BALI UPDATE #382 - 05
Friday, January 2,
Early Morning Quake Wakes Much of the Island.
An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale
shook much of Bali and Lombok at 5 a.m. local
time on Friday, January 2, 2004.
The epicenter of the quake was located some 27
miles northeast of Karangasem at an estimated
depth of 33 kilometers.
The quake roused many people from their sleep
across the entire breadth of the island of Bali
and in neighboring Lombok.
Property Damage and Injuries Reported
The Indonesian-language Bali Post
has reported that thousands of homes suffered
some damage as the result of the tremor and at
least 33 people were injured in Bali and Lombok.
Damage estimates on Bali are put at Rp. 23 billion
(approximately US$ 2.7 million) and were confined
to damage to homes, schools and health centers
in East Bali. Heavier structural damage was reported
in West Lombok where several buildings, including
a Mosque and several homes, collapsed completely
and where one death is attributed to the quake.
On Bali, substantial damage was reported in the
traditional Bali Aga village of Tenganan
and in the villages of Culik and Seraya.
According to reports from the Department of Meteorology
and Geophysics (BMG), this was the largest quake
in the Karangasem area since 1979.
Visa Change Set for
Apparently It's Official:
Visa Free Arrivals to Soon End for Most Visitors.
Various press reports now circulating seem to
confirm that the long-awaited and controversial
change in the visa policy will be introduced on
February 1, 2003.
Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza
Mahendra, told the press in Jakarta on Friday,
January 2, 2003, that the change in visa policy
would be initially introduced on the first day
of February for foreign visitors arriving by air
in Bali, Jakarta, Medan (Sumatra), Manado (North
Sulawesi), and Padang (West Sumatra). On that
same date, foreign visitors arriving by ship would
experience the changed policy at the following
ports: Batam, Sibolga, Belawan (North Sumatra),
Jakarta, Surabaya and Jayapura (Papua).
11 Countries to Retain Visa Free Facility
Based on the strict application of reciprocity
embraced by the new rules, the citizens of 11
countries whose governments extend visa free facility
to Indonesian nationals would continue to enjoy
visa-free stays. Included in the 11 countries
and administrative districts to be granted the
30-day visa-free facility are: Thailand, Malaysia,
Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines,
Hongkong Special Administrative Region, Macao
Special Administrative Region, Chile, Morocco,
Peru and Vietnam.
Visa-On Arrivals for 20 Other Countries
The nationals of another 20 countries and one
administrative district will be able to apply
for a purchased visa on arrival valid for either
3 or 30 days upon arrival in Indonesia. In a service
the Minister promised will only consume 7 minutes,
visitors will be able to purchase a visa for a
3 day visit reportedly costing US$ 10 or US$ 25
for a 30 day visit.
The nations and districts eligible to purchase
a visa on arrival are: the United States, Australia,
South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, the
Arab Emirates, Finland, Hungary, United Kingdom,
Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Norway,
France, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, and
Citizens of countries not on the visa on arrival
or visa free lists will be required to apply for
a visa before entering Indonesia.
Early reports are not clear on what procedures
will apply for visitors wishing to stay more than
30 days making the wisest course for those visitors
to apply for a visa beforehand with their nearest
Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.
Bali Saves the Whale
Locals and Hotel Staff Join Forces to Save a Beached Whale at Nusa Dua.
On Tuesday, December 30, 2003, a rare Gervais Beaked Whale beached itself on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, near the Grand Hyatt Resort.
A member of the Hotel's staff was drawn to the beach at about 5 a.m. by a sound described as akin to a crying child. Upon discovering the source of the sound, a 4.5 meter whale stranded on the white sand beach, the Hyatt staff member raised an alarm to the Hotel's engineering staff to bring a pump to keep the large mammal moist. Eventually police, hotel staff, and concerned members of the public all became involved in the rescue effort: A tent was erected over the whale, rescuers took turns massaging and calming the animal, and the assistance of a bulldozer and local power boats were employed to help drag the whale back to the open sea.
Combined teamwork and concern were rewarded when, at 11:45 a.m., the whale was once again swimming free in the ocean.
The beaked whale is a rare breed, normally encountered swimming in pods. While little is known of the species, they are believed to feed at deep depths and strandings are often associated with calving, which often occurs in shallow water.
A Hard Month to Call
Bali by the Numbers: November '03 Arrivals Show Performance at Pre-1999 Levels.
November 2003 direct foreign arrivals in Bali totaled 83,853 – numbers hard to call
in determining whether or not Bali's tourism industry is returning to health. In fact, the totals suggest a retreat of over 5 years of tourism number growth in 2003.
• November 2003 figures are up 266% from November 2002 (31,497), the month that felt the full negative brunt of the October 2002 terrorist attack.
• November 2003 was up 15.2% from November 2001 (72,806), the month still reeling from the world-wide slump on travel following the 9-11 attack in New York.
• November 2003 was down 23.87% from the same month in 2000 (110,145). Free of the effects of 9-11 and the Bali bombing, a comparison to 2000 may be more indicative of the level of visitor shortfall that Bali continues to experience.
• November 2003 arrivals were down 4.46% as compared to November 1999 (83,848).Conclusion
Bali arrivals still lag some 25% over a "steady state" year comparison, with arrivals for most of 2004 hovering at levels reminiscent of 1997-1998 average arrival totals – losses equivalent to a retreat of over 5 years of tourism growth.
Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets
One of Kerobokan's Newest Dining Spots Opens to Rave Reviews.
Quintessentially French in every detail, Lola Restaurant, located on Jalan Raya Kerobokan, has earned praise from those lucky enough to discover this dining treasure during its first several months of operation.
Lola Restaurant is a tasteful blend of chic, elegant surroundings, and hearty traditional French cooking. Service and restaurant ambience are delivered under the watchful eye of Mr. Andre Jean Zahra, while the kitchen features the culinary talents of French Chef Patrick Chanchereau who has honed his skills in various 2 and 3 star Paris-based Michelin-rated restaurants. Stints in the kitchens at Lassere, Michel Geurard and Eugine Le Bains in France, and Les Cepage in Marrakesh have provided Chef Chanchereau with the inspirational basis for his signature provincial French dishes at Lola Restaurant.
The Menu Highlights
Salads - Simple and straightforward celebrations of the garden market are presented with choices between a confit of tomatoes in an anchovy dressing; poultry livers and gizzards in a confit; or a salad of garden lentils in a vinaigrette dressing.
Lola a La Ferme - emphasizes the traditional French table with a Porc Terrine Maison; fresh escargots; or stewed marrow presented with French Guerande salt.
Seafood - Difficult decisions ahead in the form of fried octopus presented in a warm salad, frog legs in provencale sauce, marinated herrings on warm potatoes, or tuna carpaccio marinated in a special lime dressing.
Lola Specialties - include pork medallions in a mushroom sauce; veal; grilled duck breasts magret served with balsamic vinegar, polenta and turnips; lamb; and a half-chicken roasted in sauce diable.
General Offerings - to tempt diners at Lola regular features showcase a range of local and imported fish; beef tartar; steaks and ribs; or traditional French sausages.
A glimpse at the extensive dessert menu had everyone at our table invoking the gospel of Dr. Atkins and refusing to consider the selections offered. Our protests were to no avail as Andre placed an array of magnificent culinary finales including profiterole with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce; a warm chocolate cake likely to single-handedly drive up the price of cacao; and an almond mouse presented with fresh fruit.
Lola Restaurant is located on Jalan Raya Kerobokan No. 58 and open each day for lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and for dinner from 6:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m..
Reservations are available at telephone ++62-(0)361-738570
or facsimile ++62-(0)361-738566.
Thalasso Bali Completes Renovations
Extensive Upgrade in Facilities Completed in December 2003.
The first Thalasso therapy center in Southeast Asia, Thalasso Bali has competed its renovation program with all facilities available to the public from December 2003.
All treatment rooms have been refurbished, each with an individual theme built around such titles as Sparkling Sea Sky, Cinnamon Cloud, Ying Yang Cave, and Balinese Tradition - to name but a few of the themes incorporated into their new and luxurious treatment rooms.
The Thalasso Bali Spa is located adjacent to the Grand Mirage Resort and offers a whole range of spa treatments based on healing sea weed compounds and salt water.
Bali Update Readers to the Rescue
Badly Needed Scholarships Provided by Bali Update Readers and Others for Polytechnic Students.
In Edition #379 of Bali Update
published on December 15, 2003, an appeal was launched looking for scholarship sponsors prepared to help deserving tourism students from the Politeknik Negeri Bali
continue their studies.
Initially, a group of 10 very deserving students was identified by the SKAL International Club of Bali
but only sufficient funds were on hand to cover four scholarships. Rather than face the possibility of Bali losing 6 talented future tourism professionals, SKAL
activist, Ms. Debe Campbell, launched an appeal including a story on balidiscovery.com
Eventually a number of kind sponsors stepped forward, including Bali Update readers from Australia and the U.S.A., who contributed the US$ 741 needed for each student's next semester of study.Pictured on balidiscovery.com are the additional students to be helped by the supplementary donations, left to right Putu Mertajasa, IA Putu Risa Cahyani Dewi, Ni Nyoman Trisnawati, Luh Rurita Desyana, Ketut Krisnawa, and Headmaster at the Politeknik Mr. Wayan Adisubagia
4 + 1 = Venezia
Innocence Abroad Runs Riot in Journal Kept by 4 Balinese Artists During Visit to Venice.
In 2003, world famous installation artist Made Wianta was invited to travel to Venice to present his work "What Goes Around Comes Around" depicting his reaction to the October 2002 terrorist bombing in Bali at the prestigious La Biennalle di Venezia. To assist him in preparing his exhibition Wianta invited along three fellow Balinese: I Gusti Raka Panji Tisna (Panji) an artist, writer, biologist and environmental scientist; I Made Darma Susila (Made Kaek); a lawyer by training and an artist by avocation; and I Wayan Sujana (Sukuli) a formally trained artist from the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) whose work is gaining a growing audience worldwide.
The foursome's travel diary reflecting on being an Indonesian abroad in the post 9-11 world, pasta, holes of every description, Gina Lollobrigida, and the naked human form experiencing pain while climbing stairs were gathered together in a book entitled "4 + 1 = Venezia."
Published by the Wianta Foundation the book is available in limited quantities from the Wianta Foundation at telephone/facsimile ++62-(0)361-233613 or via the e-mail link below.
Yakking About Seminyak
'The Yak' is Born.
In an area of Bali that prides itself on its style and trend setting demeanor, a new arbitrator of that 'style' and 'taste' was recently launched in the form of the December/January premier edition of The YAK.
A magazine that boasts to report on "the lighter and darker sides of Seminyak – Bali's fashionable playground," The YAK, judging from the inaugural edition, promises to be both stylish and quirky. There's an eye-catching photographic essay on Bali, a review of restaurants and bars found in Seminyak, a comparison of the leading spas, and an interview with a handbag.
Distributed free of charge, The YAK can be found in leading Seminyak Villas, Clubs, Discos, Spas and Airport Lounges. In some ways The YAK will find you. It's a magazine that will stand out and impress at places that do the same. And, if you've haven't encountered a copy during your travels around Bali, perhaps it's time to reassess where you 'hang'.
Irreverent and irresistible: We can hardly wait for the next issue!
Governor Sounds a Warning on Architecture
Dewa Beratha Pleads for Balinese Cultural Elements in Local Building Values.
During a working visit to the Berawa district in Canggu on Bali's Southwest Coast, Governor Drs. Dewa Beratha, called for a greater commitment to preserving Bali's environment including the use of architectural styles that reflect the island's rich culture.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the local People's Consultative Assembly (DPRD Bali), IBP Wesnawa and the Bupati of the Badung Regency, AAN Ratmadi, the Governor used the occasion to inspect local civic work projects to remind the Balinese of the need to incorporate Balinese architectural principles in building commercial and private structures. Fearing that Bali's world renowned "style" would soon be lost, the Governor said, "I hope the people will no longer use building models that do not conform with existing (Balinese) values."
Garuda Pays its Bills
Increased Passenger Loads Allow Garuda to Keep Debts Current.
Garuda Indonesia Airways carried 7,299,072 passengers system-wide in 2003, an increase of 4.9% as compared to total passenger uplifts just one year earlier. Improved loads in 2003 made it possible for Indonesia's National Carrier to pay its rescheduled debt amounting to US$ 66,9 million.
In 2003, Garuda carried 5,516,586 domestic passengers and 1,712,486 international passengers. The breakdown of international passengers carried equaled 823,103 Southeast Asian originating passengers, 126,218 Europeans, 261,868 South Koreans and Japanese, 209,126 Middle Eastern travelers, and 283,171 Australians and New Zealanders.
Loan Obligations Met
On December 22, 2003, Garuda paid US$ 44.2 million and Indonesian Rupiah 66.7 billion (approximately US$ 7.84 million) to JP Morgan. At the same time, the Airline paid US$ 2.4 million to the European Credit Agency (ECA). One week later on December 29, 2003. Garuda also paid US$ 2.5 million to EDC (Tranch A) and US$ 648,700 to EDC Tranch B.
December also saw Garuda pay Rp. 64.9 billion (approximately US$ 7.64 million) in convertible bonds due to a syndicate of local banks and Angakasa Pura I & II - the operators of Indonesia's main air terminals.
In accordance with the debt restructuring scenario formalized by the Airline, some US$ 110 million of in debt must be repaid each year for the next seven years.
Sanur's Beaches Make a Comeback
Beach Reclamation Project Revitalizing Bali's Oldest Tourist Beach.
Over the past several years substantial funds have been invested to protect the sandy beach along the Sanur Coast. Protective sea walls and barriers have been erected and pristine white sand imported to regain the strip's past glory.
As pictures recently taken on the beach front of Sanur's historic La Traverna Bali Hotel demonstrate, the results are spectacular. Guest staying at the 34 room idyllic resort now have a 40-50 meter wide band of sandy beach to enjoy and the opportunity to explore the many shops and restaurants dotted along the historic Sanur Walk.