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Strippers, Balinese Tradition, Airport Management, Alcohol Taxes and an Interview with Bali's Update Editor - All Subjects That Caused Readers to Write In.

Bali News:
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The Bare Necessities of Kuta Night-Life

Our article on community protests to Kuta strippers [The Bare Necessities of Kuta Night-Life] bringing their show onto public streets prompted several readers to write:

- Danlee Mitchell wrote:

"If tourists want discos, let them have discos. But I would ban any such professional, demonstrative dancing by local women, as it degrades the tradition, ideals and people of Bali. Bali is the last "heaven on earth" locations on this planet, and should remain so."

- Maxine Barron of Australia had this to say:

"I come to Bali 3-4 times a year with friends and family. I love the night life, but I too am offended at the stripper looking girls in Kuta, especially outside Sky Garden. Last time I was looking forward to eating at Sky Garden, but when we arrived we quickly kept walking. I was disgusted, and did not want to go there."

- Repesse commented :

"I may sound like an 'old fart' as the expression goes, but having recently witnessed night life in that area, I have a slight problem with what I saw. A degree of prostitution never witnessed to that extent before. A degree of noise pollution which would be (and should be) outlawed in almost all 'western' countries. A degree of violence never seen before, with drunken foreign youth's verbally provoking and insulting armed police. (A newly married New Zealand boy was killed there the week I was there!) Discriminatory cover charges required from Indonesian citizens only, while 'bules' access these night spots free of charge! All of the above taking place in a spot where the lives of so many youths were brutally destroyed. It made me feel uneasy and not in equation with the notions I have held so far of Bali. Also not exactly a dignified attitude in memory of the 202 youths whose lives were destroyed on that very spot. I just hope and pray that Bali does not become the Indonesian Phuket!

Editorial: Bali Choose Tradition Before Innovation

The guest editorial by Professor Dr. Ir. Wayan Windia [Bali: Choose Tradition Before Innovation] earned applause from several quarters:

- Meredith wrote:

"So good to see someone standing for the values that drew people to Bali in the first place. The beauty and uniqueness of Bali is the reason that I don't want to go to Koh Samui or worse still Phuket. These places are tourist rackets where everyone seems to be trying to make money out of the tourists with a few theme parks, nice hotels and not much else (also with increasing desperation, which can make going there a bit stressful) To go to Bali (and not the southern beaches, which are somewhat spoiled), is to enter into a culture of great beauty, where tradition is intact. It is being a "visitor" and not just a "tourist". This is what makes me want to go back and also to want to contribute to an island that has so generously given me so much in so many ways. If the cultural integrity of Bali is supported, ultimately everyone benefits, in my belief, so good luck to those farseeing ones who are thoughtful enough to be encouraging this, in contrast to short term "practical considerations". Not all tourists are stupid, and most people are more delighted with the genuine unsolicited experiences of the tourist experience rather than a visit to a theme park could ever provide. These can be created anywhere."

- Neil Blok contributed :

"Just hold on to your tanah air ku, and never ever sell freehold land to foreigners. If they don't like it they can stuff it!"

Pak Legowo: Please Listen to the Governor

Our Editorial Calling on the Manager of Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport [Pak Legowo: Please Listen to the Governor] to listen to the advice of Bali's Governor in how the island's airport should be run evoked a number of strong reactions:

- Linda Glasson, emailing from Australia, said:

"As a frequent visitor to Bali, I wholeheartedly agree with your article. There is a distinct lack of choice of available food and what there is of dubious quality. The baggage claim area is rather sad for an international airport. As you rightly state, there are too many foreign exchange vendors. Pak Legowo needs an education in effective marketing. Cheers & keep up the great work!"

- Peter Wrycza, living in Bali, chimed in :

"Totally agree with you! Thanks for speaking up. The focus on continual commercialization at the expense of the traveler's experience is indeed symptomatic of what has been happening to Bali. Let's hope Governor Pastika can stem the tide."

Higher Admission Rates at Kertha Gosa

The article [Higher Admission Rates at Kertha Gosa] prompted a comparison:

- Greg Waite of New Zealand wrote:

"The new rates are extraordinarily cheap since parking nearby is very cheap. The complex is magnificent & the museum, although in need of professional curation skills, is worthwhile. Why didn't they make it $2.50 so they can build a restoration fund?"

Government Alcohol Import Tax Branded a Failure

Our coverage of a survey by a Jakarta think-tank critical of Indonesia's high import duties on liquor [Government Alcohol Import Tax Branded a Failure] brought a comment from an Indonesian reader.

- David Clark wrote to say:

"I just today returned from 2 days in Kuala Lumpur and cannot agree more with this study. When I saw that the supermarkets in KL have large supplies and displays of imported wine at very reasonable prices I wonder what Malaysia knows that Indonesia doesn't? Both countries have similar cultural and religious traditions. Yet Malaysians can buy a good bottle of imported wine for $10! The government should understand that people who want to abuse alcohol do not choose imported wine. And I know from friends on Bali in the tourist business that these high prices have greatly reduced the sales in restaurants at a time when the economic situation is already a challenge."

Interview with Jack Daniels

The reprint of an interview from "Now Bali" with Bali Update's Editor [Interview with Jack Daniels] brought emails from a number of friends.

- Kathy Loper of Kathy Loper Events wrote:

"Jack, I really enjoyed reading the interview. You are a fantastic person to know, someone who truly loves BALI & its wonderful people, and all it has to offer. It is my pleasure in knowing you and looking forward to working with you again in the future."

- One of Bali's respected Hoteliers, Nyoman Astawa, wrote :

"The interview with "Now Bali" featured in this week's Bali Update was an excellent update. It was encouraging, inspiring and stimulating positive spirit for Bali and its tourism industry. Job well done and please keep it up!"

- Adele Baker from Australia made our Editor blushed when she chimed in to say :

"What a gorgeous interview and if i knew how handsome you were i would have insisted we had a drink and not just chats over the phone! Congratulations and keep up your great efforts!! "

- Bali's famous novelist, Diana Darling wrote in :

"Hey Jack, you look so presidential in that picture. Interesting to read about all your accomplishments. Keep up the good work."

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