31 October 2012

Indonesian music

In the years 50-60 the music from Rhoma Irama was hugely popular in Indonesia, but also far out there. Now his son, Ridho Rhoma, revived a very old song from his father (Menunggu), which is currently to hear and to see on all radio and TV stations in Bali.
Don't mind the commercials at the bottom of the screen, this is Indonesian tv...

30 October 2012

Bali - new parks in Jembrana

This year, the Jembrana government has allocated Rp 5 billion to improve and create parks that can also function as public recreation areas.

The public need to have room to play with their families, somewhere cheap but high quality. Creating parks and adding facilities is one way of achieving this.

One area that took a large chunk of funding was the Bung Karno Art Park that required Rp 1 billion to make a new park and play area. The park is located beside the, what Balinese here called Jembrana Twin Tower and Art center.

When this park is ready, it will be open to all levels of society. Any family looking for somewhere for recreation, so please come, it’s completely free Completion of work on the park is expected in early November, when it will be opened to the public.
Bung Karno Art Park will have a play ground, as well as a library and internet hot spot. This is Jembrana’s primary open space, so we are ensuring the facilities are complete.
Another park is also being developed at the eastern side of Jembrana, close to the Tabanan border. Meanwhile, work will move to Gilimanuk, one of Bali’s gateways, next year.

29 October 2012

Bali - Nusa Lembongan

The 30-minute trip to Nusa Lembongan, a small island off Bali, could be an exhilarating ride or simply a nauseating one.
One thing for sure, it will not be a smooth ride as the speedboat has to struggle against the rough waves and battering wind.

The slight fear you may feel during the ride evaporates quickly when the boat approaches the shore at Jungut Batu. The vast expanse of blue sky and the clear, green ocean, bestow any visitors with that sense of liberating freedom.

Simple home stays could easily be found along the narrow alleys in Jungut Batu village. Rates range in accordance with the available facilities and the view offered by the room’s windows. A villa next to the mangrove forest will cost Rp 600,000 per night, while a simple room with a fan will set you back Rp 100,000 per night. But a room is the most insignificant part of the trip to this island. After all, why brave the rough ocean only to get a good nap? Moreover, one must stay awake as long as humanly possible to absorb all the natural beauty this island has to offer.

Rent a motorbike for Rp 50,000 per day, fill up its tank, one liter of gasoline costs Rp 11,000 here, and ride freely to explore the remote parts of this quiet haven. No helmet required, nor provided, and the traffic police are usually very friendly in this part of Bali.
The island has many attractive things; seaweed farms, thick mangrove forests waiting to be explored by jukung wooden boats, warm sandy beaches with crystal clear water for snorkeling, as well as imposing cliffs facing a wide ocean and some of Bali’s best diving sites. A bright yellow suspension bridge connects Lembongan with the much smaller Ceningan, which provides the perfect excuse to stay longer, much longer.

A round-trip, depending of your choice, local or speedboat, cost between Rp 200.000 and Rp 700.000.

Ayam kampung bakar

Last Sunday we visit some of our Balinese friends, and surprise, they had a delicious ayam kampung (local chicken) on the Balinese BBQ.

28 October 2012

Bali plant ceremonial trees

The provincial government is intensifying the planting of a variety of types of trees to meet the demand for rituals, as well as supporting environmental conservation.

As many as 12,300 trees that are used as part of Hindu rituals have been planted in 2011. The planting of trees that support Hindu rituals is supported by Rp 460 million in funding from the regional budget. The re-greening program serves a dual purpose and embraces the community, interfaith leaders and agencies under the provincial government.

The program and forest re-greening activities are aimed at restoring the land to its full potential, while applying the concept of tri hita karana, the harmonious relationship between human beings, man and the environment and man and God.

27 October 2012

Lombok - Pasar Cakranegara

Lombok isn’t known for its shopping opportunities. Shopaholics will get their fill in Bali.

Lombok is for relaxing. It’s a place to hunt out a bargain in a dusty market, to haggle for pearls and sarongs on the beach, to explore quaint villages and pick up a genuine handicraft for a song. Or to brave the local markets in search of a unique collectible or quirky item at bargain-basement prices.

A good place to start – and one not usually listed in tourism guides – is the Pasar Cakranegara, or Cakra Market in Mataram. Located in the middle of the city, the Cakra Market is a labyrinthine maze of stalls spanning a city block, packed with bargains for the intrepid traveler.

Stalls upon stalls line the narrow alleys of this market, shoulder-to-shoulder with their neighbors, and overflowing with goods of every description.
One section of the market is dedicated to food. The sights and smells can be overpowering on a hot day. Chickens, freshly plucked, heads and feet piled high on trays lay on tables next to hacked pieces of meat and offal. Swarming flies are lazily flicked away by the vendors, as are the cunning cats lurking under the tables crowded with fish and seafood.

Nearby stalls waft exotic aromas with baskets of spices for sale – cloves, ginger, pepper, lemongrass, garlic and shallots add their scent to the warm air. Bright oranges and mandarins, bunches of purple grapes, spiky pineapples, snake-skin salak, papaya, bananas and other tropical fruits spill from stalls in bright confusion.
Further along, baskets overflowing with flower petals provide welcome relief and are a colorful sight. These are sold to the many Balinese Hindus who live in Lombok and who use the flowers in their daily offerings to the gods. Woven bamboo baskets, brightly painted boxes and bowls, platters and containers of all shapes and sizes teeter in towers on stalls all around. Many are used for ceremonies in the temples but also make great collectibles and accessories for the home. Down another alley, glass cabinets display traditional headdresses, glittering brooches and elaborate costume jewellery – worn for weddings and special celebrations. More stalls sell beautifully sewn intricate lace kebaya – the traditional blouses worn by Indonesian women.

The next alley reveals jewellery, jewellery-making findings, buttons, beads and haberdashery. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, bangles, and everything to do with decoration, hang on stands and are piled in plastic bags on the floor.
There are stalls full of hats, handbags, scarves and shawls. Desks officiated over by serious men sell gold and gold jewellery by the gram, at current market prices.
In the true tradition of an eastern bazaar, the Cakra Market is an amazing kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, colors, textures and smells… engaging all the senses… and presided over by friendly and wily traders who are happy, and perhaps a bit surprised, to see a Bule, tourist in their midst.

Bali - beautiful Pupuan

If you want a place for peaceful retreat, romantic hideaway, or just spending a holiday in a beautiful and serene destination, then Pupuan is the right place for you.

Nestled on the slopes of Gunung Batukaru, in the western part of Bali, Pupuan is a coffee, clove and rice growing region of towering trees and twisting mountain roads, where you can pamper your eyes with awesome landscape accompanied by no one other than the friendly local farmers and cool climate. Pupuan boasts some of the most magnificent rice field scenery on the island, the bounty of its harvest renowned for its robust flavor.

For nature lovers, Pupuan is surely a paradise, since it is a great place for outdoor activities due to its cool climate and beautiful panorama, even a simple driving from Antosari to Pupuan offers 30-kilometer very scenic drive as you pass through several small villages to reach Sanda and then onwards to Pupuan. Cycling and hiking are favorite activities in Pupuan, you can see vignettes that can only be seen by penetrating into the far hinterlands of Bali, endless verdant rice terraces, small temple complexes under banyan trees, dark gray mountains, empty farmhouses, orchards of chocolate trees, everyday life of Balinese and friendly smiles of the local. Cempaka Belimbing Villas, one of few Pupuan villa include a scenic hiking in their tariff.

23 October 2012

Tango in Paradise Bali

Bali host another international event, this time for passionate tango dancers.

This year’s World Tango Festival is billed as the meeting point for lovers of tango from around the world. The prestigious festival combines the joy of the dance with the romance of Bali.

Tango in Paradise will present three of the best couples in the world as well as the Asian champion, Catarina Gustavo and Lin Chung.
The festival will be held in Legian between November 28 and December 4 this year. Additional activities are planned in Ubud. The Festival program will include cultural activities and aims to enrich the knowledge of the philosophy, theory and practical aspects of the tango dance.

Bali - Taxi's against angry citizens

Angry citizens from the Kuta area of Bali have begun taking matters into their own hands in dealing with errant taxi's illegally parked and waiting for their next fare in their area.

The area around Jalan Legian in Kuta saw tens of livery lamps attached to the roofs of taxis forcibly removed by local citizens who also delivered angry rebukes to illegally parked taxis.

The angry public response by Kuta community members that took place last week arose from the frustration occasioned by the Bali Transportation Office’s continuing inability to bring taxis breaking the law into line.
Taxis parked illegally in Kuta, especially on Jalan Legian, are a major factor in traffic congestion. Steps have been taken to reduce the number of taxis operating in Kuta and place strict limitations on where taxis can park and wait for fares.
Despite these measures, taxis continue to violate the new rules with little or no enforcement from the Bali Transportation office.
Taxis continue to park where they like, with one driver discovered to be asleep in a “no waiting” area while waiting for his next passengers.

22 October 2012

Bali - Rujak

In the afternoon, while we’re relaxing on the Bale Benong, we hear the Kaki Lima passing by, shouting out their wares, from meatballs, tipat tahu to chicken noodles.

Among the various favorite afternoon snacks for Balinese people is rujak, or fresh fruit salad — Bali style.

Besides the notorious rujak buah kuah pindang, or fruit salad with salted-fish dressing, another variety of the dish is rujak gula, which is dressed with a sauce made of brown sugar mixed with chili.
A plate of rujak consists of slices of various fruits: papaya, mango, pineapple and bengkoang also known as jicama. All the fruit is sliced onto a plate and generously bathed in the superhot and sweet brown-sugar dressing. The rujak is priced for Rp 5,000 a plate.

Besides the brown sugar dressing you can also ask for a different kind of rujak dressing made with terasi (dried shrimp paste). A plate of sliced fresh fruit is also available for purchase if you're not in the mood for rujak.

Bali - Makepung in Jembrana

Yesterday morning early the Makepung (buffalo race) for the Jembrana cup was held in our village Delodbrawah.

Villagers in Kaliakah, reviving the buffalo racing tradition or Makepung (Balinese for takeover) which take place on the wetlands.
Before makepung was not so popular as it is now, people held the race on the wetlands since the 1930s. Makepung now usually held on the dry land, whereas it was formerly took place on the wetlands to facilitate the working of agricultural land. Attributes that applied by the jockey was different compared to makepung which organized on dry land that is more vibrant. The Jockey of makepung on wetlands only wearing udeng or Balinese headscarves. While the buffalos used a variety of attributes, especially on their head and horns.

Makepung on the wetlands was initiated by way of joke of farmers in days of yore plowed together in one area of rice fields. In the past, since the rice fields were vast and no tractors, farmers used to plow their fields together. Afterwards the joke appeared to race the plough puller buffalo. Since it is considered as a unique Balinese tradition and is rarely done, makepung race will be held routinely every year. The right time is right for the race is in November which is the initial planting period for farmers.

In makepung, the track used is approximately 125 meters length wet rice field with three to four pairs of buffalo competed in one round. Muddy land makes the game becomes more exciting as the jockey often falls and wallow in it.
For the winner assessment is not only determined by the buffalo which first reach the finish line, but is also determined by the buffalo which runs in straight line with its upward head position. Makepung in Jembrana Regency is the tradition of agrarian community, specifically for makepung on a dry track in the streets, already popular in Bali and even abroad. Every year Jembrana Government organizes makepung race on dry land followed by hundreds of pairs of buffaloes.

21 October 2012

Bali - our orchid collection

Our small collection of orchids is  growing fast.

After flowering, we cut and repot the

largest plants, and now after a short period, most of them are flowering again or get new shoots.

Even our most strange orchid, without soil and without pot, is now flowering.
So time for a picture.

20 October 2012

Plan's for Bali's tourism

Bali’s grand plan for tourism seems to be a sort of weather forecast.

It doesn’t really seem to be a plan as such – it’s more a series of somewhat reactive slogans that sound plausible until they need to actually be implemented.

For years, the driving principle seemed to be “let’s encourage more and more to come – but we won’t even think about improving the infrastructure to support the increase.” Then, when it became apparent that tourists were staying for shorter periods and spending less, it became “there are too many stingy tourists – let’s go for quality instead.” Still no mention of improving infrastructure to attract those elusive “quality” tourists, though.
An ex-minister stated, Bali is full, we need to go for quality, not for quantity. A week later an other minister, Bali need more direct flights from China and Korea.

Now it seems that a new target market that fulfills the desired “quality” demographic is in the cross hairs. Head of Bali’s tourism agency wants to encourage older visitors. He is quoted as enthusiastically saying, “The prospect for elderly tourism is huge.” He speaks of promoting activities, destinations and cultural experiences for the mature set, which is laudable, but says little about – you guessed it – viable infrastructure that would make it possible.

I see the uneven, dangerous footpaths, open pits and loose, pivoting manhole covers – and think of fragile, low-density bones just waiting to snap, crackle and pop as well as any breakfast cereal. I see the unpredictable traffic that demands astonishing agility by pedestrians just to survive a simple road crossing.
I see hotels with a multitude of levels, few lifts and bathrooms with showers over slippery, high-walled baths. I see the potential for a tropical environment exacerbating age-related illness, and the impossibility of getting fast-response trauma care through the gridlocked streets. I see the heat, humidity, dust and exhaust fumes sapping the strength of young, healthy tourists and wonder just what elderly want to do here in Bali.

19 October 2012

Bali - retirement tourism

As Bali plans to develop retirement tourism, seven tourism villages have been provided with technical and financial assistance to make preparations to welcome retired tourists.
The technical and financial assistance is being provided by the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) and Bank Indonesia (BI), in cooperation with the provincial tourism agency. BHA support the tourism villages so they can prepare and have the required skills to welcome and serve this kind of tourists.

The villages are Pinge in Tabanan, Blimbingsari in Jembrana, Bedahulu in Gianyar, Penglipuran in Bangli, Pancasari in Buleleng, Budakeling and Jasri in Karangasem.
Currently, the Bali Retirement Tourism Authority (BRTA), a newly established body to regulate retirement tourism on the island, is drafting a policy on how foreign retirees could stay here for a long time and buy property.

When the policy is ready for enactment and the villages are prepared, BRTA will open the opportunity for investors to build retirement resorts in areas around the villages and to organize the people to come here.
Investors are not allowed to build such resorts in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar — the three regencies in Bali with the largest number of accommodation. Development would be prioritized in areas around the tourism villages to improve their economy. There are also other designated areas in the island’s northern and eastern regions. Retirement tourism is a new long term strategy to improve tourism in Bali and make the move toward higher quality and sustainable tourism.

Bali have had enough of mass tourism. Wealthy tourists are no longer attracted to it. They want something authentic by getting involved in daily activities with villagers.

18 October 2012

Bali - Hotel prices going up next year

Tourism businesses in Bali have announced their plan to increase hotel and tour tariffs by around 10 to 20 percent next year.

The general increase will be around 10 to 20 percent. However, most hotels will not charge more than 10 percent due to the tight competition with new hotels. It is common for hotels and travel agents to increase their tariffs annually.
For tour and travel agencies, the cost of accommodation was the largest factor among a range of expenses that included transportation, entrance fees, meals and tour guide fees. The Bali Tour Guide Association evaluate tour guide fees every two years, while other expenses are evaluated annually.

The increase in hotel room tariffs had been considered from several factors, including the influx of visitors, exchange rates, the increase in minimum wages at regency and province level and the central government’s plan to increase the basic tariff for electricity by 15 percent next year, as well as competition against other countries’ tourism destinations.

17 October 2012

Penuktukan, new diving spot in Bali

Divers now have a new underwater spot to explore in the northern part of the island.

Located off Penuktukan village in Tejakula, Buleleng regency, the dive site has just been officially opened by a group of residents.

The dive site had a lot of potential and had been declared a conservation zone where fishing was prohibited. Previously, Penuktukan was not well known by tourists. There were only a few tourists in small groups diving at the site.
After this official opening, where dive operators from other dive sites throughout Bali gathered with marine environmental NGOs, journalists and local officials, the dive site could be developed further.

The three best dive locations at Penuktukan are Angel Canyon, Oasis and Reef Stairs.
This site is also perfect for snorkeling, as groups of colorful fish could be easily spotted at a depth of five to seven meters. When we go a little deeper, to a depth of 12 meters, you find small caves with a  panoramic marine ecosystem. Some divers said they really enjoyed their underwater experience in Penuktukan because of its panoramic view and the good visibility underwater.

Picture of the week

     Really everything is to rent in Bali

16 October 2012

Bali - Snakes

Bali is known as the island of the 1000 gods, but they will not help if you
suddenly stand face to face with a snake.
But you're in luck, because of the dozens of snakes in Bali there are only 6 that are poisonous. Many people worry about the danger of snakes. In generally snakes are very shy and will do everything to avoid contact. They are not fast aggressive unless they are threatened.

You sometimes hear of snake bites, but in most cases it is the people themselves who harass the snake and finally get attacked. The snakes in Bali that are toxic not produce lethal poison, but neurotoxin - that means their poison paralysis.

Treatment of a snake bite:

Try to remember what kind of snake has bitten, which is very important for the treatment of the bite. Particular, let the bite bleeding for about a minute. This allows the body to naturally manner expel the poison.
Clean the bite with water and then with a disinfectant such as Betadine.
If the bite is below the knee, wrap a bandage around the knee or above. If it is below the elbow wrap a bandage around the elbow or just above it. If you do not have a bandage use a sarong, shirt, scarf or towel.

Keep the bitten limb at the same height as the heart, if it is too high more poison flow to the heart, too low means that the injured limbs begin to swell. Bring the victim immediately to hospital Sanglah in Denpasar, the only hospital with facilities against snake bites. Do not wait for an ambulance - call the hospital and let them know you're coming with a snake bite. If a spitting cobra spray poison into the eyes wash immediately with clean cold water. If water not available use milk or urine.

Poisonous snakes

King Cobra. (Ular Raya)
The King Cobra is one of the most poisonous snakes in Bali. This snake can be up to 6 meters long. His color is brown and has a distinctive head that comes up when it is threatened. By the size of the snake and the size of the jaw about 80% of its poison is issued during the bite. More than half of these bites are fatal if they are not treated. The symptoms appear about 15, 30 minutes after the bite and include dizziness, difficulty breathing, pain around the bite and drooping eyelids.

Malayan Krait (Ular Katang Tebu)
This is one of the most poisonous snakes in Bali, but he is very shy and it is unlikely that he will bite unless it is constantly harassed. It is a glossy black snake that can grow to one and a half meter. Sometimes the skin is black with alternating black and white stripes around the entire length of his body. The belly of the snake have a cream color or a dirty white color. The bite causes almost no pain or swelling, but the bite is fatal if not treated.

Javan Spitting Cobra (Ular Sendok)
The Spitting Cobra is related to the King Cobra but slightly smaller. It is usually brown/black of color but also light brown or light beige. They usually spit poison in the eyes of a attacker if they are threatened, causing temporary blindness and extreme pain. In addition, the poison can lead to local necrosis around the site of the bite.

Oriental Whip Snake or Asian Vine Snake (Ular Pucuk)
This long thin snake varies in color from bright green to light brown, sometimes green with white dots.
It has yellow markings around its eyes. He is often confused with the more dangerous Green Pit Viper, but his body is long and thin, and the head is oblong instead of arrow shaped. There may be a thin pale line along the length of the body. He can be quite long (up to 2 meters) and lives in trees. He is very shy and it is unlikely that he will attack - if so then is in most cases only a local swelling and pain.

Green Pit Viper (Ular Hijau)
Usually found in trees and shrubs, this snake quickly attacks after only a little provocation. He has a broad triangular head with heat sensors "pits" on both sides that he use in hunting, and a red or pink colored tail. The snake is relatively short, not more than one meter, and has a fairly thick body. The head is separated from the body by a narrow neck. This is the only green snake in Bali that can kill. The symptoms are headache, nausea, convulsions, diarrhea and dizziness. The poison causes excessive bleeding or excessive clotting. Without treatment 1-10% of the victims dies. There is no antivirus available in Bali for this snake, but with prompt treatment it is rarely a fatal bite.

Sea snakes (Ular Laut)
There are two species of sea snakes in Bali - the ordinary and the banded sea snake with colored covers over the entire length of its body. This snake is poisonous, but because of the position of the teeth it's unlikely to cause serious injury. But every bite of a snake should be considered as serious and you should have immediate treatment in the hospital.

But let me not spoil your holiday fun, I know from experience, snakes are more afraid than people, the chance that you meet one is minimal, and if you just behave nothing will happen.

Lovina Festival boost Bali’s North Coast

Three days of activities centered on Kalibukbuk Beach in North Bali will mark the Lovina Festival to be held October 20 – 22, 2012.

While detailed information is hard to come by, it’s clear that numerous dance presentations and a handcraft exhibition will form part of the fun.

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Handicraft exhibition on Kalibukbuk Beach from 10 am onwards
Opening ceremony 5 pm on the main beach at Kalibukbuk including a Baleganjur and Gebogan parade
Gong Kebyar performing the Ki Barak Panji Skti dance will also be presented.
Dinner vouchers will be given to tourist for free.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Bull racing at the Kaliasem village on the field on the main road in Lovina at 3:30 pm.
Lovina Beach Art performance of the Joged Mebarung at 6:30 pm
Shadow puppet show on the beach at 9:00 pm

Monday, October 22, 2012
Lovina Beach Art performance Megenjekan at 11:00 am
Closing ceremony on Lovina Beach to including Gong Kebyar performance at 5:00 pm
Art performance of Sanghyang Memedi at 7:30 pm


15 October 2012

Bali - Delodbrawah beach

The large square in front of the beach in Delodbrawah get a complete renovation and a new look.

The large statue is renovated and painted, all the illegal kafe's and karaoke bars are broken down,
new palmtrees are planted and now people working on a Balinese shopping mall, which means local shops, warungs, restaurant and other entertainment.

14 October 2012

The Bali Starling

A total of 100 Bali starlings bred at Surabaya Zoo are due to be released into the wild at two key locations in Bali.
The release of the endangered species (Latin name Leucopsar rothschildi) is hoped to reverse the declining numbers caused by wild capture.
The zoo is experiencing over population for Bali starlings in captivity. The number of Bali starlings at KBS has reached 160 tails. In fact, the ideal number in an enclosure is about 30 individuals.

The decisions to release 100 Bali starlings was based on an evaluation by the Animal Health and Management team of the Ministry of Forestry that highlighted the declining numbers of the species. Recent data indicates that there are only a few dozen breeding pairs in the wild.

The planned release will take place next month in the Ubud area and in West Bali National Park. In Ubud it would be safe because there are custom rules that prohibit catching Bali starlings.
Although there are some people who believe that the Bali starling habitat is only in the west of the island, a number of surveys and observations of the bird’s behavior show that Bali starlings are capable of proliferating across all regions including Ubud.

Nightlife in Bali, bars and clubs

According to The Beat Magazine, these are the most trendy bars and clubs on the island, however this list don't pretend to complete.

Also look at the small posters on the street, they often attend for Full Moon Parties, House Warming Parties, Body Painting Parties, etc, etc.

These party's are open for all public.

88 CLUB BALI, JL. Pantai Kuta, Kuta
APACHE REGGAE BAR, Jl. Legian 146, Kuta
BBAR@THE BREEZES RESORT & SPA, Jl. Camplung Tanduk 66, Seminyak
BACIO, Jl. Double Six, Seminyak
BAHIANA, Jl. Dhyana Pura 4, Seminyak
BECIK, Jl. Dhyana Pura 4X, Seminyak
BLUE OCEAN, Jl. Pantai Kuta, Kuta
BLUE EYES, Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai 888, Sanur
BOUNTY CLUB, Jl Legian, Kuta.
BOSHE VVIP CLUB BALI, The Official Super Club, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai no. 89x, Tuban
CASA NOVA, Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud
CRUSOE’S, Jl.Legian 184, Kuta
DEEJAY CLUB, Jl. Kartika Plaza, Kuta
DE JA VU, Blue Ocean Beach 7x, Seminyak
DOUBLE D, Jl. Legian 168, Kuta
EIKON, Jl. Legian No.178, Kuta
HARD ROCK CAFE, Jl. Pantai Kuta, Kuta
HU’U BAR, Jl. Oberoi, Petitenget
KAMA SUTRA, Jl. Pantai Kuta, Kuta
KUDETA, Jl. Laksmana 9, Seminyak
M BAR GO, Jl. Legian, Kuta
MACCARONI, Jl. Legian 52, Kuta
MUSRO BALI, Jl. Kartika Plaza, Seminyak
OZIGO BAR UBUD, Jl. Sanggingan, Ubud
PADDY’S, Jl. Legian 166, Kuta
PARADISO, Jl. Kartika Plaza No.8x, Kuta
Q BAR, Jl. Dhyana Pura, Seminyak
SANTA FE, Jl. Dhyana Pura, Seminyak
SECTOR BAR & RESTAURANT,  Jl. Hangtuah 58, Sanur
SYNDICATE, Jl. Double Six, Seminyak
STADIUM CAFÉ, Jl. Kartika Plaza, Kuta
TWICE BAR, Jl. Poppies Two, Kuta
UMA, Jl. Uma, Ubud
VI AI PI, Jl. Legian 88, Kuta

13 October 2012

Kuta Karnival Bali

Last Friday we've been to Kuta to bring the papers for my new Kitas, after that we bring a short visit to the Kuta Karnival and Food festival witch started last Wednesday.

11 October 2012

12 October 2012, 10 years after the Bali Bomb

"The Balinese people, survivors of the Bali Bombing and families of the victims have been going through an extremely difficult period following the tragedy. Pain and anger still linger in many people’s hearts and minds. But don’t let these feelings stop us from starting a new and peaceful life”

The Governor from Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika, during an event entitled “Gema Perdamaian (Echo of Peace)”.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is strongly urging the Bali administration to enforce responsible tourism in the newly declared World Heritage sites to protect and preserve them from human and nature-based adversity.

The cultural landscape of Bali consists of rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 hectares. Subak is a traditional Balinese agriculture system that reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. Included in the landscape are the 18th-century royal temple of Pura Taman Ayun in Badung, the Batukaru mountain reserve in Tabanan, the Pakerisan watershed in Gianyar and Lake Batur in Bangli.

Taman Ayun royal temple was constructed in the 17th century during the reign of Tjokorda Bima Sakti Blambangan, a feared warlord and the founder of the mighty kingdom of Mengwi.

The Batukaru mountain reserve boasts a well-protected forest and a mountain revered as one of the six kahyangan jagat (world temples), the major temples revered by all Balinese Hindus. The gem of the area is the vast and well-kept terraced rice fields in Jatiluwih village, the best real-life model of subak.

The Pakerisan watershed boasts many majestic archaeological sites, including Gunung Kawi, the royal tombs of ancient Balinese kings. The tombs are beautifully carved into a soft stonewall. The Pakerisan watershed and the archaeological sites along the river are a testament to the island’s past glories. There are hectares of rice fields under the management of three subak downstream of the watershed. Lake Batur occupies an important place in Balinese Hinduism as the seat of Dewi Danu, the goddess of fertility and prosperity.

10 October 2012

Bali - Kedonganan

Kedonganan in south Kuta is one of the island’s busiest traditional fishing ports and a major supplier for sea food restaurants along the Jimbaran and Kedonganan beaches.

Their grilled fish with sambal matah (chopped raw shallot, onion and chili dressed with coconut oil and kaffir lime) and its on-the-beach location have turned the area into a favorite spot for locals and visitors to have a memorable dinner with friends and loved ones.

In the morning, visitors are treated to the colorful sight of traditional fishing boats, each powered by an outboard engine and served by a crew of 4-6 fishermen. There are hundreds of them, moored along the shore and in the shallow waters, ready to unload their cargo of fresh fish of various sizes.
Their tall masts and brightly-painted hulls are a stark contrast against the deep blue sea and sky, a visual opportunity many camera-toting visitors don’t fail to notice. The fishermen spend most the day resting in the open hall, while the laborers, locally known as menol, unload the fresh catches and take them to the weighing facility.

The nearby fish market is filled with traders anxiously waiting to bid for the newly arrived fish. White Styrofoam boxes filled with ice and various marine produce are neatly arranged in stalls inside the market that opens from 6 am. to 7 pm. Small-sized shrimps command a price of Rp 55,000 per kilogram while the larger-sized ones can sell for Rp 75,000 per kilo.

A visitor can purchase fresh sea produce here and then have it grilled by professional grill cooks around the market. They will clean, season and then grill the fresh fish for a fee of up to Rp 15,000 per kg. The customer also gets two cups of sambal, sambal matah and tomato sambal.

The best time to visit Kedonganan is late in the afternoon. After a walk on the beach, explore the fish market and purchase fresh produce, later on head to one of the grill cooks. As the sun turns into a radiating gold disc on distant horizon, enjoy dinner on the warm sands of Kedonganan Beach.

09 October 2012

Bali - Nasi Jinggo

When all the restaurants and warungs are already closed late at night and you find yourself craving a late-night meal, nasi Jinggo will most likely be the first thing that pops into your mind.

The petite portions of nasi jinggo, packed in banana leaves in the shape of a cone, include a handful of cooked rice, a pinch of noodles, a pinch of shredded chicken or beef, a pinch of serundeng (shredded coconut fried without oil with some spices) and last, but not least, a pinch of very hot sambal. The hot sensation of the chili is the most sought sensation of nasi jinggo.

Nowadays, a cone of nasi jinggo is normally sold for Rp 2,500 per portion. However, some believe that the name jinggo derives from the Hokkian — one of the Chinese dialects — words Ceng Go, which means one-thousand-five-hundred, referring to the Rp 1,500 original price of nasi jinggo in the past.
Nasi jinggo vendors open their stalls daily between 9:30 pm and 5 am along roadsides throughout every corner of the island. Their customers enjoy the nasi jinggo as they chat and sit on a bamboo mat (tikar) or plastic seats provided by the vendors near their stalls.

08 October 2012

Bali 3rd cheapest holiday destination

A survey just published by the UK-based company Hayes and Jarvis rated Bali as the third cheapest of 32 popular long haul destinations.

Sri Lanka was rated as the cheapest followed by Vietnam and then Bali. The city of Seoul in South Korea ranked as the most expensive.
The survey compared the price of restaurant meals, drinks and other items needed on holiday including basic items including beer, a can of soda, a cup of coffee, alcoholic drinks, insect repellent and daily meals.

Bali averaged at a cost of Rp. 805,000 for a day while Sri Lanka was calculated at Rp. 660,000. A day including basic needs in Seoul is calculated to cost Rp. 2,515,000.
The five destinations categorized as most tourist friendly and affordable are: Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bali, Mexico and Gambia.
Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada and South Korea are the five most expensive destinations.

06 October 2012

Bali - License plates

For those who want to know where all the cars in Bali coming from, including myself, here is a short list.

Indonesia still uses the old Dutch regional system, so it's easy to see where they coming from. And off course most foreign cars come from Java.
AB     Yogyakarta
AD     Surakarta    
B        Jakarta
BA     West Sumatra    
BB      North Sumatra    
BE      Lampung    
BG      South Sumatra    
BH      Jambi    
BK     North Sumatra    
BL     Aceh    
D       Bandung    
DA     South Kalimantan    
DC     West Sulawesi    
DD     South Sulawesi    
DE     South Maluku    
DG     North Maluku    
DH     Timor    
DK     Bali
DM     North Sulawesi    
DN     Central Sulawesi    
DR     Lombok    
DS     Papua    
EA     Sumbawa    
EB     Flores    
ED     Sumba    
F       Bogor    
H      Semarang    
KB    West Kalimantan    
KT    East Kalimantan    
L      Surabaya    
M     Madura    
N     Malang    

White on black: for private vehicles.
Red on white: for new cars that have no owners yet.
Black on yellow: Public transportation vehicles, such as buses, taxis and trucks.
White on red: Government vehicles.
Black on Red: Vehicles belonging to foreign countries.
Black on White: Vehicles belonging to foreign countries.
Army plate: yellow on green .
Navy plate: yellow on light blue.
Air Force plate: yellow on dark blue.  

05 October 2012

Prices of land in Bali rises quickly

The increased demand for services in Bali continues to push up land prices around the island.
Currently, the average sale price of land reaches up to Rp. 10 – Rp. 15 million per square meter.

During the first half of 2012 in Bali land prices rose an average of 28 percent compared to the same period last year.
The average bid price for land ownership in the Legian, Petitenget and Batu Belig areas rose during the first half of 2012 by up to 36%.
Today, the price of land is Rp 10 million to Rp 15 million per square meter. Most of land offered is leasehold, and so it is very difficult to find land that offers full ownership.

Land in strategic locations was in high demand from investors, so land prices continue to soar. Land prices increased from Rp. 150 million per are last year, to Rp. 200 million now.

Bali museum, Denpasar

The ongoing renovation of the Bali Museum in downtown Denpasar is slated to be completed in December.

The renovation of the museum was part of the provincial government’s efforts to upgrade museums and their collections across Bali.
There are improved numerous display rooms and collections to attract visitors to the museum to learn more about the island’s artistic and cultural treasures. The provincial government allocated Rp 2 billion from its annual budget to finance the renovation.

Renovation has included the reconstruction of three old buildings, built during the Dutch colonial period, namely the Tabanan, Buleleng and Karangasem buildings. The buildings’ structures and thatched roofs were already in poor condition. It has been quite a challenge to restore them to their original architectural forms.

Established in 1910, the Bali Museum is one of Denpasar’s architectural gems. The museum is home to thousands of priceless prehistoric artifacts as well as artistic and cultural items.

04 October 2012

Kopi Bali

For decades, Indonesia has been among the world’s top five coffee producers. However due to the inconsistent quality of Indonesian coffee, Balinese coffee experts are on a mission to educate local coffee farmers throughout the island to revive their long-lost legacy of high-quality coffee production.

Coffee is the world’s second-largest commodity after oil. Balinese coffee is definitely capable of competing worldwide because of its richness in flavors from being cultivated on the volcanic soil of Indonesia’s Ring of Fire.

Inonesia has had a history as a global coffee producer since Arabica coffee seeds from Yemen were first brought to Batavia by Dutch colonialists in 1696.
In 1711, the coffee harvested from Java began to be exported to Europe by the Dutch East-Indies Company, better known as the VOC. Since then, Indonesia has been among the world’s top five coffee exporters.

However, this year, Indonesia has declined to No. 4 as Vietnam, which does not really have any history in coffee, has suddenly emerged at No. 3 just below the world’s top coffee producers from Latin America. Due to rising temperatures as a result of climate change the world is sourcing more coffee from Southeast Asia.
Local farmers need to be taught the right ways to produce premium quality coffee, right from the soil until the coffee finally arrives in a cup. On this moment people are busy in educating Balinese coffee farmers in Tamblingan, Pupuan, Kintamani and Pengotan to improve their skills in harvesting and processing their coffee.

The people are training the farmers in the villages to produce better coffee, half to be sold raw, with the remainder sold as premium coffee powder. Farmers may get around 300 percent higher prices when they are able to sell processed coffee instead of raw coffee beans.
Tamblingan and Pupuan as among the best spots for coffee cultivation located as they are 1,200-1,300 meters above sea level.
At present production and distribution of Balinese coffee is dominated by the long-standing three-generation brand of Butterfly Globe (Kupu-Kupu Bola Dunia) owned by the PT Putra Bhineka Perkasa company established in 1935. The Arabica coffee planted in Kintamani has become the first Indonesian product to have a geographical indication (GI) label that certifies the product has certain qualities because of its geographical origin.

03 October 2012

BALINALE international film festival

The weeklong BALINALE International Film Festival returns to Bali October 22-28, 2012, coinciding with the launching of the new digital Cinema XXI at Beachwalk, Kuta.

BALINALE 2012 has received a record number of submissions from 24 countries in response to official invitations extended to filmmakers around the world. As in years past, many of the films shown in Bali will have had their international and Asian premieres at BALINALE before going on to earn recognition and awards. Past film premiered in Bali and then going on to receive awards include: Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Social Network, Still Bill, A Good Day to Die, Island of the Dogs, Hidup Untuk Mati and Billy T: The Movie.

The 6th annual festival program this October in Bali will include: Film Industry Forums, Gourmet Cinema, Daily Seminars, Free Children’s Film Program and a series of educational workshops that this year will see the launch of a VSS (Very Small Screen) Film Competition.

BALINALE is appointed as Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) Consulting Organization in Indonesia, recognizing the festival’s specialized knowledge and importance in promoting films from the country.
The festival will also invite foreign filmmakers to explore Indonesia's accommodating culture and diverse locations as possible film locales or story ideas. Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy), Born to Be Wild (David Lickley), Savages (Oliver Stone) and Alex Cross (Rob Cohen) - just some of the recent examples of films successfully shot in Indonesian incorporating local talent, facilities and locations.

02 October 2012

Bali - will the Visa On Arrival fee disappear?

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, has expressed her concern that the permanent imposition of the US$25 visa-on-arrival fee threatens the future development of tourism to Indonesia.

Pangestu said the government has received many complaints from Japanese travel operator who are members of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) regarding the US$25 charged to arriving tourists in exchange for a 30-day visa.
She said that Japanese travel professionals in urging Indonesia to end its visa fee point to other destinations, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines who do not charge a visa fee and make obtaining a visa hassle free.

“I will recommend to the Minister of Finance that the imposition of the visa fee become an agenda item in future discussions. Hopefully, we can find the best solution,” said Pangestu while attending the Indonesian stand at the JATA Tourism Forum and Travel Showcase in Japan.

01 October 2012

Bali - pasar senggol Kreneng, Denpasar

Foreign visitors looking to know more about and experience real local markets should try to avoid the air-conditioned, fully sanitized supermarkets, as well as the souvenir malls that have recently sprouted up everywhere offering a one-stop-shopping experience.

Instead, they should venture on the path less traveled to discover those markets frequented by the locals, yet rarely graced by the presence of tourists. One of these markets lies in Kreneng, an area of East Denpasar. Just tell the cab driver or the tour guide you want to go to pasar Kreneng in Jl. Kamboja and, most likely, they will know how to get there.

Kreneng market used to host a multi-story raw commodities market and was a terminal for bemo minivans, providing public transportation for the city dwellers. But by now the terminal has gradually been vacated by the bemo and the empty plot now hosts the traders of the pasar senggol.
A Pasar Senggol, literally means elbow, is usually a night market crowded by traders offering various goods from makeshift stalls covered by tarpaulins, with narrow alleys that force visitors to accidentally bump into and elbow each other, hence the name senggol.

In Kreneng, however, the pasar senggol opens early in the morning and closes at noon. The market offers various colorful goods. In one corner, traders display used clothes imported from overseas; a heaven for those who want branded jeans but couldn’t afford the original prices.
In another corner, an elderly man offers his skill in repairing mechanical
and quartz watches. There are also sellers of food and beverages, electronic appliances, used mobile phones, construction tools, and shredded tobacco, for those who want to roll their own cigarettes. There are also many vendors selling pirated VCDs and DVDs, each trying to display the high quality of his merchandise by playing it at the loudest volume possible on his amplifier. In these kinds of market there is no fixed price and customers are expected to haggle. Deal prices could be 20–40 percent lower than the offered price. And if you have time, try to have a blood cleansing treatment with Lintah Darah, a local treatment offered in many shops.

A visit to the pasar senggol in Kreneng is guaranteed to be a more colorful and exciting experience than that offered by any glitzy supermarket on the island.

A lintah darah treatment.