sea-going vessel to carry the large number of people extending a Bali holiday to the Gili Islands,
The new service was launched on Friday, August 29, 2014 and operates with the following schedule:
Depart Benoa Harbor 9:00 a.m,
Arrive Nusa Lembongan 9:45 a.m.
Depart Nusa Lembongan 10:15 a.m.
Arrive Gili Trawangan 12:00 pm
Depart Gili Trawangan 1:00 p.m.
Arrive Nusa Lembongan 2:30 p.m.
Depart Nusa Lembongan 3:00 p.m.
Arrive Benoa Harbor 4:00 pm
Special introductory prices for a limited time only are available for this new daily service suggest now is the time for a visit to Nusa Lembongan or Gili Trawangan;
Benoa - Gili Trawangan (including breakfast) Rp. 650,000 (US$56.50) Normal Price Rp. 750,000
Gili Trawangan - Benoa Rp. 750,0000 (US$65) Normal Price Rp. 850,000
Return Trip Benoa-Gili Trawangan-Benoa Rp. 1.2 million (US$104)
To book telephone ++62-(0)361-726666 or ++62-(0)812389666.
Run for Someone Else’s Life
14th Chapter of Hard Rock Hotel Bali Rock ‘N Run 5 Kilometer Fun Run Sunday, November 2, 2014
The 14th chapter of Hard Rock Hotel Bali’s Rock ‘N Run will take place on the streets of Kuta on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
The annual charity run where participants “run for someone else’s life” that covers 5 kilometers will get underway at 5:00 a.m. with participants enjoying refreshments, t-shirts and participation in a beach bazaar
Exciting prizes on offer for race winners and participants
Mark the date. More details to follow
Limited Number of Rooms available at special rate
We've Got Rhythm!
Bali's Famous and Inspiring Kecak Dance Has a Rich and Varied History
The iconic Kecak dance, performed by large groups of shirtless men chanting in rhythmic counterpoint as other dances presents scenes from the ancient Mahabrata, is a staple of the Balinese dance repetroire that is enjoyed by thousands of Bali visitors each day.
Performed by groups of tens or more men - oftentimes numbering as much as 150, each segment of the kecak is punctuated by choruses of chanted "cak...cak....cak" (pronounced as 'chak,chak, chak') .
Dance aficionados in Bali argue endlessly that the haunting sounds of the kecak represents the sounds of an army of primates in the service of monkey-like warrior Vanara; duplicates the percussive sounds sounds of the drums and gongs of a gamelan orchestra (gamelan suara); imitates the sound of the household gecko lizard or, at its most basic level, draws its inspiration from the "cak" singing of farmers heard in the evening from roadside arak stands across Bali.
When we sat all these alternative descriptions before an aged Bali dance master, the old man scratched his chin and suggested that each explanation of the unique sound of the Kecak, considered individually or severally, might well be true.
The earliest reports of the Kecak predate the Dutch occupation of Bali when, according to local folklore, the village of Bona in Gianyar was besieged by a deadly epidemic that claimed a large number of lives. Prayers for salvation were offered in a local temple when a Sanghyan medium, deep in trance, delivered a message from the resident deities demanding a new form of music and dance unaided by the bronze instruments of a traditional Balinese orchestra.
More contemporary chronicles claim the dance was rejuvenated and reworked in the village of Bedulu by German-born artists Walter Spies and Balinese dancer Wayan Limbak to support a film project in the 1930s or, alternatively, was reborn in Bona under the supervision of I Gusti Lanang Oka and I Nengah Murdarya.
The most recent revitalization of Kecak is credited to I Made Sija of Bona who helped organize and train Kecak cultural groups who eventually traveled the world promoting Balinese culture starting in the mid-1960s.
Not subject to debate is that the fact that Kecak dance presents a scene from the ancient Ramayana tale of the battle between good and evil within the context of the abduction of Sita and the ensuing battle by Vanara against the evil King Rahawana.
Setting aside the hour or so to attend a Kecak dance during a Bali trip should form part of every visitors "must do" list. Village-based dance groups present dances on an almost daily basis across Bali, with one of the most popular presentations found at sunset each evening at the Uluwatu Temple in South Bali.
Those contemplating taking in a kecak might find the follow plot synopsis useful in following the story line.
Rama, Sita and Laksmana enter the dance area where the Kecak chorus of men, sitting in concentric circles have literally "set the stage" by singing a mesmerizing chanted prologue. As the three dancers circulate a golden deer appears, begging capture by Prince Rama. In pursuit of the golden deer, Rama leaves Sita and Laksmana alone on the dance floor.
Suddenly a scream for "help" is heard, prompting SIta to insist to Laksmana that the voice in distress must be that of her husband Rama. Sita implores a reluctant Laksmana to investigate the screams, snidely suggesting Laksmana perhaps seeks advantage in the death of her beloved Rama. Insulted at Sita's insinuations, Laksmana departs the stage leaving Sita utterly alone in the forest.
The evil King Rahwana appears, intent on kidnapping Sita. His initial attempts are unsuccessful causing him to transform himself into Bhagawan - an elderly man begging water from the Goddess Sita. When Site returns with the old man's water she is kidnapped by Rahwana still posing as the aged Bhagawan.
Sita's screams for assistance are heard by the mythical Garuda bird flying nearby who responds by trying aid the captured Goddess. The Garuda's efforts to assist, however, are thwarted when Rahwana shoots the bird's wing with an arrow. The dastardly Rahwana then brings Sita to Alengka Pura - his personal palace.
Meanwhile, Rama, his loyal servant and Laksmana have become lost in the forest of the Ayodya Palace. Longing for his beloved wife Sita, who is now in the palace of the evil Rahwana, Rama seeks the assistance of the White Monkey Hanoman to deliver his ring to the captive Sita as sign of their enduring love.
Accompanied by the demoness niece of Rahwana, Trijata, Sita now spends her days lamenting the absence of her husband Rama.
Later, at the Alengka Palace, the White Monkey Hanoman appears, declaring himself the Emissary of Prince Rama and presents Sita with the ring of her husband. Sita, in turn, presents flowers to Hanoman to be given to Rama, together with a message imploring for urgent rescue. Wasting no time, Hanoman wreaks havoc on the Alengka Palace, destroying much of Rahwana's princely estate. In retaliation, the guards of the palace capture Hanoman who is bound and prepared to be burnt at the stake. Calling on his considerable reserves of magical power, Hanoman escapes and rescues Sita to be returned to Rama.
A Park for Pedestrians
Pedestrian Underpass at Ngurah Rai Monument at Bali Airport Set to Open in Early 2015
Plans are moving ahead to build a pedestrian underpass at the Ngurah Rai Statue located near the entrance to Bali's Ngrah Rai International Airport.
A pet project of regent A.A. Gde Agung, the underpass will make the small park encircled by busy roads accessible to the public.
According to an official website, the tendering process for the underpass commenced on July 24, 2014 and will at the end of August 2014. A contract to commence the project is scheduled for signing onSeptember 3, 2014.
The pedestrian underpass at the Ngurah Rai Statue will be slightly smaller than a similar underpass planned at the Dewi Ruci Monument.
The underpass near the airport will open in early 2015.
The walls of the underpass will include a diorama depicting the military battles of Ngurah Rai in the struggle for national independence.
His likeness depicted on the Rp. 50,0000 bill, I Gusti Ngurah Rai died at the age of 29 on November 20, 1946 in the battle of Margarana (Bali) in the national struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule.
For Fans of Fantinel
Six Outstanding Courses and Paired Wines from Fantinel of Northeast Italy at Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant – Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali on Friday, September 19, 2014
The latest in their series of memorable culinary events, the Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant at The Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali is hosting a sumptuous 6-course dinner accompanied with the fine Frulian wines of Italy’s Fantinel Winery for one-night only on Friday, September 19, 2014.
Lying in northeastern Italy on the Austrian and Slovenian border, Fantinel has a history of four decades in collecting and producing superior quality wines. Included in these wines are those produced from the family’s 300-hectare vineyards in the Collio, Grave and Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC zones - each a prime winegrowing country with perfect microclimates for the ideal ripening of the grapes.
Joining the rare evening of outstanding food and wine will be Oenophile Marco Fantinel will provide tasting notes and anecdotes to accompanying the carefully paired wines selected for this limited seating event.
The evening commences at 7:00 p.m. with “Bubbles and Canapes” on the cliff-side overlooking the Indian Ocean.
7:00 pm ay ju-ma-na Bar
canapés assortment at ju-ma-na bar
seared crispy pork - smoked eel and foie gras - beef tartar with oyster
2012, Glera, Fantinel Spumanti, Prosecco “One & Only” Brut – DOC
Tasting Comments: Vintage and single-vineyard, it is born from the selection of the best grapes offered by 2012, coming from few hectares of that “heaven-vineyard” Fantinel can boast in Tauriano di Spilimbergo, in Grave del Friuli area. The low yield per hectare and the absolute quality of the grapes are at the basis of the exclusivity that characterizes Fantinel “One & Only”, produced in limited edition and conceived for the most sophisticated palates. ?
7:30 pm at the ju-ma-na dining rooms
mushroom duxelle, crab endive, yellow tomato shooter
NV, Pinot Nero – Chardonnay, Fantinel Spumanti, Rose Brut – DOC
Tasting Comments: Classic pink with fine and persistent perlage, hints of red fruits and bread crust and an elegant flavor. This cuvée of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay is produced by the long (6 months) Charmat method.
sea bass carpaccio
smoked salmon, avruga caviar, wasabi aioli, citruses dressing
2013, Chardonnay, Fantinel Borgo Tesis, Grave del Friuli DOC – Tenuta di Taurino
Tasting Comments: Luminous white with greenish hues, fresh, fruity and floral bouquet and flavour reminiscent of notes of apple. This important wine of character holds the essence of the Friuli Grave.
fresh marinated scallop, squid cannelloni, apple sauce
2013, Pinot Grigio, Fantinel Sant’ Helena, Collio DOC – Tenuta di Venco
Tasting Comments: Precious, slightly coppery, white, with flowery scents combined with almonds and walnuts, balanced and with excellent structure. This wine has a strong personality thanks to the microclimate in which the vines grow.
sous vide of pigeon
asparagus, ear mushroom and lotus root candied, golden raisin, truffle orange sauce
2011, Cabernet Sauvignon, Fantinel Borgo Tesis, Grave del Friuli DOC – Tenuta di Taurino
Tasting Comments: Ruby red with purple tints tending towards garnet, with intense notes of undergrowth and spices, excellent body and good structure. This full and austere wine acquires great elegance thanks to the ageing in oak barrels.
refosco braised wagyu beef
pomme dauphinoise aunori, grape and cherry sauce, glazed baby vegetables
2010, Refosco, Fantinel Vigneti Sant’ Helena, Dal Peduncolo Rosso, IGT Delle Venezie
Tasting Comments: Bright ruby red with garnet tints, filled with hints of undergrowth and spices, with a full flavor. This great international cultivar, aged slowly in oak barrels, is expressed to the full, giving off an elegant gentleness.
hazelnut mascarpone mousse
baileys ice cream, chocolate stick
2010, Picolit, La Roncaia, Picolit DOCG Colli Oriental Del Friuli
Tasting Comments: Picolit is a rare vine, a true jewel of Friulian winemaking. This Picolit DOCG from the hills of Attimis has the color of gold, the perfume of acacia honey underpinned by an elegant floral bouquet, and a sublime flavor. It is the precious fruit of a careful selection of hand-harvested grapes that have just the right amount of sweetness. Fermented and aged in barriques.
Five Course Set Menu including pre-dinner cocktail and five paired wines
US$ 95 per person plus 21% tax and service. Seating is limited, advance bookings mandatory.
Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali
Jl. Melasti, Banjar Kelod Ungasan
Tough Rules for Hotel Permits in Kuta, Bali
Bali Stops Hotels on Postage Stamp-Sized Pieces of Land in Kuta
A regulation introduced by the Regent of Badung on June 3, 2014 (Perbup 36/2014) is poised to have a major effect on how hotels are built in Kuta in the that regency of Bali.
The new regulations require hotels in the densely developed areas of Kuta to have a plot of no less that one-half hectare (50 are or 5,000 square meters). For projects planned in North Kuta the minimum project site increases to three-quarters of a hectare (75 ares or 7,500 square meters). Meanwhile, in South Kuta the minimal lot size for a hotel is one-hectare.
The new rules came into force on August 1, 2014, but will not apply retroactively to hotels or projects already in operation or in possession of a building permit.
The same regulation strengthens existing rules on minimum coefficients for open gardens and minimal parking spaces .
The Bandung Regency's record on enforcement against hotels violating zoning and building codes is poor with at least one branded hotel operating in Kuta without a building permit or an operating license.
It's a Jungle Out There
Denpasar Zoning and Building Authorities Falling Miserably in the Enforcement of the Law
DenPost reports that the lack of strong law enforcement, particularly in the area of tourism accommodation, has resulted in widespread and uncontrolled of non-conforming residences and hotels being built in Bali's capital city of Denpasar.
The responsibility for building and zoning law enforcement rests with Denpasar's Housing and Zoning Office (DTRP).
The chairman of Commission B for the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Kota Denpasar), Eko Supriadi, recently complained that many investors ignore the rules due to the slowness in processing building permits and an obvious lack of law enforcement.
"Usually investors go ahead and build before obtaining permits because of the lack of enforcement by the relevant agencies," explained Eko.
Eko said the supervision and enforcement of building projects in Denpasar is out of control. He said the DTRP must now join forces with the regency’s enforcement agency (Satpol PP) and begin taking firm action.
He also complained that the current practice of giving three waning letters to errant owners and builders is ineffective, with developers using the time between the series of three letters to complete the building process.
The municipal legislator cited flagrant violations in the construction of tourist accommodation taking place on Jalan Gatot Subroto Barat, Jalan Mahendradatta and Jalan Setiabudi in Denpasar. He also bemoaned that DTRP officials do not patrol Depasar looking for unlicensed projects, but only respond to complaints received from the community.
Describing the gross inefficiency of the current system, Eko told of how owners and developers ignore rules and the need for permits, pushing ahead with building programs that are clearly non-conforming with zoning and building rules. Once completed and built to be in violation of the law, the relevant agencies seldom have the courage to order the demolishment of the subject buildings. "If this is allowed to continue, Denpasar will become increasingly disordered," warned Eko.
DenPost, speaking directly to the problem, suggests building and zoning officials do not enforce the rules simply because of illegal payments made to them by developers.
Gypsy at the Wheel
Widespread Violation of Laws on Taxi Meter Use Damaging the Reputation of Bali as a Tourism Destination
Bisnis Bali recently presented a page-one review of the state of metered taxi service in Bali and the negative impact the poor behavior of taxi drivers is having on the Island's reputation as a tourist destination.
The report alleges that many drivers refuse to use tax meters, preferring negotiated fares imposed on unsuspecting visitors. When passengers adamantly insist on the meter being used, many drivers will take retaliate by taking circuitous routes to ensure the highest possible fare..
At the end of a tax ride, according to Bisnis Bali, taxi drivers retaliate further by feigning an inability to make change, upping the fare even more.
The director of the Consumer Protection Agency in Bali (YLPK-Bali), I Putu Armaya, explained the term "argo tembak" is used to describe the refusal of tax drivers in Bali to engage a taxi-meter, favoring instead to negotiate a more lucrative price directly with the customer.
A recent survey conducted among passengers at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport revealed widespread disaffection with taxi service to and from the airport, specifically mentioning the practice of "argo tembak" and the resulting victimization of Island visitors.
Armaya said: "Until now, there are many taxis refusing to use their meters. This requires firm action."
The use of taximeters is under the supervision of the Bali Transportation Office that has it within their statutory power to jail drivers and revokes the operating licenses of taxi companies refusing to use taximeters in the transport of their passengers.
Joining Armaya in condemning the failure of many operators to use taximeters is Eddy Dharma Putra of the Bali Tourist Transportation Organization (Organda), who shares the view that the unprincipled behavior of taxi companies and their drivers is damaging the reputation of Bali.
In response to these complaints, Wayan Pande Sudirtha, the chairman of Koptax (Taxi Cooperative) at the airport, blames taxi customers citing them as the party requesting that requesting negotiated instead of metered taxi rides. Sudirtha also contends that the negotiated price offered by taxi drivers is oftentimes less than the fare would be if the meter were used.
Sudirtha claims traffic congestion in Bali can often result in high metered taxi fares that are substantially more than whatt might be agreed beforehand directly with the driver.
Sudirtha. nonetheless, insisted that sanctions are still imposed on drivers proven to be refusing to use official meters.
The official metered tax rate in Bali is Rp. 6,000 (US$0.52) on flag fall and Rp, 5,700 (US$0.50) per kilometer of distance traveled.
Pande complained that the 907 taxis registered in his cooperative enjoy very limited incomes.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Macbeth Footwear Teams Up with Solemen to Donate Shoes for the Poor
Bali’s poorest of poor, who eke out an existence working and living on a giant mountain of garbage in Suwung, South Bali received a welcome surprise in the form brand new footwear donated by Macbeth Footwear, coordinated by Solemen.
ita Sanur’s behemoth garbage dump is a huge mountain of discarded and decaying refuse where the Bali’s poorest spend their day's competing with vermin, trying scratch a meager living from what they salvage.
The idea of something as simple as a new pair of quality shoes is a distant dream for people who live in simple hovels atop piles of garbage.
Macbeth Footwear provided approximately one hundred and fifty pairs of brand new shoes after Solemen appealed for their support.
nations were greeted by happy faces all around with every pair snapped up by the excited workers and their families. Children specifically needing new shoes for school were some of the first in line.
Solemen founder Robert Epstone explained, “Not only do the donations provide essential footwear to those in need; they also highlight the living condition of many families in Bali.”
ommunities like this can’t be forgotten. When we heard these families needed help, we were more than happy to step in and donate,” said Yopy Suteja, marketing and sales manager for Macbeth Footwear’s Indonesian distributor.
Following a proven formula of seeking donations from the community to assist the less fortunate members of the local community, Solemen invites supporters to donate unwanted goods, clothes and shoes that can be used to assist the poor.
Bali Training the World’s Green Leaders
UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon Visits Bali’s Green School and Praises it Revolutionary Commitment to Sustainability
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Bali to address world leaders at the Sixth Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilization, paid a visit to the internationally renowned Green School near Ubud to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Green Schools for Sustainable Development” between Green School Bali, the National REDD+ Agency (Agency for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation) and UNORCID (United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia).
establishes the framework for collaboration between three signatories for a knowledge exchange on embedding sustainable development into education system and structures, which will serve as input for the facilitation and development of green schools across Indonesia. MoU signatories committed to have 1 million ‘green youth ambassadors’ within schools across Indonesia by 2017.
“The signing of this MoU is a truly ground-breaking moment for the National REDD+ Agency and for Indonesia’s future. Sustainability is away of life and all of you in front of me today are pioneering the way, a new way of life and a new identity as true citizens of the world. There is so much to learn from all of you, not only for today but for years to come” said H.E Heru Prasetyo, Head of the Indonesian National REDD+ Agency (BP REDD+).
em>Green School, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with the 412 students of Green School from pre-kindergarten up to high school level, accompanied by leading significant climate change actors that included H.E. Morten Høglund, Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. MStig Traavik, Ambassador of Norway to Indonesia; John A. Hardy, Founder of the Green School Bali; and John Stewart, Head of School of the Green School Bali.
In a speech at the school, the Secretary-General commended Green School’s commitment to educating the younger generation to become future green leader of the world, adding: “this is the most
unique and impressive school I have ever visited. Thank you very much for your strong commitment and vision to make this world green.”
Before leaving the Green School, the Secretary-General and Mrs. Ban released two of Bali’s endangered Bali Starlings, which are being bred at the Begawan Foundation Breeding Center within the School as an effort to restore the population back from the brink of extinction.
The Green School
Green School is an international school in Bali, Indonesia whose mission is to be the Number One model of sustainability education in the world. Named the “2012 Greenest School on Earth” by the Center for Green Schools at the United States Green Building Council, the school has attracted over 400 preschool through high school students from more than 40 countries seeking a unique, nature-based, student-centered education.
in 2008 by John and Cynthia Hardy, the school strives to educate young green leaders in global citizenship. The curriculum champions a new model of learning that connects the timeless lessons from nature to a relevant and effective preparation for a fast-changing future with the guiding values of integrity, responsibility, empathy, sustainability, peace, quality, community and trust.
Plain Spoken about Tourism
President-elect Joko Widodo Speaks to Bali About Tourism
Keeping a campaign promise to visit the Island of Bali as his first visit once he was formally confirmed at President of the Republic, Joko Widodo traveled to Bali to meet with outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and discuss the transition of power.
After the one-on-one meeting between the President and President-elect, Joko Widodo made a short speech in from the Bung Karno Museum in Renon, downtown Denpasar on Saturday, August 30, 2014.
As reported by Beritadewata.com, Joko Widodo reminded an audience composed or community leaders, culture expert and politicians that Bali tourism must remain “Number One.”
He called on Bali’s leaders and tourism industry not to accept low-class tourist. Saying: “Bali must have a clear differentiation. Don’t let tourism destroy Bali. We must receive the number one tourists.”
Joko Widodo also plead for tourism not to undertake acts that damage the environment. “I have heard that South Bali is too crowded; too forced. Don't allow the environment to be destroyed just because we surrender too much land to tourism,’ the President-elect warned.
Joko Widodo warned that Bali’s interesting culture alone in the absence of steps to preserve the destination’s natural beauty will not be enough sustain Bali into the future. Widodo also issued his personal appreciation to traditional villages (Desa Adat) and cultural villages (Desa Budaya) in Bali who have consistently preserved Balinese customs and traditions.
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