"My daughter and I travelled to Bali in March after booking our accommodation on the Internet with Bali Discovery Tours. The service was excellent. This was the first time I have booked on the net and it proved such a positive experience that I'm recommending your service to all my friends."
The Expense and Delay of Overland Trans-Shipments Increase Calls for the Expansion of Bali's Port of Benoa.
Plans by the government to encourage exports from Bali by upgrading two seaports in East Java has received a less-than-enthusiastic reception by Bali exporters and freight-forwarders who see the maximization of Bali's Benoa port as a more workable solution to upgrading the competitiveness of Bali-produced products for export.
This was the message recently publicly delivered by the Chairman of the Association of Freight & Cargo Forwarders (GAFEKSI) Bagus John Sujayana and the Chairman of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Indonesian Handicrafts (ASEPHI) Ngurah Citra.
Quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, both Sujayana and Citra called on the provincial government to more seriously consider the aspirations of their members to make Benoa Harbor a center for national exports.
According to Sujayana, the recent Lapindo mud flood disaster near Surabaya which has closed the Southern toll way leading into Surabaya had underlined the need for Bali's to develop its own export port and the need to remove the added burden on East Java’s highways of large trucks carrying cargo between Bali and Surabaya.
Currying Your Flavor in Bali
Outstanding Indian Cuisine on Offer at Queen's Tandoor in Seminyak - Kuta.
Queen's Tandoor first began serving Indian cuisine in Jakarta in 1991, quickly earning a reputation for outstanding Indian dining using only the very finest local and imported ingredients. 18 years later and the family-owned restaurant has grown both in size and fame with 3 branches in Jakarta, and single locations in Manila and Bali – with new franchised restaurants locations planned in the Middle East, Australia and throughout Southeast Asia.
Employing experienced expatriate Indian chefs to ensure authentic recipes, a luxurious ethnic décor, and a well-stocked bar and wine list - Queen's Tandoor is a favorite among Bali's expatriate community, including many chefs from local hotels who spend their free evenings sampling its extensive menu.
Perhaps no better proof of the authenticity of Queen's Tandoor menu are past visits by Bollywood icons such as Sharukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor & Shaheed Kapoor and a 2005 visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The colorful dining venue, open for lunch and dinner, has also won accolades in multiple years from various publications such as Hello Bali and Indonesian Tatler as "Indonesia's Best Restaurant" and "Indonesia’s Best Indian Restaurant.
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Jalan Raya Seminyak No. 73, Kuta Bali
Telephone ++62-(0)361-732770 or ++62-(0)361-732771.
Bali – Where Indonesian TV Stars Go on Blind Dates
Indonesian TV and Screen Idols Participate in Romantic Dream Date with Winners of Nation-Wide Contest.
Bali's Hard Rock Hotel recently hosted five winners from five Indonesian cities in the Clear Kencan Impain a Dream Date contest sponsored by a leading shampoo producers.
Winners of the contest were hosted to tours of Bali and a romantic candle-light dinners in a pool-side private cabana at Hard Rock Bali Hotel accompanied by one of Indonesia's leading TV stars.
Portions of the dream holiday and dream dates were covered by two national networks for later broadcast.
Seen on balidisocvery.com are, left to right, Jamal Hussain (wearing glasses), General Manager of the Hotel, together with four of the participating stars - songstress and actress Titi Kamal; Indonesian soap-opera idol Samuel Rizal ; film-star Nicholas Saputra ; and Film and TV actor Marcel Candrawinata.
Not appearing in the photo, but participating in the special "blind date" contest was soap-opera actress Nia Ramadhani.
Paris-based International Herald Tribune Now Printed Each Morning in Bali.
First-published in 1887 in Paris, International Herald Tribune (IHT) is now printed each morning in Bali through a satellite feed.
A recent visit to Bali by IHT's Managing Director for Asia, Randy Weddle, allowed the newspapers leading Asian executive to personally meet with the Bali production team and inspect the quality of the latest IHT edition as it rolled off the press.
According to Weddle, the availability of a locally-printed edition of the newspaper in Bali has allowed IHT
to increase its Bali circulation by 54%.
The International Herald Tribune is printed at the printing factory of The Bali Post - Bali's oldest daily newspaper.
Myth, Magic & Monsters with Dr. Lawrence Blair
Two Nights Presenting the Latest Indonesian Documentaries of Dr. Lawrence Blair - February 1 & 2, 2007 at Fabio's Restaurant.
Long-time Bali resident and internationally-acclaimed writer, presenter, producer, Emmy Award nominee, academic, explorer, adventurer will be appearing live a special Bali showing of his newest four-part Indonesian documentary "Myth, Magic & Monsters" at Fabio's Restaurant in Seminyak, February 1 & 2, 2007.
Together with his late-brother Lorne, Lawrence created the amazing BBC series "Ring of Fire" tracing a ten-year epic journey across the Indonesian archipelago.
Lawrence Blair's latest production "Myth, Magic & Monsters" will soon premier internationally on TV and this special Bali showing will allow local audiences to personally meet Dr. Blair and view the entire four-part series.
10% of the admission fee will be donated to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
Myth, Magic & Monsters - a Four-Part Series
▪ Seas - Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
A sailing adventure East of Bali via underwater encounters with sperm whales, enormous eels and other mysterious life forms in search of the most vividly biolumescent creature in nature – the Laweri fish, thought to be the origin of the mythical flowing gems of Ratu Kidul - the Goddess of the South Seas.
▪ Snakes - Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 8:30 p.m.
Following the traces of Indonesia's ancient Naga religions of dragons and serpents, Dr. Blair confronts his own fear of snakes via snake-magicians, serpent healers, snake blood drinkers, the world's most venomous snakes and eaters of man.
▪ Beasts - Friday, February 2, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
A journey into the tangled relationships between the animals and humans of Indonesia via flying chickens, climbing dogs, Balinese tigers, four-footed coffee filters, soul birds, cat-walking elephants, and the last of the hands-on whale hunters as Dr. Blair examines our place in the Kingdom of Animals.
▪ Superhuman - Friday, February 2, 2007 at 8:30 p.m.
Via the singing gibbon, the orang utans and the tiniest of primates – the great-eyed tarsiers – all in search for ourselves and our human potential in the land of the supernatural where humans possess mysterious powers.
Tickets and Reservations
Tickets for each nights showing are Rp. 100,000 (approximately US$11) at the door.
Pre-sale tickets are Rp. 75,000 (approximately US$8.25) per evening or Rp. 125,000 (approximately US$13.75) pre-purchase for both nights.
Tickets can be purchased at:
Fabio's Restaurant - Jalan Raya Seminyak #66 in Seminyak, Bali. Telephone ++62-(0)361-730562.
Bali Global Forum in Bali
Impressive Line-Up of Eminent Persons Expected at Bali Summit on Information Technology.
The Indonesian National News Agency ANTARA reports that 400 participants, including a host of world-famous dignitaries, are expected to attend the Bali Global Forum January 21-23.
Co-sponsored by the Indonesian Communication and Information Ministry (Depkominfo) and the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the forum at Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa has adopted a theme of "The Power of Peace: Using the Tools of Information and Communication."
To be opened by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the forum is expected to address imbalances in the world-wide distribution of information technology and its impact on issues of war and terrorism.
According to ANTARA, among the VIPs expected to participate are Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, Nobel Laureate South African Desmond Tutu, Queen Rania of Jordan, CNN's founder Ted Turner, Apple Computer's CEO Steve Jobs, and Microsoft's CEO Bill Gates.
Air Operators Call for Safety Audit
INACA Tells National Legislators that National Air Safety and Airport Standards are Not Up to Par.
The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) has called on the Government to undertake a complete safety audit of the Nations civil aviation fleet conducted by an international auditing firm.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, the Vice-Chairman of INACA, Samudra Sukardi, said that his organization's recommendation for a complete safety audit is in line with recommendations recently made by Commission V of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR). The proposed audit would be comprehensive in nature and include examination of regulators, operators, airports, air traffic control, airport administration, the Department of Meteorology and the National Transportation Safety Committee.
"The choice of an international standard auditor is to maintain objectivity and should be carried out on a continuing basis," explained Sukardi, speaking recently at a hearing on air safety at the House of Representatives in Jakarta.
Sukardi, who also serves as the President Director or PT Pelita Air, said that the audit is needed following a warning issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) calling for enhancement in aviation safety procedures. Echoing shortcomings cited by the ICAO, Sukardi said both the quality and the quantity of inspectors assigned to the Indonesian Airworthiness Directorate (DSKU) are inadequate to the current number of commercial aircraft operating in the Country. According to the INACA Vice-Chairman, there are now more than 200 aircraft operating domestically in Indonesia resulting in more than 1,000 flights per day or more than 36,000 flights per year.
Sukardi called for additional inspectors to be assigned to the DSKU and that those inspectors possess professional certification.
At the same forum, the Secretary General of INACA, Tengku Burhanuddin, complained that the condition of airports in Indonesia reflect a limited capacity for handling both Boeing and Airbus equipment.
Burhanuddin said that many airport operational areas are infringed upon by residential developments and the presence of large flocks of birds. He also said that many airports landing strips are suffering from a build-up of rubber deposits resulting from aircraft touchdowns that should be periodically removed.
Sukardi also told the legislators that the administration at Indonesia's airports is more focused on bureaucratic administration and less concerned with safety issues. Also coming in for its share of criticism was the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology who, INACA claims, frequently provide inaccurate weather forecasts to pilots.
Angkasa Pura Responds
Angkasa Pura I (AP-I) the Company charged with managing Indonesia's major airports, refuted many of INACA's claims. Bambang Darwoto, the President Director of , insisted that the airports under his management comply with safety and security standards. "We provide all the required standard equipment for safety certified by the Department of Transportation.," Darwoto claimed. He also said that care of maintenance of airports is a continual process with rubber deposits on all runways regularly removed.
Maurice de Rooij Heads Harris Kuta
Dutch Hotelier Returns to Bali to Run 191-Room Harris Kuta.
Local travel industry personalities attending an appreciation party at the Harris Kuta Resort on Friday, January 19, 2007, were greeted by a familiar face as they were welcomed by Dutchman Maurice de Rooij, formerly affiliated with Waka Resorts in Bali.
A graduate of the Maastricht Hotel Management School in The Netherlands and the Institute de Management Hotelier International in Paris, de Rooij has worked in operational, consulting and senior management positions in France (Hilton International), Portugal (Howarth Consulting), Malaysia (Accor), Egypt (InterContinental), Jordan (InterContinental), The Netherlands (Crowne Plaza), and in Jakarta before accepting his most recent assignment.
Fluent in his native Dutch as well as English, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish with a growing command of Indonesian – de Rooij has returned to Bali with his Wife, Anna, and their young Son.
Losses Narrow at Garuda
900 Jobs Slated to be Trimmed from Garuda Indonesia's Payroll.
Bisnis Indonesia reports that Garuda Indonesia has allocated US$20 million for severance packages in an effort to cut the Airline’s payroll by 900 employees.
The Financial Director of Garuda, Alex Maneklaran, said the decision to trim staff is part of an overall restructuring made possible by a recent US$105 million cash injection from the Government. Maneklaran said that internal reviews had demonstrated a 15% inefficiency in terms of the Airline's production capacity. "Thus, if 15% of our total staff of 5,600 are terminated, the total firings will be around 900," he explained.
Garuda presently operates 52 aircraft and is seeking capital sources to permit a renewal of its present armada and the acquisition of additional capacity.
The Un-audited results for 2006 show Garuda losing Rp. 298.2 billion (approximately US$37.77 million), narrowing losses from 2005 when the Airline lost Rp 688.4 billion (approximately US$75.65 million).
Garuda reports passenger loads in 2006 averaged 75%, up 6% from the average loads carried in 2005.
Desperately Seeking: Grumpy Old Men
Bali Hai Cruises' Margaret Helback Bids Bali Farewell to Accept Sydney-based Consultancy Post.
After nearly 3.5 years as General Manager of Bali Hai Cruises Australian Margaret Helback is weighing anchor and heading back home to accept a consultancy position in Sydney with Keystone Corporate Positioning.
Before moving to Bali, Margaret had a distinguished 17-year career with Qantas Airways including dealing with that Airline's core brand, advertising and design issues. At Qantas Margaret set up the Airline's passenger lounges and oversaw its OneWorld Program participation.
One of her most memorable career highlights with Qantas was acting as producer of the memorable series of commercials themed on "”I still call Australia home."
Desperately Seeking: Grumpy Old Men
Contacted by balidiscovery.com, Margaret said she will miss the large family of people who work at Bali Hai Cruises and living on the world's most popular tropical island destination.
In a reflective mood about the both the past and the future, Margaret wondered at her special knack of continually finding herself in the employment of "grumpy old men." Margaret recalled how she spent 17 years at Qantas taking orders from grumpy old men; moved to Bali Hai Cruises where the Managing Director is "grumpy" Dick Chandler, a former Qantas executive; and that is now joining Keystone which is owned by another former Qantas executive rumored to fit the grumpy old man mold.
Perhaps a taste acquired working for the Qantas, but Margaret just can't seem to shake off working for grumpy old men.
Indra Sigit Appointed General Manager
Replacing Margaret as General Manager will be Indra Sigit, who has been with Bali Hai Cruises for 3 years in the capacity of Financial Controller and has 10 years experience in Bali Tourism.
Pande Ardika has been promoted Bali Hai as Director of Sales.
Bali's Role in the Illegal Turtle Trade
Local Environmental Group Says Bali Remains a Center of the Illegal Green Turtle Trade.
The Indonesia-language Tempo Interaktif website reports that Bali earned itself the unenviable distinction of being a center for the illegal trade in turtles in 2006. Based on data provided by the non-governmental group ProFauna Indonesia, some 1,000-2,000 green turtles (chelonian mydas) are smuggled into Bali.
"The proof is that in the last three years, from 2004-2006, 12 ships were seized carrying turtles to Bali," said I Wayan Wiradnyana, the Coordinator of the ProFauna Turtle Campaign.
According to Wiradnyana, in 2006 the Bali Water Police caught two turtle smuggling ships while the West Nusa Tenggara Police captured a third vessel. Each of the three ships reportedly were carrying more than 200 protected green turtles.
ProFauna believes the smuggled turtles originate from waters near Banyuwangi in East Java, Madura, Sulawesi and Flores. The group also blames the local demand in Bali for turtle meat as providing a stimulus for the black market trade.
A Changing Modus Operandi
While in the past smugglers brought live turtles to Bali, recently the traders have resorted to carrying the meat of dead turtles in an effort to thwart enforcement officers from identifying their contraband.
While the loss of rare turtles is still of genuine concern, the trade has reduced considerably from 1999 when ProFauna estimated some 27,000 turtles were slaughtered in Bali.
Bali's Top 4 Markets Remain Soft
Bali by the Numbers: It's Nothing Like the 'Good Ole Days' for Arrivals from Bali's Top Source Markets.
Despite a shortfall against arrivals in 2005, Bali arrivals built strength on long-haul markets from the Americas and Europe and while business from its four largest source markets of Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea remained sluggish.
Japan, Australia, Taiwan & South Korea
The illustration presented on balidiscovery.com shows the impact of the terrorist acts in October of 2002 and 2005 on arrivals from Bali's four largest source markets.
Worthy of note, however, is that with the exception of Australia and Taiwan, recovery in the year immediately following each terrorist incident operated on a higher plane in 2006 than was the case in 2003.
Fueling hope for the local tourist industry is that if the pattern following the October 2002 attack repeats itself, 2007 will mirror 2004 and be the year Bali's four main markets reassert their strength.
The next installment of Bali by the Numbers looks at arrivals patterns to Bali from Europe and the Americas.
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