I love Bali

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Blowin started the topic in Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 at 6:55pm

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.

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groundswell Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 6:14am

Holy shit Udo and Seaslug too, i dont know why i dont read wax on more often.

By the way good advise SF.

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indo-dreaming Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 8:25am
seaslug wrote:

Just saw this

After December 2022, tourists will no longer travel by boat to Mentawai. On the 22nd of August 2022, the President of Indonesia is officially opening the new Rokot Mentawai Airport. A 50 Million USD renovation of the existing airport to take 72-seat jet planes. From December 2022 onwards, all tourists will arrive in the Mentawai islands by plane.

That's pretty depressing if it happens.

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I focus Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 9:56am
indo-dreaming wrote:

That's pretty depressing if it happens.

Yeah thought the same but good for the locals will improve incomes / services / and health hopefully.

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sypkan Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 11:41am
I focus wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote:

That's pretty depressing if it happens.

Yeah thought the same but good for the locals will improve incomes / services / and health hopefully.

dunno if it will improve anything for the locals...

the cats that invested all that cash in fast ferries will probably be spewing

I wonder if they'll make it that tourists must fly to mentawaiis?

indo seems to be going hard on this push for higher end tourists only 'eksklusif' shit...

the admission to climb borobodour has been proposed to be $100 US (rp 1.4 mil)

admittedly you haven't been able to go in the tenple for 2 years apparently... but it seems soon, if you've got the cash, you can do what ever you want... which has kinda always been the way in indo... but making it official sucks for the local crew

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Ray Shirlaw Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 12:34pm

Wheres everyone going to stay,while in the Ments? Surely theres not enough accomodation? And hows everyone going to surf the different breaks? Therell still have to be boats out there. Just sounds like a clusterfuck..

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indo-dreaming Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 12:39pm
I focus wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote:

That's pretty depressing if it happens.

Yeah thought the same but good for the locals will improve incomes / services / and health hopefully.

Honestly i don't think i will make a huge difference because of the geography of the Mentawai's and how it's set out in a long chain of islands.

The airport is on the Island of Sipora (middle island) not far from the main port town Tua Pajet at north end, its full on boom town as it is, i think most people would be blown away with whats there and the rate if change, there's pretty much everything hospital, big police station, government offices, banks with ATM's even a solar farm, the majority of the people in this area are either from Padang or other areas of Sumatra (even Java) and most are doing okay by Indo standards.

I know this area well as spent heaps of time there and have local and western friends living there and i even own property there.

While most of the poor villages and people with Mentawai heritage that are generally poorer are in areas of Siberut(playgrounds area) and North & South Pagai (islands where Macca's, Green Bush, Thunders, Hole etc are)

To get to these other islands now only takes 3-4hrs with fast ferry while even if you flew to Rokot you still have to make it to these other areas by boat which adds time and money, in some cases you might half the travel time in other cases it could even take longer and cost a lot more.

So the real benefit will be more for the people living in TuaPajet area who are already better off and resorts in Telescopes , HT's and playgrounds areas

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I focus Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 8:12pm
indo-dreaming wrote:

Honestly i don't think i will make a huge difference because of the geography of the Mentawai's and how it's set out in a long chain of islands.

The airport is on the Island of Sipora (middle island) not far from the main port town Tua Pajet at north end, its full on boom town as it is, i think most people would be blown away with whats there and the rate if change, there's pretty much everything hospital, big police station, government offices, banks with ATM's even a solar farm, the majority of the people in this area are either from Padang or other areas of Sumatra (even Java) and most are doing okay by Indo standards.

I know this area well as spent heaps of time there and have local and western friends living there and i even own property there.

While most of the poor villages and people with Mentawai heritage that are generally poorer are in areas of Siberut(playgrounds area) and North & South Pagai (islands where Macca's, Green Bush, Thunders, Hole etc are)

To get to these other islands now only takes 3-4hrs with fast ferry while even if you flew to Rokot you still have to make it to these other areas by boat which adds time and money, in some cases you might half the travel time in other cases it could even take longer and cost a lot more.

So the real benefit will be more for the people living in TuaPajet area who are already better off and resorts in Telescopes , HT's and playgrounds areas

All valid points Indo and know / do understand the area but as a generalization air services tend to be a game changer, the likely question is whether the air service sustainable or not they have tried it before.

The area has gone anyway camps have doubled plus North end of Sipora just cannot see Scarecrows and 7 Palms holding the crowds on low medium swells bigger Iceland's maybe OK.

Agonizing whether to head out this year or not might just go to Playgrounds and be done with it.

@ Ray Shirlaw The Fast Ferries are mainly filled by Indonesians as Indo said lots of people from Padang have all the government positions my own experience is expats make up about 2% to 5% of the passengers except one trip back from Tua Pajet recon they had 400 to 450 on board, expats 1% (Ferry is for 200) and blew a motor an hour out of TuaPajet no aircond and 6 hr trip couldn't get on deck as too crowded such is Indonesia had the wife with me as well :-)

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 7 Jun 2022 at 8:23am

I guess it depends on price of tickets and size of planes on how sustainable it might just end up a wide a week service or something, lots of these services are subsidised by the government airline or ferry gets a contract which has to be won every few years.

For perspective Mentawais has a pop of 64k people but quite spread out Nias almost 900k, Simeulue only 90K but concentrated mostly in the south.

It would be cool quick trip though if get a glimpse of waves, i noticed even flying into Padang you can often see the Mentawais in the distance from the air.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 8 Jun 2022 at 10:37am
udo wrote:

https://thebalisun.com/indonesia-considering-digital-nomad-visa-offering...

Saw this wouldn't read too much into things though, Indo ministers say all kinds of things that never happen and Bali Sun is the worst at jumping on their words to get a story, every second week during Covid they were doing this saying Bali would open on this or that date etc

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seaslug Wednesday, 8 Jun 2022 at 12:01pm

Haha "Indo ministers say all kinds of things that never happen"

Indonesia’s agriculture minister has been condemned by health experts for claiming that a necklace made from eucalyptus can help prevent transmission of Covid-19.

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seaslug Wednesday, 8 Jun 2022 at 12:04pm

And the judges haha, the JIS magic stone

Perhaps the most bizarre allegation used in court since the Salem Witch Trials, Neil is accused of plucking a “Magic Stone” out of the air and using it to anesthetize the kids in his apparently supernatural administration prism. Neil has no previous affiliation with Hogwarts.
To be convicted of a crime in a rational judicial process because of such paranormal malarkey is nothing short of a human rights abuse. Hotman put it best: “If there is a magic stone like that, I want to develop a new business.”

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udo Tuesday, 14 Jun 2022 at 7:49am
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linez Tuesday, 14 Jun 2022 at 8:45am

That could be a busy route....wonder if the other airlines will jump on board

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Tuesday, 14 Jun 2022 at 2:11pm

2200 seats per week?

Considering that they’re only second to Brazzos when it comes to inability to travel in anything less than a mob, that only about amounts to about four groups of Goldy surfers. Heaven forbid they should travel anywhere without emotional and physical backup.

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 14 Jun 2022 at 3:47pm
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:36pm

In Bali now just a 2 night stay before going to greener pastures.

Plane over was close to full but still pretty quite around the streets compared to a normal year in June, and people around seem to be mostly older couples or single men sitting alone in warungs sipping bintangs, not a lot of younger crew or too many families.

Staying at a popular beach side hotel but still only about 15% full when normally its full or close this time of year.

Quite a few shops still closed too and a lot of places look a bit tired from being closed for two plus years.(lot of reno work being done where we are staying)

Bali is bouncing back but looks like it might take another season to get back to something truly near normal again.

Must say its nice to be back in Indo though, the temp is perfect not as hot as i remember and loving the smells and indo chaos, friendly smiles and the bintangs taste better than i remember.

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burleigh Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:43pm
indo-dreaming wrote:

In Bali now just a 2 night stay before going to greener pastures.

Plane over was close to full but still pretty quite around the streets compared to a normal year in June, and people around seem to be mostly older couples or single men sitting alone in warungs sipping bintangs, not a lot of younger crew or too many families.

Staying at a popular beach side hotel but still only about 15% full when normally its full or close this time of year.

Quite a few shops still closed too and a lot of places look a bit tired from being closed for two plus years.(lot of reno work being done where we are staying)

Bali is bouncing back but looks like it might take another season to get back to something truly near normal again.

Must say its nice to be back in Indo though, the temp is perfect not as hot as i remember and loving the smells and indo chaos, friendly smiles and the bintangs taste better than i remember.

It's time they drop the 2 x jab policy to enter Indonesia.. Being jabbed 6 months ago offers zero protection against covid, not to mention the fact it was for the original wuhan strain.

hundreds of thousands of tourists from all around the world can still not travel.

There is no need for such policy anywhere with covid EVERYWHERE

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groundswell Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:46pm

Indo dreming, have the trades started properly yet?

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Craig Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:57pm

While waters are warm around Indo, the negative IOD event hasn't even kicked into gear yet. IE flow of air from north-west to south-east as the cooler waters off Eastern Africa develop.

Expect the NW winds to come through winter and early spring across those western and northern locations, weaker trades to the east.

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Sprout Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:59pm

Hoping the copious cheap flights to bogan nirvana steers a few away from home.

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 5:04pm

The whole Covid thing was all easy, they did check if vaccinated on departure and arrival but not even a temp test on arrival.

It did suck having to wear a mask the whole flight though, but it is what it is.

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 5:06pm
groundswell wrote:

Indo dreming, have the trades started properly yet?

Offshore yesterday and today but pretty light and decent rain last night.

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 5:16pm
Craig wrote:

While waters are warm around Indo, the negative IOD event hasn't even kicked into gear yet. IE flow of air from north-west to south-east as the cooler waters off Eastern Africa develop.

Expect the NW winds to come through winter and early spring across those western and northern locations, weaker trades to the east.

I was actually surprised the water is quite mild too.

I haven't been to Bali for atleast five years though as generally fly into Sumatra via KL, so water and air temp will probably be hotter up Sumatra to me it always seems hotter up there maybe because closer to equator.

I know they have already had mostly NW to
West winds and lots of storms, i don't mind that so much means more rights.

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juegasiempre Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 10:35am

This is mild water temp?! It's taken me a few days to just acclimatize and it's melting a fair bit of my warm water wax away each session.

Lots of older Shazza and Dazza couples punching durries and drinking bintangs. Easily the biggest demographic I've seen so far. That's around Legian though, off to the Bukit tomorrow for 2 weeks so I imagine that will be different.

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Craig Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 10:38am

Nah way warmer and hotter than normal is reports I'm getting.

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Bnkref Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 11:18am

Yeah I found it uncomfortably warm. Warmest I've ever been in the many trips I've had. I was Bali, Ments and Sumbawa.

A stark contrast to other years where I could have done with a wettie at G-land.

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DudeSweetDudeSweet Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 11:30am
Bnkref wrote:

Yeah I found it uncomfortably warm. Warmest I've ever been in the many trips I've had. I was Bali, Ments and Sumbawa.

A stark contrast to other years where I could have done with a wettie at G-land.

How’d you find crowds?

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groundswell Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 12:52pm

My mate who lives in Krui reckons the whole area is packed. he stays there with his indonesian wife and kids nine months a year and it was empty for the last two years but now its hardly worth paddling out the well known breaks.

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dandandan Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 2:06pm

There's a series of comps on in the Krui area at the moment which would be adding to that.

It'll be a hellish year for crowds I reckon. A whole swathe of people - I'm thinking of the 50+ landlord bracket - are significantly wealthier than they were two years ago, and I imagine many of them will be hanging around anywhere that has surf camps, resorts, and villas (basically everywhere) for longer than they used to. Always waves, but a big adjustment for anyone who has been there over the last two years!

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Bnkref Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 2:15pm

DudeSweetDudeSweet, on crowds:

- Canggu was busy but with the lack of trade winds there were quiet sessions during the day
- Bukit a bit less than normal
- Ments was my first time there. A mate said it was the quietest he had it but I found the popular spots busyish. We had b-grade spots to ourselves which was a win.
- Sumbawa (Lakeys) was pretty quiet until the last couple of days. I think we got a good window between crowds

So overall down on normal but not quiet. That was from early May until early June.

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maddogmorley Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 6:13pm

Telos was quiet too - i was there mid May.

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zenagain Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 6:28pm

How were the waves guys? Get some good seshs in?

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Bnkref Friday, 17 Jun 2022 at 7:56pm

Decent waves every day Zen. Never really got below 3ft / head high. Couple of solid days at Ulus and in the Ments.

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 8:39am

In Java now but one thing i noticed having not been back to Bali for about 5 years or more is the change in shops in two ways, one is the crazy amount of tattoo shops and massage places literally one every few shops and of course the internet cafes are now totally all gone as are the CD/DVD shops.

And the second is sadly lots of smaller family owned warungs that were cheap are replaced by larger more expensive places, i guess Covid might have been the nail in the coffin for these little places, my little go to place was all bordered up.

And the prices in warungs have gone up quite a bit, but that said even in Java it seems prices have risen quite a bit since pre covid.

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sypkan Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 10:22am

"...one is the crazy amount of tattoo shops and massage places literally one every few shops..."

it really does seem to be at saturation point re. this. I guess the massage places can have pretty high return for basically having to stock nothing - except a few peasants / sexy girls / almost sexy almost girls...
that sit around all day waiting for customers...

the tattoo thing really has gone next level, i guess the 'bali bogans' offer quite good returns too... seems they are a lot of aussie 'owners' too... which is interesting, and could pan out in some most 'interesting' ways with all the tightening of regulations and visas...

"...And the second is sadly lots of smaller family owned warungs that were cheap are replaced by larger more expensive places..."

not just larger and more expensive, but top end and designer, the bingin to ulu area has turned into a little designer label / high end coffee shop enclave... sadly...

you've got to wonder how fewer people are now making a living out of these areas?

...whilst you could argue they were somewhat exploitative, they did employ a lot more people, and share the money around a bit more... now there are all big high end stuff shops, employing fewer people, sitting around waiting for the one or two big purchases for the whole day (where most of the money goes to mr. vuitton etc.) - which kind of fits in with the very indo thinking of 'rezeki' (luck / a gift from god/s) - but you've got to wonder how sustainable this model is... especially considering the designer shit is no cheaper than in other countries...

the balinese don't seem to care -they all just seem to seek high end rent seeker roles, and appear quite happy to be booting the other poorer indo's - who do all the real work - out...

the island of the gods seems pretty happy to go down this road of rent seeking demi-gods... but sadly, from my observations, the real cash and profits are just going to outside / overseas interests...

once again...

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sypkan Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 10:30am

and from my perspective, the island is fast losing its charm as a result...

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udo Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 1:10pm
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seaslug Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 1:26pm

Thanks udo for a saturday morning giggle

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sypkan Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 1:55pm

cops in bali are going to be super busy

or rich...

no gudanging

no sandals

and no shirtless bogans (especially russian ones)

https://blora.pikiran-rakyat.com/nasional/amp/pr-2094736387/pakai-sandal...

https://scontent.fdps6-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t39.30808-6/284873805_164521355...

no smoking, no sandals should eliminate about 80% of traffic

roads are gonna be like corona time

sepi ...with louis vuitton handbags and harry high pants revealing calvin kleins everywhere...

or not

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seaslug Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 2:48pm

"The electric cars will remain in use in Bali long after the summit has ended"

GOLD

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maddogmorley Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 6:07pm
zenagain wrote:

How were the waves guys? Get some good seshs in?

Waves were fun Zen. 3 of us went. Heaps of good seshs. No big swells but in the 3-4ft range everyday. Always glassy. Didn't see anyone for the first 5 days. Only surfed with crew from other resorts 3 times in 12 days.

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Supafreak Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 at 7:18pm

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CegcxewLQSC/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= It’s not this crowded, and most surfers I’ve come across so far are chilling and taking turns , haven’t bumped into any Russians yet .

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Robwilliams Sunday, 19 Jun 2022 at 10:16am

Fuck putin

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 19 Jun 2022 at 11:37am
sypkan wrote:

"...one is the crazy amount of tattoo shops and massage places literally one every few shops..."

it really does seem to be at saturation point re. this. I guess the massage places can have pretty high return for basically having to stock nothing - except a few peasants / sexy girls / almost sexy almost girls...
that sit around all day waiting for customers...

the tattoo thing really has gone next level, i guess the 'bali bogans' offer quite good returns too... seems they are a lot of aussie 'owners' too... which is interesting, and could pan out in some most 'interesting' ways with all the tightening of regulations and visas...

"...And the second is sadly lots of smaller family owned warungs that were cheap are replaced by larger more expensive places..."

not just larger and more expensive, but top end and designer, the bingin to ulu area has turned into a little designer label / high end coffee shop enclave... sadly...

you've got to wonder how fewer people are now making a living out of these areas?

...whilst you could argue they were somewhat exploitative, they did employ a lot more people, and share the money around a bit more... now there are all big high end stuff shops, employing fewer people, sitting around waiting for the one or two big purchases for the whole day (where most of the money goes to mr. vuitton etc.) - which kind of fits in with the very indo thinking of 'rezeki' (luck / a gift from god/s) - but you've got to wonder how sustainable this model is... especially considering the designer shit is no cheaper than in other countries...

the balinese don't seem to care -they all just seem to seek high end rent seeker roles, and appear quite happy to be booting the other poorer indo's - who do all the real work - out...

the island of the gods seems pretty happy to go down this road of rent seeking demi-gods... but sadly, from my observations, the real cash and profits are just going to outside / overseas interests...

once again...

Yeah i had the same thought, tattoo and massage are both straight labor no need to buy much.

It would be interesting to know the stats but I'm betting most places are still indonesian owned but mostly by well off Javanese,(often Indo Chinese) although its only a small percentage of the population with 270 million people there is still a large number of very well off Indonesians that make everyday Aussies look poor.

Place we stayed at apparently owned by Batak guy from Jakarta

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Roystein Monday, 20 Jun 2022 at 9:35pm

Im thinking the G land forecast looking ok, what do you reckon Stu? Hoping the current low stalls a little before the fetch goes too far east and the winds clock from a south to west and moves out of the window. When is your first day there?

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stunet Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 at 10:02am

OK is a fairly broad term.

It's better than the recent Woz waiting period - at least the wind will be trade every day.

The models have been holding true for about a week now so the size and strength of the storms is fairly locked in, the timing open to only marginal changes. My first day there is the 27th and I leave on the 3rd. Board choice: I'm tending more towards 6ft than 7 - though gonna take one longer board cos Bali will be a good size when I land and also when I return.

Gonna take a few books too...

Reckon G'land will serve up many 4ft days with the occasional bigger pulse, and then a much bigger swell on the last full day - which is still a while out but again the models have been consistent on it.

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Roystein Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 at 1:00pm

Ok as in it looks pretty good but I don't have a reference point apart from the WSL window so dont want to commit! We are there the same window. Southish pulse early then fading and filling in from SW and bigger to finish. Have a 6'6 as biggest and with the forecast not convinced I will bring something bigger, as I would have to find it in Bali beforehand. Will keep an eye out for an opportunity nonetheless. Hope you get some and might run into you somewhere along the way.

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udo Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 at 1:48pm
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DudeSweetDudeSweet Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 at 2:22pm
udo wrote:

Here we go.......
https://thebalisun.com/bali-hospital-builds-new-cosmetic-surgery-center-...

Finally you’ll be able to get a full back tattoo, an entire crispy skin roast piglet and a labioplasty within a short stroll of each other.

About time.