30 December 2015

9 Balinese dances designed as Cultural Heritage by UNESCO

9 traditional Balinese dances have been designated as Cultural Heritage treasures by UNESCO at the 10th Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Windhoek, Namibia. The nine dances designated for cultural preservationare divided into three categories: sacred, semi-sacred and mass entertainment. The nine dances join six cultural traditions in Indonesia chosen in the past by UNESCO as iconic representations of Indonesian society.
The nine Balinese Dances now included on UNESCO’s list of world heritage treasures are:
Rejang – a sacred dance typically performed at a family temple.
Sanghyang Dedari – a sacred dance performed in a state of religious trance. Not normally performed before the public.
Baris Upacara – An ornamental dance performed by male warriors using exaggerated movements while bearing spears.
Topeng Sidhakarya – a dance from the Balinese mask-dance tradition often presented to mark the end of a sacred dance performance.
Dramatari Gambuh – a ceremonial part of the dance-drama repertoire in Bali and performed to accompany important rituals at Balinese temples.
Dramatari Wayang Wong – a musical theatre dramatic dance performance in Bali including classical dance, dialogue, song and gamelan performace.
Legong Kraton – a classical dance tradition performed by three young women that in times past was only performed at royal palaces.
Joged Bumbung – a courting or flirtation dance performed before a gamelan orchestra.
Barong Ket – a masked dance in honor of the three countenances of Sanghyang Tri Murti.

25 December 2015

Peacefull Christmas eve celebrations

In Bali, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, accompanied by the Bali Military Commander and the Bali Police Chief, visited several churches in Denpasar and in its surrounds. At least 100 police and military officers safeguarded Christmas Eve celebrations at each of the religious buildings.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said on Tuesday that Muslims are allowed to say Merry Christmas to Christians. “Just do it if they feel they need to do it… It is a symbol of sympathy as fellow human beings,” Currently, some Muslims still hold that Muslims are not allowed to extend their Christmas greetings to Christians.

22 December 2015

Denpasar food fest

More then 90 vendors are expected to present food stands at the Denpasar Festival and Denpasar Food Fest to be held on Jalan Gajah Mada in Denpasar on December 28-31, 2015.

Part of the “DenFest” celebration – the four-day event also includes stands selling textiles, handicrafts, cultural presentations and garden displays. The festival with the theme “For Denpasar” will be centered at the Catur Muka Monument on Jalan Gajah Mada in the heart of Denpasar.

19 December 2015

Medicinial plants

Many of the medicinal plants obtained in Bali are considered tasty. The Balinese believe that all diseases can be cured with the help of nature. Like the Javanese and other cultures, the Balinese also believe God has provided a medicine for any disease. Therefore, it is part of the Balinese culture to look for medicinal plants to solve health problems. As in many other regions, herbal remedies remain Bali’s cornerstone of treatment of most diseases.
The medicinal use of Indonesian cinnamon is legendary. This plant is widely commercialized and is known as “Indonesian Cassia” or “Batavia Cassia”. The Balinese use this plant for various purposes from cooking to medicine. Sirih has many pharmacological activities. The plant resides in the heart of the Balinese culture, and it is incorporated in various practices and uses from wedding ceremonies to medicine.

Bali by camera

17 December 2015

Respect for Bali's thousands temples

Keeping Bali’s thousands of sacred temples sacrosanct is not an easy matter. While temples typically post signs at their entrances stipulating standards of dress and prohibitions against the entrance of menstruating women considered ritually impure, many temples are visited by tourists as mere curiosities that are best suited as a photo stop.
While licensed tour guides will often discourage acts considered to be sacrilegious, it is not unusual to discover tourists standing in the inner sanctum of the temple (utama mandala pura) taking photographs. While circulating the exterior walls or outer courtyards of a temple are widely tolerated, entrance into the centermost part of a temple for the simple purpose of making photos can be seen as disrespectful of the Hindu-Bali faith and its ancient religious traditions. The innermost sanctum of a temple is reserved exclusively for those praying and making offerings to the Gods. Tourists wishing to actively participate in the ritual life of a temple by praying at the utama mandala pura should adopt complete Balinese dress and be accompanied by a Balinese-Hindu who will provide guidance in the transaction of prayers and offerings. Many temples in Bali have a pemgempon pura or a temple priests who forbids visitors from penetrating the middle of a temple. The purity of a temple must be safeguarded and never allowed to decline where it will deplete the energy and power (taksu) of the site.
While the Balinese are extremely tolerant and encourage those with a sincere interest in their culture and religious tradition, the careful traveler will always seek to know and respects boundaries of respect and reference for the ancient religion of the Balinese people.
More on www.balidiscovery.com.

11 December 2015

Republic 1945 open for lunch

If  you love those Indonesian favorites made with wholesome local ingredients at Republik 45 we have good news for you. They’re now open for lunch and you can score their delectable dinner items for your midday meal at awesome prices. Score a three course set menu for 150.000rp which also includes steamed rice and a detox water. So head on there between 12-4pm for a great lunch deal.
www.republik45.com

07 December 2015

Bali's large sea mammels

Joint research carried out by Conservation International-Indonesia (CI), Cetecan Sirenian Indonesia, Ocean Initiative and Udayana University’s Oceanic and Fisheries Faculty have confirmed a high concentration of sea mammals living off Bali’s southern shore. A researcher from Cetacean Sirenian Indonesia, said the research on sea mammals was carried out to learn more about their existence in Bali’s southern waters. The data collected will help in the conservation management of sea mammals, many of which have wide global migration patterns.
The results of the survey in this area have identified at least species of whales and five species of dolphins. These include Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni), Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), Spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), Fraser’s dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) and Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp). Another researcher said the results of the survey might still uncover other species as the photos continue to be examined. Among the megafauna known to be in these waters are turtles, Mola-mola fish, Manta Rays, whale sharks, sharks and sea snakes. The team of 6 researchers hope that their work will provide a better understanding of the bio-diversity of Bali's southern seas and its connection to ocean dynamics and how uncontrolled development on Bali’s shorelines, domestic and home industrial sewage being pumped into the oceans and the sub-oceanic noise pollution caused by maritime traffic are affecting these mammals. The research was carried out from October 30 through November 7, 2015.
More on www.balidiscovery.com

03 December 2015

New fast boat service between Banyuwangi and Jimbaran.

NusaBali reports that a commercial fast boat service connecting Pantai Boom in Banyuwangi, East Java and Jimbaran Beach in Bali will commence operations in December 2015. The sea voyage in vessels with the capacity to carry between 25 to 150 passengers will take an estimated 2 hours and is scheduled to commence service on December 15, 2015. The owner of the fast boat service said he is pioneering the new service to develop tourism in Banyuwangi that has a fine range of beaches and tropical islands. He is targeting to carry 400 passengers each day between Jimbaran in Bali and Banyuwangi in East Java. No information on the cost of the new service or the method of booking was provided in the NusaBali coverage.

02 December 2015

Southern Bali on alert, mount Barujari eruption

Gearing up Mount Barujari, a sub-volcano of Mount Rinjani in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), has become active again following an eruption several days ago, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency's (BMKG) Denpasar office. The agency's spokesperson said people in the southern part of the island should be on alert when conducting outdoor activities as the volcanic ash from Mt. Barujari was approaching the region.

"We have received reports from the Himawari satellite that the volcanic ash from Mt. Barujari is currently heading to Bali's southern coastal areas, "
Meanwhile the eruption of Mount Bromo in East Java would have no impact on Bali. The wind direction from East Java is not toward Bali. So although Mt. Bromo has erupted, Bali's situation is safe. What Bali needs to watch out for is the eruption of Mt. Barujari.

29 November 2015

Guides fees increase 35%

The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA-Bali) and the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI-Bali) have signed an agreement setting minimum guide fees for 2016-2017. That agreement provides for a 35% increase in the current guide fees. As reported by Bisnis Bali, the increase is intended to improve the standard of living of professional guides working in Bali and improve the quality of services provided to visitors. Many tour operators in Bali already pay their guides at levels exceeding the minimum set in previous agreements between ASITA and HPI.
More on www.balidiscovery.com.

17 November 2015

Pura Ulun Danu no longer surrounded by water

Bali’s extended dry season have left the iconic temple of Pura Ulun Danu Beratan high and dry while in normal time it would be surrounded by the waters of Lake Beratan. The depth of the lake has declined by as much as 12 meters, allowing people to walk across the dry lake bottom to access a temple formerly approachable only by small boat. The water have been receding at the Temple for the past six months due to the prolonged dry season.
The loss of water depth is the worse in the history of Lake Beratan and its world famous temple. Some visiting tourists say that the temple no longer resembles the pictures presented in brochures and travel guides showing the charming temple surrounded by water.

01 November 2015

Again rolling power blackouts

State power company PT PLN will impose a reduction of electricity in the Java-Bali grid during peak hours, which is between 18:00 pm and 22:00 pm.

Bambang Dwiyanto, PLN acting chief for corporate communications, said in a release that the long dry season has affected the operation of the company's water power plants. Water supplies have been prioritized to irrigate lands during the draught, which resulted in lower allocation for power generation. PLN then decided to conduct rolling blackouts in the Java and Bali grid, which are connected into one. Bambang said at least two hydro power plants now have limited operations, PLTA Cirata (1,000 MW) and PLTA Saguling (700 MW). Agung is asking all of PLN customers who are not experiencing blackouts during the peak load to also reduce their power usage. Meanwhile, the PLN communications and administration manager for West Java Distribution, said that because of the reduced power generating ability, the load in Banten, West Java, is forced to be lowered by approximately 530 MW.

More on www.tempo.co

22 October 2015

New sitewalk construction in Lovina

Tourism operators in Lovina, North Bali are calling on the government to quickly complete the ongoing construction of sidewalks and walkways leading to the beach, saying the building activities are interfering with tourist activities at the popular beachside resort.

A restaurant operator in Lovina said, “The open gutters are producing unsavory odors that are not conducive to people dining at the restaurant.” He told of at least three customers who had fallen into open sewers at the construction zone for the sidewalks. Matters are being made worse particularly after dark, he complained, by the lack of warning signs and safety barricades. Separately, the head of the Public Works confirmed through his office that the construction of drains and sidewalks in Lovina would take a total of 120 days to complete. The value of the Public Works contract for the new walkways is put at Rp. 1.1 billion. The project commenced on July 31, 2015 and is scheduled for completion on November 27, 2015.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

Tsunami early warning system enhanced

Bali’s early warning system for tsunamis has been enhanced with the installation of another tsunami warning tower and siren on Kedungu Beach at the Village of Belalang in Tabanan. The commissioning of the newest addition to Bali’s Tsunami Early Warning System (TWS) was attended by the head of the National Center for Earthquakes and Tsunamis from the Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
Speaking at the ceremony he said: “This siren will be used to spread an early warning of a tsunami in order that the public can evacuate to a designated safe location and thereby reduce the potential number of casualties.” Bali now has 9 locations with Tsunami Early Warning Siren towers standing 15-meters high: Serangan Island in Denpasar Kedungu, Tabanan Seririt, Buleleng Sanur Beach, Denpasar Tanjung Benoa Bali Tourism Development Corporation at Nusa Dua, Kedonganan Beach Kuta Beach Double Six Beach, Seminyak.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

New cruise port in North Bali

The Bali Transportation, Information and Communication Department had declared the Province plans to build an international cruise port in North Bali’s Buleleng Regency at Lovina. Ketut Dana from the Bali Transportation, Information and Communication Department said, “We see the potential of cruise ships berthing in Lovina because of the area’s reputation as one of the best tourist area in North Bali.’ He said his department was in the midst of surveying the area and examining the condition of a pier at Lovina to weigh the feasibility of a cruise port.

The first step must be to renovate the existing pier in order that is can be used as a jetty. “We have heard that the pier is never used for a number of reasons, including the subject pier is too high,” he explained. Dana refused to be pinned down on when a cruise port might be built in Lovina, insisting the project was still only in the feasibility study phase. Dana explained that the Province had only recently assumed control over shipping and shoreline matters under a 2014 law issued by the Minister for the Department of the Interior, transferring this responsibility once held by the Regency of Buleleng. He explained that the use of the Port at Celukan Bawang in North Bali for cruise ships was not in accordance with the master and zoning plan for the Province and Buleleng. Dana insists that the Celukan Bawang Port is designated only for cargo ship operations.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

10 October 2015

Best diving sites

There are many good reasons why tourists choose Bali when planning a visit to Indonesia. Particularly for divers, the island is home to many attractive underwater gems. Among Bali's most popular spots, beginner as well as professional divers can be found flocking to the Karangasem regency in the eastern part of the island. There are at least five most frequented diving sites in Karangasem, namely Padang Bai, Candidasa, Amed, Seraya and Tulamben. Padang Bai has Blue Lagoon and Labuan Amuk beaches, Candidasa is blessed with the island of Gili Tepekong, Amed has Jemeluk beach, Seraya is popular among macro photographers, and Tulamben has the US Liberty shipwreck, which was torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II.

Those who prefer snorkeling can enjoy the ship stern, located only 6 meters underwater with an average visibility of 12 to 30 meters. To support the activity, the regency provides dozens of diving operators in addition to many accommodation options; from luxurious hotels to modest homestays. But do make sure that you are accompanied with a licensed diving instructor and guide prior to plunging into the depths of the ocean. Many tour operators that provide water sport activities in Bali are not registered in the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies [ASITA]. A good tour operator will cooperate with licensed diving centers, which have licensed diving instructors and guides, in the interest of safety.

29 September 2015

Visit north Bali

The Visit North Bali Alliance have launched a website dedicated to promoting Visit North Bali www.visitnorthbali.com. The Visit North Bali Alliance is comprised of three established companies operating on Bali’s northern coast. Dedicated to promoting the beauty and hidden tourism gems of Bali’s North, the website aims “to remind guests there is a part of Bali away from the hustle and bustle, rich in beauty and culture and offering stunning, interesting and diverse products coming from the regio.

The North Bali Experience, the facilities and services of the three founders are featured on the website: Atlas Pearls, BT Cocoa and Hattens Wines. All three businesses operate from Jalan Singaraja – Gilimanuk.

COCOA GROUNDS BT COCOA celebrates all things cocoa. A place to relish curiosity of everything cocoa with fun facts, games as well as chocolaty treats. Cocoa Grounds is embedded with Balinese culture including its people and its décor, providing a true Balinese experience for visitors. Cocoa Grounds aim is to be the go-to provider of all information relating to cocoa, a place to enjoy chocolate as well as an outlet to give back to the cocoa community. Visitors can also adopt a cocoa tree with any purchase of Cocoa Grounds souvenir. For a minimal purchase of Rp. 100.000 a donation is automatically made for the planting of 1 cocoa tree at the Cocoa grounds.

ATLAS PEARLS AND PERFUMES Atlas Pearls is a global leader in eco-pearling, specializing in the highly sought after silver and white Pinctada Maxima, commonly known as the South Sea pearl. Atlas has five farms spread across the Indonesian archipelago, with the biggest farm located in North Bali. A visit to North Bali can now include a visit to the Pearl Cultivation Center and a guided tour of a working pearl farm to view firsthand the pearling process from hatchery to harvest. Complete with a boutique, the facility is awe-inspiring: employing women of nearby villages and supporting hundreds of family members on the north coast.

HATTEN WINES The vineyards of Hatten Wines are just a few steps away from the pearl farm - 14.5 hectares under active cultivation from a total land area of 34.5 hectare. Cultivating their crops and also purchasing grapes from Balinese farmers, Hatten Wines has recently opened a Welcome Center at its vineyard. After 21 years of winemaking, Hatten Wines is an acknowledged pioneer in the Asian wine industry, producing 7 award-winning wines made from the grapes grown along Bali’s North Coast. Wines are produced from the Belgia and Alphonse-Lavallée grapes grown in the vineyards using in the pergola system, harvesting 3 crops each year. Grapes from the North travel across the Island to Hatten’s winery in Sanur where all their wines are carefully crafted. From the reception center, 45-minute tours of the vineyards are offered that include a visit to the Observation Deck that affords a breathtaking views of the vineyard and a wine tasting of the wines made from the grapes harvested in North Bali. In announcing the launch of the North Bali tour program, IB Rai Budarsa, owner of Hatten Wines said: “Every visit to our vineyards reminds me how pretty the North Coast is. This Alliance wants to protect and support sustainable development, hence we invite tourists to come now and see how beautiful it is up there. Hopefully we will later have more voices to support us in the conservation and protection of the North Coast’s beauty.

TOURING BALI’S NORTH Tours to Bali’s North originating from the South can be customized into a leisurely tour of several days or presented in a single day. On the way to the North travelers will drive through the beautiful mountain-lake district at Bedugul and Munduk. The three featured stops on the North Bali program are located within a 45-kilometer stretch along the coast with excellent dining and accommodation options within easy reach ranging from inexpensive home stays to five star luxury resorts.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

No Bulldozers at Jatiluwih World Heritage Site.

The Provincial Government of Bali has taken firm action in response to reports of the rampant development and environmental destruction occuring at the Jatiluwih area of West Bali. Following a coordination meeting convened at the Governor office, a “Status Quo” or freeze on all development activities at the World Heritage Site of Jatiluwih has been ordered until a formal zoning code (RDTR) can be finalized for the area.

Attending the coordination meeting led by the Provincial Secretary Ketut Widja, were the head of Tabanan Regency’s Culture and Tourism Department Wayan Adnyana and Udayana University academician Wayan Windia. The “freeze” issued by the Province of Bali stipulates that no development can be carried out in the area of World Heritage Zone and its rice terraces at Jatiluwih before a comprehensive zoning plan is in hand. NusaBali reports that Widja will soon meet with Bali’s Governor to form a management committee for the World Heritage Zone. The “freeze” takes place one month in advance of an expected visit by a UNESCO representative coming to Bali to asses the success of local conservation efforts of the Jatiluwih Heritage area and following a call for a tourism boycott of Jatiluwih by subak activist Professor Wayan Windia.

Windia has been an outspoken critic of plans to build a luxury hotel near the scenic rice terraces of Jatiluwih and the bulldozing of terraced areas to make way for development projects. As part of UNESCO’s recommendations for the future development of the World Heritage Area, accommodation in the area should be reserved exclusively for home stays owned by local residents.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

The Death of Bali's cultural tourism.

The State News Agency Antara reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has warned that tourism on the Island cannot be detached from the concept of “cultural tourism” as provided for under provincial and regional rules and regulations.

The Governor, speaking before the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), said the whole world knows the greatness of Balinese culture, but limitations exist in opportunities to see and experience the Island’s cultural traditions when visiting the Island. Referring to a recent Bank Indonesia – Bali survey that shows only 22% of the tourists coming to Bali have an interest in cultural tourism, Pastika said such results require further examination inasmuch as Bali’s main tourism draw is its culture and natural beauty. Saying that the variety of cultural attractions in Bali remains limited, Pastika commented: “If someone comes to Bali, how many times do they want to watch a Barong Dance? If they come for a second time, would they want to watch another Barong Dance? That is not a certainty, and most probably they would not. This is what’s meant when we say we need new ‘destinations.’”

Governor Pastika sees an increasing tendency for tourists to seek out spectacular experiences, with younger tourist less attracted to traditional cultural programs and presentations. Continuing and referring to the month-long celebration of the arts held in Bali each June, Pastika said, “Each year we host the Bali Arts Festival in order to develop, explore and seek new creativity.” Members of the DPRD-Bali are asking the government to carefully review the Bank Indonesia survey that said 56% Bali’s foreign visitors are interested in "created" tourist attractions, and only 22% each are drawn to nature or cultural objects.

More on www.balidiscovery.com

21 September 2015

Qantas returns to Bali

Qantas has announced that a new seasonal service between Sydney and Bali to address increased added demand for Bali holidays.

In December 2015 and January 2016 Qantas will operate four flights a week for a total of 33 return services between Sydney and Bali flying Boeing B737 aircraft.

This, is in addition to the 65 flights per week flown by the Qantas subsidiary Jetstar, bring to a total of 603 services flown by the two airlines during the busy holiday period.

The seasonal flight marks a return to Bali for Qantas after abandoning the route to Jetstar seven years ago.

Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said his company was please to be able to offer travelers a full service, premium travel option between Sydney and Bali.

Unlike the many budget airlines operating from Australia to Bali, Qantas passengers will enjoy full service, a checked baggage allowance, in-flight entertainment and food and beverage, all included as part of the fare.

Economy customers will experience the new economy dining experience with more choice and faster service. A Rockpool designed menu served on Marc Newson tableware and Kate and Jack Spade amenity kits with Aurora Spa ASPAR products will be offered in Business Class.

Qantas’ new seasonal Bali services will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 4 December 2015 to 29 January 2016, inclusive.

During the above period QF43 will fly Sydney to Denpasar on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing at 5:10 pm Sydney time and landing in Bali at 8:50 pm local time.

The return leg on QF44 will fly Denpasar to Sydney on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing at 10:40 pm Bali time and landing in Sydney the following morning at 7:40 am local time.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

Why tourists avoid Besaki temple

Half of the people who visit Bali’s sacred Mother Temple of Pura Besakih are reporting their disappointment via social media.

“As much as 55% of tourist visiting the Besakih complex are complaining about the experience. This information is from 'Trip Advisor,'" explained the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) for Karangasem.

While visitor have endless praise for the inspiring views and sacred setting of Bali’s most religious site, they have little regard for the treatment they must endure or how visits to the sacred site are organized.

Because of the failure of Pura Besakih to compete in terms of the visitor experience with other leading tourism sites around the world, Tama, who also serves a member of the Karangasem House of Representative (DPRD-Karangasem), is calling for the urgent formation of a Besakih Management Board being considered by the Besakih Community and the Regency of Karangasem. The Management Board will be able to address the complaints of tourist visitors.

He warned that the formation of the planned Management Board should not be solely about profit. The profit, he promised, will come when Besakih is properly managed.

Contacted separately, the head of the Culture and Tourism Department for Karangasem did not deny that many visiting tourists are finding their visit to Besakih an unsatisfactory experience. Moreover, he said that the problems plaguing Besakih are of long standing.  Adding, “The object is excellent, but there are a number of problems that give rise to complaints.”

When asked to elucidate, he mentioned aggressive traders who prey on visitors and illegal guides who coerce “tips” from tourists. He explained that this behavior is also found even among registered guides who are not ashamed to be extorting tourists.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

Tanah Lot, believe it or not

Believed to trace its roots back to its building in the 16th-century Dang Hyang Niratha Dynasty – Pura Tanah Lot sits on a pinnacle of land surrounded by the Indian Ocean a stone’s throw from shore. Local lore says that King Naratha once slept on the island, decreeing after his stay that it should become a place of worship dedicated to the Lord of the Sea – Dewa Baruna.

Connected by a landbridge to the mainland prior to a massive 1919 earthquake, Tanah Lot is one of seven sacred sea temples that dot the coast of Bali.

Myths Connected with Tanah Lot

Gathered from The Bali Post and other source, there are a number of interesting fables, myths and folklore embraced by locals worth sharing,
Many believe that if you bring your romantic interest to Tanah Lot the relationship is doomed to soon end. Conversely, couples that have formally married and started a family seem unaffected by the threat of a breakup.
Pregnant or menstruating woman are considered “unclean” and must not visit the temple. Local legend contends that the natural land bridge that once connected the Temple to the shore crumbled into the sea when a menstruating woman tried to cross from the shore to Tanah Lot.
Water drank from a source at the temple’s base is considered to bring good fortune.
Venomous Sea Snakes found on the nearby shore line, and believed to the living embodiment of King Niratha’s sash (selendang), are said to make the short migration each evening through the water to spend the night guarding the temple.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

13 September 2015

10 best things to do in Ubud

For those of you who plan to go to Ubud, here are 10 best things to do while cruising around the area:

1. Doing yoga

Many people travel to Ubud to practice yoga or to join a yoga retreat to practice yoga every day.

Most renowned yoga centers offer public or private yoga classes. But you can also join yoga classes at Yoga Barn, Taksu Spa, or join small classes at Pramesti Bungalow Yoga Retreat, which offers many classes daily, or you can have a total yoga retreat at The Como Shambala Estate, and do yoga close by Ayung River.

2. Going organic

One thing that fits well with such soul-cleansing efforts is eating healthy food. Feel totally rejuvenated by eating organic food or perhaps go further by becoming a vegan or even by eating raw food during your stay in Ubud. Forget caipirinha for a moment, healthy elixirs are perfect for detoxing and making you feel refreshed. And don’t worry about the taste. Since Ubud has gained a reputation of being a holistic center, many healthy food chefs pack their bags and move to Ubud to serve yummy, healthy foods, which perhaps can make you forget that you’re eating raw vegetables.
Go to Alchemy to get raw food or Sari Organik for organic food.

3. Getting a spa treatment

A spa treatment is very beneficial, not only for the skin, but also for the body's organs.

Try to find spas that use organic based products and choose ones with good views to find a natural feeling. Some of Ubud’s best spas are Tamarind Spa at Murni’s House and the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, that has introduced a new concept incorporating authentic spiritual traditions, such as chakra balancing, Balinese Ayurvedic practices, yoga and meditation.

4. Walking around Monkey Forest

After visiting the monkey sanctuary, Monkey Forest, take a walk around the area to see interesting artwork such as crafts, painting, accessories and clothes. The Monkey Forest area is located in the heart of Ubud where you can find interesting shops or visit Puri Ubud, Ubud Palace and the traditional market in front of Puri Ubud.

5. Seeing cultural performances

Get enchanted with the eloquent movements of Balinese dancers. This is the reason why many artists fall in love with Bali and decide to move to the island. Reservations will be needed if you expect to watch traditional dances, which are performed during holy ceremonies. Most of the performances are shown during sunset. Learn about life wisdom and philosophy through the stories in movements and listen to the enchanting traditional music that accompanies the dances. You can also watch other cultural performances such as wayang kulit. Tickets are mostly sold by people on the street near Puri Ubud and Pasar Ubud.

6. Visiting museums

Ubud’s museums show a great heritage. See paintings from Ubud maestros such as Antonio Blanco, Lempad and Walter Spies at The Blanco Renaissance Museum, Puri Lukisan or Agung Rai Museum of Art. Keris collections can be found at Neka Museum or various types of masks and puppets at the House of Masks and Puppets in the village of Mas.

7. Visiting artists’ workshops

Visit artists’ workshops and see how their creativity has sparked some wonderful artwork that is available for purchase. You might be able to create your own artwork or at least find a piece to decorate your home, or give it as a present to loved ones. Balinese artists’ workshops can be found everywhere in Ubud and you will soon notice their signs on the road.

8. Wandering or cycling

Ubud is full of hidden paths, which will lead you to its real gems: beautiful terraced rice paddy fields, fountains, real Balinese villages, lush tropical forests, rivers, or many beautiful things that can't be found on frenzied main roads.

Discover the real Ubud by taking any lanes heading north from Jl. Raya Ubud. You can also take a trek to Tjampuhan Hill from the bridge or to a temple in front of Blanco Renaissance Museum, which will reveal a beautiful hill along Wos River.

9. Learning a new skill

No matter how old you are, learning a new skill can be useful and exciting. Be it dancing or cooking, or maybe just a small course like making an offering or breeding birds. You can visit villages such as Tjampuhan and ask for local painting or silversmith class. Blanco Renaissance Museum also offers interesting classes such as bird breeding or orchid caretaking.

10. Eating, eating and eating

Ubud is famous for its culinary heritage and there are hundreds of authentic restaurants for you to enjoy. Imagine eating pork rib at Naughty Nuri’s, spicey nasi ayam kedewatan and crispy babi guling by Ibu Oka. You might prefer crispy duck a la Bebek Bengil or go for some fine dining at the Mozaic restaurant for special occasions. Culinary trips in Ubud should not be missed.

08 September 2015

Bali nature experience at Menjangan

Waka Hotels & Resorts (WHM) has announced the opening of NusaBay Menjangan by WHM located in the blissful beachside seclusion of the West Bali National Park.

The Resort caters to travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-track experience within a wild and supremely beautiful part of Bali.

The property, formerly known as Shorea Beach Resort, is under the management of WHM and has undergone extensive renovation. Six Lanai Cottages and one 2-bedroom villa are now ready, with 8 more Lanai Cottages and one more villas slated for renovation in the near future.

Each lanai cottage is elevated above the ground, just footsteps from the beach and is comprised of an air-conditioned bedroom furnished with a king-size canopy bed, an ensuite bathroom with a monsoon shower, and a private balcony. The 2-bedroom villa occupies an absolutely beachfront position in a private sand-floored courtyard replete with an open-sided ‘bale’ pavilion for relaxation or private dining.

The master bedroom boasts a king-size bed and an ensuite bathroom fitted with a soaking tub, an indoor monsoon shower, and an outdoor shower open to the sky. The second bedroom is self-contained and has an ensuite bathroom with monsoon shower.

The Resort’s facilities include a reception pavilion, swimming
pool, restaurant, spa, and an ocean recreation centre operated by a certified dive company.

In keeping with NusaBay Menjangan’s ecotourism commitment a range of specialist activities tailored to the area are on offer. These include ranger-led nature treks in search of sightings of birds, deer, wild boar, monkeys and the endangered Bali starling. Just a ten-minute boat ride from the Resort are world-class snorkeling and scuba diving trips at Menjangan
Island.

More at www.balidiscovery.com

Tabanan uses air rifles for stray dogs

In the escalating effort to eliminate stray dog populations and stem the spread of rabies, officials in the regency of Tabanan, West Bali are devising new tools that include modified air rifles to supplement the use of blow-darts to euthanize canines.

The head of the livestock section of the Tabanan Regency administration said, “The innovation is being undertaken to ease the elimination of stray dogs and to safeguard officials working in the field.”

As reported by Beritabali.com, the modified air rifles have been designed to allow officials to cull hard-to-catch stray dogs that have proven hard to eliminate using nets or blowguns.

Officials say that Bali’s stray dogs run whenever officials bring nets to catch them, while officials fear self-contamination with lethal poisons when using blowguns.

The modified air rifles are proving substantially more effective in deliver poisons to stray dogs in trial operations around the Kerambitan area of Tabanan.

The official budget to purchase strychnine, needles, and protective clothing is Rp. 100 million (US$47,400)

Acknowledging the elimination of stray dogs to eliminate rabies in Bali remains highly controversial, Tabanan officials have asked for public support by not allowing their dogs to run free.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

Bali's Sababay wines wins Honors in China

Sababay Wines has again won honors at the 2015 China Wine and Spirits Awards (CSWA) recently held in Hong Kong.

Sababay’s White Velvet (White Wine) and Moscato d’Bali (Sparkling Sweet White Wine) were awarded Silver Medals, while Ludisia (Sweet Red Wine) garnered a Bronze Medal.

The heavyweight blind tasting by a panel of wine experts resulted in Sababay Winery competing alongside famous brands, including Scotland’s Haig Club; Australia’s Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann; Chile’s Vina Ventisquero and Aguirre; France’s Bernard Magrez and Les Grand Chais de France; Italy’s Feundo Arancio and Cantine San Marzano; New Zealand’s Saint Clair and Marisco; Portugal’s Casa Santos Lima and DFJ Vinhos; South Africa’s Distell and La Motte Wine Estate; China’s Chateau Nine Peaks and Spain’s Williams and Humbert, and Rioja Vega.

The Annual CSWA focuses on the fastest growing wine market in the world: China. With 37 million adults poised to attain drinking age within the next five years (more than the entire population of Canada), experts say that sales in the Chinese marlet segment alone could skyrocket by as much as 200%.

Commenting on the medals won by Sababay in Hong Kong, Yohan Handoyo, deputy CEO of the Bali-based winery said: ‘We are extremely proud of our recognition at CWSA 2015. The most renowned brands in the world compete and it is an honor to see that our wines compare with the best in the industry. A CWSA Medal is a trusted badge of honor. We have always been committed to quality, but this further bolsters our desire to craft the best products possible.’

www.sababaywinery.com
More on www.balidiscovery.com.

06 September 2015

New from Bali, Civet Cocoa

One of the oldest coffee producer in Bali, Bhineka Djaja, is making innovation by introducing civet cocoa (cokelat luwak). The chocolate is claimed to offer different kind of delicacy. According to Bhineka Djaja Director, Wirawan Tjahjadi, the chocolate has been patented in 62 countries.

“If there is civet coffeee, why don’t we try to make civet cocoa,” said Wirawan when met at the 2015 InterFOOD Bali Hotel & Tourism.

Wirawan added that the chocolate that has been eaten by civet is has no bitter flavor.

“Therefore this is a sugar-free chocolate,” Wirawan promoted, adding that international tourists from China, Japan, and Korea are fans of the chocolate.
“Locals are still reluctant to spend more money on chocolate. It is priced from Rp100,000 to Rp400,000 , and not many Indonesians are buying it. Therefore, our segment is more of foreign tourists."

Despite of the expensive price, Wirawan said, he had sold around 5,000 packages of civet cocoa.

“We continue hopeful that the civet cocoa would help empowering local farmers. In addition, we want to establish our distinctive culinary,” Wirawan said.

03 September 2015

Garuda Wisnu Kecana statue will be 120 meters high.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park in Bali is set to revive the landmark project of the huge statue of Vishnu, the Hindu god of creation, riding the mythical bird Garuda.

Following an acquisition by PT Alam Sutra Realty (ASR) in 2013, the park’s management company PT Garuda Adhimatra Indonesia (GAIN) has started building a new statue, which will be finished by 2017.

Since the project started in 1997, the park development has been stagnant due to a lack of funds, the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and political changes.

The new statue will weigh 4,000 tons. It will trump the 93-meter Statue of Liberty in the US in terms of size.
The Statue of Liberty and the statue of Jesus in Brazil are slim. The GWK statue is planned to be bulkier and grander with magnificent carvings.

Nestled at one of the vantage points in southern Bali, the huge statue will be visible from 20 kilometers away, including from Tanah Lot.
A museum will also be built, displaying the documentation of the statue’s two decades of development.

30 August 2015

Angkasa Pura I appointed to build Buleleng Airport

PT Angkasa Pura I has been appointed by the central government to finance the construction of a new airport in Buleleng Regency, Bali.

“Now we just need to ask for a letter of assignment from the Ministry of SOE to PT Angkasa Pura I,” said Deputy Governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta in Denpasar on Tuesday.

His party along with Regent of Buleleng, Department of Transportation, and the associated team members went to the SOE Ministry in Jakarta, to request the assignment letter.

Meanwhile, Head of the Department of Transportation, Information and Communications (Dishubinfokom) of Bali Ketut Artika stated that the Buleleng airport development plan was based on a letter from the Minister of Transportation.

In the letter addressed to the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and the Minister of Tourism, to support the National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN) in Bali Province related to infrastructure development, which is for the railway construction to be assigned to PT KAI and the construction of a new airport in north Bali id given to PT Angkasa Pura I.

On the other hand, Artika explained, with the appointment of PT Angkasa Pura I as initiator of the construction of Buleleng airport, the airport construction site automatically will be determined by them based on the results of the studies.

“They certainly will conduct a feasibility study related to the airport development plan in terms of economic, financial and cultural as well as the key factor of aviation safety,” said Artika.

Meanwhile, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika supports the construction of airport in Buleleng which will be built by PT Angkasa Pura I.

The Bali provincial government, he said, will also invest in the new airport to be built in the northern part of Bali. But the percentage of capital to be included has not been confirmed.

Associated with airport construction site, Pastika said it will be built in the district of Kubutambahan (eastern region of Buleleng) since there is land about 400 hectares. “The lands belong to indigenous peoples of Kubutambahan,” he said while also saying that the airport in Buleleng will be wider than Ngurah Rai Airport.

He hoped the airport of Buleleng soon be built because the fastest time needed for the completion of construction is five years.

More on thebalitimes.com

28 August 2015

Son of the dragon

For more than half a century the great dragon kite, Ratu Panji Sakti, has watched over a village in Bali and is believed to bring luck to the village.

Community members of the Sanur hamlet of Dangin Peken come to pray for health, wealth and answers to their problems; some come praying for children. The sacred dragon queen kite, Ratu Panji Sakti, was crafted of gold leaf, jewels, cotton and bamboo in 1954 and granted to the village by a priest.

Kadek Suprapta has honored Panji all his life and now at 38 years of age he heads up the village kite arts office. “My cousin was born because of Panji. My uncle prayed to the dragon kite for a child, so he was born of the kite,” says Suprapta.

He stresses that while there is no scientific evidence, his community also trusts the kite to improve soil fertility and enhance crop growth for farmers.

“That’s what we believe, that soils become more fertile when Panji flies. It’s logic because the kite season is in the dry season. We plant watermelons and nuts. The soil is so dry it is cracked open. Maybe the sound of the kite enters the cracked soil — there is no science — but for sure we can harvest good watermelons,” says Suprapta of the kite that has a 5.5-meter wingspan and a 105-meter tail. The head or mask of the janggan (great kite) is of a green, heavily jeweled dragon’s head.

More on thejakartapost.com

27 August 2015

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

After successfully luring 26,000 bookworms and literature lovers to Bali in 2014, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) returns to the Island’s heartland October 28 –November 1, 2015.

A global melting pot of big ideas and extraordinary stories the UWRF is offering [Early Bird Ticket Prices].

Heading UWRF's International line-up is Pakistani author of runaway hit How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Mohsin Hamid; bestselling Chinese-American memoirist Anchee Min; short-story author Nam Lee of The Boat; The Rosie Project’s Graeme Simison; and creators of the worldwide travel institution The Lonely Planet Guides - Tony and Maureen Wheeler.

Spanning five days of intimate panel discussions, workshops, literary lunches, book launches, poetry slams, film screenings and more, the UWRF program will also feature debut of novelist of The Fishermen Chigozie Obioma and 2015 Stella Prizewinner Emily Bitto; North Korea defector and TED Talk sensation Hyeonseo Lee; Palestinian scholar Mazin Qumsiyeh and winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award - Sofie Laguna.

Exploring the UWRF 2015 theme “17,000 Islands of Imagination” the event will showcase the incredible diversity of Indonesian talent, including leading literary figure Putu Oka Sukanta; controversial award-winning filmmaker Nia Dinata; short-story writer and political journalist Seno Gumira Ajidarma; and winner of the 2013 Southeast Asian Writers Award Linda Christanty.

The Festival will also welcome social advocate Andreas Harsono;
celebrated Indonesian novelist Eka Kurniawan; humanitarian and East Timor rights campaigner Galuh Wandita; and Founder of the ASEAN Literary Festival, Okky Madasari.

More on www.balidiscovery.com
More on www.ubudwritersfestival.com

How dry is Bali

Bali’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has allocated Rp. 45 billion (US$3.84million) in emergency stand-by funds for use in the event of natural disaster.

As quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of Bali BPBD, Dewa Made Indra, said the funds could be used to handle the negative impact of drought and possible forest fires resulting from a prolonged drought.
Plans are now being formulated between the Bali Provincial Social Service Agency, Public Works Department, Provincial Water Board (PDAM) and the BPBD to ensure areas worst affected by the coming drought receive emergency fresh water supplies.

The distribution of fresh water supplies to the affected area will take place once each week.

“Every Friday we will distribute clean water by tank trucks to the village of Julah in Bulelelng (North Bali). On Wednesdays, the trucks will travel to Bangli and Kintanami,” Indra explained.

The BPBD-Bali has developed maps of area that suffer water shortages each year, including locations in the regency of Bulelelng at the sub districts of Tejakula, Sukasada and Gerokgak.

In the regency of Karangasem the worst affected areas are located in the sub districts of Kubu, Abang and Karangasem; in the regency of Bangli the affected sub districts are at Kintamani and Tembuku; and in the regency of Klungkung on the island of Nusa Penida.

More on www.balidiscovery.com

22 August 2015

Trump Hotels build 6 stars luxury resort in Bali

Trump Hotels Collection has signed a deal with Indonesian investment group PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) to manage a planned six-star luxury resort and residential development in Bali.

The location of the planned six-star resort will be on the island’s southwest coast “set against the Indian Ocean” and the popular and renowned Tanah Lot temple. It will be Trump Hotel Collection’s first resort in Asia.

Executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump Jr. said that he was honored to announce Trump’s expansion into Asia as it was line with a bid by the American property development firm to continue its worldwide expansion planned for the year ahead.

“As we continue to strategically grow the Trump Hotel Collection, we seek only the most valuable destinations. Bali is consistently voted as one of the best islands and is one of the best resort and residential destinations globally,” Trump Jr. said in a statement obtained by The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

More on thejakartapost.com

21 August 2015

License please

25% of All Traffic Tickets Issued in Kuta and Denpasar are given to Foreign Visitors
Over the past 12 months the Denpasar police have issued tickets for 4,000 traffic violations, more than 1,000 of which were given to foreign tourists.

Kuta and Denpasar saw the most foreigners receiving traffic tickets.

According to the head of the traffic division at the Denpasar Police, Nyoman Nuryana, the majority of violations committed by foreigners were for traveling the wrong way on a one-way street.

Nuryana said that the number of tickets issued was much less than the number of actual violations, with many tourist visitors only receiving a warning from police.

Other common violations by foreign drivers in Bali include a failure to use a proper helmet while riding on a motorcycle or failure to hold a valid Indonesian driver’s license.

Nuryana estimates that only 20% of foreigners found to be breaking traffic rules are actually ticketed by police.

Many tourists complain of being pulled over by Balinese police who demand an immediate "cash settlement" for any alleged infractions of the law.

More on www.balidiscovery.com.

16 August 2015

No lifeline for Bali dolphins

Despite growing pressure from almost half a million people around the world who signed a petition calling for the rescue of four dolphins held in a small chlorinated resort pool in Bali, the Indonesian government has refused to take action.

Although the Environment and Forestry Ministry found out that one of the dolphins was half blind and all of them were toothless, it said that all of the dolphins were found to be healthy, in contrast to a video secretly captured by an Australian animal rights group last month.

In the video, the dolphins, supplied by a company from Central Java, Wersut Seguni Indonesia (WSI), could be seen swimming toward the camera in the murky pool of Wake Bali Resto and Dolphin.

“Their skin was dull. Their eyes were cloudy. The water that they were in was not clear. I had noticed that they had had their teeth removed. I’m unsure as to why but I think it’s absolutely disgusting,” Natascha Elisa, who took the video, said on an Australian talk show. “It was absolutely heartbreaking. I laid by the pool and they swam over and were quite obviously crying. It was really sad.”

More on thejakartapost.com

11 August 2015

Illigal rafting companies.

Bisnis Bali, DenPost and NusaBali all report that four rafting companies operating on Bali’s Anyar River are unlicensed and operating illegally.

On Wednesday, August 5, 2015 a team, comprised of local law enforcement in Gianyar (Satpol PP Gianyar) and the regency’s licensing office (BBPT) visited 9 rafting companies operating on the Ayung River.

Of the 9 companies visited, four companies were found to be operating illegally:

    Tukad Rafting operated by Komang Agus Punarbawa
    Rejeki Ayung Rafting operated by Ketut Sukayasa
    New Gangga Rafting operated by Dewa Putu Ganta
    Ubud Rafting operated by Ketut Suasana

When confronted by the enforcement team none of the above-named operators were able to present their operating licenses (izin usaha).

Each of the companies was issued an initial warning with a second warning letter issued on August 5, 2015.

Local regulations provide for the closing and sealing of the operations with the issuance of a third warning letter.

Read more on http://www.balidiscovery.com.

07 August 2015

Rabies outbreak in Bali

Rabies is on the rise again in Bali as the disease has already claimed 12 lives this year, a significant increase over last year’s two fatalities and 2013’s one.

The latest case was reported on Monday, as a 24-year-old was suspected to have died from rabies after a puppy bit a finger on his left hand last month. He died at Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar.

“From the clinical symptoms and the fact that the patient had been bitten by a dog, we can conclude that he died of rabies,” head of Bali Provincial Health Agency, I Ketut Suarjaya, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Suarjaya said that rabies tests could not be conducted on Kartawan because the patient was experiencing seizures, therefore it was too risky to take his blood for the test.

Since 2008 there have been a total of 160 people die from the disease, said the official.

He said rabies has been rising again on the resort island since earlier this year. Prior to that the local government had boasted that this year the province would be free from rabies.

More on www.thejakartapost.com

31 July 2015

Bali Waterbom best water park in Asia

TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards 2015 naming the 10 best water parks in Asia has been released.

Winning top honors was Waterbom Bali selected via a survey of TripAdvisor community supplying comments and appraisals of their experiences visiting water parks across the Asian region

Here’s the Travellers’ Choice Awards 2015 from TripAdvisor for Asia’s best Water Parks:

1. Waterbom Bali (Kuta, Indonesia)
2. Chimelong Water Park (Guangzhou, China)
3. Black Mountain Water Park (Hua Hin, Thailand)
4. Sunway Lagoon Theme Park (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
5. Coco Splash Adventure and Water Park (Lamai Beach, Thailand)
6. Water Kingdom (Mumbai, India)
7. Dam Sen Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
8. Waterbom Jakarta (Jakarta, Indonesia)
9. Adventure Cove Waterpark (Sentosa Island, Singapore)
10. Wild Wild Wet (Singapore)

Read more on www.balidiscovery.com.

24 July 2015

Smoking a joint, one year jail

An Australian was jailed for one year Thursday after he was caught smoking a marijuana joint on a beach in Bali.

Nicholas James Langan, 25, was arrested on popular Batu Bolong beach in January after he was found smoking the drug with an Indonesian who worked as a driver at a hotel. Marijuana weighing 0.86 grams was also seized.

Indonesia has recently stepped up a campaign against drug use and the tough sentence came almost three months after eight drug convicts, including seven foreigners, were executed by firing squad despite international appeals for mercy.

Read more on thejakartapost.com

15 July 2015

Harley Davidson bikers to Bali

Around 5,000 bikers are expected to visit Denpasar, Bali, for the first-ever Asia Pacific Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOG) Convention in November.

The event would attract at least 5,000 loyalists, excluding the event vendors and non-participant visitors.

Harley Davidson Asia Pacific has chosen Bali as the location for its first-ever customer-led Asia Pacific Harley Owners Group Convention, which will take place on Nov. 4 to 7.

“We chose Bali for its strategic location, solid infrastructure and entertainment options for people of all ages. These attributes make Bali the perfect location for our event,” said Martin Engelbrecht, regional customer experience manager for Harley-Davidson Asia Pacific.

The four-day event will comprise several activities, including HOG Enthusiast Adventure Training (HEAT), social events for Harley-Davidson owners and riders, free entertainment, and of course, promotional displays of Harley-Davidson’s newest motorcycles.

Read more on thejakartapost.com

03 July 2015

Bali beers among worlds cheapest.

Bali ranks 14th as the cheapest destination for beers in the world and the third in Southeast Asia, according to the 2015 Beer Price Index.

According to the index, issued by travel search engine GoEuro, the average price for a can or bottle of beer (330 ml) in bars or supermarkets in Bali is US$2.18, cheaper than beers in Manila, the Philippines and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The index also puts Indonesia’s tourist island beers as the third cheapest in Southeast Asia after Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand.

Krakow, Poland is number one on this year’s list as the city that sells the cheapest beer at a price of $1.66. Geneva, Switzerland, lands on the other end of spectrum, being the most expensive at $6.32.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong takes second place as the most expensive city for beers.

Read more on: thejakartapost.com

15 June 2015

37th Bali Arts Festival started

The sounds of Okokan wooden cowbells marked the official opening of the 37th Bali Arts Festival at the Ardha Candra open stage at the Bali Art Center on Saturday night.

The sounds of the traditional musical instrument from Tabanan regency that was played by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya marked the start of the much awaited one-month arts festival.

“Bali has a huge potential for the cultural industry. I feel sure that Bali can beat the world in the cultural industry,” Arief said.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the festival was an event for Balinese artistes to be appreciated as well as a communication tool for artistes that was the pride of the Balinese.

“This event is strategic not only in preserving traditional Balinese art but also in revitalizing the value of the arts,” he said.
A grand Balinese drama dance, Ayodya Kertanegara, from the famous Hindu epic Ramayana, was the highlight of the opening ceremony.........

Read more at thejakartapost.com

11 June 2015

A rescue for the Balinese Starling.

Japans Yokohama city administration and the Indonesian government are cooperating to conserve the Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), locally called jalak or curik, by donating the birds for release at the Bali Barat National Park (TNBB). "This cooperation will last for three years, from 2015 to 2017," Chairperson of the Association of Curik Bali Preserver (APCB) Tony Sumampau stated here on Thursday. He affirmed that the cooperation is in its second stage, after it was established three years ago.

Director of Conservation and Biodiversity (KKH) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Bambang Dahono Aji noted that the success achieved in the conservation of Bali starling can serve as a role model of success for wildlife conservation in Indonesia. "The success of Bali starling in-situ and ex-situ conservations is a success story of endemic wildlife conservation in Indonesia," he emphasized. Aji stated that the success of Bali starling conservation is apparent by the increase in the population of these birds, which were previously on the brink of extinction in their natural habitat in TNBB. "In 2005, the population of Bali starling in the national park was only five, and now, there are more than 100 birds, and at least 40 Bali starlings have even been released in the wild,"

The Yokohama city administration remains committed to assist in the conservation of Bali starling in their natural habitat. The Bali starling is a medium-large bird measuring 25 centimeters. It is almost entirely white with a long, drooping crest, black wing-tips and tail tip. It has a yellow bill with blue bare skin around the eyes and legs. The Bali starlings habitat is restricted to Bali Island. The bird was discovered in 1910, and in 1991, it was designated as the faunal emblem of Bali and is featured on the Indonesia.

Read more on antaranews.com

06 June 2015

Tourists injured at ferry explosion.

Dozens of tourists were injured when small explosions hit a ferry crossing between the popular Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok, officials said Saturday.

The explosions were likely to have come from the fuel tank of the ferry, which was carrying 129 passengers on board, most of them tourists. The boat had completed about one-third of its journey to the resort island of Bali from Senggigi in Lombok when the explosion took place on Friday afternoon. Among those injured were passengers from Australia, France, Italy, US, UK and New Zealand. "No one has serious injuries. Most of the 25 patients suffered minor injuries from the impact," an official at West Nusa Tenggara hospital, Oxy Cahyo Wahyuni, said.

Two explosions hit the vessel 30 minutes after it set off from Senggigi with the second explosion breaking the windows and hitting the passengers," local water police official Khoirul Anwar said. "We suspected that the explosion came from the fuel tank," Anwar said. The local police is investigating to find the cause of the incident, he added. Read more at: thejakartapost.com

04 June 2015

Jamie's Italian restaurant opens in Kuta

Celebrating its first day in Indonesia, Jamie’s Italian opened in Kuta Beach, Bali, on June 1. Patrons tried the large range of genuine, home-style Italian dishes, served with the characteristic twist favored by the famous UK chef Jamie Oliver, in the 220-seat rustic, casual eatery.
Sitting on the outdoor terrace under the industrial-style lighting and wooden ceiling fans, some relaxing over an Italian limoncino and a plate of antipasti, guests can people-watch the busy Jl. Pantai Kuta. Indoors, diners can choose to sit near the bar and the Ferrari-red pasta-making machine, or upstairs near the two open kitchens. All the food has been created by Oliver, his mentor Gennaro Contaldo and the talented team of chefs in each location.
Read more at: www.thejakartapost.com

03 June 2015

Sky garden to be closed

The village of Kuta has responded to continuing troubles and strife surrounding the Sky Garden Discotheque by petitioning the Regency of Badung to close the doors on the popular nightspot. The village head of Kuta said that a letter recommending the Sky Garden’s closure would be sent to the Regent of Badung on Friday, May 29, 2015. The village chief said the call for the closure of the Sky Garden comes after many months of non-productive dialogues with the establishment’s management, 

As recently as March 31, 2015, the village warned the management to follow the rules on closing time, reduce noise pollution caused by the club and address the internal conflicts spilling over from Sky Garden’s operations. The Sky Garden has ignore all warnings delivered to them by the village.

Sourde: www.balidiscovery.com