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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #969 - 30 March 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


When it Isn’t Reciprocal
Clause in Immigration Law May Delay Plans to Add 30 Countries to List of Visa-Free Countries to Indonesia

The Jakarta Post reports that plans announced by the Indonesian Tourism Ministry to add 30 countries in April to the current list of 15 countries eligible for visa-free visits to Indonesia may be legally premature.

The new rules were announced as set to be introduced in April 2017,  Immigration Law No. 6 of 2011 stipulates in a “reciprocity clause” that only foreigners from countries that grant Indonesians visa-free visits can enjoy visa-free visits to the Republic.

Vincent Jemadu, spokesman for the Tourism Ministry, said: “In order to effectively implement the visa-free policy we do need to revise this law; otherwise we have to conduct a painstaking process of negotiation for reciprocity. We are planning to propose this [revision] to the Law and ask the Human Rights Ministry to support the government’s plan to boost the country’s foreign exchange income from the tourism industry.”

In excluding Australians from the list of visa-free nations, Indonesian officials rejected suggestions that Australia’s omission was a reflection of current strained relations between Jakarta and Canberra, but insisted the ommission was solely because Australia does not extend visa-free facilities to visiting Indonesians. At the same time,in a seeming anomaly, a number of countries that do not extend Indonesians visa-free status are included on the list of 30 countries included in the current list of nations slated to become visa-free in Indonesia.
 
Those behind the liberalization of Indonesian visa policy see such the move as essential to meet ambitious targets to double the number of foreign tourists visitors by 2019.
 
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Quantity Before Quality
 
45 Countries Granted Free Visas in 2015

The Rewards of Reciprocity


Workers with Warranties
Bali Governor Support Competence Certification for Tourism Workers in Indonesia

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has voiced his support for a certification program for tourism practitioners operated by the Ministry of Tourism.

“Certification is an important part of efforts to increase the quality of manpower that will allow us to compete in the free (labor) market of ASEAN,” said Pastika. The Governor’s remarks were made during a visit by the chief of the Tourism Ministry’s Department charged with developing manpower, Professor I Gede Pitana.
 
The Governor went on to say that enhancing the quality of tourism manpower is a pressing need in Bali where the economy is dependent of foreign exchange generated by tourism. Because of this, he said, there must be standards that are clear for tourism operators to ensure visitors receive a high level of service.
 
Continuing, Pastika said: “From among so many tourism components, the presence of tour guides represents a main support of tourism and directly impacts on tourists. This group (tour guides) needs to more intensively trained.”
 
Pastika told Professor Pitana that it was his observation that many guides fail to adequately understand the history and culture of Bali. This is demonstrated by the unethical practice of “buying and selling heads” that harms the reputation of Bali, particularly in handling the Chinese inbound market.
 
The Governor also noted the speed at which information spreads online and hopes skill certification will improve the quality of tourism workers and assist in achieving a target of 20 million tourists by 2019.
 
Pitana said that for 2015 the provision of Chinese-speaking tour guides has become a focus of the Government due to the many negative comments on the level of tourism service given to Chinese tourists.


How to Curry the Indian Travel Market
Indian Tourism to Bali Held Back by Lack of Direct Flights

The President of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Sunil Kumar has told the press in Bali that tourism from India to Bali is impeded by a lack of direct flights from India to the Island.
 
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Kumar said: “Indian tourists to Bali at this time is still held back by (the lack of) direct flights, with tourists having to transit in Singapore or Thailand.”
 
Kumar’s statements were made on Tuesday, March 24, 2105 in Nusa Dua, Bali where he was preparing to open the 52nd Annual Conference of the TAAI.

Kumar noted the strong potential for Indian tourism to Bali because of the many similarities in culture between India and Bali.
 
The TAAI President also noted that Indian tourism numbers to Bali continue to increase and he hoped that the Indonesian government would seek to facilitate Indian tourism.
 
“If they (Indian tourists) are given visa facilities, such as visa-free tourist visits, and direct flights are introduced, then it is certain that Indian tourists will take time to holiday in Indonesia,” Kumar added.
 
Kumar pledged his organization would help to promote Indonesia and Bali in Indonesia.
 
The TAAI Conference was held in Nusa Dua at the Bali International Conference Center March 26-28, 2015.


Sinitic Solutions to Semantical Problems
Tourism Minister Wants to Allow Chinese Tour Guides to Work in Bali

The Indonesian Government in cooperation with the National Airline Garuda Indonesia have launched a massive effort to stimulate tourism arrivals from Mainland China through air charters. As the numbers of Chinese tourists increase, Indonesia is now contending with a severe shortage of Mandarin-speaking tour guides.

Quoted by travel.detik.com, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, told the press on Tuesday, March 24, 2015: “For example, almost 80% of the 1 million Chinese tourist come to Bali, but the number of tour guides is only 600. Yesterday I asked permission from the Governor of Bali to temporarily allow guides from China (to work in Bali).”
 
“We will teach the guides from China about the destination of Bali. We will bring them (to Bali). Then we will have no problem with the language. I hope this is allowed,” said Yahya.
 
The Indonesian Minister of Tourism has already met with his Chinese counterpart who has agreed to help send Chinese-speaking guides to Indonesia.
 
The Minister added: “I have also asked that our guides be trained in the PRC. But that is not in the short term. Meanwhile, I want to achieve 2 million Chinese tourists to Indonesia.” 
 
Because Yahya is seeking a rapid increase in Chinese tourists visitors, he wants to bring Chinese tour guides to help meet current needs while providing training for Indonesian guides.

The Minister said he would also like to develop home stays in Indonesia in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of the economic benefits of tourism.


The Language Barrier
Indonesia Backtracking on Plans to Require Foreign Workers Speak Indonesian

The Jakarta Globe reports that the Indonesian Manpower Ministry is backtracking on its plans to require foreign nationals seeking to work in Indonesia the requirement of passing an Indonesian language proficiency test.
 
The plan was withdrawn following protests from investors who labeled the plan as protectionist. Both domestic and foreigners objected to the Minister's plan, arguing the assistance of foreign experts was still needed.

Following protests from the business sector, Manpower Minister Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri reportedly asked coordinating ministers to get rid of the language requirement.

Meanwhile, Minister Dhakiri is publicly denying any retreat on the language requirement, but was unavailable for comment to the press on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

The managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, Li Neumann, said that if news of the withdrawal of the language requirement was correct, that would be welcomed news as the requirement represented “an unnecessary barrier."

While applauding the measures intent to protect low-level jobs in Indonesia from loss to other ASEAN nationals, Vice President Jusuf Kalla suggested to Reuters that the policy should be reviewed due to its potential impact on investments.
 
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Tense Testing Ahead


‘Till Middle Kingdom Come
AirAsia Indonesia Eyes Direct Flights from Medan and Bali to Mainland China

AirAsia Indonesia will open two new international routes between Medan (North Sumatra) – Guangzhou and Denpasar (Bali) – Hong Kong.
 
The new routes are being established to serve the burgeoning Chinese market to Indonesia and in anticipation of the visa-free facility promised for Chinese coming to Indonesia.

Quoted by Metrobali.com, the CEO of AirAsia Indonesia, Sunu Widyatmoko said on Tuesday, March 24, 2015: “We will certainly add more routes. If we add aircraft we will calculate first. We do receive a substantial contribution from our international flights.”
 
Sunnu said plans to fly to Hong Kong were being thwarted by the lack of flight slots, adding: “Hong Kong is crowded. Denpasar is crowded. As an alternative we could fly to Guangzhou.”
 
AirAsia Indonesia’s plans to expand to China is also complicated by the fact that the PRC has yet to authorize landing by low cost carriers in at its airports. The Chinese Ministry of Transportation is reportedly considering opening flights by low cost carriers to three airports in China, including Guangzhou.
 
“As soon as the Government allows, I will fly directly Medan – Guangzhou,” said Sunu in welcoming Indonesia’s plans to extend visa-free status to 30 countries.
 
Increasing the number of international passengers flown by AirAsia Indonesia forms part of the strategy to strengthen the financial position of the airline by increasing its foreign currency earnings.


Travel Accessible to All
Agoda.com Performs Worldwide Review of Accommodation Accessibility for Handicapped Travelers.


Asia’s leading online travel agency (OTA) Agoda.com has announced the results of its most recent Travel Smarts study that shows the U.S.A. has the highest percentage of handicapped accessible hotels.

The study that reviewed data from the more than 600,000 hotels sold online by Agoda.comand  found that 77% of U.S. hotels offered facilities for guests with disabilities.

Coming is at a “distant second” were hotels in the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and Portugal where fifty-five percent of the hotels in each of those countries providing handicapped facilities.

Top 10 Countries with Highest Percent of Accessible Accommodations

United States  77%
United Arab Emirates  55%
Ireland  55%
Portugal  55%
New Zealand  54%
Mauritius  53%
Italy  52%
Norway  52%
Puerto Rico  51%
Israel  49%
 
“We are pleased to see so many hotels offering facilities for guests with disabilities since making travel more accessible is what Agoda.com is all about,” said John Brown, Agoda.com’s Chief Operating Officer.
 
The Agoda.com study found local laws and regulations, the type of visitors who come to a destination and the age of accommodation were chief determinates in whether or not a hotel was handicap-friendly. Abu Dhabi, a destination that has undergone a recent building boom, shows 90% of its hotels feature handicap facilities. Another interesting result showed that destinations popular for religious pilgrimages enjoy higher accessibility ratings. Fatima, Portugal and Lourdes, France have disabled accessibility rates of more than 60%.

Asian destination dud not rate among the top ten for handicapped travelers. Singapore ranked highest among Asia destinations earning the 18th place overall with 40% of its hotel accessible for handicapped travelers.

No Asian countries made the top 10 list. Singapore was the highest-ranking Asian country, coming in 18th place overall with 40% of its hotels on Agoda.com offering facilities for guests with disabilities. Other countries in Asia didn’t fare as well. Five of the ten destinations at the bottom of the list were in that region.

Countries with Lowest Percent of Accessible Accommodations

Uruguay  10%
Vietnam  9%
Nepal  8%
Thailand  8%
Azerbaijan  8%
Cambodia  8%
Bolivia  8%
Georgia  8%
Montenegro  7%
Laos  1%
 
SE Asia Countries Percentage of Hotels with Handicap Facilities

Singapore  40%
Philippines  15%
Malaysia  14%
Indonesia  11%
Vietnam  9%
Thailand  8%
Cambodia  8%
Laos  1%
Indonesian cities
 
Breaking it down to a per city bases in Indonesia:

Jakarta  17%
Surabaya  15%
Solo (Surakarta)  14%
Semarang  12%
Batam Island  11%
Yogyakarta  11%
Bogor  10%
Bandung  9%
Medan  9%
Puncak  8%
Malang  8%
Bali  7%
Makassar  6%
Lombok  6%
Manado  5%

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Ubud, Bali Among the World’s Best
Trip Advisors List Ubud, Bali Among the World’s Top 25 Tourism Destination

Detik.com has reported that Trip Advisor’s survey of the best destinations in the world saw the hillside arts community of Ubud ranked at #15 – beating out other regional destinations, such as Bangkok.

In the Trip Advisor survey only the Indonesian destination of Ubud ranked in the top 25.

Here’s the top 25 tourism destinations according to Trip Advisor's latest survey:
  1. Marrakech, Morocco
  2. Siem Reap, Cambodia
  3. Istanbul, Turkey
  4. Hanoi, Vietnam
  5. Prague, Czechoslovakia
  6. London, U.K
  7. Roma, Italy
  8. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  9. Paris, France
  10. Cape Town, South Africa
  11. New York, U.S.A.
  12. Zermatt, Switzerland
  13. Barcelona, Spain
  14. Goreme, Turkey
  15. Ubud, Indonesia
  16. Cusco, Peru
  17. St Petersburg, Russia
  18. Bangkok, Thailand
  19. Kathmandu, Nepal
  20. Athens, Greece
  21. Budapest, Hungary
  22. Queenstown, New Zealand
  23. Hong Kong
  24. Dubai, UEA
  25. Sydney, Australia


Rao Reign at Two Resorts
Uday Rao Promoted to Manager Two Four Seasons Resorts in Bali

The general manager of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Uday Rao has just been appointed to also serve as general manager of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.

Arriving in Bali in 2012 as the resort manager at Sayan, Uday was promoted to general manager within only six months. Over the past three years, Uday says he has fallen in love with Bali: “Living here, my life has changed profoundly on a personal and professional level. So when the opportunity was presented to expand my role here, I did not hesitate at all.”

A native of New Delhi, Uday completed high school in India before immigrating to San Diego at the age of 16 to study business management in the United States, then in Japan. After graduation, he got the travel bug and gravitated to the world of hotels. As he explains, “I practically grew up in hotels.”

Uday started with Four Seasons in 1991 in Chicago, working as an overnight receptionist, then ascended through various positions, transferring to Tokyo, Singapore, Dallas and the Maldives. He returned to India in 2006 to open Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, serving as hotel manager. Uday says he feels most comfortable working with Four Seasons. “I have spent more than 23 years with Four Seasons in various parts of the world at various stages of my career. There’s no better place for me than Four Seasons. This is where I belong and feel the best fit with the company culture, the philosophy and the people.”

As general manager of both Resorts, Uday intends to create more synergy between the two properties, while keeping their characters distinct. “We want Four Seasons guests to spend time at both Resorts to enjoy a complete Balinese experience.”


Making Bali Arrivals Easier
Bali Eliminates Arrival-Departure Cards at Immigration Check Points.

Foreign visitors to Bali will, effective April 1, 2015, no longer be required to complete arrival – departure cards as part of the immigration process.
 
The change in policy was addressed in a circular memorandum issued by the Director General of Immigration dated March 3, 2015.

A spokesman for the Immigration Office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, Putu Astinpurwanti, said the change formed part of larger efforts to simplify and enhance services to foreign visitors through the use of technological innovation.

Computerized technology will not see tourist arrivals and departures tracked by a sophisticated databased system.
 
The change will be introduced across Indonesia at 19 international airports, 11 seaports and one border checkpoint.


Planning for the Coming Surge
Indonesian Government Holds Coordinating Meeting to Prepare for 45 Nations on the Free Visa-On-Arrival List

Indonesia is targeting to earn US$1 billion in foreign exchange or about Rp. 12 trillion as the result of the decision to provide a free visa on arrival to the citizens of 45 countries.

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Indroyono Soesilo revealed the target in foreign exchange earnings at a meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

The Minister expressed a wish that the more liberalized approach to visas for foreign tourist can be socialized to the public, including the benefit of added employment that will result from increased tourist numbers.

Continuing, Indroyono said: “The people will directly receive the foreign exchange by making souvenirs and food for tourists. But the friendliness of the people, cleanliness and hygiene needs to be enhanced.”

At the same coordinating meeting, the Deputy National Chief of Police Badrodin Haiti announced that the tourism police would be enlarged and strengthened. Haiti said the additional police officers would be primarily stationed at international air gateways in Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Denpasar and Batam.

At the same meeting, the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya underlined the jobs and foreign exchange that the greater number of free visa –on-arrival nations would garner.

The coordinating meeting also agreed that the Presidential Decision increasing the number of visa-free nations to 45 would be finished in early April allowing its immediate implementation.


Permission to Work
Government Promises Inter-Departmental Cooperation to Simplify Application Process for Work Permits

The State News Agency Antara says plans are afoot to simplify the administration and regulation of working permits for foreigners in Indonesia.

The Industry Minister Saleh Husin has received complaints from Japanese companies in Indonesia regarding the labyrinth of red tape encountered in obtaining permission to employ expatriate labor.

Following a meeting in Jakarta with Industry Minister Saleh Husin, after a meeting with Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly, Labor Minister Hanif Dhakiri and head of the Investment Coordinating Board Franky Sibarani, said: "During my visit a few days ago to Japan with Vice President Jusuf Kalla I met with many Japanese CEOs complaining that the process of securing working permit for expatriates could take up to three months."

The Minister said his personal view was that the permit process could be completed in a single day, instead of months, adding, "This is especially a problem for technicians who plan only to stay in the country for a few days to fix something in a factory machine,"

Matters of urgency and the long processing of work permits has caused many companies to violate the law with their workers using only tourist visas for short stays by technicians.

The Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna pledged to coordinate with the immigration department to formulate better regulations on the employment of expatriates in Indonesia.


Missing at Sea
Domestic Tourist Drowns at Tanah Lot

A domestic tourist who ignored warning signs and ventured too close to the Ocean’s edge for a photo at Tanah Lot, was hits by a large wave and swept out to sea.

Aris Kakarato (28) disappeared into the waters near Tanah Lot Temple on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, as family members watch on in horror.

Aris who lived in Denpasar was originally from West Sumba, was visiting the popular tourist site together with six friends.

The man’s listed profession was as a ship’s crew.

The man’s sibling, Rame Deta (27) told police that Aris slipped, fell into ocean and was swept out to see. The man was seen to be struggling in the water before eventually sinking below the waves.

Despite efforts by search and rescue officials the Kakarato's body remained still missing 3 days after his disappearance.


Indonesia’s Waterloo?
Tourist Minister Says Dirty Public Toilets Make Indonesian Non-Competitive in Attracting Visitors

The cleanliness of public toilets has been identified by Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism as a key to providing an enjoyable stay for tourist visitors. The Minister has sadly concluded that the condition of public lavatories in Indonesia is far below the standard offered in Malaysia and Thailand.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, as reported by Travel.detik.com sees a direct link between the state on Indonesian restroom and its comparative difficulty in matching tourist totals from Malaysia and Thailand.

Arief shared that a survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked the cleanliness of Indonesian toilers at #40 from among 140 countries reviewed. In that survey, Indonesia ranked below Thailand and Malaysia for the cleanliness of its public restrooms,

Continuing, Yahya, said: “It’s fitting if we have lower numbers of tourists that we also have lower amounts of foreign exchange (from tourism). Our foreign exchange earnings are only US$10 billion, while Malaysia earns US$20 billion and Thailand US$40 billion.”

Arief went on to explain that the Government is targeting 12 million foreign tourists to visit Indonesia in 2015. This is a substantial increase from the 9.4 million foreign tourists achieved in 2014.

The Minister said that in addition to adding 30 countries to the visa-free list, the Government would also improve the quality of toilets at airports and tourist attractions.


We Only Have Eye for You!
Immigration Introducing New Electronic Tracking Systems to Keep Track of Foreign Visitors

The Immigration office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has introduced an advanced Electronic Data Gathering and Monitoring System for Foreign Residents (PIDKOA).

Quoted by beritadewata.com, the head of the data infrastructure section for the Airport Immigration office, Danny Ariana, explained on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 that the PIDKOA system would soon be in full operation tracking the location and status of foreigners on the Island.
“We have programmed the PDIKOA electronic system. It is now being tested. Once it is in operation we hope the public will participate in controlling the activities of foreigners in Bali, wherever they may be,” Danny explained.
 
"When in full operation, the PDIKOA system will allow all hotels, villas and other accommodation providers in Bali to meet their legal obligation to report the presence of foreign visitors electronically."

The new system will allow members of the public and accommodation providers to report the details of foreigner to immigration officials on line. Among the data to be reported are the foreigner’s name, sex, home country, destination and their intended length of stay in Indonesia.

The immigration spokesman confirmed that effective April 1, 2015 the Bali airport will no longer require foreign visitors to fill out embarkation and disembarkation cards.

The information will now be recorded by immigration officials and entered into a Border Control Management (BCM) system that is integrated with the PDIKOA system.


Safety Ranking for Indonesian Airlines
Transportation Ministry to Give Safety Ranking to Indonesian Airlines and Enforce Minimum Air Fleet Size of 10 Planes

The Jakarta Globe reports that the government remains committed to publishing a safety ranking for all airlines operating in Indonesia in April 2015.

The government has also announced that a long-standing rule requiring all domestic airlines to operate a fleet of 10 planes will be enforced starting in July.

The Minister of Transportation is seeking to make flying in Indonesia safer by bringing flight operations into stricter compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Most Indonesian airlines continue to be banned from operating over European and U.S. air space due to a failure to meet international standards of air safety.

Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan said: “We will definitely go ahead with the safety ranking and announce it to the public next month, so it will become transparent.”

Airlines that do not have ten aircraft in their fleet face grounding with the Ministry urging carriers to merge their business with other airlines to achieve a fleet size considered large enough to support a professional level of aircraft maintenance and aircraft rotation schedules for periods of regular maintenance.

Some operators are criticizing the Transportation Minister’s new policies suggesting it is not the government’s role to be ranking airlines or orchestrating the merging of existing carriers.

Jonan, however remains committed to improving Indonesia aviation’s international safety rating.


Fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil
Falling Durian Kills Second Man in Bali in a Single Season

A second fatality in a single season has been attributed to a falling durian.

According to Beritabali.com, I Made Kusman (65) from Belimbing Village in Tabanan was struck on the head by a barbed durian fruit on Wednesday evening, March 25, 2015 while searching for the odoriferous fruit near his village.

Kusman had left earlier in the day in search of a durian. When he failed to return at dinner, his brother conducted a search finding the man dead at 8:00 pm in a pool of blood beneath a durian tree with a bloodied durian laying nearby.

Police from the Pupuan Police Precinct confirmed the death and the role played by a falling durian in Kusman’s demise.

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Going with the Grain
Klungkung Regency in Bali to Develop Sea Salt Production as a Tourist Attraction

The regency of Klungkung in Bali has plans to organize sea salt production along Goa Lawah Beach in order that it becomes a popular tourist attraction.

Quoted by Metrobali.com, the regent of Klungkung, Nyoman Suwitra, said on Thursday, March 26, 2015, “By organizing (the sea salt production), two functions will emerge for both a production sector and a tourism activity.”

The government is undertaking the plan after witnessing the enthusiasm displayed by visiting tourists when shown the local sea salt production process.

As a result, the government of Klungkung is seeking to integrate farming, fishing, sea salt production and visitation to the nearby bat caves at Goa Lawah.

The program is also designed to supplement incomes and preserve employment for traditional salt makers.


Conrad Living Lobby Art Exhibition
The World of Indonesian Puppetry in an Exhibition by I Ketut Sudiana in the Lobby of The Conrad Bali Resort and Spa April 3- June 30, 2015

The Conrad Bali Living Lobby Art Exhibition continues with an exhibition of traditional shadow puppets April 3 through June 30, 2015.

I Ketut Sudiana truly qualifies for the title of “puppet master” - serving as one of Indonesia’s most highly respected shadow puppet creators, educators and performer.

Born into a family of renowned puppet makers, I Ketut Sudiana has performed as a puppeteer in Sukawati, Gianyar regency since the age of 13 under the careful guidance of his legendary father, I Wayan Nartha.

Graduating in puppet arts from the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Denpasar in 1995 he went on to obtain a Masters Degree from ISI in Surakarta, Central Java in 2008.

He now teaches all aspects of puppetry at his alma mater in Denpasar.

Sudiana has presented his skills in shadow puppets at numerous shows and exhibitions in Bali, Jakarta, Guam and Taiwan.

Ketut Sudiana’s extensive collection of Indonesian puppets will be on display in the lobby of the Conrad Bali Resort and Spa through June 30, 2015. He is credited with the creation of new art form in Wayang artistry including the “Golek Gede” – a three-dimensional puppet inspired by the Wayang Golek of West Java – but with the characters adopting Balinese dress.

The legacy and heritage of the Wayang is carried on by Ketut’s son, I Wayan Nindya, who is increasingly acknowledged as a gifted puppeteer in his own right.

The current Wayang Exhibition forms part of The Conrad Bali Living Lobby Art Exhibition – a continuing series featuring the very best of Indonesian traditional art and culture.

An Exhibition of Wayang Puppets by I Ketut Sudiana
Conrad Bali Living Lobby Art Exhibition

Open Daily Without Charge
April 3 – June 30, 2015


When People Leave their Manners at Home
Editorial: Confusion, Conflicting Rules and Bad Manners Surround Plans to Limit Beer Sales Commencing April 16, 2015

The plans to ban beer sales at convenience stores, street kiosks (warungs) and roaming vendors on Bali’s beaches has brought a torrent of protests from those who derive an income from selling beer to visiting tourists.

The new rules to limit the sale of beer to supermarkets and hypermarkets would effectively end a large hunk of sales currently enjoyed by corner convenience stores and informal beachside vendors who do a brisk business in cold beer sales.

Current rules – largely ignored by convenience stores – are that beer and alcoholic beverage refrigerators must be located and sold from a controlled area behind staffed counters. Beer is supposed to be removed from the refrigerators only by store staff during the sales process and handed to the customer who’s age as been verified as over 21.

Those supporting the new, stricter rules on beer sales cite sales of alcohol to under-aged customers oftentimes in close proximity to schools and places of religious worship. Concerns are also being expressed regarding ill-mannered tourist visitors wandering the streets of Bali with open cans of beer in hand – behavior that is almost certainly illegal in the tourist’s home country.

Incongruous arguments against restricting beer sales on public beaches have come from parties defending the interest of beer vendors who circulate Kuta Beach with cool boxes selling cold beer to surfers and those bathing on the beach. Yet, these sales continue despite regulations issued by the Regency of Badung threatening Rp. 2 million (US$154) fine to any tourist making a purchase from any beach hawker. In other words, those defending the beer vendors are seeking to preserve a business long ago declared illegal by regency rules.

Confused? So are we. At the very least the current situation suggests that if Bali fails to keep matters under reasonable control, that vacuum of control can and will be filled by policymakers in Jakarta. At very least, local children and the children of visiting tourist should be spared the bad example embodied in seeing shirtless tourists and others swilling beer while walking down one of the island’s busy streets.

Engaging in bad behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated back home while on a Bali holiday is, at the very best, thoughtless and, at its worse, inherently racist.



Admission Tickets on the Increase
Admission Charges to Increase at South Bali Public Tourist Attraction on January 1, 2016

The Badung Regency in Bali has announced prices increases for admission to tourist attraction areas effective January 1, 2016:

Entrance to Pandawa Beach
  • Foreigners – Adults Rp. 15,000 per person
  • Domestic – Adults Rp. 8.000 per person
  • Foreigners – Children Rp. 10,000 per person
  • Domestic – Children Rp. 4,000 per person
Entrance to Labuan Sait (Padang Padang Beach)
  • Foreigners – Adults Rp. 10,000 per person
  • Domestic – Adults Rp. 5.000 per person
  • Foreigners – Children Rp. 5,000 per person
  • Domestic – Children Rp. 5,000 per person
Entrance to Pura Uluwatu
  • Foreigners – Adults Rp. 30,000 per person
  • Domestic – Adults Rp. 20.000 per person
  • Foreigners – Children Rp. 20,000 per person
  • Domestic – Children Rp. 10,000 per person
Entrance to Pura Taman Ayung
  • Foreigners – Adults Rp. 20,000 per person
  • Domestic – Adults Rp. 10.000 per person
  • Foreigners – Children Rp. 10,000 per person
  • Domestic – Children Rp. 5,000 per person


Fragrant Wine for the Fragrant Harbor
Hatten Wines’ Pino de Bali Fortified Wines Served at the Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong

Pino de Bali the fortified wine of Hatten Wines is now included on the prestigious wine list of the Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong.

Originally introduced to diners at Felix’s Restaurant at The Peninsula during a special International Food & Wine promotion, Pino de Bali was featured in a pairing menu celebrating the Art Basel Cultural Event held in Hong Kong.

Winning friends and favorable comments during the culinary event, Pino de Bali remains featured on Felix’s Wine List.

Pino de Bali fortified Pineau des Charentes method, has won the heart of Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong Chief Sommelier, Bhatia Dheeraj. Dheeraj who served as a judge at the 2014 Decanter Awards and was instrumental in awarding the wine its ‘Best in Show’ award to the Pino de Bali.

During the Art Basel Event, Pino de Bali was presented at the close of the meal, pairing with a sweet “Perfume” - an alluring concoction of raspberry meringue, red fruit salad and yogurt-strawberry ice cream. Presented at the table in the shape of a perfume bottle, this dessert was finished off by the waiter spraying an invigorating scent of fresh roses, lemongrass and rum. Featuring aromatic Balinese accents, the dessert was perfectly complemented by a wine pairing from the “Island of the Gods” Hatten Wines’ Pino De Bali.

“Creativity can be expressed in many ways and through many art forms,” said Chef Kaji, “and I wanted to reflect that in a way that also allowed me to push the boundaries of my own art form in the kitchen. The result is a playful and surprising tasting menu that I hope guests will have as much fun eating as I did creating it.”

While the Art Basel Event ended on March 17th, Pino de Bali has been retained for the enjoyment of Felix’s clientele. Located on the 28th floor of The Peninsula Tower, Felix is the creation of renowned avant-garde designer Philippe Starck, offering breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

Commenting on the debut of Pino de Bali on the wine list of one of the world’s leading restaurants, Hatten Wines owner I.B. Rai Budarsa said: “It is such an incredible honor for me to have our wine served at this legendary hotel. We have won many awards internationally and the many medals do not give me the sense of appreciation as this invitation to have our Pino de Bali served at the Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong. I am humbled and infinitely grateful to Chef Kaji and Chief Sommelier Dheeraj for including our wine in their celebratory menu.”

Hatten Wines Website


Meet in Bali
9th Edition of the Bali Meeting Guide to be Published in September 2015

The 9th edition of the Bali MICE Guide will be published in September 2015 and distributed to more than 10,000 decision makers in the meeting, conference, incentive and exhibition marketplace.

The only comprehensive meeting planners handbook on Bali, the Guide also has an online edition and a dedicated website.

Among the highlights of the 2015-2016 edition of “Meet Bali” are:

• A comprehensive index of all Bali hotels offering meeting facilities.
• Updates on new products and hotels in Bali.
• Informative users guide to Bali’s revitalized Ngurah Rai Airport
• Interviews with leaders in Bali and National Tourism
• A dedicated wedding planners section

Space is booking fast for the next edition. [Email]  to arrange a meeting to discuss possible participation in the coming guide or request a copy of the current or coming the Bali MICE Guide.

Hotels, event venues, event organizers, destination management companies and airlines are among the companies booking space in the next edition of the Bali MICE Guide.

The Bali MICE Guide is an initiative of Bali Discovery Events

www.balimice.com


Bike, Run and Swim in Bali
Herbalife Bali International Triathlon – a Race for the Soul on Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Bali International Triathlon is back for its eighth edition, returning on Sunday, October 25, 2015 as Herbalife Bali International Triathlon.

Winner of numerous accolades including the “Triathlon with a Soul” and “Best Destination Triathlon” the 2015 event is expecting more than 1,000 participants in the full Olympic Triathlon, half-triathlon and 5-km fun run.

The Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay is back as hosts for the popular pre-race cocktail party at; back also the traditional bike blessing, race briefing and high-carb dinner on Saturday, and the popular post-race party on Sunday night.

The race will be headquartered once again at the InterContinental Bali Resort that serves as the start and finish of all races, the transition areas between race legs and the morning-long party on race day while everyone awaits race results.

Many improvements are planned to make the 2015 running of the race the smoothest and best ever, including:
  • Herbalife will be paying the toll fees for traffic diverting on Bali’s new Mandara Toll Road to reduce pressure on the race route.
  • The Olympic distance event will start at sunrise to reduce traffic on the roadways at peak travel times. 
  • Working with the traditional village association, police and regency officials a plan for an unprecedented program of tighter coordinated traffic control on both the bike and road race segments is now in hand. 
Visit the website and register at www.balitriathlon.com


 
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