"We have been traveling for some time now and years past I do not believe I have ever had a guide like Joseph. He is a wonderful and compassionate young man and a true asset to your fine company. Thanks for sharing him with us on our days in Bali."
Herbert Ypma's List of the World's 20 Most Hip Hotels Include Two Bali Properties.
Herbert Ypma, who has been described as the "king of cool," publishes a guide for jet setters to the world's most hip and stylish properties.
Bali, long accustomed to being named among the most popular tourist destinations with the best hotels, is also included on Ypma's top 20 hip hotels from his long list of favorite holiday haunts released on May 29, 2005 by timesonline.co.uk
In fact, Bali managed to land 2 properties in his prestigious list of top 20 all-time favorites.
Here's the two Bali hotels that Ypma simply adores:
The Bale Nusa Dua Bali
The ultra-contemporary minimalist design of The Bale and its 20 bungalows surrounded by 70 ponds and pools clearly won Ypma's heart for this Nusa Dua property with an almost cult-status among veteran Bali visitors.
Sharing this "secret" with his readers, Ypma thinks the series of bungalows run by Diana von Cranach and her Balinese husband are a study in absolute indulgence where "the only rule is: there are no rules."
We Intercept a 'Top Secret' Report from James Bond to Miss Penny Moneypenny Regarding a Recent Party at the Ritz-Cartlton Bali, Resort & Spa.
Date: 03 June 2005
TO: Miss Penny Moneypenney, MI6 HQ
FROM: James Bond C.M.G, R.N.V.R.
STATUS: For Your Eyes Only
Dear Miss Moneypenney:
It is imperative that this report and the accompanying images, recorded on my camera concealed in a cigarette lighter issued by Q, be shared with M at the earliest opportunity.
Oh, the Things I Do for England
As instructed, I attended this evening's gathering at the Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa together with several hundred other invited guests. Billed as a For Your Eyes Only event, I was surprised, but not unhappily so, to encounter the following:
A Casino Royale Upon entering the area normally used as the Resort's premier Dava Restaurant - I was handed a quantity of plastic chips of various denominations and led by a most well-presented young woman to a range of gaming tables.
The Martini Club Sitting down at the Black Jack table, in order to survey and take in the surroundings, the same young woman brought without being asked my preferred libation: 4 measures of vodka, 1 measure of dry vermouth, and 1 olive served straight up after being shaken over ice. Lingering to inform me there were 35 types of martini on offer that evening, I sensed the waitress had a certain animal attraction for me. However, like my drink, I was shaken, but not stirred.
Determined to see what information of value she might posses, I suggested a late night rendezvous. Polite yet firm in her refusal, I told her that the night was young and it was likely she would Never Say Never Again to this vintage secret agent.
Champagne Throughout the evening, copious quantities of alcoholic beverage were proffered at every corner. Too experienced to fall prey to over-indulgence in mood altering stimulants, I paced myself on glasses of Champagne after the initial martini. My preferred Dom Perignon 53 not available, I made an excellent choice of a more recent vintage, served at the mandatory sub-38 degrees Fahrenheit. Unable to refuse the free flow of champagne, I was compelled to say yes - fearful that I would be mistaken for "Dr. No."
Fixed in the belief that the attractive hostess who greeted me at the entrance was an Agent Provocateur targeted against one of Her Majesty's Senior Servants, I seized the moment to gain closer access suggesting that while Diamonds are Forever, an evening with The Spy Who Loved Me was an opportunity not to be missed.
Steadfast in her denial of my recruitment pitch, she suggested I sample the imported crustaceans sumptuously laid out on a bed of ice. I told the young woman that if her course of rejection continued, I'd have more need for the ice than any plate of fresh oysters.
The party, set atop the cliff side of the Ritz-Carlton Bali, Resort & Spa provided A View to a Kill - with Bali's Jimbaran Bay and Indian Ocean stretch out below a Moonraker sky. Determined to collect as much intelligence as possible, I resolved to leave the gaming table and descended the stairs to a garden courtyard and the main phalanx of invited guests. There, scores of chefs prepared gourmet delights a la minute, an orchestra played familiar themes from a certain series of British spy movies, exciting miniature power boat races took place in reflecting pools, dazzling dancers performed and attractive women nearly 3 meters tall vaguely reminiscent of May Day (a/ka Grace Jones) - made their way through the crowd.
As a matter of some urgency, please have Q and his team analyze the images below and advise his preliminary findings.
Please be a good Moneypenny and check with Q and see if he can shed some light on the whereabouts of my Aston Martin. It seems to have gone missing and the lads at Bali's airport insist they've not seen it. Can you find a way to delicately put the question to Q: Did he leave the "adaptive camouflage" switch in the "ON" position when he shipped it?
Once we find the car I'll make a follow-up visit to the Ritz-Carlton and obtain confirmation of my suspicions that there's more to this Resort than its reputation as one of the world's leading holiday resorts.
Miss Moneypenny, please assure M I'll get to the bottom of this, no matter how long its takes. Oh, the things I do for England!
James Bond - 007
Wise Words From New Zealand
NZ Herald Travel Editor Jim Eagles Says: Book a Trip to Bali if You Want to Help Shapelle Corby.
Following the 20-year prison sentence handed down by a Denpasar Court to 28-year-old Shapelle Corby for smuggling narcotics into Bali, efforts to force Indonesia's hand in the case through strident criticism, threats, and threatened travel boycotts managed to plumb new depths last week when threatening letters containing suspected biological agents were sent to the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and to Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer.
Official reaction from Indonesia to what is widely seen as a terrorist attack, like its response to the relentless barrage of criticism by the Australian media some blatantly racist and jingoistic in nature, has been commendably moderate. Accepting Australian Federal Police pledges to continue the established tradition of cooperating with Indonesian authorities in bringing terrorist to justice in the latest attack on the Indonesian Embassy, Indonesia's Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a restrained travel advisory urging caution to its nationals and diplomats working in Australia far short of a full travel warning forbidding visits to Australia.
Book a Trip to Bali if You Want to Help Corby
Insightful words of wisdom on the appropriate reaction to the Shapelle Corby verdict flowed from Australia's near-neighbor, New Zealand, where New Zealand Herald's travel editor, Jim Eagles, urged people wishing to support Shapelle Corby to visit Bali on their next holiday.
Suggesting that there are still travel bargains to be found in Bali, Eagle joined the growing ranks of those who believe the decision of the Indonesian courts to punish the Queensland beauty school student had a strong basis in law and a compelling case to answer before the Indonesian judges.
Eagles makes the excellent point that there exists little justification to condemn the Indonesian inquisitorial approach to justice, based on Napoleonic traditions, as somehow superior to the adversarial model of U.S. and Australian criminal courts. In any case, Eagle concludes: "as several Australian legal experts have conceded, the verdict of the Indonesian court is almost certainly the same one an Australian or New Zealand court would have reached on the same evidence."
Come to Bali and Support Corby
Eagle sagely asks: Who gets hurt if the proposed travel boycott is successful? Arguably, the Balinese people may be damaged by such a boycott, but, in reality, similar past efforts tied to East Timor and other crisis have shown the Balinese people's demonstrated resilience against such attacks.
Acknowledging that Indonesia is a proud country and a sovereign power, Eagles suggests that a program of gentle diplomacy and continued friendship between Australia and Indonesia is more likely to speed Corby's return to terra Australis than a program of "shouting abuse and making threats."
And, to those hell bent on continuing their anti-Bali crusade, Eagle says: "Overall, if the aim of a boycott is to give its advocates a bit of cheap moral satisfaction, while at the same time wrecking the lives of a few Balinese waiters and ensuring that Corby stays in her Indonesian hellhole longer than necessary, then by all means go for it."
'Tango Argentino' Comes to Bali with the Formation of the Tango Bali Club.
A serious commitment to the promotion and development of Tango dancing in Bali has been made with the inauguration of the Tango Bali Club on Sunday, June 5, 2005, at the Sunset Restaurant and Latino Club in Seminyak.
Aspiring to become the centre of the Tango movement in Southeast Asia, the Club provides regular training and education via Tango dancing classes, Tango music performances, Tango shows, workshops with ranking Tango dancers and instructors, and organized tours to the cultural heart of Tango, Buenos Aires.
The History of Tango
The seductive movements of Tango and Milonga trace their roots to the lower-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the 1880s where people would gather to socialize in bars, cafes, gambling houses and quilombos. Born in an age when body contact between dancers was still deemed highly scandalous, the exotic nuances of the Tango slowly took root, eventually traveling to the capitals of Europe where wealthy Argentineans on holiday mesmerized the Continent's gentile society otherwise preoccupied with the 1-2-3, 1-2-3ing of waltzing to the music of Johann Strauss. It has been suggested that Tango dancing left Argentina in working class clothing and returned in a tuxedo, as Tango music and Tango dancing became the rage in Europe dating from the roaring 20s.
Joining The Tango Club
The Tango Club Bali offers memberships at Rp. 200,000 (approximately US$20.40) per year per person which includes:
10% discounts on regularly scheduled lessons.
10% discount on all Tango events at the The Sunset Restaurant located on Jalan Saridewi No. 17 in Seminyak.
Priority placement for workshops and private Tango lesson.
A subscription to the Clubs newsletter.
SMS alerts for Tango events taking place in Bali.
June 2005 Events
Following the grand launching on June 5, 2005, the Tango Club Bali have scheduled a Milonga Dance Party on Friday, June 17, 2005 and a Tango Tour Closing Party on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - both to be held at The Sunset Restaurant. Admission tickets are Rp. 75,000 (approximately US$7.65) for advance purchase and Rp. 85,000 (approximately US$8.65) at the door on the evening of each event.
A number of workshops and dance events are schedule by the Club, including an August visit by the renowned Tango dancers - Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo from Argentina, to conduct workshops and performances for the very first time in Indonesia.
Additional information and reservations can be made by calling ++62-(0)81238 39423.
InterContinental Resort Bali Opens New Airport Arrival Lounge Facility.
InterContinental Resort Bali has opened an airport arrival lounge for the exclusive use of their Club InterContinental Guests.
Guests eligible for the special service will be met by a personalized greeter upon landing in Bali who will assist with immigration and customs formalities and have access to an air-conditioned lounge staffed by Club InterContinental hostesses and page boys where refreshment and refreshing cold towels will be on offer.
Once all entry documentation is completed and luggage collected, guests will be escorted to a waiting vehicle for transfer to the Resort on Jimbaran Bay, just 10-minutes away from the airport.
Club InterContinental guests are provided with a 24-hour butler service for the duration of their stay, a private pool facility, access a stylish Club Lounge where all-day refreshments are always available, complimentary high-speed Internet access and a range of special in-room amenities.
President Susilo to Preside Over Grand Opening Parade for Month Long Celebration of Bali's Art and Culture.
Organizers of the 27th Annual Bali Arts Festival (PKBXXVII) have confirmed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will attend the opening parade of the event on Saturday, June 18, 2005. The announcement regarding the President's participation was made by Bali's Governor, Dewa Made Beratha, at a meeting of the organizing committee for the PKBXXVII held on Friday, June 3, 2005.
The Governor also confirmed that a number of foreign ambassadors assigned to Indonesia's capital of Jakarta will be sitting in the reviewing stand for the mid-day grand opening parade.
As in the past, a number of foreign performance groups will participate in the PKBXXVII. This year's list of foreign participants includes art and performance groups from the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand and India.
The PKBXXVII runs from its opening on June 18 through July 16, 2005.
Group of Visiting Chinese Tour Agents Suggest Ways to Increase Indonesia's Pitiful Share of Massive Chinese Travel Market.
A group of 13 leading mainland Chinese tour operators on a familiarization tour of Indonesia paused to tell the press why Indonesia's share of the outbound Chinese travel market remains relatively small.
Mr. Liu Shijun, Deputy Director-General, China National Tourism Administration, spoke to the press in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, following a meeting with Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, as part of a three-city tour of Indonesia with a group of 13 mainland Chinese travel agents.
According to Mr. Liu, the main factors preventing the development of Chinese tourism to Indonesia are:
The lack of visa issuing centers for Chinese travelers. At present, visas are only issued for Indonesian travel from Beijing and Guangzhou, serving a large country with a population base of more than 1 billion people.
The lack of direct flights from China to Indonesia, compelling Chinese travelers to take inconvenient and time-consuming connecting flights despite the relatively close proximity geographically of the two nations.
The lack of promotional information on Indonesia available in China as compared to other ASEAN countries which have aggressive publication and publicity programs in place.
A Massive Market
According to Mr. Liu, an estimated 80 million Chinese take a foreign trip each year. Served by some 6 million travel agents, 36.8 million or 46% of Chinese travelers visit one of the 10 ASEAN nations with Indonesia netting approximately 83,000. This is the equivalent market share of about one-tenth of one percent of all Chinese travelers for Indonesia and two-tenths of one percent market share among Chinese spending their holidays in an ASEAN destination.
Mr. Liu emphasized that most Chinese travelers are looking for holiday itineraries that are laden with activities including mountain trekking, water sports, and visits to historical spots.
In 2004, only 29.651 Mainland Chinese visitors spent their holiday in Bali.
Bali's Police Chief Sees Ending Bali's Drug Trade as Essential to the Island's Survival.
Bali's Chief of Police, Irjen. I Made Pastika, recently told Reuters News agency "it's all out war" in the battle to rid narcotics from the popular resort island.
The comments, from the man named "Asian Newsmaker of the Year" by Time Magazine for his central role in the capture of the Bali bombers, follow closely on the recent sentencing of 28-year-old Australian, Shapelle Corby, to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to smuggle 4.2 kilograms of marijuana through Bali's airport.
Acknowledging that Bali's drug trade was in large part fueled by demand by foreign tourists, Chief Pastika insisted that his promised crackdown would not harm tourism, but was necessary to protect the welfare of both tourists and locals alike and needed to preserve the long-term reputation of the island.
Pledging to go after "the big bosses both local and foreigner" the police chief told Reuters that "we are not just blindly catching the small suspects and the petty offenders."
Only Dopes Bring Dope to Bali
The Police General said that Bali will always welcome foreign tourists, but implored visitors, especially Australians, to not brings drugs to the island.
Admitting Bali's long association with marijuana and widespread drug dealing on beaches, streets and clubs, the head of the anti-narcotics division, Sutanto, said Bali's major drug problem remains the illegal trade in heroin and ecstasy. Most heroin found in Bali originates in the Golden triangle of insular Southeast Asia.
Bali's chief of police said his department is increasingly targeting trans-national crime, using police intelligence and closer cooperation with foreign police agencies. The double edge sword of intelligence operations and cross border cooperation will, according to Bali's top cop, make it increasingly difficult for drug dealers and those involved in sexual predation on under-age children to remain on the island.
Changes to Visa Policy Promised. Not Sure Who. Not Sure When.
During the TOURCOM Asia-Pacific Conference held in Bali, in late May 2005, Udin Saifuddin, Deputy for Marketing at the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism told the press that sometime soon perhaps in the next three to four months a Presidential decree will be issued adding between 12 to 16 new countries to the existing 21 now eligible to purchase a visa-on-arrival in Indonesia.
While specifics on exactly which countries will be added to the facility are scarce those widely mentioned for the expanded privilege are India, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria.
Also rumored to be included in the promised Presidential decree on immigration policy is an extension to the present validity period for visas-on-arrivals. Observers are hopeful that the President will extend the 30 day US$25 visa to 60 days and the 3 day US$10 visa to 10 days.
Rumored changes to the visa policy have been constantly in play since early 2005 when changes were promised by tourism official to occur sometime during the first quarter of the year.
While the promised dates for changes have come and gone, the rumors regarding an eventual easing in tourist visa policies persist, with the continuing delay in their implementation fueling speculation that there are members within the Presidential Cabinet resisting any change to the current policy.
Former Member of Sales Crew at Bali Hai Cruises Joins Hotel Sanur Beach in Top Sales Post.
Mrs. Farida Siwarko has accepted an assignment as the Sales and Marketing Manager of the 436-room Hotel Sanur Beach, the flagship of the Aerowisata Hotels & Resorts group of hotels.
Farida's new assignment is effective from June 1, 2005.
Her last position was in a sales and marketing capacity with Bali Hai Cruises, part of a 15 year history in various assignments in the hospitality industry.
Fluent in English and German, in addition to her native Indonesian, Farida will head the Sales' department of the popular Sanur Resort reporting directly to the General Manager.
Bali to Japan Flight Encounters Mid-Air Turbulence
Minor Injuries to 10 Passenger and Crew Reported on Board GA882 on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, from Bali to Osaka.
A Garuda Indonesia A330 aircraft carrying 161 passengers and 14 crew from Bali to Osaka encountered mid-air turbulence while on a long final approach to Kansai International Airport.
The incident affecting GA882 which occurred at about 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, resulted in minor injuries to 5 passengers and 5 crew, with the aircraft landing without further incident and on time.
Turbulent and unstable air are occasionally encountered over Japanese air space. A similar incident occurred to an Eva Air flight in March near Tokyo's Narita Airport in which 47 people were injured, some suffering broken bones.
Central London Memorial for Bali Bomb Victims
London will Join Bali, Perth and Sydney in Erecting Permanent Memorials to the 202 Who Died in Bali Bombing.
Plans have been announced to erect a permanent memorial in St. James Park in London for those who died in the October 12, 2002, bomb blast at a Bali nightspot.
The memorial, in the form of a 5 foot globe with 202 engraved doves one for each of the victims will commemorate the those of 21 countries who died in the terrorist attack. 26 Britons were among the 202 who perished the third largest national grouping after the 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians who also died. The monument, scheduled for completion before the 3rd anniversary of the event, will also bear a plaque with the names and ages of all 202 victims.
Susanna Miller, the spokeswoman for the UK Bali Bombing Victims Group told the press that the memorial would serve both as a "tribute to those we have lost and a warning to governments and the wider world community."
Shown on balidiscovery.com is a picture of the Bali Bombing Memorial.
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