"Thank you for these wonderful updates. Your updates arrived in my work email address (today its a cold miserable Monday in Sydney) and your emails brighten up my day and remind me its only 258 sleeps till I am next in Bali.
Bali's Sanur Beach Launches a Sunday Organic Market
On Sunday, June 04, 2006, Sanur Beach began offering shoppers a new way to do their weekly purchases of home-made breads and organic farm produce through the trial-launch of a new concept Farmers' Market.
Sanur Farmers' Market
With the first Sunday market successfully held on June 4th and a second scheduled for June 11, 2006, organizers are gauging public response to the see if the Farmers' Market can become a weekly fixture on the Sanur shopping scene.
Located at the front veranda of the Batujimbar Café, the Farmers' market offers organic produce and food products from Bali's Big Tree Farms, fresh bakery items from Kayu Api Breads, cakes, cookies, and BBQ oysters. At the colorful and friendly Farmers' Market shoppers are able to punctuate their shopping by partaking in the delicious food and drinks offered by the popular Sanur restaurant and gathering place.
The next Sanur Farmers' Market is scheduled for Sunday, June 11, 2006 and will operate between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m..
Join the next Sunday's festivities and help make this a regular event for Sanur and Bali.
Quest for Peace
Paintings and Photographs by Bhundhowi at the Ganesha Gallery June 13 – July 7, 2006.
The Indonesian artist Bhundhowi has dedicated his life to pursuing the ideals of peace.
A native of Java, he displayed precocious artistic talents as a child. Beginning as a cartoonist he evolved to oil painting, creating canvasses rich with color and imagery reminiscent of tropical gardens. Later, employment with the Save the Children Foundation introduced Bhundhowi to a wider range of humanitarian concerns and a group of people who shared his interests.
Working in Cambodia and Laos, the young artists encountered Buddhism. Although raised in the Islamic atmosphere of Java, he recognized in Buddhism many underlying themes from a religion that once flourished in his homeland.
Emotionally drawn to Indonesia's famous Borobudur Temple, images of Buddha and lotuses as symbols of peace form central themes in Bhundhowi's artistic vocabulary.
A long time resident of Bali, Bhundhowi has used his island home to explore new media including photography and mixed media montages inspired by Man Ray.
Quest for Peace -Bhundhowi's third exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay will run daily from June 14 – July 7, 2006. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m..
Bali Hai II Returns from Docking
Bali Hai Return to Operations with a Wider Range of Product Offerings Including New Aristocrat Pearl Evening Cruises.
Following an annual docking and refurbishment of the popular Bali Hai II, the luxury cruise vessel has returned to its schedule of day and dinner cruises on May 26, 2006.
From that date the Company is again offering its Bali Hai Reef Cruise, Bali Hai Beach Club Cruise and Bali Hai Sunset Dinner Cruise.
New Aristocrat Pearl Evening Cruise
A new addition to Bali Hai's range of cruise products is a new sophisticated "pearl themed" cruise onboard Bali Hai's Sailing Catamaran Aristocrat.
Traditionally dressed Balinese Girls will distribute floral garlands to arriving guests who, after a champagne cocktail in the garden, will be invited onboard to be entertained by a string quartet.
Casting off and setting sail in the protected waters of the harbor, a fine dining experience awaits including fresh salmon, salad platters, cold meats and fresh seafood, Balinese satays and fragrant rice.
Guests will also have the opportunity to sample "pearl meat" – a delicious by-product of Bali's Hai's newly established pearl cultivation center at Nusa Lembongan. During the course of the evening's cruise, guests will receive an introduction to the process of pearl farming and practical tips provided by pearl experts on how to spot a valuable pearl.
Passengers on the new Aristocrat Pearl Evening Cruise are picked up from their hotel in the early evening for a 6:30 p.m. arrival at Benoa harbor. Following welcoming cocktails at the marina guest will board the Aristocrat at 7:00 p.m. with a scheduled return at 9:30 p.m..
Bali's Tsunami Early Warning System
Bali Begins Installation of System to Avert Tsunami Disaster While Establishing an Emergency Response Plan.
Bali has begun installing the first of a total of 6 Tsunami Early Warning Systems (TEWS) that will eventually help the Island avert a major tidal wave disaster. Once the entire system is in operation any indication of a possible tsunami approaching the island will sound warning sirens urging residents to seek safer, higher ground.
Monitors already installed on the Kuta Beach provide continuous monitoring of changes in wave heights and chnages in ocean currents. One shallow water monitor in operation 338 meters from the shore of the Patra Jasa Resort and another deep water monitor 2.6 kilometers off the lifeguard station on Kuta send a continual stream of data to computerized consoles on shore.
Scheduled for completion before then end of 2006, the TEWS system will see active monitors in operation on sea approaches for all of Bali's most popular beach areas.
In accordance with Presidential instructions issued in 2005 following that year's Boxing Day tsunami, Bali is preparing a whole range of emergency response measures to reduce the threat to human life from a tsunami disaster. Working together with search and rescue teams, the Red Cross, local hospitals, social services, police and the military a detailed response plan in the event of a natural disaster has evolved. Meanwhile, a storage facility operated by the Social Services has been established to warehouse tents, medicines, rubber boats, emergency kitchen equipment, generators, and food supplies.
In order to further enhance emergency preparedness a tsunami drill is set for Bali on June 26, 2006.
Yogya Earthquake Update
One Week After the Devastating Earthquake in Yogyakarta and Central Java balidiscovery.com Looks at Impact on Hotels and Tourist/Heritage Sites in Disaster Area.
The deaths toll has now surpassed some 6,200 resulting from the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Yogyakarta and Central Java in the early hours of Saturday, May 27, 2006. Thousand of people also suffered injuries resulting from the quake with many deaths and injuries centered in the population center of Bantul, an area south of the Javanese cultural center of Yogyakarta.
The focus of a concerted international and National relief effort, Indonesian tourism officials are predicting that Yogyakarta's large tourism industry will have returned to normal within 6 months.
Information provided by the Yogya & Central Java Hotel Association and other sources:
• Sheraton Mustika - 241 rooms. Structural cracks, a leaking ballroom roof and plumbing malfunctions have caused the hotel to be closed for engineering assessment and repairs.
• Hyatt Regency - 269 rooms. No damage reported and hotel is operating normally.
• Melia Purosari - 280 rooms. Various cracks in lobby wall. Engineering assessment completed. 120 rooms scheduled to return to service on June 5, 2006.
• Novotel Yogyakarta - 200 rooms. Damaged sustained on 3rd floor with cracks on front & side wall. Engineering assessment underway. Expected to be closed for approximately 3 months.
• Quality Yogyakarta - 191 rooms. Damage sustained in kitchen area. Expected to be closed for 2-4 weeks.
• Jogjakarta Plaza Hotel - 129 rooms. Undamaged and operating normally.
• Santika Hotel - 148 rooms. All rooms operating.
• Saphir - 207 rooms. All rooms operating.
• Grand Mercure Yogyakarta - 143 rooms. All rooms operating.
• Jayakarta Hotel Jogjakarta - 129 rooms. Currently undergoing engineering assessment. Possibly closed for 3-4 months.
• Sejahtera Family Hotel & Apartment - Closed for approximately 3 months for repairs.
• Inna Garuda - 225 rooms. 87 rooms suffered some cracks. 38 rooms were undergoing renovation at time of incident. Remaining 100 rooms operating normally.
• Rumah Sleman - 4 Suites. All rooms operating.
In Solo (Surakarta), the Novotel (142 rooms) and Lor In (112 rooms) are operating normally. The Quality Hotel is operating with 30 rooms under repair for cracks and the remaining 110 rooms fully operational.
Please note that the list of Yogyakarta hotels is not comprehensive and is limited to those who have provided reports via the Hotel Association.
Damage to Heritage Assets
A preliminary list of heritage assets affected by the earthquake compiled by the Center for Heritage Conservation in collaboration with the Indonesian Heritage Trust reports:
• Kraton Yogyakarta – The Sultan’s Palace. The Trajumas Hall housing ancient gamelans and other royal treasures has collapsed; the Sri Srimanganti Hall used for receptions and cultural performances sustained a crack foundation and structural columns; The Inner Palace sustained cracked walls; the Pagelaran Hall used for large royal and public events reports most columns are cracked; and the Bangsal Sithinggil hall used by Hamengku Buwono suffered cracked columns and a partially collapsed roof.
• The Baluwerti Fortress - the traditional fort surrounding the palace compound suffered cracks at ancient gates and substantial damage/destruction to 5 of the corner bastions.
• Tamansari Water Castle Built by Hamengkubuwono I in 1758 as a defensive fort and pleasure castle and listed as a World Endangered Site since 2003, suffered various cracks and a collapse roof in the main water castle.
• The Royal Carriage Museum suffered the collapse of structural walls and roof tile damage.
• Panggung Krapyak a stage used in former times for hunting events sustained cracks.
• Nobel Houses - the residences used by the Sultan’s family sustained a total collapse of hall of the Dalem Wironegaran (Suryomentaraman); the main house of the Dalem Pugeran Brontokusuman totally collapsed; and the Dalem Yudonegaran (Yudaningratan) is no longer standing squarely.
• nJeron Beteng Heritage District housing the quarters of Palace servants and retainers sustained damage of the Rumah Kusumo Budoyo which is now tilting; and a number of traditional Javanese houses in the special district are said to be partially or completely damaged.
• Kotagede Heritage District - established as for former capital during the 16th Century Mataram Kingdom the area is now known for its silver works. The Great Mosque reports cracks in the columns of the roof terrace. Walls surrounding the Mosque’s cemetery have collapse. Many of the traditional houses in the KotaGede area have been destroyed.
• Prawirotaman Heritage Street now dedicated to Batik production, this area once served as the residential area for royal soldiers. The Indish Houses which functioned as hotels and café report substantial damage with some building having collapsed.
• Ganjuran Church built in 1924, the church lost several structural walls which completely collapsed.
• Prambanan Temple - Included in the World Heritage List since 1991 the 9th Century Hindu Complex saw the Brahma Temple, Nandi Temple, Apit Temple and Patok Temple all suffer damage with parts of each temple tumbling down.
• Plaosan - a complex of temples in the Buddhist and Hindu style dating from the 9th Century sustained damage with parts of temples collapsing.
• Sojiwan Temple built in the 9th Century saw portions of the temple fall down.
• Tarumartani Cigar Factory built in 1918 is now structurally unstable.
• Jalan Malioboro The main business street in downtown Yogyakata saw many old Chinese shop sustain cracks in their structure.
• Batik Center at Bayat, Klatan Many houses destroyed with deaths reported among local craftspeople.
• Ceramic Center at Bayat, Klatan Many houses destroyed with deaths reported among local craftspeople.
• Silver Working Center at Kotagede Most houses have collapse in this area.
• Ceramic Making Center at Kasongan Most houses have collapsed in this area.
• Ceramic Making Center at Pundong Most houses have collapsed in this area.
• Tradition Wayang Puppet Making Centerin Wukirsari Most houses have collapsed in this area.
• Royal Cemetery at Imogiri the gate built in 1632 by Sultan Agung has totally collapsed; while various gates and walls within the cemetery complex have partially collapsed. • Surakarta Royal Cemetery The entrance gate and surrounding walls have partially collapsed.
• Purloyo Nobel House the traditional home of the Yogyakarta Regent used for receptions and offices has totally collapsed.
• Surakarta Juru Kunci House - a noble house used by Surakarta’s Regent used for receptions and offices saw the Pendopo and pringgitan totally collapse with many cracks throughout the complex.
• Traditional Market of Surakarta dating from 1632-1646 A market building built in 1961 has totally collapsed.
• Imogiri Batik Museum the gate has totally collapsed with partial collapse of the museum.
In the Shadow of Merapi Volcano
Plagued by unspeakable tragedy over the past week, the residents of Central Java and Yogyakarta now face new concerns with reports of renewed volcanic activity at Mount Merapi, the highly active volcanic mountain that dominates the horizon throughout the earthquake zone.
Web-based Guide to Bali Spas
Balispaguide.com - New Website Offers Handy Guide to Bali's Substantial Spa Industry.
A new website has been launched for Bali certain to further cement Bali's world-wide reputation as a leading spa destination.
[balispaguide.com] aims to "list every spa and massage salon throughout the entire island of Bali." With more than 150 establishments already listed on the site, the response to the balispaguide.com's offer for a free basic listing has clearly met with an enthusiastic reception from the Island's spa industry.
Comprehensive in its approach, the site allow guests to search for a spa using any combination of the following three criteria:
• Style and Price Range
• Treatments and Special Services
Whether you’re searching for a specific regional style of treatment: Balinese, Indonesian, Thai, Swedish, Shiatsu, or Lomi-Lomi. Or, if your seeking one of the following specific treatment methods: body wraps, polishes, scrubs, reflexology, Ayuverdic, treatment by male or female therapists, couple treatments, colonics or personal treatments such as Vaginal Smoking. The handy search function on [balispaguide.com] is able to quickly produce a short list of spas offering the service you seek in an island location near you.
Local Press Reports Suggest 400-Hectare Pecatu Indah Project to Go Ahead.
The long-stalled and often controversial 400-hectare Pecatu Indah Resort development on Bali's southernmost peninsula seems set to resume, if reports in The Jakarta Post are correct.
Owned by PT Bali Pecatu Graha (BPG), the project is planned to include real estate developments for private residences, luxury hotels, a golf course, a convention center, theme park, a hospital, and an international school.
Started in 1998, the project’s progress was bogged down by political and economic upheaval, as well as protracted legal disputes with local land owners over ownership of tracts included in the development.
Despite a reported freeze on new hotel developments on the island, The Jakarta Post reports that the Pecatu Indah project will include an 11-hectare hotel project built by the Rekso Group and a five-star hotel owned by PT Luminary Wira Bhakti to be operated by The Westin Group.
PT Intra Golflink Resort is developing an 85-hectare golf course within the complex.
Adieu to Adelaide!
Garuda Indonesia Suspends Flights from Adelaide – Bali Flights.
Garuda Indonesia has announced that it will temporarily suspend flight services between Adelaide and Bali effective September 1, 2006, as the result of lower passenger loads.
Garuda Indonesia's Regional Manager, Southwest Pacific, Suranto Yitnopawiro, says the airline had originally tried to stimulate recovery of the South Australian market to Bali by resuming its twice weekly service, but a shift in demand for alternate destinations has resulted in an oversupply of capacity.
"Commercial pragmatism dictates that we utilize our aircraft in markets that are showing a return of confidence in Bali as a holiday destination. Unfortunately, the Australian market as a whole has declined substantially and the decrease in numbers is most severe from Adelaide. For the time being, it is not commercially viable to operate our large capacity Airbus A330 aircraft there," said Suranto.
The decline in demand, coupled with Australian consumers' late booking habit which produces low forward booking projections, made the decision inevitable.
"We made the decision to temporarily suspend these services with considerable regret, and after doing our utmost to support our Adelaide market following the events of last October. We look forward to the time we can resume a presence in South Australia as traffic volume to Bali improves or as one of our new Boeing 737 NG aircraft becomes available to fly the Adelaide-Denpasar route in dedicated non-stop services," continued Suranto.
Kuta Karnival September 16-24, 2006
The Show Must Go On as Kuta Business Leaders Decide to Push Ahead with Popular Street Festival.
The on-again off-again 4th Kuta Karnival, whose 2006 date was cancelled in late February, is apparently set to be revived as part of island-wide efforts to revive Bali's tourism fortunes.
At a meeting last week in Bali the organizers announced their intention to hold Kuta Karnival IV September 16-24, 2006, dates intended to coincide with peak holiday periods in major inbound markets for Indonesia. Among the activities outlined by the organizers for the 2006 event include an informal people's street parade through Kuta, surfing and skateboard competitions, fashion shows, food festivals, cultural events, beach sports events and a kite flying party.
While organizers are still discussion an theme for this year's event, organizers are eager to make the event inclusive with participation by the very diversified cultural and ethnic mix found in Kuta and environs today.
Monte Sets Records and Fights Child Hunger
Bali-based American Swimmer Monte Monfore Conquers the Dark and Perilous Straits Between Indonesia's Islands to Bring World Attention to the Plight of Hungry Children.
Monte Monfore, the Bali-based record breaking long distance swimmer has tallied another world mark in his efforts to raise awareness of child hunger. As part of an effort by than 760,000 people in 118 countries held on Sunday, May 21, 2006 who "walked" as part of the United Nation's World Food Program to raise awareness of hungry children, the 45 year-old swimmer accepted an invitation by the U.N. to undertake an early morning double-crossing of the swift-flowing Bali Straits separating Bali and Java.
A native of California who now calls Bali home, Monte began his swim from Bali to Java in the dark of the early morning at 4:45 a.m.. Before entering the dark ocean waters off Bali's northwestern coast, Monte spoke to his group of supporters about world hunger and the goal of the World Food Program to end child hunger by 2015. Wearing a fluorescent light stick attached to his swimming suit to enable support boats and camera crew to keep track of the intrepid athlete in the pre-dawn darkness, Monte encountered swirling waters and choppy seas disrupting his steady pattern of strokes. Despite adverse conditions, Monte succeeded in setting a new single-crossing world record of 29 minutes 30 seconds, just eight seconds under his previous record set in February 2005.
On Monte's return swim to Bali he encountered condition that were increasingly arduous. Conditions worsened as the sun rose and the early morning winds increased. Battling strong seas and treacherous whirlpools, the swimmer suffered jellyfish stings and dodged local boat traffic as currents pulled him away from his destination and to the south, into the wider part of the channel. After a one-hour and 24-minute second-crossing Monte managed to touch the shore of Bali just north of Gilimanuk Bay.
The boatmen following his progress estimated he swam more then 8 kilometers against a strong current most of the way. "This was the most difficult swim I've ever done," he said. "One high note, at one of the worst parts of the swim, was seeing a beautiful, medium sized manta ray observing me from a few meters below. It was fantastic!" the ocean lover exclaimed.
The Bali Strait is roughly 3 kilometers at its narrowest point, measuring six kilometers between Gilimanuk and Ketapang harbors. During the double-crossing Monte strictly adhered to the three basic rules of ocean swimming, namely: no fins, no wetsuit, and no physical contact with the boat. The endurance athlete swims over a million meters a year (80-120 kilometers a month), training in pools and the ocean in Bali, California, and elsewhere.
A Man Who Loves Bali Dearly
Canceling a planned trip to Sulawesi to undertake his historic Bali swim, Monte explained his motivation for making the latest crossing between Bali and Java, saying: "Obviously I was very pleased. I was told I could do my swim in Sulawesi, but I stayed in Bali hoping to generate international media exposure for the island. I love Bali and plan to spend the rest of my life here so promoting this beautiful island and the wonderful Balinese is one of my priorities. I encourage people from around the world to visit this magical place."
Worried About the State of the World's Oceans
Appropriate to a man who spends much of his time below sea level, Monte’s concern for child hunger shares center stage with his concern for ocean conservation. Explains Monte: "More than 10% of the world’s reefs have been destroyed. At the present rate of destruction nearly 50% will be destroyed within 20 or 30 years. Three-quarters of the earth is covered in water. Awareness and diligence are necessary to protect this most vital ecosystem on the planet. It's our responsibility to safeguard the ocean for future generations.”
Monte’s swim, which was sponsored by TNT and the Bali Tourism Board (BTB).
What's Next for Monte?
Monte's next channel crossing is set for September when he'll attempt to break his own world record set in 2003 when he swam the dangerous 17-kilometer Badung Strait between Nusa Penida Island and Bali. Sponsored by the Bali Tourism Board and Bali Hotels Association, the Bali Swim for Peace targets to attract visitors from around the world to the resort island.
Bali International Medical Centre Puts its Medical Staff on Two-Wheels to Improve Emergency Medical Response Services.
Bali International Medical Centre (BIMC) has just improved its reputation for providing fast and sophisticated emergency medical response services with the introduction of an innovative addition to its fleet of state-of-the-art ambulances.
Although BIMC's emergency response teams have been trained to dispatch an ambulance within 3 minutes of receiving a call for assistance, experience has proven that even the best efforts to get to the scene of an accident or the side of an ill patient can be thwarted by heavy traffic and the narrow roads found on many parts of the Island.
The solution? BIMC has custom designed an emergency response motorbike equipped with medical gear and driven by a trained medical professional. Each time an ambulance is dispatched on an emergency response one of the BIMC's First Responder Motorbikes will speed ahead to ensure no valuable minutes are lost in providing emergency care to the patient. On the scene to assess and stabilize the patient, the First Responder will be relaying life-saving information and coordinating medical treatment with the doctor following close behind in the BIMC ambulance.
Indonesian Travel Industry Attends AIME in Melbourne June 6-7, 2006.
Despite a second tragic bombing in Bali on October 1, 2005, all indicators are that Bali's tourism industry is making steps towards a sure and certain recovery.
The latest international arrival figures collected at Bali's Airport give positive indication that the Island's tourism industry – as measured in terms of total arrivals – is on a quick mend. In April 2006 a total of 103,866 foreign visitors landed in Bali, a figure only -10.65% behind the total achieved in April 2005 (116,272). Although still lagging behind arrivals from last year, the -10.65% gap in April 2006 against April 2005 is a dramatic advance over the post-bombing month of November 2005 when international arrivals slumped by -43.26%.
Traditionally, Bali's four leading inbound markets of Japan, Australian, Taiwan and South Korean account for more than 55% of all foreign visitors to the island.
• The Japanese, who represent the largest visitors' group, are on the upward swing with Japan Airlines having just announced that they will resume a full flights schedule to Bali and Indonesia staring from July 2006, after curtailing service following last October's bombing.
• The Australians market was still down 45.74% in April 2006 from one year before. Although the absence of Australians on Bali is still sorely felt, current figures and initiatives being launched in the market demonstrate concrete trends towards recovery from just a few months before when arrivals from that market were down more than 60%.
• Bali's third largest market of Taiwan put in a very solid performance in April 2006, posting 11,817 arrivals, that's an impressive +52.42% improvement over April 2005.
• South Korea, traditionally the fourth largest source of Bali visitors, produced 8,411 visitors to Bali in April 2006, down -24.03% from the same month one year before but showing steady improvements towards normal levels of arrivals on a month-by-month basis.
Bali Bets on Australia
While admitting that Bali tourism has had to endure a rapid succession of negative events impacting on its Australian visitor levels – ranging from terrorist attacks, to much publicized drug trials, to the collapse of Air Paradise – Bali's Discovery's President Director, John M. Daniels, remains certain that "sooner rather than later" Bali will reassume its traditional roles as Australia's most preferred overseas holiday destination. Explains Daniels, "the cultural and historical connections between Bali and Australia are both extensive and intensive which, together with the undeniable attractions of the Island to Australian travelers, suggest that Australian arrival figures will continue to improve each month."
And, if the natural charms of Bali weren't enough to lure Australian’s back to the island, special promotional offers from local hoteliers and attractive airline deals – such as Garuda Indonesia's current "kids fly free offer" – are also likely make the idea of a Bali holiday near irresistible to Australian holidaymakers over the coming weeks and months.
Indonesian Representation at AIME
Eager to help re-establish the Australian market to Bali. Indonesia is participating in the 14th Asia Pacific Incentives & Meeting Expo (AIME) at Melbourne Exhibition Centre June 6-7, 2006. The gathering of key decision makers in the conference and incentive market segment, AIME is undeniably the key event of it’s kind in the South Pacific region.
Represented at the Indonesian Pavilion (Booth #3600) will be:
• Ministry of Culture & Tourism of Indonesia represented by Tharmin Bachri, Director General for Marketing and Molly Prabawanti, Head of Promotions for the Pacific Region.
• Jakarta Convention & Exhibition Bureau represented by Indra Sukirno, Executive Director and Akhmad Arifin, Project Assistant.
• Garuda Indonesia represented by Husein S. Prawiradinata, District manager for Melbourne and Adelaide and Ian Murton, Sales Manager Melbourne.
• Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort represented by Narelle McDougall, Director of Sales and Marketing.
• Consulate General Republic of Indonesia in Melbourne represented by Wahid Supriyadi, Consul General
• Bali Discovery Tours represented by M. Fathur Rozi, Manager of Operation.
• Pacific World Nusantara represented I.B. Lolec, Managing Director.
• Aston Atrium Hotel represented by Carlo Gomez, General Manager and Wenty S. Admiwenti, Director of Sales.
• Aryaduta Hotels Groups represented by Lindawaty Muhlis, Group Director of Sales & Marketing.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.