Bali Discovery Tours
Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
24h: +62 (0)812 3819724
Tel: +62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242
BALI UPDATE #048 - 16 JUNE 1998
COULD IT HAPPEN IN BALI?
International governments, including Japan and the
U.S.A., have rescinded their travel advisories against Indonesia, with
Bali being highlighted by most for its continuing regime of peace, even
throughout the turmoil of the past month.
The question on everyone's mind--visitors and residents
alike--is the riots, looting, shooting of six student activists, death
of more than 500 looters and burning of 5,000 buildings, which occurred
in Java in mid-May--could it happen in Bali?
The answer is a resounding, "No!"
Despite the tremendous social unrest in Jakarta in May, Bali remained
very peaceful and calm with no single incident reported in which political
protests caused any disruption in the delivery of tourism services to
the islands visitors, said Bali tourism chief Luther Barrung.
Anak Agung Gede Rai underscores the point. "Bali has a very strong
cultural and religious community, bound together by the traditional "desa
adat" and "banjar"--traditional law and community organisation. These
very strict rules have been practiced for centuries, and through this
system the Balinese people are communally bound," said Rai, president
of the Bali Tourism Development Corp., and himself, a descendent of Balinese
royalty and a strong community leader and member.
"This prevents the indigenous Balinese from doing anything outside
the common interest of their people. Even outsiders (workers and residents
from other islands) are under this jurisdiction. Even the large city of
Denpasar is divided into strong "banjar" communities which can, to a large
extent, minimise the possibility of things getting out of hand.
"Even in Kuta, look inside the hustle and bustle and you will find
a very strong village life, with rules and regulations observed by everyone.
When there was frequent crime in Kuta a few years ago, it was the community
which took public punishment to the street to end the problem.
"We can't guarantee 100 per cent that there are no problems. Who
is perfect? There is crime and problems everywhere. The difference is
the Balinese community certainly is capable of warding it off," said Rai.
With 526,000 family heads deriving their income from tourism in
Bali, they certainly have a vested interested in protecting the butter
that is spread on their bread.
A trip into the island's interior shows no sign of outside interference.
Rice is still harvested, Balinese women are still dressed in brilliantly
coloured sarongs, carrying baskets of offerings on their heads as they
gracefully stride to the Hindu temple in religious ritual. It's life as
usual for the Balinese and tourists to Bali, and the Balinese have a vested
interest in keeping it that way.
BALI BOUNCING BACK CUP
Attention Bali-based Hotel and Travel Industry Staff.
THESE ARE THE WARNING SIGNALS: You know all your
guests by their first names; You're considering having housekeeping staff
wear civilian clothes and hang around the lobby just to improve the atmosphere;
You're so happy to see a new guest check-in that you fight the Hotel Porter
for the privilege to carry their bags.
RELIEF IS AT HAND! Nirwana Bali Golf Club & Le Meridien
Nirwana are inviting all frustrated management and hotel staff and all
other travel industry members to a travel industry sunset game of golf
on Wednesday, 24 June at the Nirwana Bali Resort. Tee times will start
from 12.00 and prizes will be awarded during a relaxing buffet dinner
over drinks at 18.00.
Cost for the day is Rp. 350,000 net inclusive of
green fees, cart fee, caddy fee, tax, prizes, buffet dinner and beer.
Local Rule #1: Each time your mobile phone rings you will incur a one
shot penalty. Local Rule #2: Scream "booking" instead of "fore" when
hitting a drive - everyone is sure to pay attention.
Contact Steve Lamerton, Golf Club General Manager
at (0361) 815 960. Bookings can be made by facsimile to (0361) 815 961.
BALI ARTS FESTIVAL CONTINUES
Visitors to Bali from mid-June to mid-July
have the unique opportunity to experience the world of Balinese art and
culture, all in one spot. The 20th Annual Bali Arts Festival is ongoing
at Taman Budaya culture centre, through July 15. This vast "living museum"
is ablaze with colourful traditional dances, local musicians, handicraft
exhibitions, artistic competitions and cultural life in bloom--from the
young to the young at heart.
Among participats are students from the School
of Dance and Music. These young artist are preserving traditions handed
down over the generations, learning classical dance, music and art. Besides
traditional disciplines, these students master standardised dance movements
for dance drama but produce new types of Balinese dances for tourism and
modern village entertainment. Students return to their villages to carry
on the cultural tradition--carrying both traditional standards and new
At Taman Budaya, visitors will find a huge
cultural complex in the capital's centre, constructed in traditional Balinese
architecture. Grand theaters and small performance halls make for a variety
of venues, the largest ampitheater holding up to 6,000 spectators.
There are opportunities to witness little
known dances from distant villages--something other visitors may never
be able to experience. There may be trance dances from remote mountain
slopes, recently revived spiritual dances, sacred offering making contests
or carving competitions. These events are not staged for tourists. Many
of the competitors already have won competitions at their village and
regency levels. What's on display is the best of the best. Visitors just
get the benefit of a local phenomenon.
No where in the world can anyone experience
such a range of traditional arts, and for such little cost. And what better
place to seek out handicrafts made on the spot by artisans. Buying directly
from the artist, you know he or she receives 100 percent of the earnings.
Each festival day is divided into two programs.
Midday performances, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., usually include music, traditional
games and craft contests such as cooking or offering making. Evening performances
begin at 8 pmand last late into the night. The Arts Centre is oppen all
day until midnight with an array of exhibitions, food stalls and commercial
SPORTS ON THE RISE AT
Watersports always have been a natural for
the Indonesian archipelago. But the range in diversity of new sport activities
for tourists is on the rise. On Bali, particularly, there is everything
from rafting to parasailing, elephant trekking to cycling, diving to kayaking.
Among the most exciting new activities is elephant
safaris. Bali Adventure Tours has 18 elephants in Taro village, 20 minutes
north of Ubud, available for jungle treks or short rides. Adventure now
packages the elephant safari with its 8-year-old rafting program on the
Ayung River. Combined with lunch, this makes an exciting, full-day excursion.
Adventure also offers mountain cycling, jungle or rice paddy trekking,
tandem paragliding and team building programmes.
Hotel Intan Bali adds full spa facilities
to its resort sports club, from July 14, due to increased interest in
health and relaxation.
The Oberoi Bali released a golf package featuring
the Le Meridien Nirwana Golf Club. A minimum three night stay features
one day of golfing, with prices per night from US$320, including limousine
airport transfers, golf course transfers, full breakfast, aromatherapy
body massage and dinner with cultural dance performance. Nirwana Golf
Club's Greg Norman-designed golf course is believed to be among the world's
The Oberoi Lombok reduced prices on diving
package, minimum two night stay, per night from $225, including airport
transfers, PADI discover scuba dive, full breakfast, complimentary use
of watersports equipment, Jacuzzi, mountain bikes, gymnasium and tennis
Sol Elite Paradiso in Tuban, Bali, offers
a three night diving package in Pemuteran. It includes airport and diving
transfers, dive equipment use, two dives with a PADI dive master and lunch,
daily breakfast and extras.
Newly opened Four Seasons Bali at Sayan offers
hiking and biking excursions plus stretching and aerobics. At Four Seasons
Bali at Jimbaran Bay there's a morning beach walk, biking trips, aerobics,
tennis and various beach sports, all complimentary.
Nikko Bali Resort & Spa guests have an opportunity
to work out in the new Nature Cycle Tour, enjoying adventure trails and
off-rode cycling in the uninhabited surroundings of the hotel. Leading
guests on a guided tour, recreation manager Tamara shows them the "real
Bali' as it was 20 years ago, with natural landscape, sounds of nature
and clear air.
Editor/ Vice Chairman PATA Bali Chapter
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