Bali: beautiful one day, an environmental catastrophe the next

stunet's picture
stunet started the topic in Monday, 6 May 2013 at 2:38pm

Here's an eye-opening read about the state of Bali: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/relentless-tourism-spawns-troub...

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Thursday, 9 May 2013 at 4:25pm

So sad. What do you think can be done to reverse this?
The new international airport in Mataram might reduce Bali's problems a little..i dont know, seems like Bali only has a few years left before its a complete loss. The poor locals.
I remember seeing The peanut nightclub (the original) burn down in 96. Streets and bars full of drunken people singing" the roof the roof is on fire...let the motherfucker burn"..one fire engine came along, squirted water on it for a few minutes, ran out of water, had to head through the traffic and by the time it came back the nightlub was ashes.

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uplift commented Thursday, 9 May 2013 at 10:55pm

Gidday, I was friends with the couple that started Peanuts, and there when they were building it and setting it up. They were really nice, big hearted people who had the classic dream of living in the tropics, and helping the down trodden local people. They were really good to the Balinese, but I saw firsthand the sleezy corruption that they were dealing with to get set up. Finally after paying copious bribes and being fleeced left right and centre, they had it up and running. One day, years later, out of the blue, the police burst in on them, and forced them to virtually leave Bali on the spot, with just the clothes on their back. Their Balinese partners took them to the cleaners. They both were shattered, ended up splitting up, and really depressed and down back in the US. From my experience the Balinese peoples biggest enemies are their own ruthless, corrupt leaders, who treat them with brutal contempt.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 4:00am

Thats fucked. heard so many problems with that sort of thing.A few mates have bought land over there, not Bali but other islands, one is a massive four story house he built near supersuck. I hope that sort of shit doesnt happen to him. It was so much work.

shaun's picture
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shaun commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 6:55am

I remember peanuts, way ahead of it's time, cheap alcoholic drinks at western prices.
I hear you groundswell, all that work being put in between surfs at supersuck, must have been tiring watching the natives climbing up and down that bamboo scaffolding.
But you know who I worry about, those poor Chinese investors that have been buying up farms all over Australia, it would be just devastating for them if we Aussies threw them out and reclaimed the land.

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.

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uplift commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 11:59am

Gidday, the only way everything development wise gets done over there is because corrupt upper class and leaders are cleaning up by hooking up with like minded foreign investors. Heaps of families were fleeced/booted out of the Kuta/Airport region, and the clifftop area out to Ulu's is the ultimate example. Money talks.

Years ago I looked around West Java, before there was anything there, and one day soldiers came pouring into one village I was staying in. The people were really afraid, too afraid to even tell me what was happening. They were forced at gun point to paint the whole village red and white, just because a government party was driving through the village. The drive through lasted 10 minutes, and there were westerners, presumably embassy, in the party. The people, with armed soldiers behind them, had to line the road and wave red and white flags. The soldiers took heaps of the peoples rice, fish and stores and left straight after.

That's what I thought was worst about the whole Corby thing. The way the blatent, obvious, regular, rampant corruption was glossed over and avoided, for the sake of money making. Well, diplomacy sounds much more intelligent, respectful, sophisticated and civilised...better than sleezy, two faced scammers on all sides.

The same thing happens in many other Asian/Malaysian regions, police and officials from the cities raid islands for whatever they want, and treat the people with contempt, as inferiors. And some like minded foreigners cash in as well.

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dandandan commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 1:00pm

I've been researching the impacts of surfing tourism in Indonesia for a few years now, and really we have no one to blame but ourselves. Surfers are the ones pushing tourism further and further into the outer islands and surfers are behind some of the newer developments in Bali - just look at Egan's place up at Keramas. As far as I can tell, Bali is done for. There are still thousands of expats wanting to build their own utopia and 'do it right'. It's a massive joke - if you are building a villa on land that is needed for agriculture then you are doing it wrong. Water is being imported from Java to the western parts of Bali every day and soon enough the south east will need to do the same too. Tourism is a horrible curse on small island communities unless it is restricted - and when it is we all bitch and moan about it.

When it comes to land rights in Indonesia, well foreigners just can't own it. Simple as that - it doesn't matter what contracts you have, you will never have any legal claim to it. Building big ridiculous water sucking villas in the desa is just ridiculous - imagine if Chinese billionaires drove into Suffolk Park and built an enormous Chinese styled mansion. We'd hate it too.

The village in Java that I studied last year is just going through this right now. It was a secret, a few selfish Westerners wanted it to be theirs so they built a losmen, then a resort, but kept it low key. Then the Bali boys moved on in and claimed it as theirs and bought the entire cliff - now they are planning to build an entire mini expat village with spas, cafes and villas catering to the semi-rich nob ends that think that staying at the Keramas resort counts as an Indonesian experience. The village is only just starting to understand the impacts - chicks in bikinis are more common and the developers just say 'it's modernisation, they have to deal with it eventually'. Now there are 79 year old rice farmers walking around with US$100K in their pocket thanks to some Canggu developers. The wave is now crowded most of the time, and even worse, surfers are venturing further afield to find their own slice paradise, their own little village but this time, they will 'do it right'.. Give me a break!

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 4:02pm

Yeah no easy answers im afraid, i agree Bali is done for...personally i think as surfers its just better to forget trying to save Bali and try to save or at least help preserve the beauty of other areas we as surfers are opening up and learn from Bali's mistakes, but that said as westerners were just visitors anyway (long or short term) and really its not our place to say how things should be run.

And yes everyone wants a piece of paradise thing, i guess i cant really talk i have a few properties in stone throw of good waves in Indo locked away for retirement, it might sound like a piss poor attitude but it is really watch it happen or get in before someone else does, and you cant really blame the westerners that moved in on the place in Java your talking about its the same attitude if they didn't do it someone else would, sad but true.(BTW. surfed that coast heaps years back as is closest waves to where wife is from and I don't rate it anyway, they can have it)

The whole of Indo is crazy in how fast some areas with good waves are opening up or changing, just look at the Mentawais there is around ten resort/camps with western interest just in the playgrounds area alone and about 15+ throughout the whole of the Mentawais and more built every year and thats without talking about the local run places.

But what is the alternative, limit numbers of resorts/camps and let the investors get richer and have a monopoly? or keep an even playing field, where the local people can also cash in?

Personally i think let it be, but limit the areas of tourism development and regulate how things are done so we dont end up with concrete to concrete jungle, and hopefully they will deal with water, sewage and waste management issues also.

Then there is the charter boat issue, charter boats are great in that they leave little foot prints (except damaged reefs from anchoring) but they also give nothing or very little back to the areas they travel through but still bring the negative of crowds, personally i think as more resorts are built, charter boat numbers should be capped and then slowly reduced to a manageable level.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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groundswell commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 4:26pm

The land is on top of a barren hill unused by farmers and thought to be possessed. we all chucked in a lot of work, which is kind of illegal without kitas visas. One time a few of the locally hired builders took off with the cement mixer and excevation equipment and tools. From then on it was mostly Joe and his girlfriend,a few carpenters, and the odd one of us mixing and pouring concrete, running cables. Joe did that for several years, i dont know how he didnt sleep for days after that kind of work in the heat. It was crazy.

Thing is so many people get ripped off in that town by locals that not many people want to buy any land in that area. i bought a block and was ripped off, they sold the same block to five different people using the same land certificate. $600. not much to worry about.Not sure id buy more. The best areas id really like a little shack in are all national parks.

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dandandan commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 6:43pm

indo-dreaming - I am hearing you. I've leased land as well, but I have no intentions to do anything to it besides maintain a garden. The house was already there and I prefer to not be the guy with the big house down by the beach, but to live in the desa with a normal little house... When there are no waves, it's no fun sitting alone in a big private house haha. I wouldn't be too surprised if we have passed through the same places by the sounds of it.

Groundswell - buying land as a foreigner is a big dirty trap. We can't own the land. Heaps of westerners have set up real estate businesses trying to convince others that they can, but that is really just their way to fund their time in paradise.. they know it is not legal. There is pressure to change this, but I doubt it will happen.

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shaun commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 10:44pm

Sorry groundswell, I thought you were being using sarcasm, well I hoped you were.
Why would you want to own a house in indo, the rent is cheap enough and why mess paradise up by having to do stuff like fix the plumbing and such crap.

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 2:30pm

indo-dreaming - I am hearing you. I've leased land as well, but I have no intentions to do anything to it besides maintain a garden. The house was already there and I prefer to not be the guy with the big house down by the beach, but to live in the desa with a normal little house... When there are no waves, it's no fun sitting alone in a big private house haha. I wouldn't be too surprised if we have passed through the same places by the sounds of it.

Groundswell - buying land as a foreigner is a big dirty trap. We can't own the land. Heaps of westerners have set up real estate businesses trying to convince others that they can, but that is really just their way to fund their time in paradise.. they know it is not legal. There is pressure to change this, but I doubt it will happen.

By: "dandandan"

@ dandandan, Im hearing you also, sounds like you have a similar deal to me, my place is just a normal village house although bought it more for the location and will have to rebuild at some stage as its only wooden and termite ridden, but when we do won't go to big or too crazy, not just because of the $ factor but also would rather keep it low key.

Also agree totally on the property thing, lots of dodgy methods marketed by real estate agents, developers etc, to try to actually get around the fact foreigners cant buy property, especially in Bali, but at the end of the day if taken to court from a legal point of view could easily loose it all.

(BTW. sent you message check your inbox..cheers)

@ Groundswell, Yes heard many many similar storys and more than one surf resort/camp has had similar kind of experiences.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 2:50pm

Sorry groundswell, I thought you were being using sarcasm, well I hoped you were.
Why would you want to own a house in indo, the rent is cheap enough and why mess paradise up by having to do stuff like fix the plumbing and such crap.

By: "shaun"

I guess its not for everyone.

But for me it not really about money its more about a dream, its more about having my own little place(s) in Indo i can go and hang on holidays or even retire, sure I could go stay in hotel or losmen, but i kinda like my own place and know its my own space and can do what i want with it, leave my boards and fishing gear there, plant a few things in the garden and be amazed at how much they have grown when i return, its kinda like my own little surf camp but my guest are my family and friends, I actually enjoy fixing and building things so if i have to its not a chore its almost relaxing after a surf to do those things.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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groundswell commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 5:15pm

So true, its good that you have a few leases to choose from as well.Personally though renting is for me as its so cheap. Except one little area in Sumba where theres nothing but bush & a couple of nice lefts,no access in either though except boat.. i wouldnt mind a lease there probably really cheap land too. Here is the view i filmed one small headhigh but perfect day from Joe's place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsWMa-K_V3Q

If you take off around the 0:19 mark its a good 20 seconds, stopped filming but it actually keeps going past there, especially the best/wide ones.
Only two or three out that day.

udo's picture
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udo commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 6:07pm

I reckon andrew johns would like his own indo hideaway for a month or two after today.

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goofyfoot commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 7:20pm

Holy Shit Groundswell! I think we need to have a chat about that left in that footage!! haha. That is amazing! You lucky man

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groundswell commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 9:42am

If i could work out how to private message id tell you more about that place. its no secret but there are sometimes uncrowded days.
We had it at that size or a little bigger with hardly anyone around for 12 days in a row one month, but it usually needs lots of swell. west south west and it doesnt need much size.
Theres a rare wave a few k's away that i had been hanging out for, it needs to be 8ft plus at the wave in footage to break, it was 8-10- maybe 12ft hawaiian on rare sets so i hired a dugout canoe to get to the mysto spot.and filmed the rare wave in a hidden bay. shot some great footage but two days later my kost/apartment was robbed with all the footage on camera.
Thats one thing thieves dont really care about, the trouble people go to to get shots or footage they will probably delete when they sell a stolen camera.I dont know it kind of pisses me off that that wave only breaks once every few years like that and the footage is lost.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 11:10am

@ groundswell is that Super Suck? (sorry to mention names but like you said if it is, no secret)

I don't know where but I think I've seen pics of your friends place getting built, must have been on FB one of my best mates, mates also has land around there or maybe more towards yo yos.

BTW, just click on there persons name you want to message and you will see option to send message, just discovered this yesterday.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 4:05pm

Yep its supers. Thanks for that didnt even try that lol. Yeah Joe or his friends sometimes upload shots to FBook but his hardly ever online, he lives there about 8 months a year only works/paid work for 4 or so. Hes good at what he does and easily finds work, also doing that you get a nice tax return too.

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goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 5:43pm

@ groundswell, I thought you were saying that wave was in sumba. I misread the post. I surfed supers on Doggy The Mans weeklong charter he does from Bali about 7-8 years ago. Got 8ft scar reef on that trip too, good fun. The captain who could hardly speak English got blind on arak all day... Funny shit.

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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 6:01pm

Yeah when i first read his post i thought he meant it was in Sumba and i was thinking no way its kinda like occys left but looks better almost like supersuck, then i read his post again and understood what he meant.

Thats my aim to set up my life like that, but id be happy with even 4 months in Indo and 8 months working every year...damn mortgage.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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z-man commented Wednesday, 15 May 2013 at 3:03am

Here in Bali presently and you are absolutely correct. It is a sad day when the government doesn't set standards, then ENFORCE them. Bali will most likely be less visited and the effect may have the desired results. We can only wait and see. Bali is one of many, re Costa Rica that has a similar problem.

Got any ideas where to go? I hear a lot about the Canary Islands! Mum's the word!

my signature

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groundswell commented Sunday, 16 Jun 2013 at 8:28pm

Just thought id share a few of my mates photos of the house, almost finished.

A few years ago from backyard-Image

Backyard looking over Town to north and small temp hut/bruga to the left
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One of the nearby waves.
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Doing the top level loft ceiling , five levels in total now.
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Wind Turbine, also he uses solar power and a genny or two if really needed but wants to be green as possible.Also veggie patch etc
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View to the south, showing supers in background and OHS used in foreground.
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A few pets
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And finally, the main reason this is all worthwhile.
Image

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thermalben commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 6:30am

Wow, epic stuff groundswell!

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 9:17am

Yeah thats the place ive seen (but in earlier stages), wow what a sick spot, views each way and nice and high tsunami safe and close to epic waves.

Hows the construction also looks like full metal trusses and battens and even plaster board ceiling, all pretty rare kind of construction in Indo from what ive seen, but fully smart as termites are a big problem in Indo.

I should learn to post pics ive my place but its almost embarrassing after these pics :)

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groundswell commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 1:53pm

It is a pretty good location.
The construction has been mostly concrete on lower levels and bricks with timber window frames. then metal trusses for any roof areas as its split level.
I didn't think about the termites but that's probably why he has done that.
A lot of the materials are hard to come by.
Even good electrical equipment such as GPOs and light switches are hard to find over there. Most of the switches you find in indo are pretty badly designed without the ability to use two way switching or three way switching. Also some builders hired don't seem to care about the dimensions on the plans, like while doing stairs.

Often they go by what they are used to, when one builder started concreting stairs on this place they started looking more like a ladder! Untill Joe pulled him up on it.

So it has been a bit hectic building this place but well worth it. Luckily Joe is very fluent in Indonesian.
The place is so big all my local Indonesian friends always ask about it as though its a hotel, but its not a hotel haha...although he might be able to make it one with the "supersuck hotel" going bust.

Indo d to post photos you would have to use photobucket account and use the image link on the side of each pic. Don't worry if your place is small, I would prefer a small place myself. I wouldn't mind just buying a few kosts around indo actually rather than go through the trouble of building a place..But its everyones dream really to have a self sufficient farm like house..Im pretty proud of him doing that.

One thing I have noticed is in this location there are so many strange birds around, with beautiful sounds. Also a lot of butterflies. Its also the only place you can check from land if that righthander is working. The right from land is below sealevel so looks flat, but from joes place you can tell if its working properly.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 2:58pm

Yeah a lot of builders in Indo wouldn't know how to even read a plan (not being sarcastic) my inlays have done major renovations/extensions and my inlays just did a sketch on bit of paper, showed them where they wanted walls, bought all the materials and just paid the workers daily rate, was actually amazing what they got for virtually nothing, and was really surprised at the quality and workmanship.

The beauty of indo though is all you basically do is apply for a building permit, then do what you want, anyone can do what they want no inspections or regulations.

Yeah have seen many of those Indo stairs your friend almost got.

Iike you mention heaps of stuff like light switches are just crap, ive even been shopping for tools over there thinking i could get brand name stuff cheap like Makita and Dewalt, but even those brand tools are crap, its almost like cheap stock from the 80,s.

My place is not that small actually has a fair few rooms, its just a termite ridden village house, that only just holds together in storms, but didn't really buy for the house more the spot as will knock down in future and rebuild something better.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 3:18pm

[IMG]http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag66/Michael_Waser/P1020115_zps32537fca.jpg" alt="Image" />/img]

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groundswell commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 7:57pm

quote="indo-dreaming"
Image

That's it..Looks pretty cool where abouts did you say that was?

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mcbain commented Monday, 17 Jun 2013 at 9:09pm

Can anyone else apart from Shaun smell the irony here? A thread that begins with an article about the impacts of over development and tourism without regulation - ultimately the result of westerners wanting a slice of the paradise pie without having to pay full freight, and the lamentations of a paradise lost - and ending with photos of a mansion on a hill, and a poor version of 'the block' indonesia, raving about the cheapness of it all and how the lack of regulation and corruption allows you to do what you like.

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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 at 6:39pm

Thanks groundswell..he he..id rather not say where it is..will message you.

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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 at 6:47pm

Can anyone else apart from Shaun smell the irony here? A thread that begins with an article about the impacts of over development and tourism without regulation - ultimately the result of westerners wanting a slice of the paradise pie without having to pay full freight, and the lamentations of a paradise lost - and ending with photos of a mansion on a hill, and a poor version of 'the block' indonesia, raving about the cheapness of it all and how the lack of regulation and corruption allows you to do what you like.

By: "mcbain"

ha ha..yeah there is some truth there, just look at places like canggu.

But that said I think there is a right way and a wrong way to do things and you can bring positive things to communities in lots of different ways.

It should also be noted lots of the problems in Bali are caused by the huge tourism industry, so you could also say just going to Bali you are being part of the problem.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.