Bali News Update week 44 N.

The Path Less Taken

Denpasar Lawmaker Calls for Repair and Upgrade of Sanur Village Community Sidewalks


A member of the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar) from the seaside village of Sanur is complaining that the neglect of sidewalks in his constituency threatens the community's reputation as a world-class tourism destination.


As reported by the Bali Post, A.A. Gede Putra Ariewangsa revealed that in his role as a legislator he often receives complaints from both local residents and tourists regarding the uneven condition of sidewalks and hazardous holes that pose a safety threat to pedestrians.


Putra worries that if this problem is left unaddressed tourists will abandon Sanur as a tourist destination. Moreover, said that over the past 5 years he has noticed that Sanur is increasingly only a transit point for tourist visitors who once made the beachside village their headquarters for a Bali holiday.


Also reducing the attractiveness of Sanur, he contends, is the failure of local and the municipal officials to tackle unregulated use of areas reserved for sidewalks along Jalan Danau Toba - Semawang and Jalan Hang Tuah - Grand Bali Beach by businesses that allow their employees to park and block the pedestrian walkways.


The Denpasar lawmaker has called on the municipal government of Denpasar to allocate funds in 2015 for the upgrading of sidewalks in Sanur and other areas of Sanur popular with pedestrians.


Putra said that the many social and cultural attractions of the Sanur area can't be promoted and packaged to tourist visitors in the absence of an adequate infrastructure.


In response, the head of Public Works for Denpasar, Ir. Ketut Winarta, confirmed the need for sidewalk improvements, saying his office was coordinating the matter with the National Highways Department for needed repairs.



Be it Never so Humble

Export of Knockdown Houses from Bali Remains Sluggish


The Industry and Trade Department for the Province of Bali records that US$1.6 million in knockdown Bali-style buildings were exported during the period January-August 2014, an amount somewhat less than that achieved in the same period in 2013.


Made Sukerta, who works in the marketing staff of one of Denpasar's knockdown Bali home exporters, told NusaBali, "As an effect of the continuing world recession that has persisted over the past years, the sale of knockdown houses continues to be subpar."


Those working in the knockdown sector are hoping that sales will improve through the remainder of 2014 and through all of 2015.


In the past, orders for exportable homes improve towards year's end, said Sukerta. Major markets for these units continue to exist in the U.S.A., South Africa, Panama and Australia. Sales of knockdown housing units also continue to come from domestic sources, including hotels in Bali, who use the buildings as part of their hotel complexes.


While the export of knockdown houses may be lagging somewhat, the amount of timber consumed in Bali from sources in Java and Sulawesi remains brisk due to the large amount of building underway generally in Bali.



Beyond Bali

ASITA Calls on New Tourism Minister to Focus on More than Merely Bali in Constructing Tourism Policies


The chairman of the Riau branch of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA-Riau), Ibnu Masud, has reminded the newly appointed Indonesian Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, to focus on more than the narrow interests of Bali tourism in addressing his new responsibilities.


Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Ibnu Masud said: "The Tourism Ministry should not only focus on Bali. This is because Bali is already famous and there is concern that the market (for Bali) has become over-saturated."


For this reason, Ibnu Masud is calling on the new Minister to urgently create new destinations beyond Bali. He added, that ASITA hoped Yahya would introduce new policies on tourism planning.


He complained that in the past the Central Government has failed to adequately involve experienced tourism professionals in their deliberations on tourism policy. A closer working relationship between the public and private sectors will, he contends, help increase both the number of foreign tourism visitors to Indonesia as well as stimulate domestic tourism flows.



Putting Bad Moneychangers Out of Business?

Bank Indonesia Changing Registration Rules for Bali Moneychangers


The chairman of the Association of Moneychangers (APVA) in Bali, Ayu Astuti Dharma, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, recommended that Bank Indonesia create official stickers bearing the Bank's imprimatur to clearly differentiate legal from unauthorized moneychangers.


He said a change in the logo from the APVA is needed as many illegal moneychangers have simply made illegal copies of the Association's current emblem.


He warned that the illegal moneychangers tend to offer "better" rates of exchange, several hundred rupiahs more per U.S. dollars than official APVA members. The higher rates are used to lure tourists to illegal moneychangers in order that trickery and fraud can be committed against the unsuspecting visitors.


A new regulations (BI No. 16/15/2014) will change the designation of legal moneychangers to "Foreign Exchange Businesses" (KUPVA). With this change in designation, it is hoped that Bank Indonesia will close down unauthorized moneychangers in Bali.


It is also anticipated that Bank Indonesia will adopt a more stringent stance in issuing permits for new KUPVA.


Bank Indonesia has given a "window" from September 1, 2014 until January 1, 2015 for existing moneychangers to reregister under the KUPVA rules. The hoped for crackdown on unlicensed moneychangers, according to APVA, will reduce fraudulent practice and inhibit the growing amount of money laundering taking place in Bali.




Tourism Drawing Lines in the Sand

Indonesian Minister of Tourism Label Malaysia and Thailand as 'Common Enemies' of Indonesian Tourism - Calling for Better Information Technology and Enhanced Hygiene


Indonesia's new Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, wasted little time in signaling what may be his style and tone of promoting Indonesian tourism, labeling Malaysia and Thailand as "the common enemy" of Indonesian tourism.

ted by, Yahya made the comment during a visit to Jakarta's old town on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.


Yahya added: "Indonesian tourism is not yet that good, still defeated by Malaysia and Thailand with foreign tourist arrivals of 20 million."


While the "enemy" of Indonesian tourism, in the mind of Minister Yahya, may be two neighboring countries, his further comments also reveal that the biggest battles to increase tourist numbers must be waged on the home front.


In office for less than a week, Yahya said Indonesia must acquire "quick wins" in order to close the gap in tourist arrivals, with the need to repair the infrastructure of information technology and communications in order to attract global tourism."


The Minister said the problem of cleanliness and health also need to be urgently addressed, both areas, the Minister feels, are weak points in Indonesia's ability to draw foreign tourists.



Xmas Start for AirAsia X Bali-Melbourne Flights

Indonesia AirAsia X to Start Flying Five Times Each Week Bali-Melbourne on December 26, 2014


Indonesia AirAsia Extra - an affiliate of the Malaysian AirAsia Berhad, has confirmed that their inaugural service will operate between Bali and Melbourne, Australia starting in December.


The new Indonesian carrier obtained its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in August 2014 will start flying the new connection between Bali and Melbourne five-times each week, beginning on December 26, 2014.


Australian tourists remain the largest source of foreign tourists to Bali, increasing some 17.70% year-to-date at the end of August 2014.


The new service will be flown with Airbus A330-300. The plane will have a configuration of 365 economy seats and 12 premium flat-bed seats.


More economical to operate than the Boeing 737s flown by Virgin Australia between Bali and Melbourne, the new Indonesian low-cost airline is expected to go head-to-head competing in both service and price the Australian carrier.


The airline is aiming on garnering a 22% market share on the Melbourne-Bali air route.


The CEO of AirAsia Extra, Soeratman Doerachman, told that he was moved to be the first Indonesian low-cost carrier to undertake long-haul flights with the coming commencement of a service connecting Bali with the capital of Victoria, Australia.


Indonesia AirAsia Extra is the second overseas affiliate of the Malaysian AirAsia X, following the launch of Thai AirAsia X. Both Thailand and Indonesia are also home to a local AirAsia brand operating domestic and regional routes offered to the low-cost market.



Indonesia's Minister of Tourism: Arief Yahya

President Joko Widodo Picks Telkom CEO to be Indonesia's Tourism Czar


Indonesia's new Tourism Minister has been sworn in replacing Mari Elka Pangestu in the job of leading the archipelago's economically important tourism sector.


The 53-year old Arief Yahya leaves the role as CEO of the State-owned Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom). Promoted as CEO at Telkom in 2012, Yahya joined the communications giant in 2005 serving as enterprise and wholesale director.


Graduating as an electrical engineer from Indonesia's prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB-Bandung), he immediately joined Telkom where he completed a company-sponsored Master Degree program in telematics engineering from Surrey University in England.


Yahya was born on March 2, 1961 in Banyuwangi, East Java.


The new Tourism Minister claims his personal mantra is "Success without a plan is luck. Success with a plan is achievement."


Largely unknown in Indonesian tourism circles, many are eager to hear Yahya's action steps to materialize the new President's ambitious plans to double the number of foreign tourist to Indonesia over the coming 5 years.



When Government Fail to Act

Bankruptcy of Kintamani Restaurants Blamed on Bad Governance


The Bali Post reports that many restaurants and hotels operating on the caldera ridge of Batur at Kintamani have closed, with many forced into bankruptcy. Overbuilding, combined with a possibly related diminishing popularity of Kintamani as a tourism destination, have been blamed for intense price competition and declining profitability.


The head of public revenues for he regency of Bangli (Dispenda), Ketut Riang, confirmed to the press that in 2014 as many four restaurants had ceased operations in 2014 causing a reduction in the collection of restaurant taxes collected from the region.


At the same time, Riang claimed there was little the government can do to prevent business failures. No rules are in place that will allow the government to prevent "unhealthy” price competition that the local chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) blames for restaurant bankruptcies.


The chairman of the PHRI-Bangli, Ketut Putranata, also blamed the disregards for the law by restaurants in Kintamaniand the resulting loss of "views" to lake Batur and Batur volcano due to illegal structures standing along the ridge.


Refocusing on an increasingly popular theme among tourism circles, the absolute failure of Bangli officials to enforce zoning and building laws and inability to take stern action against illegal buildings on the eastern side of the rim road is threatening the very future of an iconic natural tourism attraction in Bali.


Putranata characterized the behavior of officials in Bangli as lacking "good will" with officials choosing to close their eyes and ignore the obvious problem of tourism businesses in Kintamani.



Conned by Condotels?

Marketer and Developer of Swiss-Belhotel Bali Condotel Project in Bali Sued by Unhappy Purchasers reports that a number of condotel units in Swiss-Belhotel Bali have filed suit in the South Jakarta court claiming default on the parts of the marketer and developer.


The Rp. 26 billion (US$2.16 million) suit has been filed against the PT Royal Premier International as the marketer of the project and PT Anamaya Selaras as the developer.


The complaint filed with the Court states that the two defendants in the case had signed a cooperative agreement starting from September 24, 2014. That agreement addressed the development and marketing of 39 condotel unites managed by the Swiss-Belhotel Bali.


The plaintiffs in the case have stated before the Court that that they have fulfilled all the conditions for purchase and payment of the offered units.


Suhaedi Buhaerah, the legal counsel of the defendants, told Bisnis on October 30, 2014, "We have paid in full for all the units but until this point in time we have not been handed the a copy of the agreement to purchase agreement (PPJB)."


PT Royal Premier has reportedly written to PT Anamaya Selaras on June 16, 2014 revoking their agreement to purchase 19 of the 39 condotels. The developer subsequently responded to the letter confirming the revocation.


This letter has caused confusion and concern on the part of the purchasers who claim they have paid for all the original 39 units located in Kuta, Bali.


In an apparent contradiction to its earlier actions, PT Royal Premier then wrote another letter to PT Anamaya Selaras on August 7, 2014 demanding that the developed finalize the purchase of the entire lot of 39 condotels, formally withdrawing its letter revoking the purchase of 19 of the units.


Meanwhile, the developer insists on holding firm to the revocation of the sale of the 19 units as detailed in the June letter.


Against this background, the plaintiffs sent a cease and desist letter (somasi) to the developer and marketer on August 29, 2014 reminding them of their obligations to build and hand over the purchased condotels.


Due to the lack of a response from PT Royal Premier and PT Anamaya Selaras, the purchasers have now filed suit against the two companies at the South Jakarta Court. The plaintiffs are seeking material damages of Rp. 16 billion (US$1.3 million) and non-material losses of a further Rp. 10 billion (US$833,000).



Vox Populi in Bali

Province of Bali Holds Monthly Open Forum to Allow Citizens to Voice Criticism and Make Recommendations to Provincial Officials reports that the Provincial Government of Bali is establishing a new open forum for comments and criticism from the public to their government that is set to commence on November 2, 2014.


The forum has been given the name "Podium Bali Bicara" (Bali Speaks Podium) held its first session on November 2, 2014 at the Bajra Sandhi Monument in Renon, Denpasar.


The provincial spokesperson for Bali, Dewa Gede Mahendra, told the press that the "Podium Bali Bicara" would be an open forum for the public to speak to Governor Made Mangku Pastika and his administration in order to deliver suggestions, criticism or share experiences. "All members of the Public are welcome to speak on any subject, to criticize and make recommendations to all the provincial agencies and government services - providing the material does not touch on issues of SARA (i.e. tribalism, ethnic groups, religion or race). The aim is to provide the widest possible freedom of expression to the public to recommend, criticize and share their experiences to make sure no channel of communication becomes clogged," explained Mahendra.


The open speech forums will be held on the first Sunday of each month from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m..


The province is encouraging the public to use "Podium Bali Bicara." Security personnel will be in attendance at each forum to ensure all those wishing to speak have the opportunity to do so.



Bali's Man at the Presidential Palace

A.A. Gede Ngurah Puspayoga is Sole Balinese Named to Joko Widodo's Presidential Cabinet


After failing in his bid to become the Governor of Bali in the May 2013 elections, Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Puspayoga has become the only Balinese to win a seat in the "working cabinet" of Indonesian president Joko Widodo.


Puspayoga has been sworn in at the State Palace in Jakarta as the Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.


Born on July 7, 1965, Puspayoga has served previously as the chairman of the PDI-P party in Bali (1997-2000), the vice-chairman of the PDI-P party in Bali (1995-1997) and the chairman for East Denpasar of the PDI-P (1999-2000).


Married to I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darawati, Puspayoga also works as a lecturer at Bali's Ngurah Rai University and has also served at the chairman of the Denpasar House of Representative (DPRD-Denpasar (1999-2000).


He has also served as the Mayor of Bali's capital city of Denpasar (2000-2005 & 2005-2008) and the Vice-Governor of Bali (2008-2013).


The Secretary for the Ministry for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Agus Murharram, has publicly welcomed Puspayoga's appointment, saying the Ministerial team looked forward to bringing their dedication and hard works to bear in support of their new boss.


Observers warn that Puspayoga will face many challenges in his new role and the need to improve the general welfare of the public.


The Ministry currently supervises 206,000 cooperatives with a combined membership of 36 million. Of the 206,000 cooperatives registered in Indonesia, however, it is estimated that as much as 71% exist in name only, another 23% are in a state of suspended animation and only 6% of all cooperatives can be considered to fully functional. As a result, cooperatives are credited with making a meager 2% contribution to the Gross National Product.



Now, Let us Pray

Religious Affair Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin Proposes Legislation to End Religious Persecution in Indonesia


Many political observers have been encouraged greatly by Indonesian President Joko Widodo's decision to retain Lukman Hakim Saifuddin in his role as Indonesia's Minister of Religion.


Lukman Hakim was appointed to head the Religious Ministry in June 2014, during the waning days of the reign of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after the previous Minister of Religion, Suryadharma, was forced to resign in disgrace amidst allegations of corruption. Vowing to clean up a Ministry notorious for its malfeasance, Lukman Hakim made the heroic decision of resigning his new seat in the National House of Representatives (DPR) in order to be legally able to run his ministry for little more than a month before his term as Religious Affairs Minister was set to expire.


Popularly seen as plain spoken, tolerant and clean - Hakim has imbued his troubled ministry with a new esprit de corps.


Emboldened with his appointment to the Cabinet of Joko Widodo, Lukman Hakim wasted no time in embracing the populace principles of the President and announced plans to introduce legislations that would protect religious freedom in Indonesia and provide an unparalleled level of protection to religious minorities.


The new legislation represents a dramatic departure from the religiously intolerant stance of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in the past and the ineffectual and half-hearted defense of religious freedom under the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.


Quoted by The Jakarta Globe, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said, "Over the next six months, we will work on this bill to protect all religious groups, including those outside the six main religions of Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism."


"The bill will protect everyone's religious rights, especially the rights guaranteed by the Constitution," Lukman continued. "First, the right to believe in whatever people chooses to put their faith in. There should be a guarantee that everyone is free to choose their own religion or belief, Second, the independence for anyone to practice their belief."


The new Religious Affairs Minister said he hoped the new legislation would improve the quality of life of the Indonesian people.


The new legislation is promised to tackle the closures and violent attacks on churches and religious groups that marred Indonesian history during the presidency of Yudhoyono. It is also expected that the new law will remove discriminatory and biased measures that have been used to obstruct the building of places of worship in many Moslem-dominated neighborhoods of Indonesia.


Lukman Hakim has also pledged to alleviate long-standing discrimination against Ahmadi and Shiite congregations in Indonesia who, through violence condoned in the past part through inaction by police authorities, have now created refugee pockets of people driven from their home communities because of their religious beliefs.



When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

27-Year Old Australian Man Standing Trial in April 2014 Hijacking Scare on a Bali-Bound Virgin Australia Flight


The trial of an Australian man has commenced in Brisbane for interfering in the flight of a Virgin Australia flight in bound to Bali on April 25, 2014.


Appearing before a Queensland Magistrate on Thursday, October 30, 2014, Matt Christopher Lockley, a plumber from New South Wales, entered a plea of "not guilty" to the charge of interfering with a crewmember during the subject flight.


The 28-year-old Lockley was flying to Indonesia to search for his estranged Indonesian wife, when he claims he suffered a panic attack. Waking up from a sleep he became concerned that medication in his carryon bag may had been tampered with and asked flight attendants to remove the medications and dispose of them before the plane landed in Bali.


As the man's state of panic intensified, he testified he became dizzy and disoriented, and frantically began searching for a toilet in the plane. Saying he found the toilets at the back of the airplane all fully occupied, he rushed to the front of the jet, passing through the barrier curtain dividing economy and business class and tried to force open a door he believed to lead to a business class bathroom.


The locked door was, in fact,  the entrance to the airplane's cockpit where Lockley's behavior caused security concerns for both the cockpit crew and fellow passengers as he proceeded to pound on the door, demanding entrance.


Captain Neil Cooper, the pilot on the Virgin Australia flight, told the court, "I heard bang, bang, bang, rattle, rattle, rattle - it wasn't a friendly knock."


The pilot had been advised earlier that the crew were dealing with a medical emergency when the pounding commenced and a coded message, signaling a possible hijack scenario was underway, was relayed to the cockpit via the plane's intercom system.


While Lockley denied to the Court that he was on drugs or drinking prior to the incident, a flight attendant testified that the man had seemed highly nervous and that the man's pupils were dilated.


The pilot reportedly applied full throttle to hasten arrival in Bali and signaled Bali Air Traffic Control that a possible hijacking was underway. Meanwhile, on the other side or the cockpit door three passengers tackled and subdued Lockley, restraining him until members of a para-military security attachment surrounding the plane upon landing in Bali were able to board the plane and assume custody of Lockley.


Indonesian authorities elected not to charge Lockley, sending him back to Australia to face charges in Brisbane.


Lockley's trial in Australia continues with the Magistrate expected to hand down a verdict in the case on December 12, 2014.



Tourism Problems Come in Fours

Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board and New Tourism Minister Identify Crucial Problems Preventing Tourism Growth


On his fifth day in office as Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, held meetings in Jakarta with the leadership of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI) on Friday, October 31, 2014.


On the agenda: the discussion four crucial problems facing Indonesian tourism, according to Hermawan Kartajaya – a member of BPPI.


Quoted by, Kertajaya said, following the meeting, “As stated by the Minister, the problems (facing tourism) are regulation, infrastructure, marketing and the destination itself.”


The meeting among tourism leaders and the Minister were held the Tourism Ministers headquarters at the Sapta Pesona Building on Jalan Medan Merdeka in Jakarta.


Hermawan said tourism regulations in Indonesia needs to be cleaned up. Citing an example of disorder in the current regulatory environment, he alluded to the current disarray between the Central Government and the regions how laws are made and applied.


Continuing, he referred to the problem of Visas-On-Arrival and the problems presented by tourists who must pay for a visa on each every visit to the Country. Using the United States as an example, Kertajaya said people visiting that country could apply for multiple visit tourist visas valid for five-years.


“As regards infrastructure,” he added, “one thing that must be done is to increase the number of flights.”


Examining the problems surrounding destinations, the BPPI member said issues exist over disputes over authority and territory between the Central Government and the regions. He said that no matter how much Jakarta attempts to promote a destination, if there is no concomitant support from the regions any results achieved would be less than maximal.


Finally, discussing marketing, he complained that funds allocated for marketing are extremely limited, with new and creative solutions sought to promote Indonesian tourism.



Missing at Sea

German Tourist Missing After Snorkeling at Nusa Dua, Bali


A German tourist, Bernhard Manfred Erich Lubke, has been reported as missing to Bali police by his wife.


According to the woman, Lubke was last seen snorkeling off a beach at Nusa Dua at around 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2014.


After sunset, at 6:30 p.m., the German had failed to return to his hotel. reports that the missing German tourism was born in Prussia in 1943 and was staying at a 5-star property in Nusa Dua at the time of his disappearance.


Searched are underway by Bali Water police, members of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) and lifeguards (Balawista) from the Bandung regency.


On Sunday, November 2, 2014 the search for the man continued in the waters surrounding Nusa Dua.



Itinerant Workers Drown in Bali

Two Local Construction Workers Drown Off Bali's Sanur Beach


Two Javanese construction workers have drowned after going for a swim at Lembeng Beach in Gianyar, Bali on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. Police believe strong currents carried the two men to their deaths.


Dead are two Central Javanese - Candra Kika Irawan (19) of Surakarta and Armanto (24) of Boyolali.


On October 30, 2014, the body of Candra was discovered floating off Sindhu Beah in Sanur at 8:00 while Armanto’s body was found further to the south by fishermen at Serangan Island at 11:30 a.m. on the same day.


Both bodies were stored at the morgue of the Sanglah General Hospital pending further final arrangement by their families.


Both were employed at a construction site in Gianyar prior to their deaths.



Law, What Law?

Provincial Lawmakers Complains Zoning Laws in South Bali are Almost Completely Ignored


A member of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) has complained that zoning and building regulations set forth in the 2009 Bali Zoning Law (RTRWP) are largely ignored.


Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana, on October 27, 2014, told the DPRD that starred hotels in Denpasar and Badung have built in close proximity to shore lines and religious temples – both acts specifically prohibited by the RTRWP. Moreover, enforcement authorities fail to prohibit these infraction by forcing the errant hotels to remove or rebuild illegal structures and make their buildings conform to the law.


Quoted in Radar Bali, Kariyasa mentioned one hotel in Petitienget, Kerobokan that has violated setback rules form the beach. The previous Commission III from the DPRD-Bali had conducted on-site inspections of the illegal structure, confirmed the violations and then failed to follow the matter up with enforcement measures.


He also said that violations of rules in other parts of Badung are quickly destroying remaining agricultural lands and the South Island’s ability to sustain its own food requirements.


Meanwhile, another member of Commission III, Wayan Kariarta, said violations of the RTRWP  are not limited to set backs rules from Bali’s shorelines, but also violate setback rules from roadways and riverbanks. Building too close to roadways and a failure to honor rules on providing the minimal number of parking spaces is blamed for traffic congestion in many parts of South Bali.



For the Kids

Annual UNICEF Event at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Raises Fund and Hearts on Behalf of the World’s Children


A crowd of more than 1,000 excited music fan filled the Mangupura Hall of the Bali International Convention Center – Westin Resort Nusa Dua on Friday, October 31, 2014 for the Hotel’s annual UNICEF Charity Event.

ng this year’s concert were Indonesian singing sensations Nowela and Petra Sihombing who, on several occasions, shared the stage with a talented children’s chorus from the Farabi Music School.


As the winner of Indonesian Idol 2014, Papuan-born Nowela brought to the event her soulful and powerful voice that defies her diminutive stature. Making a grand entrance while singing her way in from the back of the large venue, Nowela showed all the dazzle and star-power that saw her win the nation-wide singing competition.


Alternating numbers on stage was Indonesian musical and film heartthrob Petra Sihombing who contributed his personable and intimate singing style to the show.

g with a fullback-up band and a contemporary stage setting replete with back-projected visual imagery and mesmerizing lighting effects, the two charismatic young Indonesian artists donated their talents as part of a multi-year collaboration between Starwood Hotels and UNICEF to provide vaccinations and educational opportunities for children across the Asia-Pacific region.

the event, fans and aspiring young singers had the opportunity to meet with Nowela and Petra in person during a Musical Rendezvous at the Prego restaurant. This exclusive gathering enabled both artists to share their experiences in the Indonesian music industry with an appreciative audience over an afternoon tea and photo session.

ng with what was essentially a celebration for children from all walks of life, The Westin also bussed in a group of underprivileged youngsters from the Dana Punia Orphanage in North Bali.

ing closed with a moving musical collaboration between Nowela, Petra and the children from Farabi Music School. Their collaborative rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Heal the World” was performed presented against a powerful backdrop of UNICEF visuals of children from around the world.

past 19 years, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, as part of Starwood Hotels has partnered with UNICEF to raise funds for the UNICEF Check Out For Children Challenge that has supported the immunization of thousands of young women and children against a number of preventable diseases.


Shown on are pictures from a memorable night of Stars at The Westin in support of UNICEF.



Better Tourist Visitor Service Needed

South Korean Ambassadors Warn that Bali’s Visitor Numbers from Korea Threatened by Unscrupulous Tourism Practice reports that the South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia, Cho Tai-Young, has complained to Bali’s governor about Bali travel agents involved the “buying and selling of heads” of South Korean tourists visiting the Island.


The Ambassador was referring to the practice where bids are won to handle individual and group visitors from South Korean tour agencies through low pricing after which the right to handle these tourists is “resold” again to local handlers in Bali who recoup their costs and seek  profit by forcing South Korean visitors to suffer inferior tourism products and services.


The Ambassador delivered his complaints to Governor Made Mangku Pastika during a visit to Bali. He said the mistreatment of South Korean tourist in Bali has drawn the attention of the Government of South Korea. Cho said he hoped the Provincial Government of Bali would process his complaint saying a failure to do so could influence the number of South Koreans visiting Bali. Moreover, he warned, a failure to correct this situation would damage Bali’s reputation in the eyes of the world.


In 2013, some 134,000 South Korean tourist visited Bali.


Governor Pastika promised the South Korean Ambassador he would seriously follow up the complaint of poor service to his fellow Koreans visiting Bali. He immediately asked the Tourism Chief for Bali to take action against poorly behaving travel agents.


The Governor admitted that the unscrupulous practice mentioned by the South Korean Ambassador is also similar to that inflicted upon Chinese visitors to Bali.



Once Bitten

9-Year-Old Girl from East Bali Dies of Rabies


A nine-year-old girls from Karangasem, East Bali has died in Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital’ Isolation Unit where she had been warded for 2 days, suspected to be suffering from rabies.


The child, identified only by the initials NKA, died on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 2:30 a.m. after presenting with a range of symptoms consistent with rabies - including phobias of water, breezes and light.


At the time of the girl’s death, laboratory tests were underway to confirm the diagnosis of rabies. Those results have yet to be published.


Two months prior to her death, the child was bitten by a feral dog but had not taken the life-saving step of seeking anti-rabies vaccination. Rabies left untreated is generally always fatal when clinical symptoms present.



Where Crabby Old Men Eat

Too Good Not to Share: Bali Update Editor Visits Waroeng Kepiting Saus Bagan


Every once and a while my travels around Bali brings me in contact with one of the Island’s hidden secrets – a shop, an experience or a restaurant too good not to be shared with Bali Update readers.


Once such experience happened recently when lunched at Waroeng Kepiting Saos Bagan, located on a hidden side street off Jalan Diponegoro in the Sesetan area of Bali’s capital of Denpasar.

by Balinese travel legend Al Purwa who discovered the uniquely delicious way of preparing crabs during  frequent trips to Semarang, the capital of Central Java. A devoted client of the Kepiting Saos Bagain restaurant in Semarang, he struck up a friendship with the proprietor only to learn that the man's wife lived in Bali where she had two children attending school.

o live without a regular intake of these delicious crabs, Al began ordering his favorite crab dish from the restauranteur's wife in Bali. When his orders in Bali becene too frequent,  Al Purwa decided he might as well create a Bali branch of the Semarang eatery in cooperation with the Semarang family.


The Waroeng Kepiting Saos Bagan Experience


Frankly, I find eating crabs hard work. While the meat is delicious, the sauces and ensuing mess involved in eating crabs cause me to fantasize that the best way to eat this seafood delicacy might be naked in bathtub. But the extraordinary flavor of the crabs at Waroeng Kepiting Saos Bagan makes any efforts well worth the culinary reqard.


When I asked Al Purwa the recipe for the "Bagan" sauce, he confessed that the “lady in charge” in the kitchen has refused to divulge the ingredients. Hard to describe with any other word than “delicious,” I have vowed, bathtub or not, to make a return visit to try to decipher the components of “saus bagan.”


Equally delectable are the prawns (Udang Goreng Kremesan), spicy calamari and  the unique Rujak Bagan – pickled and spice that form a perfect counterbalance to the seafood on offer - all available at this out of the way eatery.


Prices are affordable with 4-person package including beverage starting from Rp. 325,000 (US$ (US27) and 6-person menu including beverages from Rp. 550,000 (US$46).



Look for the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Outlet on Jalan Diponegoro in Sesetan. Directly across the street from KFC is the entrance to Jalan Gurita. Take the first right on Jalan Gurita and you are on Jalan Gurita I. You’ll find Waroeng Kepiting Saos Bagan at number 16 – a newly built ruko on the right hand side of the road.


Waroeng Kepiting Saos Bagan is air conditioned with plenty of sinks for post-feeding wash ups.


Al is reportedly considering my suggestion that he install bathtubs.


Open daily for lunch and dinner, major credit cards accepted.



Hungry on a Sunday

Bali’s Best Sunday Brunches: ‘Big Easy’ Brunch at Mozaic Beach Club on Batu Belig Beach


Sundays in Bali are now awash with a wide choice of brunch options. The Island’s leading hotels offer delectable menus and beverage options presented in a format for leisurely enjoyment among family and friends.

eking to combine a beachside setting, laid back jazz and food from one of Bali’s most highly acclaimed kitchens in their Sunday plans need look no further than The ‘Big Easy’ Brunch held each Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Mozaic Beachclub.

on Bali’s white-sand Batu Belig Beach, the Mozaic BeachClub has a choice of settings suitable for any Sunday celebrations. Lounge and swim in casual or swim wear around the Club’s swimming pool, book one of the oversized pool-side cabana’s for an intimate family brunch gathering or adjourn to the second floor under-cover dining area with it's commanding views of the nearby Indian Ocean.

for one of the sought after tables in the Mozaic’s BeachClub's Dining Room to select from an extensive ala Carte menu created by chef-owners James Ephraim and Chris Salans featuring:

A wide range of breads and pastries.

Tropical fruit platters

Imported Oysters

Eggs in many styles and food combinations

Traditional full-fledge breakfast plates

Asian noodle specialties

Several varieties of pasta with a range of sauces

Grilled Lobster

Mozaic Pork Chops

A delicious assortment of dessert options

Those with a hankering for beef will not be disappointed with the Mozaic Sunday Roast – an 1.5-kilogram ‘Cote de Boeuf’ sufficient for 2-4 people and served with potato puree, seasonal vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.


Set brunch menu available, including free flow soft drinks, starting from Rp. 399,000 plus tax and service (US$40).


A children’s menu is available for Rp. 140,000, plus tax and service (US$14). Children under 5 are free.


Free flow drink options ranging from simple soft drink, juices and hot beverages to premium wines to a premium package including Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne are on offer.


Those booking in advance and arriving between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. will enjoy a complimentary cocktail or glass of sparkling wine.


Adding to the day’s conviviality and in keeping with the ‘Big Easy’ theme, Bali’s famed Rio Sidik Quartet serves up music reminiscent of a day spent with trumpeter Al Hirt at Dan's Pier 600 at the corner of St. Louis and Bourbon Street in New Orleans.


Shown on are photos from the menu of the ‘Big Easy’ Brunch.



Power to Indonesian Accommodation Providers

Hotel Link Solutions Named Best Travel Technology Provider in TravelMole Asia Pacific Awards


The 7th Annual TravelMole Asia Pacific Awards have been announced at ITB Asia in Singapore.


The awards showcase the talent and breadth of talent and innovation across the Asia-Pacific region recognizing “the best” in web, social, mobile and travel technology platforms.


In presenting the awards, Charles Kao, the publisher of the TravelMole Media Group, said the awards represents important recognition for the recipients by peers in the travel industry.


TravelMole sought nominations from its subscribers and members of the travel trade to nominate their favorite websites in 12 different categories. The categories covered in the poll included airline, cruise and online travel agencies.


A team of independent experts assessed the merits of each nominee’s website or mobile platform, rather than the business they represent. In the end, a final list of three nominees in each category was presented to 65,000 Asia Pacific TravelMole members and subscribers who voted for the eventual winner.


Among the winners was Hotel Link Solution as the Best APAC Travel Technology Provider Website.


Hotel Link Solutions provides digital marketing solutions, primarily for small and medium-sized hotels. Hotel Link Solutions in Indonesia – part of the worldwide Hotel Link Solution Network – is empowering hotel, villa and accommodation owners to quickly grow their share of the online booking market using travel distribution via an extensive network of online travel agents and on line bookings directly to their hotels.


Commenting on the award, Travel Link Solutions – Indonesia’s manager Chandra Himawan said: “Winning this recognition from TravelMole highlights the growing range of valuable and affordable services we are providing our accommodation clients in Indonesia. Effective on line travel marketing in no longer the exclusive preserve of just the big, internationally branded hotels. We level the playing field every day for our clients who, when they embrace our program of ‘best practice’ in e-marketing and use our technology, have seen their on line bookings increase dramatically."


In winning the TravelMole award, Hotel Link Solutions was recognized for its content, innovation, layout and ease of navigation.


The TravelMole Award coincides with the launch of the new platform for Hotel Link Solutions, and the launch of the new digital HealthCheck service for accommodation provider.



The Open Skies of ASEAN

SilkAir to Start Daily Flights Between Singapore and Bali in December 2014


SilkAir, the regional affiliate of Singapore Airlines (SIA), will commence daily flights between Singapore and Bali stating in December 2014 to coincide with the anticipated high traffic season to Bali from Europe and Southeast Asia.


Intended to complement Singapore Airlines worldwide flight network, SilkAir proclaims the new routes will offer point-to-point schedules – a departure from SIA’s existing “last leg” options.  According to SilkAir, the new routes will help “synergize the networks of both airlines.”


The new route is a direct reflection of the ASEAN Open Skies policy recently ratified by all ASEAN Members and intended to eliminate protectionist barriers in the aviation sector.


SIA and SilkAir operate 56 flights a week to Jakarta. SilkAir’s network in Indonesia includes 11 destinations.




© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

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185.000 Euro

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2.95 Miljard IDR.

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699.000 US Dollars.

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