I love Bali.
You wouldn't think that such a thought could be controversial . But it is.
Many people don't love Bali, in fact they proclaim to hate it. Bemoan what it has become, it's lack of purity, it's lost innocence.
Sure, I can see their point. I can't imagine anywhere on Earth that has been transformed as radically as Bali over the last thirty years. From rice paddies and coconut groves to six story discotheques . It's totally unrecognisable in the most built up areas.
But that's not what this post is about. It's about why I LOVE Bali.
I love Bali because ...
- it's still the home of an intense cluster of world class waves. Roping lefts : Uluwatu, freight train right barrels : Sanur, backlit mega tubes : Padang Padang. Rip able reefs, fun beachies. Short , slabby pits and long mellow points. River mouths and bombies. It's got the lot.
- it's still possible to get uncrowded quality waves in 2015 when it seems as though the entire planet has discovered surfing. I was trading crystal clear , rolling right walls with only two other surfers just this morning.
- it's still freaking beautiful. Watching the mist reveal Mt Agung in that unique Bali morning light from a black sand beach as the sun comes up is still special.
- the food is amazing. Walking around town building up a hunger and knowing that at any given time you are within shouting distance of fresh, exotic and delicious meals with enough variety to make your head spin is priceless.
- the Balinese are legends. Friendly, happy and always keen for a joke. Unfailingly polite and welcoming. Healthy, spiritual and decent.
- the Balinese surfers rip their waves and they still own them. A visiting Brazilian would not think twice to drop in on an Aussie local at Kirra. But you won't see the same in Bali. The Balinese surfers are treated with the respect they deserve. Because as everyone knows, if they are not treated with respect there is consequences.
- the water is so warm it's like swimming in silken angels tears.
- telling people that you are going to Bali will often elicit a response along the lines of ......"why would you go to that traffic ridden, noisy shithole ?" And then as you're kicking back with a Bintang watching the sunset over Uluwatu you can imagine them sitting at lights in their car on their way home from work in Perth. Which , for those that have never been , is a noisy , traffic ridden shithole. And this makes me laugh. Which is something I enjoy doing.
- The fruit is incredible.
- despite the millions of tourists, the fast food franchises and the Aussie over familiarity with the joint it's still exotic. The smell of clove cigarettes, the ogo ogos of Nyepi, the Buddhist offerings , monkeys , food and language are all enticingly foreign.
- there is no overreaching nanny state. You want to ride your motorbike with all four of your children and the missus on the back...whilst texting. Go for it.
- you can live like a king on a regular Aussie income. Maybe not such a great benefit for the Balinese themselves though.
- it's close to Oz. Twenty hour plane ride and a shot at developing deep vein thrombosis.....ummm no thanks. It's actually faster to fly to Bali from Perth than it is to drive to Albany. You can fly from Port Hedland in less than two hours.
- you get an opportunity to regularly witness some of the most foolhardy behaviour imaginable on a daily basis. You ever seen a man being doubled on a motorbike through traffic whilst holding a large pane of glass ? What about seeing someone hold a nail between his bare fingers while his mate tries to grind the tip off it ? It's all there folks.
- you can see people making do with not much and making it work. An exhaust system held on with a T Shirt ? An outboard motor attached to a boat with no anchoring system, just held on with a man's brute force ? Why not ? It might not work forever but it'll usually get em over the line.
- the winds can blow offshore for months at a time and when they blow onshore, well , that just makes it offshore somewhere else. It's an island !
- you haven't seen glassy oceanic conditions till you've seen Indonesian sheet glass. It's like an oil slick. And if you're ever near Benoa Harbour that could well be what it is.
- old people are accorded the respect they deserve.
- it's exciting. It's a melting pot of the world. Wide eyed villages from remote Asia, jaded techno princesses from Russia, sleek surfy chicks from Canada , your next door neighbour from Ipswich....it's a party and everyone is invited.
Including YOU. I'll see you there. You can't miss me.
I'll be the sun burnt drunk in a head to toe Bintang ensemble with hair braids and a fresh tattoo of a unicorn across my back . Don't be shy. Come and say hello.
New Toll rdhttps://thebalisun.com/toll-road-construction-in-west-bali-expected-to-b...
And a bus load of briberyhttps://thebalisun.com/transport-bus-bribes-officers-to-gain-entry-into-...
Holidays over ! https://traffic.outbrain.com/network/redir?p=7kS-wrFPplPTOxg7TOIn4P1h6Xc...
2nd Airport cannedhttps://thebalisun.com/north-bali-airport-project-rejected-by-government...
I personally believe a 2 nd airport was never going to happen , but could be wrong. These things seem to raise there heads every 5 years or so . The original plan for airport in singaraja has been doing the rounds for about 10 years or more . Each time they start talking , the price of land in that area would start to double even triple in price and then nothing would happen . At one stage they were going to build it on the water and were hoping China would fund it . I’m not sure what they’re thinking , as if thousands of tourists started flying in to north Bali , where exactly would they stay ? They don’t have the infrastructure in place to accommodate a huge shift in arrivals and do they think people would be prepared to take a 4 hour bus ride to southern Bali ? They talked about a toll road running from singaraja to Denpasar as well , along with a railway line circumnavigating Bali . Big plans but nothing eventuates as they haven’t got the money to build such projects and hope foreign governments or investors will foot the bill . On nusa penida they have had rumours of a casino for 30 years, gambling is illegal in Indonesia and it was supposed to be westerners only lol and again each time the rumours came out the price of land went up. Joko wants to build more Bali’s and places like Sumba have been talked about. There is always investors looking at making a quick buck and Indonesia has a lot to offer. If they do build another Bali I hope they do some thoughtful planning , yeah I know I’m dreaming lol
Nias has had a proposed second Airport for maybe a decade too, i think they even started it once, but never finished it. (you can even see it on google earth, not far from Sorake)
Typical Indonesia always rumours on this or that, but a lot do come end up happening, it's crazy the amount of Airport re developments in Indo in the last ten years, and Medan was moved and i think they have already moved Joja's.
An example of poor planning on the Gold Coast. bbcode image
Jalan Legian 1975. bbcode image
I hope when Bali reopens to tourists that they change the 30 day visa on arrival to 90 days . This would benefit Indonesia in that people would spend more money and possibly venture out to other islands. There is so much to see from Timor to Aceh but 30 days is too restricting . It’s not just surfers but a wide variety of tourists would l believe prefer a longer stay. Yes you can get a 60 day visa before you fly or extend the 30 day once but having a 90 day on arrival is more appealing . If the authorities are worried about people working illegally, simply up the fines and deport with no return for 3 years.
100% agree with all points.
yep, surprised they haven't done it before... though its pretty obvious why not...
Indo has actually been pretty smart with their corona response re. travel and overseas travellers I reckon. their overhaul of imigrasi has been phenomenal, moving most of it online and streamlining it / making it as contactless as possible has been next level succesful and smart (despite the usual whingers on social media). ...making some of oz's online adventures of late and corona responses look totally amateaurish tbh...
they have focussed on longer term travellers (even within the corruption of the new system), and they are focussing on digital nomads etc. encouraging more longer term travellers, as I imagine they know the high turnover, cookie cutter, battery hen type tourism that had developed of late would be a corona disaster
so I reckon they are heading the way you suggest supafreak
Damn mushroom omelettes
Five years since I wrote this and I love the joint just as much.
Christ I miss it. People losing their shit over a five foot , lined up , offshore day here on the East coast . You know what they call a day like that in Indo ? Just another day.
I’m hearing ya I’m freaking hanging to get back to Indonesia. It’s giving me anxiety not knowing when we can go back!
When do you guys think is a realistic time of Australians being able to go to Indo again?
Some time in 2022.
You can get there this year with the right visa and reasons goofyfoot but getting back might be bit of a lottery , as eel said 2022 is probably more realistic for tourists and how their roll out goes will also be a factor. I’ve spoken to a few local mates and the majority of them and their friends unfortunately believe covid is a hoax. They do what is asked from the government as far as social distancing and masks is concerned because they don’t want to be fined. They have a deep mistrust about what’s happening and conspiracy’s run thick. They laugh at the 5 million fine and up to 1 year jail for not getting vaccinated as they have no money and the jails are full. But I believe they will take the vaccine when it’s put to them . I’ve posted before the bigger problem for them health wise is malnutrition and their mental health due to the economic ruin covid has had on them. Drinking tuak has always been popular and more so in these times of stress. Edit . I’m only talking about balinese friends not Indonesia as a whole.
Is wanting to get barrelled the right reason supa?
Rumours are Indo government is considering upping the 5 day hotel quarantine to 10 or 14 day as people aren't obeying the extra 14 days self quarantine.
Makes sense, but guess we wait and see if it happens.
For me the realties of Covid in Indo have kind of hit home, quite a few people we know have now had it, wife's indo friend from Melb whole family in Jakarta, wife's brothers GF and her family, wife's uncle (who has the lingering on going effects) and her fathers mate died from it the other week.
I miss Indo waves
@goofyfoot , I reckon you should write to Scotty and tell him “ how good is getting barreled “ he may give you a pass. @indo , yeah my balinese friends I was talking about don’t believe what’s going on , the mistrust comes from lots of areas and an example is a friend broke 2 fingers in a scooter accident , at the hospital they said oh you have covid , he had no symptoms and apparently hospitals were getting money from government for covid patients. So my friends believe it’s all a scam and that the 800 + deaths in Bali so far aren’t really from covid. I find no point in arguing with them , it’s what they believe and these are educated people , school teachers , government workers etc. It’s sad but they look at life and death differently.
@blowin , here’s a similar picture to one you posted in May 2020
I talked to an Australian friend who pretty much lives in Mentawais the other day, nice people but they are fully into lots of conspiracy theory stuff, they told me every time they get the covid swab test to use the fast ferry they get sick, they were trying to tell me the test is what gives people Covid.
I was like "oh okay really" and changed the topic...i mean what do you say.
Im not sure why they get the test though as i also heard rumours of being able to by-past the swab test and pay for a negative result (which would not be at all surprising)
In my wife family neighbourhood*, apparently some guy tested positive and wouldn't self isolate, kept going to work and the market etc and just not giving a fuck, so a group of locals basically went to his house and said if you go anywhere in the next 14 days we will be back to beat the shit out of you.
* her neighbourhood is almost what we think of an indo slum, deep behind busy streets, down tiny maze of gangs(alleys), wall to wall little places, her family house has a well and toilet and electricity, but heaps of places don't.
BTW. sick fish, some sort of tuna sp by the looks of it.
I hate to be the conspiracy nutter...
but I think the conspiracies are running rife, ...because there's 'evidence' of the conspiracies running rife...
the fact the virus doesn't seem to be smashing indo hard like the 'cases' numbers would suggest it should be, just consolidates and confirms the conspiracy thinking for many I reckon
my eyes and ears on the ground in java say life is pretty much normal, with pretty much normal deaths and sicknesses, but they're just attributed to corona instead of other stuff (sounds familiar?) ...and these eyes and ears are educated people too!
but they are also a long long way from jakarta
for the record, I believe the virus to be real, I believe it to be highly contagious, and I believe the 'G of F' research means we should treat it all with the utmost of respect
but I also believe environments play a huge part in how contagious and transmissable this virus is, and that indo may have the lucky rabbit foot re. environments
I also believe once the virus is established in certain environments it is very hard to get on top of
but I wouldn't listen to me (much), I'm just another conspiracy nutter on the internet...
of a different variety to the 'virus is a hoax' conspiracy nutters...
choose your own adventure
it's a sign of the times...
...where even the educated and established(ment) choose their own 'evidence'...
@indo , yeah it’s a dogtooth tuna , not as tasty as yellow fin but still ok .I haven’t seen yellow fin around lembongan for at least 20 years and they used to be in abundance. Doggies are around along with plenty of mahi-mahi. Some local free divers swim down about 20 meters of the cliffs on cennigan ( next island ) they back themselves into caves then bang something big swimming past . They are hitting fish up to 70 kg and have about 100 meters of cord attached to spear , they swim back to boat and pull them in , be a hell of a fight. Here’s me with a doggie and the other photos are from a spear fishing group , the big tuna photo is from South Africa, crazy fcks.
I think Mark Healey speared a world record Dog Tooth in Indo..
Must be incredible just to be in the water with such an impressive animal as those tuna. I struggle to comprehend the size of them. They look prehistoric when viewed through the prism of modern fishing. Would have been much larger and common as arseholes 150 years ago. Would be very dangerous attempting to spear a fish of that size and risking getting caught in the line , the fish wouldn’t even notice the resistance of your body as it descended in its fight for survival.
You’d want a decent freezer to preserve the catch.
Nice Doggie mate !
Crazy, pics of fish never do them justice either in reality all these fish would look so much bigger and you would really see just how thick they are.
I can't even fathom how it's possible to spear one and then hang on, even having a smaller Tuna sp on a line you can really feel how much strength they have they are just like missiles.
Id feel a bit sad spearing a fish that big though i'm getting all sensitive as i get older if im line fishing i prefer to let the big ones go, medium to smaller usually taste better anyway, but always fun to catch the big ones.
Although if we are talking Indonesia id keep them, i just couldn't be bothered trying to explain the idea of letting a fish go.
biggest flathead I ever caught was on a 5 dollar Simpsons rod I got from Kmart.
It was in front of the old peoples home at .........
couldn't land it on the rock wall so I got old mate in the tinny to net it for me and then pass it over.
A whole bunch of old people had gathered to watch the fight.
they couldn't believe it when I released that fish.
no matter how much I tried to explain it was a big old female breeder.
Fishing with an eye on the future and respect for fishery is a result of the Australian culture that dullards love to claim doesn’t exist.
You only have to spend a few minutes amongst “ new “ Australians to understand the difference.
I took my good mate Agus fishing of point danger on a day charter when he visited Australia, his first fish was a pearl perch and on the sorting tray was a ruler and pictures of different species. I put his fish on the ruler and said sorry mate too small and tossed it back . His eyes went like dinner plates and he screamed “ but why “ l then tried explaining the rules in Australia and how we tried to protect our stocks for the future. He was a bit pissed off at first when I kept throwing his catch back until he landed a nice 5kg knobby. He understands these days why we have these rules and thinks it’s a great idea , pity other countries rape and pillage the ocean .
Agreed Supafreak on other countries flogging fisheries . Many don't have size/bag limits or quota management. But ironically, I believe pearl perch had no size restrictions in NSW prior to 2007. I'm stoked they brought it in though.. I also know for a fact many charter operators keep undersized pearlies for live bait if they don't get enough slimies/yakkas on the way out.
Seeing a few reports like this but nothing set in concrete yet and our government saying international tourists possibly this time next year . June July August is still a possibility for Bali and if we are vaccinated surely getting back shouldn’t be a problem ? Yeah I know I’m dreaming again .https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2021/02/indonesia-mulls-travel-corridor-t... https://www.travelinglifestyle.net/bali-reopening-borders/amp/. https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov... https://www.seekvisa.com.au/australian-borders-likely-to-open-in-first-h... https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/federal-government-reveals-when.... https://amp.9news.com.au/article/9d9ffa60-cee7-4fd8-b16c-1027f33ff025
Covid Prices- A breakdown on Bali cost ATM
Pretty frustrating hey Udo, old mate in that expenses video reckons he travelled to bali sometime in the last 3-4 months, so people are clearly entering indo from other countries...
Open with Pre approved visa ?https://www.instagram.com/p/CLQ65mGpTSg/
Australia’s international borders will remain shut after the Federal government extended the emergency travel ban through to mid-June.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed the human biosecurity emergency period had been extended "by an additional three months," from March 17 to June 17 due to the "unacceptable risk" of COVID outbreaks in other countries.
Nice one udo , good story , I was about to post it here lol Troy is a good mate and absolutely charges . The locals also are good fishermen but not much veggies are grown there . They are certainly doing better than most and it’s going to be a hard road back . Local friends I’ve spoken too have had their bank payments put on hold but interest is still accumulating so a lot will find it hard to claw their way back .
Wonder if his views have changed at all since last July
Comes across very cynical in that article there, eh Udo.
Also great piece by Matt Davis you linked above. Sure he's getting a few waves in as well.
that was a good piece from the abc, they still have their moments...
as was the one from old mate mr. lembonggan, very balanced and reasoned responses...
'cynical' but sagely perhaps?
"...Do you think they have done a decent job of handling the COVID crisis?
Has anywhere done a decent job? It depends where you sit on the issue economy v health. If you ask my Tin Hat prepper mate hiding down in Roti who masquerades as a Narrative Hardliner, places like Western Australia and Queensland have done a great job but now will find themselves isolated. You ask some of the small businesses in those states and you get a different answer right? Globally the amount of misinformation and the different approaches countries have made in response to the pandemic have been as varied as they have been successful, there doesn’t really seem to be anywhere that has really been able to properly stop it even with the large scale lockdowns other than say China but even then do we really know? It’s not something that had perhaps been properly planned for and with a limited understanding of the actual disease (even to this day), much has been reactive. I think if we put it into perspective we are actually quite lucky that the disease has not been more devastating or lived up to its early days of fearmongering and end of the world ‘deadly’ disease prescriptions. If you compare over history this COVID Pandemic with say the Bubonic plague which reduced the planet's population by nearly 25% or the Spanish Flu which was said to have killed nearly 70 million people and also reduce the planet’s population at the time all of a sudden the 500,000 victims of Covid19 across an even larger population of 7.7 billion now, it doesn’t seem to stack up, especially when you consider that during the same time frame the world’s population has actually grown by 40 million and continues to accelerate. It really hasn’t touched us – but I guess that doesn’t really provide as great clickbait does it. This is also not to disregard the loss of lives we have witnessed as this is indeed tragic for the families it has touched as any loss to any disease would be. I can hear the Narrative Hardliners and Experts desperate to defend their predictive infection rate models jumping in to say that without the lockdowns it would have been much worse and of course that goes without saying but as we learn more about the disease and as its current mortality rate, which is currently declining, it’s probably a good thing it has not been as bad as initially prescribed.
In regards to Indonesia itself, being the 4th Largest country in the world it has the added challenge of having 270 million people spread across thousands of islands, which I can assure you is a lot harder to lockdown than say Australia, which is only 24 million. It does have the benefit of being able to lockdown the islands and thus quarantine the population into more parts so that can be a bit of a benefit if you can get the people to follow. The population densities are also completely different too, Australia doesn’t represent a high density so would be easier to mitigate. You look at New Zealand who managed to eradicate it, but it’s now back there as well. I mean everyone appears to have done their best even China with its iron fist still has new cases every day. I think with the containment strategies they have done well but let's face it, it’s here now and short of a vaccine it’s probably the best result you can hope for right? Learn to live with it as best we can under a mitigated risk assessment and what they call the new normal. I mean if you eradicate it then you become faced with being isolated from the rest of the world and how long can that be sustained for? As long as there is Covid19 in other countries no matter how stringent your protocols are, as soon as you open to other countries then you’re at risk and as we have seen if you get just one case it can very quickly start again – look at what’s happening in Victoria right now?
Is there a risk that Indonesia will grossly underestimate or under-report the impact of COVID-19 because they are anxious to have tourist dollars flowing through the economy once again?
Indonesia has had a lot of barbs thrown at it in terms of ‘suspected underreporting’ or suggested widespread of COVID19 and due to a perceived inability to deal with the pandemic or that given the size of the country it should be posting numbers similar to the US. Everyone seems to look at it through their own prism. There has been little or no consideration given to any particular or potential mitigating factors that may be particular to Indonesia like climate, humidity, lack of massive public transport infrastructures like underground subways or trains etc. In Bali for example everyone has their own bike and rides to work so just there you are reducing the ability of it to spread through shared or public transport. There is also the outdoor nature of much of Indoneisia’s work force through farming, fishing. They don’t live in apartment blocks and share elevators where the disease can be spread quickly. People actually wearing masks when they have a common cold is actually already a common practice so whilst it is definitely here and more than likely more than has been recorded so far there is definitely something outside of the pure government-enforced protocols that is impacting the ability of COVID to spread anywhere near as fast as it has in other countries like the States, Italy and UK for example. I think the world has been too quick to model the disease off of the handful of worse case scenarios and copy-paste to everywhere else without proper assessment of potential mitigating factors. I mean when you get to the base of the argument it comes down to individual risk versus systematic risk and when you see what happened in Italy there is an automatic fear that will happen in your own country. I guess you have to look at why Italy got hit so hard what are the other factors outside of the disease itself that resulted in it being hit so hard. If you look to Indonesia’s neighbours for comparison like Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines etc they have all had similar low levels of COVID, albeit in pure numbers perhaps larger than say Australia in terms of per capita infections a much lower infection rate, in fact none of these countries have actually reached the same level as Australia yet. Also in terms of COVID the baseline will always be the deaths – no amount of underreporting, hiding or even lack of autopsies will be able to hide the bodies. If we really did have a big problem, with social media being so intrusive these days we would without a doubt be seeing the mass graves as we have in Italy, New York, and Brazil, but that’s simply not happening. I mean we now know that COVID is particularly dangerous for the elderly with existing underlying issues who perhaps would have met the same fate if they got a bad dose of the flu or dengue fever or other nasty diseases. This makes up the majority of the deaths. There are a small representation of young and healthy people dying or the peanut guy/girl (the one vulnerable person like the one person in the room allergic to peanuts) but it seems that when COVID runs into a young and healthy population it doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the same impact. Indonesia has a median age of 29 and a life expectancy of 70, when we consider that the vast majority of deaths sit in the bracket of 65 and above and that most other countries have life expectancies of 80 there are a whole lot more venerable people in those countries. There is also the fact that through Health Care systems in the West by keeping people alive longer through healthcare you inherently begin to have a larger population that is perhaps more susceptible to a new disease like COVID. Perhaps in Indonesia there is a lack of COVID candidates because anyone with a weak immune system has likely already been taken out by any number of the other ailments we have in the tropics, leaving a more robust elderly generation?..."
"...There has been little or no consideration given to any particular or potential mitigating factors that may be particular to Indonesia like climate, humidity, lack of massive public transport infrastructures like underground subways or trains etc. In Bali for example everyone has their own bike and rides to work so just there you are reducing the ability of it to spread through shared or public transport. There is also the outdoor nature of much of Indoneisia’s work force through farming, fishing. They don’t live in apartment blocks and share elevators where the disease can be spread quickly. People actually wearing masks when they have a common cold is actually already a common practice so whilst it is definitely here and more than likely more than has been recorded so far there is definitely something outside of the pure government-enforced protocols that is impacting the ability of COVID to spread anywhere near as fast as it has in other countries like the States, Italy and UK for example. I think the world has been too quick to model the disease off of the handful of worse case scenarios and copy-paste to everywhere else without proper assessment of potential mitigating factors...."
on the money there!
similar story in oz I would argue... whilst our B and C grade politicians pat themselves on the back...
'the lucky country' indeed
Foreign Correspondent about to start with the Bali story.
2 0 2 2https://thebalisun.com/bali-tourism-association-urges-government-to-reop...
Big $ boost for Gili island
"Meanwhile, her boyfriend Andrew is serving jail time in Bali after being sentenced to 1.5 years imprisonment for possessing 0.5 grams of hashish on top of being a fugitive of the Russian Interpol and escaping from Bali detention."
...seems like good value... relatively...
escape from detention, 14 days on the run, drugs (in indo...) and only 1.5 years...
good value in terms of a transactional perspective... ($ costs aside)
"Many people, including the Head of Denpasar Police Department, were disappointed with the Judges’ decision, as they believe he should have got a longer sentence in accordance with the Indonesian Constitution for what he has done."
geez it'd suck being a straight cop in indo
russians seem to be really leading the charge in terms of bad behaviours and deportations lately, be interesting to know actually how many are there as a percentage of bules
things getting a bit errr.... 'protectionist' in bali...
Reckon you could paste up that story about Balinese protectionism for those without FB, mate ?