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Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

++62 361 286 283

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New Hotels, Ugly Airport, Bali Blue Bird Taxi Wars, Visa Lines, Museum and National Tourism Management are the Topic of Letters in this Week's Mailbag.

Bali News: Bali Update, Mail, Regent Hotel, Blue Bird Taxi, Visa lines, Museum
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[Coming Soon: The Bali Regent]

• I Ketut Wiraba issued a welcome to the Regent.

"I am glad to hear Regent Hotel will open on Sanur Beach. Great Hotel and also good for our country because you will bring more tourist to the beautiful island. One thing I would like to suggest is the Hotel is that they should giving attention to the environment. Regent Hotel Welcome to Bali!"

[Bali's Airport Makes List of 12 Ugliest Airports]

• Beth Tierney wrote :

"I would just like to comment that this person must have fairly limited experience of airports."

"I am a travel journalist and in the last 18 months have seen something like 20-30 airports. Bali's may not be luxurious, but the airport is open and well, ventilated, there is plenty of space for passengers to sit and wait, lots of food and drink outlets, reasonable shops and clean toilets. We have been through Bali at least twice a year every year for the last 4, and the staff has always been pleasant."

"I wonder if the other writer has ever been to Nairobi?"

• Roberto Albuquerque from Brazil wrote:

"There are 2 more to add on this list : Tom Jobim Airport in Rio de Janeiro and Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, they're way worse than Ngurah Rai, a shame for all Brazilians."

• A reader named Michelle wrote:

"Bali's 'International' Airport. We traveled to Bali in December to our second home. The first impression we had of Bali on our return was an epic 2 km walk from the plane to immigration. Would this ever be upgraded? On our return flight . . .the toilets or Kamar Kecil were overflowing and really not up to standard. When will these be upgraded? They want all these checks and money from tourists when they leave why not give international tourists a bit more comfort?"

• Sheila and Fred Savill from Perth, Western Australia wrote:

"Hi there, I really wonder from where some of these comments are invented. We have been visiting Bali for over 27 years, and have seen Bali's Airport grow and grow, and it competes very well with airports all over the world [and we have been all over the world]. We have seldom had long queues at the airport, and the staff have always been efficient.......somber yes, but then so many immigration officials are this way. How would anyone like their job?"

"There seem to be so many news items about all the negative things in Bali.....there are negative things in every country. The latest scare is rabies in dogs, admittedly this is a huge concern......the most recent news shows dozens of dogs on Kuta beach..... I really do think this is contrived.....but of course it must be addressed and it seems it is being addressed. Of course, the news items always show very rural areas where the rabid dogs are being gathered for injection so that, too, is being addressed."

"I wish I could relate the many negative things about other countries. Bali is absolutely beautiful and so are the Balinese...of course there are unsavory aspects creeping just has to put things in to perspective and be aware. We have felt as safe in Bali as we have felt anywhere. And just look at the number of tourists from throughout the world who go to Bali time and time again."

[The Blue Bird of Happiness Gets a Balinese Reprieve] and [Open Season in Bali on Blue Colored Birds]

• An Australian reader, Pamela Burt wrote:

"The only cabs I will use are the Blue Bird ones. Have been diddled and taken wrong way with others and some other drivers are abusive. Take a poll of your readers and I think you will find a 75% or more only use Blue Bird"

• Garth wrote to say:

Something smells a bit fishy. I have been coming to Bali often over the last 10 years and have always found Bluebird taxis to be of a high standard of service and not try to rip you off over a fare. I cannot say the same for the other taxi services I have had the misfortune to use - disputing a fare that clearly showed on the meter - meters not working or operating unusually fast - sometimes rude and arrogant drivers, just to mention a few instances. I suspect Bluebird taxis are so successful due to their service and reputation amongst travelers from Australia. That's why the competition is suddenly trying to shut them down. Well my message to them is if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen or drastically Lift your game!"

• Tony Kelley wrote:

"After being regular visitors to Bali for a number of years we decided two years ago to apply for retirement visas and stay. We have always preferred Blue Bird taxis as they are cleaner and the drivers far more courteous than any of the others. As retirees we have time to wait for a Blue Bird taxi to appear and will let any number of other taxis pass by. We hope that those responsible for making decisions which will affect the future of Blue Bird and their drivers will come to their senses and allow Blue Bird to continue to function as the tourists' favorite.

[Getting a Visa to Stand in Line]

• Murray Leggat wrote:

"I'm about to go on my 29th Bali holiday and let's be honest, the Bali airport should be renamed the Ngurah Rai Department Store, it's obvious the airport authorities are more interested in making money than they are about moving people in and out of Bali. In the arrival area there are more money exchangers than there are visa on arrival gates and I don't think the money grabbing porters are setting a good impression on first time travellers to Bali. Regular visitors know to avoid them but when a first time traveler gets asked for money because someone has moved their bag three feet it's not a good start to your holiday. The airport is the first thing they see when they arrive in Bali, it should be a happy time, not a bad one. You haven't even left the airport and already you are handing out money."

• Ray Quigley of Australia tool time to write:

"Having averaged 3 trips per year over the last 10 years, and being relatively familiar with the Arrivals area . . .pray, tell me: where are the other 25 Visa on Arrival kiosks?"

• Bill wrote:

"If the Indonesia government would allow VOL (Visa On Line) for both the new 30/60 day Visa and also allow people to pay for all 6 months (180 Days) of the Social Budaya visa 'up front,' it would cut down on delays upon arrival, traffic congestion during travel to/from the Consulate for extensions, and eliminate the graft being charged by agents during the many extensions by expats on the island. Paying for all 180 days would insure that the government gets ALL of the money, and it not going into the pockets of the agents doing the gouging."

• Steve Preston wrote:

"Either get a visa online like Australia or have the airlines collect the fee with the ticket."

[The Mismanagement of Bali Tourism]

• Brice Wyder in Australia wrote:

"The Government should invest in desalination plants for water, use wind energy for electricity and improve public transportation. I spend a lot of time in Bali and have noticed a big increase in tourists, but it seems they do not spend a lot in the local shops or markets."

[90% of Indonesian Museums Not Fit to Visit]

• Barry Acott in Australia said:

"'The Minister hopes that persuading more people to visit museums will automatically cause the management of museums to improve. Let's see what happens next year after this program is completed.' This is another example of the unprofessional approach by the Indonesian authorities. The museums and (many) government offices look like palaces on the outside. . .but on the inside ."

[An End to Balinese Boondoggles]

• W. Geffrey applauded Bali's governor, saying:

"Viva Gov. Pastika! Please come to California and serve our people when your term in Bali ends."

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