"I very much enjoy your weekly newsletter. In fact, I had read your announcement of the Cudamani tour in America and was able to schedule a small lecture/demonstration at Ohio University. It was a fantastic lecture. Again, thank you for both bits of information!"
The Canggu Club Bali (CCB) recently announced ten new beneficiaries of a Rp. 50,000,000 (approximately US$5,434) Sports Academy Scholarship Fund during a special appreciation dinner held at the Club on Friday, May 19, 2006.
The CCB Sports Academy Scholarship Fund sponsors talented children and other deserving children from the community allowing the recipients to attend the Clubs Sports Academy. In addition to 20 scholarships already awarded to Indonesian children earlier this year, a further ten were presented to Japanese, Italian, Dutch, German, Swiss, New Zealand British, American and Australian children, aged 10-13 years.
The Canggu Club Sports Academy
Established in 2005, The Canggu Club Sports Academy provides an educational platform for children to learn and excel in soccer, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, baseball, martial arts and other sports-orientated activities.
Tutored by qualified professionals and accredited coaches in various fields of sports expertise, the Sports Academy aims to develop a child's sporting interest and potential to engage in the challenging environment of the modern world.
Currently, approximately 200 children are enrolled at the Academy in addition to the 30 that have been sponsored under the scholarship program.
The scholarships will allow the ten new recipients the opportunity to attend 5 training sessions a week and other Academy programs over a 12 month period.
Sports Academy soccer coach Wolfgang Pikal explained that the Club is working to expand the scholarship program to both Indonesians and foreigners who show talent, a good attitude and commitment. "These kids are here because they display all of these characteristics, regardless of their nationality," he said. "We are happy to be in a position to foster their natural talent and assist their sporting development."
The Club has established a program for CC members to sponsor individual players at the Canggu Club All Stars Soccer Academy.The yearly sponsorships includes annual fees, registration and monthly training sessions up to 5 times a week under the tutelage of internationally qualified coaches, attendance at training camps, tournaments and clinics. Sponsored children receive an All Stars Sports Academy training uniforms, 'Play Like a Champ' DVDs, and soccer balls for home practice.
New Botanical Garden in Ubud
Romantic Vision of Two Idealistic Gardeners Takes Shape in Bali's Hills.
Located just 1.2 kilometers from the center of Ubud, Botanic Garden Ubud has opened its doors offering a beautiful natural new attraction for Island visitors and a unique setting for incentive and conference special events.
Situated at an elevation of 300 to 400 meters above sea level on the banks of a river gorge, Botanic Garden Ubud is a study in tropical flora abundance featuring both endemic and imported plant species. Situated in the village of Kutuh Kaja, the Garden faces the Bird village Petulu, home of the famous white egrets.
Privately funded and built on land leased from local villagers for 30 years with the hope that local villagers will see the value of the park and preserve its legacy Explains Stefan Reisner, who founded the Gardens with his gardening partner Faizah, "our botanic garden is like a palace with the sky as roof and many different rooms, secret chambers, galleries and staircases. The visitor wanders through changing vistas experiences, encouraged to trespass into nature. This is message of our Garden."
And, in the best traditions of an eccentric English garden, the garden is a study in separate and creative flights of fancy organized around individual themes reflected in their names: The Great Fountain The Fern Garden The Chocolate Grove The Heliconia Hill The Fragrant Floors The Meditation Court with Ancient Banyan Tree The Bamboo Grove The Titan/ Rafflesia The 3 Orchids Houses The Water Lily Pond The Herbal Garden The Rain Forest Observation Post The Bromeliad Garden The Maze ( Labyrinth ) The Palm Hill The Indonesian Orchard The Islam Garden The Succulent Garden / Dragon Fruit The Alang Alang Trail
Plans are underway to also build a children's garden cum botanic school.
Two Partners with a Gardening Vision
The realization of a lavish dream on a shoestring budget, Botanic Garden Ubud is the vision of a German expatriate Stefan Reisner and his companion Faizah, who originally hails from East Java.
Stefan says he draws his inspiration from Pόckler who created the Royal Gardens in Potsdam and Berlin, enterprises that bankrupted the fabled German gardener. A man with a varied and interesting past, Stefan has published two novels, poetry, plays for children, worked as a journalist with leading magazines, and worked as an hotelier before happening upon his current incarnation as the creator of a whimsical tropical garden.
Faizah - a self-confessed orchid enthusiast and a former hotelier like Stefan, was raised in a farmer's family in East Java near Surabaya. After running her own business in Jakarta for 12 years, Faizah moved to Bali in 1998, where she managed a Hotel in Petulu until 2004.
Stefan and Faizah discovered a stretch of unused land in Kutuh Kaja, close to Ubud, and eventually convinced the local village to endorse the idea of a Botanic Garden. Working non-stop since February 2005, the pair have moved mountains, excavated rivers, and introduced thousands of plants brought in from around Asia.
The results? Judge for yourself from the collection of pictures featured on balidiscovery.com
Management Changes at Waterbom Bali
Two New Faces Join the Park While Riana Bismarak is Given Wider Responsibilities at Popular Water Recreation Park.
Bali's famous Waterbom Park has just announced a number of promotions and new appointments.
D. Riana Bismarak
previously the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Park, has just been promoted to Executive Assistant Manager and Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing. With responsibilities covering both the Jakarta and Bali Waterbom Parks, Riana is responsible for establishing sales and marketing teams for the Company and the creation of all marketing material.
formerly Sales and Marketing Manager at the Risata Bali Resort, Alivia has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing for Waterbom Park, Her responsibilities include coordinating all aspects of the park's sales and marketing efforts,
the former Front Office Manager at The Legian Bali, he has been appointed Director of Operations at Waterbom Park, Maman's responsibilities encompass all divisions of park services, development, maintenance and engineering.
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel Welcomes Travel Industry
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa Extends Special Rates to Travel Partners Through January 31, 2007.
Bali's Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa is doing its part to rebuild the Island's tourism fortunes by extending special rates exclusively for travel partners. Full time employees of travel agents, airlines, hotels and incentive houses can enjoy the following special discounted rates through January 31, 2007:
Palace Club includes 24 Hours butler service; breakfast; afternoon tea; 2 hour cocktails; pressing of four garments; soft drinks and juices at Palace Club Lounge on 24 hour basis; 15 minutes of Internet access each day; and pillow choices.
Rate valid through January 31, 2007.
Rate strictly for travel industry employees and their traveling companions. Proof of employment will be requested at check in.
Book 5 nights and get free round-trip airport transfers.
High Season Surcharge of US$10 in July and September US$25 in August; and US$50 between December 25, 2006 and January 5, 2007.
20% discount on any Spa Treatment and on Food and Beverage (excepting Room Service).
All Special Rates include 21% tax and service.
For More information or to book contact the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa at ++62-(0)361-771210 or use the email link provided.
Government Makes Good on Promise to Extend Visa on Arrival Facility to Dutch Travelers.
As reported in April 2006 on balidiscovery.com [VOA Promised for Dutch Nationals], the Government has finally made good on its promise and began granting visas on arrival (VOA) to Dutch Nationals, effective May 23, 2006.
Cost of a 30-day non-extendable visa is US$25 and a 7-day visa is US$10. Passports should have a minimum of 6 month's remaining validity from the arrival date. Visa for longer stays must be arranged prior to arrival in Indonesia through application at an Indonesian Embassy.
Ryan Ver Berkmoes on Travel Writing
Well Known Lonely Planet Author to Lead Two Day Workshop in Ubud June 17 18, 2006.
"Jalan-Jalan" a two-day travel writing workshop led by Ryan Ver Berkmoes will be held in Ubud, Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18, 2006.
The man who wrote Lonely Planet's (LP) Chicago and Moscow, co-wrote LP's guides on Texas, Canada and Western Europe, and coordinated Russia, Ukraine & Belarus, Great Lakes, Out to Eat - London, Netherlands, and Britain is by any standard a very seasoned travel writer.
During his two half-day sessions at Casa Luna in Ubud, Ryan - who also wrote Lonely Planet Guide to Bali & Lombok, will take participants on a walk of Ubud and environs and share his understanding of what goes into writing a guidebook.
Learn why certain hotels, restaurants and other places make it into a guidebook and others are left out. What do travel writers look for and how do they maintain their objectivity? Participants will come away with a greater understanding of what makes good travel writing, and improved writing and reporting skills.
This workshop is for anyone who likes writing, no professional experience is necessary. The workshop is comprised of two half-day morning sessions. Only 15 places are available so early reservations are a must. The venue is Casa Luna in Ubud with sessions running from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. each day. Cost for each participant is Rp. 500,000 (approximately US$54.30) and includes morning tea breaks.
Bookings can be made by calling ++62-(0)361-971257 or via the email link provided.
Ryan Ver Berkmoes' appearance is part of the continuing programs sponsored by the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival.
13th Bali Hosting of Key Event on Womens Tennis Tour Attracts Best Women Players to Bali September 10-17, 2006.
Wismilak International Bali is full steam ahead for September 10-17, 2006 for center court action at the Grand Hyatt Bali Resort. Claiming its rightful place as a favourite stop on the professional women's tennis tour, Lindsay Davenport who won the 2005 Bali singles title and Svetlana Kuznetsova the 2004 singles champ are now confirmed to be on hand in Bali in September.
Here's just some of the stars to look for at Wismilak International Bali 2006:
Lindsay Davenport - Lindsay made her first ever trip to Bali last year and walked away with the 49th title of her illustrious career. With a Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open Grand Slam singles title to her credit as well as an Olympic gold medal, Lindsay's confirmed to return to Bali this year to defend her title. Lindsay so enjoyed her Bali visit last year that she immediately made the premier women's tennis event of South East Asia a "must do" for 2006.
Francesca Schiavone - Francesca no doubt has a special affection for Bali as her Bali appearance mark the beginning of the most successful run of her career. After returning to Europe, she managed to make the finals in Moscow and Hasselt before traveling on to the finals in Sydney and Amelia Island in 2006, and then beating world number-one Amelie Mauresmo in the Fed Cup. Schiavone is looking forward to the Bali tournament, saying she had as much fun on as off the courts.
Svetlana Kuznetsova - another player in top form after she suffered a disappointing 2005 season affected by a back injury. That prevented the popular Russian returning to Bali last year to defend her title, but she is confirmed and eagerly anticipating her return to Bali this September.
Patty Schnyder - Swiss star Patty Schnyder is looking forward to making another attempt for her 11th career title, despite having to retire unwell during her 2005 semi-final against Francesca Schiavone. Patty has also done well since she was in Bali, reaching the finals of Zurich and Linz at the end of last year, and finishing as runner-up in Charleston last month after beating Justine Henin-Hardenne.
Daniela Hantuchova - a champion as well as one of the most popular and glamorous players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and winner of the prestigious Indian Wells event in 2002 is schedule back to Bali in 2006; last year she reached the Los Angeles final and earlier this year she was a semi-finalist in Auckland.
Ana Ivanovic -Another leader in the "glamour stakes" is rising star Ana Ivanovic. She first caught everyone's attention by taking Venus Williams to two tie breaks in only her third career tournament in 2004. Her breakthrough came in Canberra at the beginning of 2005 when she qualified and won her first career title. Since then she has gone on to defeat world number three Amelie Mauresmo on Center Court at the French Open and again in Sydney earlier this year, handing defeats to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Patty Schnyder, as well.
Join Us in Bali this September
Other rising stars headed for Bali include Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Two other Russians will make their debut in Bali this year: Vera Zvonareva has been ranked in the top 10 world wide and won the Auckland tournament in January which included a mixed doubles Grand Slam title at Wimbledon with partner Mahesh Bhupathi, also expected to join Vera in Bali.
From the Bookshelf: A Bali Guide Book Dedicated to Cultural Understanding and Sustainable Tourism.
Published by [The Natural Guide] and Equinox Publishing the Natural Guide to Bali is a 448-page alternate guide to the world's favorite holiday destination.
Steadfast in its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism through cultural understanding, the guide was written by an impressive list of contributors each with a deep understanding and long-standing connection with Bali and its people.
It's All About Sustainability
Seeking to help travelers comprehend the relationships between people, the land and culture The Natural Guide to Bali encourages visitors to become voyagers; seekers of a deeper understanding of the destination who leave only footprints and photographs in their wake.
Encouraging positive and mutually rewarding contact between visitors and the local population The Natural Guide to Bali tells its readers the whys and wherefores of the Balinese people at work and play while suggesting the very best of Bali's natural tourism. Covered in detail in the Guide are the ins and outs of diving, surfing, trekking, and bird watching on Bali. What's more, here's a guide to Bali that suggests the real way to enjoy your visit is by taking lessons in Balinese dance, gong playing, painting or cooking.
Practical and insightful, The Bali Natural Guide also includes 25 full-page maps proving 3-D views of the Island's majestic mountain ranges. The guide also includes a unique eco-rating system highlighting hotels, restaurants and tourism operators dedicated to sustainability.
All this, and outstanding photos make this one guide book on Bali sure to be found in the backpack of smart travelers bound for Bali.
Recovering Japanese Arrival Numbers Prompt Japan Airlines to Resume Daily Service to Indonesia Starting in July.
Japan Airline (JAL) have announced that commencing July 2006 they will resume their daily flight schedule between Japan and Indonesia.
Rapidly recovering visitors totals between the two countries has caused JAL executives to resume a number of flight operations to Indonesia curtailed following the October 1, 2005 bombing.
Beginning in July 2006, JAL will again operate a daily service between Narita (Tokyo) and Denpasar together with another daily service between Narita and Jakarta. Commencing on July 13, 2006, JAL will resume its daily flight schedule between Kansai (Osaka) and Denpasar.
Following the curtailment of JAL flight services in the aftermath of the October 2005 terrorist attack, the Airline reduced frequency of service by combining its Jakarta and Denpasar bound services into a single daily flight. Osaka flights were reduced from daily service to 3 flights per week.
Kids Fly Free to Bali
Garuda Promotes Family Travel to Bali from Australia.
In an unprecedented move to retain Bali's position as Australia's most preferred overseas family-holiday destination, Garuda Indonesia has launched free kids airfares to Bali.
Valid from June 15 through July 31, 2006 a period including the peak school holiday period, kids aged 2 to 12 years traveling with an adult in Business or Economy class fly free after paying applicable government taxes and surcharges.
The special offer is valid on flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Tickets must be booked and paid for by June 28, 2006.
"This initiative is further evidence of Garuda Indonesia's confidence in the continuing recovery of Bali tourism and an opportunity to say 'thank you' to those families who consistently support their favorite holiday destination," said Suranto Yitnopawiro, Regional Manager for Garuda Indonesia, South West Pacific.
Anyone who has visited Bali with children will attest to the Balinese peoples' love of children. Moreover, the Island is home to a myriad of family-friendly resort options with a huge range of family activities from which to choose. Bali offers everything from water theme parks, to go-cart racing, elephant safaris, paintball, snorkeling and banana-boat rides.
Dialogue: Ian Norris of San Michele Travel
Balidiscovery.com Interviews San Michele's Ian Norris Following Restructuring of Australian Wholesaler Caused by Air Paradise Collapse and Downturns in Travel to Major Holiday Destinations.
San Michele Travel - one of Australia's longest-established travel operators to Bali, stunned the travel industry last week with the announcement that it would cease wholesale tour operations and focus solely on retail travel.
The move, necessitated by the "effects of airline collapses and disruptions to its key destinations" means that San Michele will continue operations as a retail travel agency and that they will close their Melbourne Office. After the closure in August, San Michele will centralize activities to its Sydney office.
"All current wholesale bookings being handled on behalf of travel agents will be honored as we optimize efficiencies to ensure the continuing success of San Michele and maintain the highest levels of service that our clients have come to expect over more than 40 years," assured Ian Norris, CEO of San Michele
Pledging to bear the brunt of costs that "are well in the six figure range" caused by the collapse of Air Paradise, Ian made the difficult decision to restructure his company in order "pay the price of integrity by protecting its customers against losses."
balidiscovery.com caught up with Ian Norris in the days immediately following the dramatic announcement by his company.
Ian Norris: The Interview
balidiscovery.comIan, let's get right to the point: Are you financially OK?
Norris: Yes. We are making the right decision now to ensure we are here for another 40 years. These actions are being taken because of the "perfect storm" of adversity hitting Bali over the last year or so bombings, drugs and Air Paradise included. To pass through this storm and emerge in a fit shape and benefit from Bali's recovery, we have to trim our sails now and concentrate on the best parts of our business.
balidiscovery.comSan Michele Travel has always had a mixture of retail and wholesale business. Why discontinue wholesale?
Norris: We have to reduce our costs. We are down nearly $5 million in sales to Bali year-to-date this year compared to same period last year and we also suffered a six figure loss due to the Air Paradise collapse. Wholesale brings with it significant overheads. With the decision to close our Melbourne office, our wholesale operation was the next logical area to cut costs.
balidiscovery.comWhat will you do with current wholesale bookings to Bali?
Norris: Those bookings held in our system on behalf of travel agents will be honored and processed in our normal professional manner. Any new requests for quotes from agents will not be accepted.
balidiscovery.comYou personally have been a strong supporter of Bali. Will this continue if San Michele is a retail agent?
Norris: Absolutely! Now that we are focused on the direction we have chosen, being a retail agent gives us wider opportunities and avenues to promote Bali.
Earthquake Devastates Central Java
Death Toll at More than 4,900 and Expected to Rise. Bali - More than 500 Kilometers
Away from Disaster Remains Unaffeted.
An early morning earthquake on Saturday, May 27, 2006, measuring 6.2 magnitude on the Richter scale shook thousands of Central Java residents from their sleep, many of whom rushed in panic from their homes seeking safety in nearby streets.
The quake, which stuck at 5:54 a.m. local time (2354 UTC), had an epicenter 25 kilometers southeast of the Central Javanese Capital of Yogyakarta. While scientist are uncertain of a connection between the
events, almost simultaneous to the first earthquake's occurrence nearby Mt. Merapi awoke with a new spurt of activity spewing hot ash, gas clouds and lava. The mountain, now ranked as the world's most active volcano, has been on a
heightened level of alert since late April.
A secondary quake measuring 4.8 struck at 10:10 a.m. local time, some 3 hours (310
UTC) after the first event. Although less severe, the second earthquake's epicenter was only 10 kilometers southeast of the city which has a population of more than 3 million people.
Substantial Damage and Loss of Life Reported
Just hours after the earthquake, area hospitals were inundated
with patients, prompting a call for additional medical staff to deal with the crisis and emergency tents to house the injured being cared for in open areas around the already filled-to-overflowing hospitals.
Relief efforts are being partially thwarted by the closure of Yogyakarta's Adisutjipto Airport ordered by Indonesia's Minister of Transportation, Hatta Rajasa, due to cracks on the main runway caused by the earthquake.
The airpoprt in Surakarta (Solo) only one hour away from the devastation remains open and the major international airport in Surabaya which is 4 hours away also remains open to regular aviation and relief flights.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono together with a number of Ministers from his Cabinet have set up temporary offices in Yoyakarta to better coordinate rescue efforts. Meanwhile, the President has cancelled a planned official visit to South Korea in order to stay on the scene of the national disaster.
Yogyakarta is more than 500 kilometers west of Bali which was unaffected by the quake. In the hours immediately following the tetonic event local tourism organizations in Bali were planning the island's humanitarian response to assist those affected by the disaster in Central Java.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.