An Exhibition of Erotic Bali Paintings at Tony Raka Gallery in Ubud.
A month-long exhibition of erotic paintings will be held at the Tony Raka Gallery in Ubud from December 29, 2005 through January 29, 2006.
An ambitious collection of erotically-themed paintings featuring the work of more than 16 Bali-based artists have been assembled by two curators – Arief B. Prasetyo and Wahyudin.
Among the artists whose works will be on display include Nyoman Gunarsa, Dewa Putu Mokoh, Mangu Putra, Putu Sutawijaya, Pande Ketut Taman, Made Mangku Mahendra, Made Sumadiyasa, Made Duatmika, Wayan Kun Adnyana, Rudi sri Handoko, Wolfgang Widmoser, and Nee Cheog.
Also on display will be works by now-deceased Bali-based artists, including I Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978), Donald Friend (1915-1989), Han Snel (1925-1998) and Antonio Blanco (1927-1999).
Tony Raka Gallery - Jalan Raya Mas No. 86, Ubud, Bali
BTDC Named Bali Best State-Owned Enterprise
Nusa Dua's Bali Tourism Development Corporation Cited by Investor Magazine.
A national business publication Majalah Investor (Investors Magazine) has named the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) as Indonesia's best state-owned enterprise in the sub-category of non-financial instructions.
Commenting on the award in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the President Director of the BTDC, Ir. Made Mandra, said, "We feel at once proud and challenged to continue to improve our performance in the years ahead."
Commenting on BTDC's performance in 2005, he explained how the corporation, which earns its revenues from a formula based on a share of revenues from hotel rooms sold by its hotel tenants and a fee based on the land utilized by each tenant, will net a profit approaching US$2 million in 2005. However, due to the sudden downturn in occupancies for hotels in the Nusa Dua Complex following the October 1, 2005 terror attack, he anticipates BTDC’s financial performance to dip 25% in 2006.
Boldly Moving Ahead
Not content to meekly accept Bali’s current situation, Mandra explained how BTDC is constantly seeking to renew its approach to the market. In addition to the ongoing development of a 176-unit Condominium-Hotel managed by Novotel, the BTDC is developing a project that, when realized, will be dedicated specially to the needs of senior travelers. The proposed "retiree resort" now in its planning stage would feature a number of special services and supports for older travelers including staffing by guest-contact staff with medical and nursing credentials.
BTDC has also recently invested Rp. 4.9 billion (approximately US$490,000) in an agrowisata project in Bali that is introducing organic farming techniques to Balinese farmers for the supply of produce to the tourism industry.
Reflecting Increased Pressure from Police on Drug Abuse, Police Report Huge Increase in Drug Prosecutions.
With the last week in the year yet to run, Bali police report a 41.6% increase in narcotic arrests in 2005 as compared to 2004. Year to date for 2005, police have incarcerated 432 people on drug-related charges, with 22 from that total (5%) comroised of foreign detainees.
In 2004, 314 people were detained in narcotic busts by Bali police, 19 of which (6%) were foreigners.
In making their wrap-up for the year, Bali's narcotics division gave full marks to the outgoing Police of Chief, Irjen. Made Mangku Pastika, who has lead the crackdown on drug use in Bali, including regular sweeps of Kampung Flores - an area of the island notorious for illicit drug use.
Interim totals provided by the Police indicate thus far in 2005 they have seized 8.8356 kilograms of heroin, 12.096 kilograms of marijuana, 471 grams of hashish, 10.7 grams of cocaine, 239.7 grams of sabu-sabu (crystal meth) and 2,101 ecstasy pills.
Sanur to Nusa Dua in 5 Minutes?
Access to Nusa Dua Would Change Dramatically if Plans Go Ahead for Bridge Between Turtle Island and Tanjung Benoa.
A provincial government official has told the Indonesian-language Bali Bisnis that negotiations are well-advanced on plans to build a bridge connecting Serangan Island and Tanjung Benoa.
The proposed bridge would dramatically shorten the traveling time from Sanur and Denpasar to Nusa Dua via a bridge spanning the narrow port entrance to Benoa harbor. Using two long feeder road the actual bridge will only be 40 meters in length, 7.5 meters in width and 47 meters high to permits ships to pass underneath.
According to the provincial official, the total cost of the project is estimated at Rp. 750 billion (approximately US$75 million) with funding proposed to come from the private sector who will charge tolls to recoup their investment.
No details were available on how developers or the Government plan to deal with the substantial access issues in Tanjung Benoa and Serangan Island (Turtle Island) which would arise if the project goes ahead.
Come Blow Your Horn!
A Perennial Sight on Bali's Streets, the Sellers of Home-Made Trumpets are Back in Force.
Imported from a huge supporting cottage-industry in Java, thousand of colorful foil-wrapped trumpet noisemakers are now being sold on the edge of every main thoroughfare in Bali in anticipation of that one night each year when fully grown adults don ridiculous looking hats and run about the room making noises that, in other circumstances, would earn their own offspring a solid back-hander.
But, heck, let decorum slide for just this one night. After all, you've got an entire year to live down your behavior on New Year's Eve.
In an enterprise where size does count, a small 30 centimeter trumpet will set you back around Rp. 1,500 (approximately US$ 0.15) with the more obtrusive 1 meter long Table–blaster model going for Rp. 4,000 (approximately US$0.40). Generally made from recycled cardboard and art paper and decorated in bright colored foils, the run-of-the-mill trumpet is a straight instrument resembling either a clarinet or an oboe.
However, specialist trumpet masters make more elaborate models resembling French horns, trombones or Sousaphones – each of which sell for top Rupiah. Local trumpet salesmen are always eager to offer discounts to bulk purchasers in seek of accouterments for late-night revelers at local hotels or house-parties.
When's best to buy your trumpet is a topic of much popular local debate. Obviously a well-advanced science, trumpet market analysts will disagree whether its best to buy early when selection is best or hold off until New Year's eve when looming rain crowds will see street side vendors engage in panic selling.
In any case, with New Year's Eve increasingly close at hand, we suggest you don't delay in buying your trumpet - accepting that it's better to look silly than out of place.
Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Bali's Chef Immigration Officer, Drs. Paul Kaurrow, M.M., admitted the existence of officers in Bali accepting illegal payments and said efforts to eliminate such practice remain a high-priority of his office.
Drs. Kaurriw blamed reports of excessive charges for immigration services on the role of middlemen and service companies hired to process immigration documents. To avoid overpaying for such services Drs. Karrouw urged people to process their own documents, taking the opportunity to expose the official tariff for various immigration services provided by his department:
• The cost of obtaining a passport is Rp. 275,00 (approximately US$27.50), comprised of Rp. 200,000 for the actual passport, Rp. 55,000 for a photograph, and Rp, 5,000 for fingerprinting.
• The formal cost of arranging a temporary stay permit (KITAS) for a foreign national is Rp. 200,000 (approximately US$20) and Rp. 400,000 (approximately US$40) for an extension.
• The official cost of arranging a permanent stay permit (KITAP) is Rp. 2 million (approximately US$200) and Rp. 1 million (approximately US$100) for an extension.
Missing Fiscal Taxes Not an Immigration Issue
Reports in local media claiming that mishandling of the Rp. 1 million (approximately US$100) fiscal clearance tax paid by departing Indonesians and foreign residents has earned a quick rebuttal from immigration officials who insist administration of the tax is a matter solely at the discretion of tax officers.
The Indonesian-language daily Kompas has estimated losses of Rp. 1 trillion (US$1 billion) to the Country incurred through improper administration of the fiscal tax at Bali and Jakarta's international airport and various other immigration irregularities. In addition to losses in carrying out the fiscal tax payments, Kompas also cited the issuance of false passports, illegal levies charged to Indonesian expatriate workers, and illegal fees demanded from foreign visitors and investors as contribution to the massive figure estimated to be lost each year.
Meanwhile, immigration officials have been quick to deny any involvement in the loss or disappearance of fiscal tax payments. In the defense of their department, immigration officials point to the fact that fiscal tax payments are collected by officials of the tax department at all airports, with their office only verifying that departing Indonesians and residents are in possession of the fiscal tax receipt.
Also quoted in the Bali Post, Rai M. Zaelani, the Chief of the Bali International Airport immigration office insisted that illegal levies, counterfeit passport issuance, and the failure to control immigration blacklists recently complained of by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono do not exist among his airport immigration workers.
Despite such official denials, the Bali Post (21/12) carried a page-one report from an unnamed member of the public claiming the cost of obtaining a passport in Bali can cost 5 times the "official" tariff. The individual quoted in the report, a businessman in the export-import industry, suggested malfeasance in local immigration administration was widespread, pointing to the fact that short-term resident permits and work permits issued in Bali number only in the hundreds while, in fact, their are thousands of foreign nationals working on the island without benfit of formal immigration and manpower permits.
Ah So Des Ne!
Bali Hosts Brief Visit of 'Local' Japanese Visitors.
In the effort to help Bali regain its Japanese market, currently down by over -60%, the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism hosted 50 Japanese expatriates living in Indonesia on a 2-day tour of Bali, December 22-24, 2005. Accompanied by members of the overseas Japanese press and the Indonesian national media, the group did a whirlwind tour of Bali including the island's north shore, Kintamani district, Pura Besakih, Candi Dasa and Central Bali.
The group, comprised of workers at many of Japan's leading Indonesian investments and their families - together with representatives from leading Japanese newspapers, were allowed to experience first-hand the quality, almost endless variety, and overall security of Bali's many tourism products.
Joining the group on their round-island tour were a number of key officials from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism including Minister Jero Wacik.
A Season to Be Jolly
Bali's Travel Professionals Celebrate the Festive Season at the Annual SKAL Bali Christmas Party.
Bali's annual SKAL Bali Christmas Dinner Party, was held at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa on Friday, December 16, 2005. Attended by over 100 guests from the membership of SKAL Bali, leading tourism and hotel industry figures and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel guests – the theme was that of a Christmas celebration in a winter wonderland.
In keeping with the theme, guests arrived at the Resort's Ballroom to encounter Bali’s first Ice Bar and giant snowflakes, crafted by the skilled sculptors of the hotel. A cocktail hour held at the Ice Bar, served special winter cocktails concocted by Bali Moon Liqueurs including Winter Wonderland Martinis, Elf Shooters, and Cranberry Mojitos. Meanwhile, another sponsor of the evening, Storm Brewing served three varieties of their popular locally-brewed Ales. Later, Bali-based international flair bartending champion, Yos Malelak, wowed guests with a Fire-On-Ice juggling performance.
Following cocktails, elves escorted guests into the lavishly decorated Ballroom where a contemporary 5-course dinner, prepared by Chef Jeremy Cooper, was served.
Between courses, guests enjoyed photo opportunities with Santa Claus and his "naughty-but-oh-so-nice" Santorinas in a luxurious sleigh, covered in white leather and decorated with Christmas goodies.
During dinner, raffle and silent auction were held raising over Rp. 28.000.000 (approximately US$2,800) for SKAL Bali’s tourism scholarship program.
The evening’s entertainment included a live band, professional dance numbers by local performers as well as a special performance by Los Tarantos Flamenco troupe, organized by Pica Pica Restaurant.
SKAL - whose members are comprised of travel industry executives and managers, has over s 25,000 members worldwide in over 500 Clubs spread across more than 80 countries. The Bali Club holds monthly gatherings at rotating venues across the Island.
Gala Opening for 'The Dining Room'
Photo Coverage as Bali's Glitterati Attend Gala Opening of Tirtha Luhur's New Ultra-Chic Restaurant - The Dining Room.
Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa have announced the appointment of Fernando Pareja Balladares as General Manager of the 20-luxury villa estate on the banks of Ubud's Ayung River.
A native of Spain and a graduate of hotel and tourism schools in Germany and Switzerland, Balladares has over three decades of experience in senior positions in the travel and hospitality industry, including more than 15 years as the owner of travel agency.
Internationally experienced and fluent in 8 languages, Balladeres' most recent assignment was in Langkawi, Malaysia where he was General Manager of the Hotel Holiday Villa.
Ending a 4-Year Assignment in Bali, Ian E. McKie Offers Some Parting Thoughts on the State of the Local Tourism Industry.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, [ Ian McKie Bids Farewell to Bali Hilton], the popular Director of Operations of the 538-room Hotel in the Nusa Dua Complex has accepted a new job as the General Manager of the Regal Airport Hotel in Hong Kong.
Busy preparing his hotel for the current holiday seasons during his final working days in Bali, Ian took time out to reminisce on his Bali interlude and the nature of the current difficulties confronted by the Island.
The Interview: Ian E. McKie of the Bali Hilton International
balidiscovery.com: Ian, after nearly 4 years in Bali, how does it feel to be moving on?
McKie: Each time I leave a place I have mixed emotions. On the one hand there is a sense of eager anticipation that comes with a new assignment and new challenges. On the other hand Bali has been a good home to our family for the last four and a half years. There are many things we will miss. I am sure we will be back.
balidiscovery.com: Having worked in Bali during the periods surrounding both the 2002 bombing and the latest incident, how serious do you rate the current crisis?
McKie: Very serious. The fact that there was not the immediate exodus that we encountered after the 2002 bombing lulled everyone into a false sense of security and gave people the opportunity to make light of the extent of the problem.. In practice, the business has drained away slowly and has left us with a major challenge. Many people are commenting on the fact that the traveler is becoming inured to the terrorist threat given that there have been bombs in London, Madrid, Egypt, Amman etc. There is some truth in this but we can't escape the fact that Bali has had two bombs in three years. Equally some of these other countries have more robust economies not so heavily dependant on one industry for their livelihood in the way that Bali is.
balidiscovery.com: How does it compare with the situation in 2002?
McKie: There are differences and similarities. As I mentioned, the business has drained away rather than stampeding to the exits. On a positive level, I believe the industry was better prepared this time and the various associations, BTB, BHA, PHRI (Editors Note: Bali Tourism Board, Bali Hotel Association, Bali Hotel & Restaurant Association) are working more closely to co-ordinate the recovery effort.
However, I do detect an increasing level of frustration at the lack of Government action. The mood seems a little different this time. After 2002 there was a determination to put Bali back on the map. This manifested itself in a whole host of support Bali initiatives. Many of these were well intentioned but not particularly well thought out and planned, and certainly not coordinated. But there was a sense of purpose and at times almost a carnival like atmosphere with all the various goings on. I think there is probably as much determination this time around; it just feels a little more somber and practical.
balidiscovery.com: How do you rate the longer term prospects for Bali?
McKie: I have no doubt that Bali will recover. It has made recovery something of a trademark. However, the speed and extent of the recovery will depend on a number of factors. Security is clearly an issue. Persuading the airlines to reinstate routes will be critical. The demand may return before the ability to access the destination does. The degree to which the demand can be supplied by the seat capacity will be an essential part of the recovery.
It will also be necessary to persuade industry partners to keep faith with the destination. For example, I was talking just the other day to an agent who up to now has only done business to Bali. He was telling me that they could no longer afford to put all their eggs in one basket and they were being forced to expand their operations to other destinations. This means their focus and effort which up to now had been entirely on bringing business to Bali will be dissipated. Yes Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines are destinations they are looking at!
Let's not forget that we were scarcely out of the last crisis. It was only recently that business had really started to boom again. It is hard for businesses to survive, let alone thrive in this boom and bust cycle. Look at Air Paradise. Sadly they could not survive.
The recent UNWTO conference provided some useful food for thought and allows a blue print for Bali to be prepared and pushed through. Bali will recover. It may simply take time.
balidiscovery.com: What can Bali do?
McKie: The lack of intent from the Government is transparent. The other day someone described Bali to me as a heavyweight boxer past its prime. However, to continue the analogy, there is no reason that this boxer can’t be licked back into shape. In terms of natural raw talent it's way ahead of its competitors. It's simply that the competitors realize that in this competitive era a boxer needs a manager, a trainer, a promoter, a physio, etc. so that it's in peak condition for the fight. The Government is not going to do this for Bali. I believe Bali will have to take its destiny in its own hands and do it for itself. There are enough capable people here to make it happen.
BaliEats.com Names its Favorite Eateries
Balieats.com Publishes its Year End Review of Bali's Restaurant Scene.
The authoritative balieats.com has just put out its 2005 year-end wrap-up on the Bali dining scene.
Best New Restaurants of 2005
Included in the year-long review of restaurants is balieats.com list of best new restaurants in 2005:
• Best Cheapie - Waroeng Asia
• Best Cafe – SoHo
• Best Value - Queens Tandoor
• Best Sports Restaurant – Buddha's Belly
• Best Restaurant – Husk
• Best Fine Dining – CasCades
To learn more about these restaurants and to read the entire year-end wrap-up, follow the link provided.