Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bali Police Shut Down Insurance Firm Over Scam Claim

Editor Note: When will people learn. If it looks 5to good to be true it probably is and in Bali after 14 years I have learned "Assume nothing and trust no one unless they have excellent references"

Made Arya Kencana | November 29, 2010

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7:06am Nov 30, 2010

the company name 'Balicon' should've been a warning sign. LOL

Denpasar. Police in Bali have shut down an insurance company that allegedly defrauded around 21,000 clients to the tune of Rp 340 billion ($38 million), a spokesman said.

Sr. Comr. Gede Sugianyar Dwi Putra, a spokesman for the Bali Police, said on Monday that Made Paris Adnyana, the president commissioner of Bali Consultant Life Insurance (Balicon), had been named a suspect in the case.

Sugianyar said the accused would be charged with violating Article 21 and Article 9 of the 1992 Insurance Law. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

At the behest of the Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK), the police launched an investigation into the company and found it was operating without a business permit from the Finance Ministry.

Sugianyar said the insurance firm was nevertheless able to set up shop by approaching influential figures and asking them to invest in the company.

The spokesman said the company was selling four insurance products, including education policies, that promised 5 percent monthly interest.

As of September, Balicon reportedly had 21,000 clients in Bali and East Java.

Authorities said the company had its headquarters in Jembrana, on the southwest coast of Bali and just a short ferryboat ride away from East Java.

They said the company had also set up offices in Surabaya, the East Java capital, and Jombang, also in the province.

“Now Balicon owes Rp 340 billion that has to be paid back to its clients,” Sugianyar said.

The closure of the company caused panic among clients who rushed to Balicon branches to demand information about their investments.

“It has been three months since we last had our interest paid. Before that it was smooth,” said one client, Ketut Satria, who invested Rp 200 million.

Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion..

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.

Road Over the Sea to Ease Bali Traffic

Made Arya | December 01, 2010

10:36am Dec 1, 2010

I wonder what an upscale tourist centre is??

But seriously ... 23 million visitors per year?? Jakarta has around 25 million traffic, Singapore 28 million. New facilities are welcome but where will the second & third runways be?.. realistic target from 2 million. Maybe not.. Also where are an extra 2 million per month people going to come from? Where are they going to stay? Its OK getting them out of the airport but what about the rest of the islands infrastructure? This is a pipedream I feel. Also 100m of mangrove.. I dont believe it. More than that will be lost to workers warungs and the rubbish they produce... I accept a need to do something but I question the logic and real objective here. This is as crazy as building an underground in Jakarta. Some fool wants their brains washing out nad thier bank accounts checking

Denpasar. Five state companies are planning to build an elevated roadway linking the upscale tourist and conference center of Nusa Dua to the Bali capital of Denpasar and its airport, an executive said on Tuesday.

The road, which would also pass the popular tourist subdistrict of Kuta, will be partly constructed over the sea and coastal mangrove forests, said Suratto Siswodiharjo, the president commissioner of Angkasa Pura I, which manages the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

“The project has been agreed to be in the form of an elevated road over the sea and mangrove forests. The tender will be conducted in early January 2011 and the permit from the Forestry Ministry has already been obtained,” Suratto said.

Besides AP, Suratto said the companies involved in the project were road builder Jasa Marga, contractor Wijaya Karya, port management firm Pelabuhan Indonesia III and Bali Tourism and Development Corporation.

The approximately 14.5-kilometer-long road is to be built some four meters above sea level, BTDC president director Mande Mandra said. It would link Ngurah Rai, the port of Benua and the Nusa Dua resort to Denpasar, he said, adding that Rp 2 trillion ($222 million) in funding was being prepared for the project.

“It will not damage the mangrove forests in Denpasar or those in the Badung district [where Nusa Dua is located]. Only about 100 square meters of these forests would need to be cleared,” Mandra said. The forests in the affected areas cover some 1,375 hectares, he added.

Suratto said that the construction of the road was necessary to improve the infrastructure on the island ahead of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which will be held in Bali in 2013.

The road’s completion is also meant to coincide with the planned expansion of the airport that same year — just in time for the APEC summit.

The airport will see its area expanded and its capacity raised to 23 million travelers a year from the current two million.

Badung district chief Anak Agung Gede Agung said that Nusa Dua and Denpasar were currently linked by nothing more than a single main road.

He added that it was hoped that the construction of the elevated road would put an end to heavy traffic congestion in the area.

Ngurah Rai Airport general manager Heru Legowo said that the relocation of an employee housing complex consisting of 143 homes and six other buildings necessitated by the airport expansion plans, was expected to be completed in February.

My Postcard: Bali

In Bali, Lauren Cohen found a piece of heaven offset by unusual billing processes
Dec 1, 2010 1:09 AM | By Lauren Cohen
Bali's turquoise oceans and kilometres of sandy beaches are juxtaposed against its jam-packed streets filled with hooting motorcyclists and minivans.

On our holiday to the Nusa Dua, the humidity that permeates every daytime hour turned my friends and I off the shopping and sightseeing trail, and onto the beaches that ring the island.

This photo was taken from a viewpoint at New Kuta Beach, better known to surfers around the world as Dreamland.

My friends, Nicci Probert and Shelley Kobus, pictured, were cornered by an angry waiter after lunch, as we were leaving to float in the gorgeous waters below. A minor spat over the bill ensued because we had ordered from several restaurants in the complex and hadn't kept track. We simply paid up to avoid any brushes with the law while on holiday in paradise.

Bali is rich in natural beauty and has talented craftsmen on every corner. Best of all: the cheap massages and the local Bintang beer.

ext week Wednesday is perhaps the second most important holiday in the Hindu calendar celebrated throughout Bali and Indonesia, Galungan.

Editor's note: Next week Wednesday is perhaps the second most important holiday in the Hindu calendar celebrated throughout Bali and Indonesia, Galungan.

For tourists it is a colorful display of ceremonies when Balinese dress up in their finest costumes and provide offerings and prays at temples, businesses and homes.

The holiday will actually begin on Tuesday and last until Thursday. Then 10 days later will come Kuningan which is the equivalent of the end of the Christmas holiday. Impress teh Balinese by stating Selamat Hari Raya Galungan – ( Happy Galungan Day )

According To Wikipedia:

Galungan occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. It celebrates the coming of the gods and the ancestral spirits to earth to dwell again in the homes of their descendants. The festivities are characterized by offerings, dances and new clothes. The ancestors must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. Families whose ancestors have not been cremated yet, but remain buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the graves. Kuningan is the last day of the holiday, when the gods and ancestors depart until the next Galungan.

Foot Note: An appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia.

Let’s just say some people were skeptical of the notion that volunteers from all across the world could come together to create a remarkable pool of human knowledge – all for the simple purpose of sharing.

No ads. No agenda. No strings attached.

A decade after its founding, nearly 400 million people use Wikipedia and its sister sites every month - almost a third of the Internet-connected world.

It is the 5th most popular website in the world - but Wikipedia isn’t anything like a commercial website. It is a community creation, written by volunteers making one entry at a time. You are part of our community. And I’m writing today to ask you to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

Together, we can keep it free of charge and free of advertising. We can keep it open – you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want. We can keep it growing – spreading knowledge everywhere, and inviting participation from everyone.

Each year at this time, we reach out to ask you and others all across the Wikimedia community to help sustain our joint enterprise with a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or more.

If you value Wikipedia as a source of information – and a source of inspiration – I hope you’ll choose to act right now.

All the best,

Jimmy Wales

Founder, Wikipedia
P.S. Wikipedia is about the power of people like us to do extraordinary things. People like us write Wikipedia, one word at a time. People like us fund it, one donation at a time. It's proof of our collective potential to change the world.

Said goodby to fellow Canadian Comic Legend Leslie Nielsen never again will he say “And don’t call me Shirley,”

Legend Leslie Nielsen Dies at 84

Written By Sherry Bonee on 30 November 2010. ShareThis
Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis from the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet, left. Leslie Nielsen, 2008, right. - Photo - Jerry Angelica

Leslie Nielsen, best known for starring in comedic films such as “Airplane!” and the “Naked Gun” series died Sunday at the age of 84.

Nielsen died from complication from pneumonia in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in a hospital near his home, his agent said in a statement.

The Canadian native spent decades playing straight-laced leaders in films like “Forbidden Planet” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” but it was Neilson’s move to comedy that made him a leading man and box-office draw.

“Surely you can’t be serious,” says and airplane passenger to Nielsen in the 1980 hit “Airplane,” the film that made him a comedy legend.

“I am serious,” is one his famous quotes, including “And don’t call me Shirley.”

He went on to star as he bumbling detective Frank Drebin the cop-moving-spoofing “Naked Gun” films.

“I’ve finally found my home – as Lt. Frank Drebin,” he said in a 1988 interview.

Nielsen starred in television dramas while working in New York before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s.

At 6-foot-2, with a handsome face and blonde hair, he was a likely candidate for leading roles. He became known as a serious actor, but with a joking streak that he never expressed before on film beginning with “Airplane!”

Nielsen was born on Feb. 11, 1926 in Saskatchewan. He grew up at Fort Norman, 200 miles from the Artic Circle. This is where his father was stationed as an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

He was married four times and is survived by two daughters. Funeral arrangements had not been made public.
Related Headlines:

Monday, November 29, 2010

A new reality TV series called "The Island Trader" to be filmed on locations in Europe and southeast Asia that's looking for Bali cast members.

Gallery owner seeking cast for reality series
Monday, November 29, 2010

What do you get when the "The Antique Road Show" meets "Fantasy Island"?

A new reality TV series called "The Island Trader" to be filmed on locations in Europe and southeast Asia that's looking for cast members.

Rich Mutschler owns the Galleons Lost artifact gallery on King Street.

Rich Mutschler, the founder of Voyager International Inc. and the director of its first retail store, Galleons Lost, an authentic artifact gallery at 165 King St., will be featured in pilot episodes of the series billing itself as "where dreams come true."

In January 2011, the crew led by Mutschler will be shooting in Bali. Producers are seeking adult participants interested in taking part in this pilot and traveling with the crew on a trading and cultural expedition to Bali.

Mutschler and cast members will visit different locations all over the world, but most of the scenes in the pilot will be shot at Mutschler's personal trade and cultural headquarters, the Casa Rosa Trade and Cultural Center, shadowed by ancient volcanoes on the mystic island of Bali.

"Right now, the crew is concentrating on the 'teaser,' the pilot and general considerations for the general production," said Mutschler, who also will host the show.

In each episode, Mutschler will lead his group of art and antiquity collectors on a quest to acquire rare cultural- and treasure-related items from Europe to the Spice Islands of Indonesia.

He will use years of expertise in the ethnographic- and treasure-related fields to reveal the stories behind the history of selected artifacts as expedition participants wonder in awe over the allure and value of their acquisitions.

Mutschler said the show is shopping for a sponsoring network.

Founded in 1985 by Mutschler, Voyager International Inc. is an international corporation that trades ethnographic art and investment and museum-quality maritime treasure items. It selected Charleston to open its first retail store last April.

The gallery offers the "Treasure of the Island Kings" collection, authentic artifacts and rare objects from the spice routes to China dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

To participate in the pilot or the expedition, call 577-3862 or 561-373-0618 or go to www.voyagerinternationalus.com.

Bank Indonesia Mulls Dollar Reserve Hike for Capital Control

Dion Bisara | November 29, 2010
Bank Indonesia, seen in this file photo, is conducting research to determine whether to impose a higher dollar reserve requirement on lenders. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian) Bank Indonesia, seen in this file photo, is conducting research to determine whether to impose a higher dollar reserve requirement on lenders. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian)

Jakarta. In a bid to rein in hot money that threatens to unbalance the economy, Bank Indonesia is studying whether to impose a higher dollar reserve requirement on lenders, a central banker said.

The policy would compel banks to increase their dollar reserves to as much as 3 percent to soak up excess liquidity from a surge of foreign funds.

“In 2008, the central bank cut foreign exchange reserves statutory to 1 percent from 3 percent in order to pump foreign exchange liquidity into the market,” said Hartadi A. Sarwono, a BI deputy governor.

“We plan to bring it back to the level before 2008, perhaps not 3 percent but close to that,” he said, declining to specify a time frame for the policy’s implementation.

Starting on Nov. 1, BI required lenders to set aside 8 percent of their rupiah deposits as reserves, up from 5 percent.

The central bank also said it would introduce an additional reserve requirement in March that would penalize banks with loan-to-deposit ratios below 78 percent or above 100 percent.

BI has been wrestling with the surge in foreign funds as near-zero interest rates in the West and Japan have promoted investors to seek higher yields in emerging economies such as Indonesia.

Although foreign funds support growth, they drive up prices and have the potential to create asset bubbles that could burst, leading to a flight of capital.

“So much money chasing the same amount of goods will increase inflation,” Hartadi said. “The dilemma is if we increase the [benchmark interest] rate, it will increase inflows here. So we see an option to manage it by raising statutory reserves.”

The central bank has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 6.5 percent since August last year to support growth.

The rate is one of the highest in Southeast Asia, making Indonesia into a key investment destination.

Chatib Basri, an economist from the University of Indonesia, welcomed the central bank’s moves, saying it was unlikely to increase the key rate in the short term since it would attract more hot money to the country.

Indonesia posted a surplus of $7 billion in the three months that ended in September, compared with $5.4 billion in the second quarter, according to central bank data.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kuta launches weekly car-free period

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 11/29/2010 11:41 AM | Bali

Jl. Legian was visibly different on Saturday night as tourists and locals roamed freely during the first ever car-free period along the street, which usually has bumper to bumper traffic.

Visitors were seen walking and gathering at the crowded night spot as the area was free of traffic and pollution from cars and motorcycles.

Jl. Legian, and Kuta in general, is known for its notorious traffic. The gridlock is worst on Saturday night when youths from Denpasar and Badung, as well as tourists, flock to the world-famous strip to taste its colorful nightlife.

From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the street was closed to motorized vehicles from Patik Jelantik junction, all the way down to the Bemo Corner junction.

Motorists were instructed to take an alternative route or park at the parking area in Patih Jelantik.

Among those joining the crowd were a group of 50 people from the Samas cycling club from Denpasar and Badung.

They gathered at their meeting point, the Ground Zero monument, to start an unusual night trip by bicycle around the area.

“We’re here to enjoy the different ambience in the street. This is phenomenal,” Samas Denpasar chairman Endra Datta said.

“Who would have thought that the most crowded street in Bali would be closed to vehicles,” he added.

Cyclists hailed the program as “extraordinary” and said they expected it to be a regular occurrence every Saturday night.

“We fully support this program. This area should be free of vehicles and should be dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists,” Samas Badung chairman I Made Darwi added.

He said it would be better if the vehicle-free area was expanded to other crowded streets in Kuta, referring to Kuta’s 1997 no-parking zone policy, which prohibited motorists from parking cars in several designated roads in Kuta.

The policy failed because it lacked public support. “We expect the public, tourists and residents in this area to support this new policy. This could be the start of a new, greener Kuta.”

Locals and foreign tourists also expressed pleasure with the vehiclefree zone.

“This is good. We can walk safely without cars and motorcycles around us,” Dutch tourist Ad Verhoeven, who walked around the Ground Zero monument with friends, said.

Some tourists said they were surprised, adding that they didn’t know why the road was closed.

Kristin Halvorsen from Norway said a police offi cer stopped her scooter at the junction of Jl. Legian.

“I thought there was a bomb threat or something. I was on my way from Seminyak to Poppies,” she said, laughing.

“It is good that they have this kind of activity, especially if it is for an environmental purpose makes tourists feel more comfortable and safe,” she said.

Kuta Police officers and pecalang (traditional Bali guards) were seen monitoring the street.

Kuta Police chief Adj. Comr. I Gede Ganefo said the activity was aimed at easing traffic gridlock in the tourist hub.

“We will conduct a car-free period every Saturday night in this area and we will continue to evaluate it to avoid any problems,” he said.

Bali prizes serenity -and the islanders are happy to share it

Benevolent spirits, elaborate temples

By PATTI NICKELL, McClatchy-Tribune; Lexington Herald-Leader November 27, 2010

Foreign tourists sunbathe on Kuta beach on Bali: it's a rare travel magazine that hasn't tempted readers at least once with stunning visuals of the island's beaches.

Foreign tourists sunbathe on Kuta beach on Bali: it's a rare travel magazine that hasn't tempted readers at least once with stunning visuals of the island's beaches.
Photograph by: MURDANI USMAN, REUTERS, McClatchy-Tribune; Lexington Herald-Leader

The Indonesian island of Bali -half a world away -has become synonymous with grace, simplicity and serenity, an oasis in an area of the world that is frequently tempestuous.

Bali's easygoing way of life has caused the rest of the world to take note. It's a rare travel magazine that hasn't tempted readers at least once with stunning visuals of the island's beaches, terraced mountains and palm-filled jungles. Spas around the world have tried to copy the famed Balinese massage with varying degrees of success. And try as hard as they might, no one has come close to copying the graceful elegance of Balinese dancing. To what does this tiny island owe such great good fortune?

Some Balinese will tell you it's the gods that define the tempo of daily life, whether it's the "good" spirits that inhabit the highlands or the "evil" spirits that dwell in the lowlands near the sea. Good or evil, pious or impish, all have their place in Balinese mythology.

The outward manifestations of the belief in these gods are the places of worship that dot the island -from the simple shrines in every home and business to the more elaborate temples that illustrate the Balinese love of harmony and nature. While Bali lacks the huge temple complexes such as Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, on the neighbouring island of Java and Angkor Wat in nearby Cambodia, it does offer a chance to see temples in a variety of gorgeous settings.

Among the loveliest is Taman Ayun ( "beautiful garden"), a name that could not be more fitting. The temple, built in 1637, is in its own Eden, separated from the rest of the world by a moat. Another temple, Pura Ulun Danau, also was built in the 17th century to honour the water goddess charged with protecting the rice crop. It sits on Lake Bratan in the crater of an extinct volcano.

Perhaps the most exquisite setting is that of Tanah Lot, dating to the 15th century, which hugs the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. At low tide, the island on which it sits is accessible by foot, and while each evening, hundreds gather to watch the sunset, many are careful to go no farther -perhaps because of the giant snake reputed to live in the temple, protecting it from evil spirits and intruders.

Religion in Bali is very complex. Unlike the predominantly Muslim islands of the rest of Indonesia, Bali's religion combines polytheistic Hinduism with Buddhism and borrows from ancient indigenous mythology.

The temples are bastions of serenity on an island that prizes serenity. You can see it in the graceful movements of the traditional legong dance performed each Friday at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel's Budaya Cultural Theatre or in the other traditional dance, the ketjack (monkey dance), performed by more than 200 people at one time during ceremonies in rural villages.

You can see it in the Balinese love of symmetry, a good example of which is Eka Karya, Bali's botanic garden. It is a tropical rainforest in the volcanic highlands and lake districts of central Bali that just happens to have 1,200 species of plants ranging from orchids to cactus.

With the tragic exception of the 2002 terrorist bombing at a popular nightclub, serenity is such a way of life here that the turbulent outbreaks in other parts of Indonesia seem light years removed. One afternoon, as I sat in a beachside restaurant in Singaraja after a day spent touring the coffee and tea plantations of the highlands, I stared out over the ocean and watched as a dolphin executed a perfect leap right in front of me. I saw a lone boatman, paddling a canoe piled high with bananas, breadfruit and mangos. In Bali, it seems, the grocer still makes deliveries.

Another day was spent driving around the interior of the island, where the mountains were decorated with row upon row of terraced rice paddies. Every so often, the lush green was interrupted by a silvery flash of falling water as a waterfall erupted from a hidden spring. I reflected on those good spirits residing in the mountains and thought what a lovely home they had.

Plan to spend a day at Ubud, Bali's arts and crafts centre. You will find shops and galleries offering island specialties from colourful batiks and wood carvings to Balinese shadow puppets. These are small, beautifully crafted leather figures lit from behind so that when their images are projected onto a screen, they become shadowy creatures of the imagination.

A good place to stop for lunch after a morning in Ubud is Kamandalu Resort in lush green hills above the town in an area once famous for its royal palaces. The great hall of Kamandalu, with its rattan furniture and ceiling fans, is open-air, affording a spectacular view of the surrounding hills, rainforest and Petanu River.

For a real taste of local colour, visit Jimbaran Bay for one of the famous barbecues. Everyone sits at folding chairs at long tables on the beach, breathes in the smoke from hundreds of pits and eats succulent lobster washed down by cold beer. It's the Balinese equivalent of the Friday night fish fry, where tourists are outnumbered by locals. Don't miss it.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Bali+prizes+serenity+islanders+happy+share/3892926/story.html#ixzz16crYg1aS

Australians have fallen back in love in Bali and are pouring in their new revalued Austrian dollars in to Bali real estate

Editors note: as further proof of what I've been saying for some time that Australians have fallen back in love in Bali and are pouring in their new revalued Austrian dollars in to Bali real estate as well,

Below are the recent visits to up our main real estate website PT Bali real estate.com

Also note that although Americans only represent possibly 2% of tourist arrivals to Bali they are the second-largest group seeking real estate in Bali along with the Russians, Indonesians, and Canadians who have discovered Bali the last several years

Country Percentage of Visitors
1. AUSTRALIA 62.5%
2. united states (View Map) 14.58%
4. INDONESIA 5.73%
5. canada (View Map) 4.69%
6. SWEDEN 1.04%
9. NEW ZEALAND 0.52%
10. JAPAN 0.52%
11. GREECE 0.52%
12. LATVIA 0.52%

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monkey ruse

My husband and I went to Bali on a short break. On the last day we hired a driver to take us to Uluwatu Temple at the southernmost tip of the island.

It is famous for the kecak dance show and — little did we know — notorious for a syndicate that uses monkeys to snatch valuables from unsuspecting tourists.

This is how they work: a monkey will creep up silently behind you and relieve you of your valuables. In my case it was my spectacles.

Suddenly, opportunist “samaritans” will appear armed with bait to entice the monkeys into giving up their spoils.

Of course, the “good samaritan” returned my spectacles but only after receiving a token reward.

They must have a field day earning money this way judging from the thefts that occur every day. Future travellers be warned!

Lee Bee Ghee, Penang

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bali plans to develop an international-standard hospital in Sanur.

Editor's note:
I have been saying for some time that the health care in Bali is improving dramatically.

Now with the announcement of a new international Hospital in Sanur we can expect substantially more foreigners to retire here thus driving real estate prices exponentially in the near future.

See our low priced, quality properties available for sale at www.ptbalirealestate.com or www.baliluxuryillasales.com

Bali to build int’l standard hospital
The Jakarta Post | Fri, 11/26/2010 10:52 AM | Bali
A | A | A |

The Bali administration announced plans to develop an international-standard hospital in Sanur to cater to local and foreign visitors.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said Thursday that his administration was conducting a comprehensive feasibility study on the construction.

“We have allocated Rp 4 billion [US$446,000] from the 2011 provincial budget to plan and design the project,” he said, adding that an additional Rp 100 billion from the 2012 budget would be used for the construction.

“We expect to complete the project by 2013 when Bali hosts the APEC meeting,” Pastika added.

The hospital, which the administration claims would feature high-tech facilities, would be built on 3.4 hectares in Sanur.

“Bali is an international tourist destination. We have to provide excellent healthcare services for our guests. Visitors may be able to spend their holidays while also having medical check-ups done here,” Pastika said.

There are a number of so-called “international” hospitals in Denpasar despite the Health Ministry’s ban on using the word “international” in the names of the hospitals.

In addition to an international hospital, the local government also announced plans to build another hospital for patients covered by Bali Mandara Healthcare Insurance.

The scheme is a free healthcare program for Balinese residents across all eight regencies and one municipality. The program began in 2009 using Rp 181 billion in funds from the local budget.

The scheme allows residents to get free medical treatment at Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital and a number of other hospitals.

Pastika said profits from the operation of the planned international hospital would be used to fund the Bali Mandara hospital.

Karyasa Adnyana, the deputy chairman of the Bali Legislative Council’s Commission IV, said he fully supported the idea of a “cross-subsidy”.

“The development of an international-standard hospital will certainly enhance the image of Bali as a world-class tourist destination. Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have been doing this for a long time,” he added.

Adnyana said the construction of the two hospitals would be funded by the provincial budget, and that therefore the administration had to be cautious in using public money. “We hope the money is spent in a transparent manner.”

— JP/Ni Komang Erviani

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bali Safari Achieve the Best Amusement Park Awards

Kelly Dunst on 11 24, 2010

“Bali Safari and Marine Park” in Gianyar district inaugurated as the best amusement park in Indonesia or “Indonesia Leading Amusement Park” in ITTA awards on 2010/2011.

“Marketing Communication” Bali Safari and Marine park, Astrid W Iswulandari in Gianyar, on Friday, gave details that the Highest Tourism Award of Indonesia held at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The award received by General Manager of Bali Safari and Marine Park Hans Manansang at Jakarta, on Thursday, October 21st 2010.

Hans Manansang as by Astrid the award aiming at appreciating and celebrating the success and service as well as service excellence gained in every sector of Indonesia tourism industry.

As a conservation park that intends to protect wildlife from extinction, the coronation is constitute as special set/pride because through our attention to the animals, can enrich the data of Indonesian tourism.

As its fresh age, the national award received by Bali Safari is also a credit to Taman Safari Indonesia in general. Bali Safari has 40 hectares of forest in Herzliya, which is one part of the Taman Safari Indonesia, which has been known by a variety of attractions and activities of animal conservation. The setting presents three areas of the world, namely Africa, India, and Indonesia.

The park was designed for visitors to have an unforgetable enjoyable holiday experience and to promote the conservation of wildlife from extinction because there are 60 species of 400 animals bred at Bali Safari.

The advantages of Bali Safari are: the visitors can feel a different dining experience with view of the Tsavo lions that are very close to the visitors, while also presenting a world-class theatrical spectacle which was inaugurated by The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik on October 16, 2010.

He committed that Bali Safari and Marine Park are not only entertain but also educate through conservation program and improve the quality of service in Indonesia’s tourism industry.

Gold Coast overlooked as Schoolies go to Bali

Thursday, 25 November 2010

School graduates are turning away from traditional Schoolies celebrations in the Gold Coast and opting for international destinations.

A report released by Student Flights highlighted an increase in bookings by teens for holiday packages to tropical beach destinations including Fiji and Bali, News.com reported.

While the Sunshine state remains the ‘it’ place for Schoolies, affordability and close proximity of countries like Bali are giving graduates a reason to celebrate abroad.

According to the news source, resorts in Bali and Fiji have spent several years catering to Schoolies celebrations with DJs, themed parties and increased security.
Student Flights also announced that from next year they will offer Schoolies trips to Vanuatu.

Only in Canada Does a Refugee receive more money than a Pensioner

Editors Note:
I received the below info from a Canadian Govt. Employee.

We cannot guarantee the accuracy but if it is correct it is very unfair for Canadian pensioners who paid taxes all their life to receive less money than a refugee from another country.

I especially take offense to these numbers because my mother is pensioners whose husband (My father) gave his life for Canada and she receives less than a foreigner.

Something wrong with this picture and it's time for a Grey rebellion.

Only in Canada
It is interesting to know that the federal Government of Canada allows :
A monthly pension of : $1,890.00 to a simple refugee
• Plus : 580.00 in social aid
• A grand total of : $2,470.00 monthly
X 12 months
$28,920.00 annual income

• By comparison, the Old Age Pension of a senior citizen who has contributed to the development of Our Beautiful Big Country during 40 or 50 years, CANNOT receive more than :
• Amount/month $1,012.00 in Old Age Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement
X 12 months
$12,144.00 annual income
• A difference of : $16,776.00 per year

* Perhaps our senior citizens should ask for the Status of Refugees instead of applying for Old Age Pension.

* Let us send this message to as many Canadians as possible, and maybe the allowance of refugee could then be reduced to $1,012.00, and that of our Canadian pensioners raised to $2,470.00 per month. (who actually deserve it) the money that they have been paying in income taxes for 40 or 50 years,

Please circulate this text to see the reaction of your contacts !

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A majority of Chinese tourists have selected Bali province as their main destination in Indonesia

Indonesia expects to attract more Chinese tourists through active promotion
English.news.cn 2010-11-21 13:53:59 FeedbackPrintRSS

By Cundoko Aprilianto

JAKARTA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia is expected to attract more Chinese tourists through active tourism promotion in China, such as the 12th China International Travel Mart (CITM) and the World Expo Shanghai China (WESC) 2010.

Chinese tourists are the fifth largest in Indonesia after Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Australia. Last year, as many as 356,000 Chinese tourists visited Indonesia out of total 6.5 million of foreign tourist.

However, a majority of Chinese tourists have selected Bali province as their main destination in Indonesia, as Bali is so famous compared with other parts of Indonesia.

This posts a challenge for the central government, especially for local ones to promote other regions of the country to attract Chinese tourists as these regions have many attractive destinations with various cultures, arts and landscape beauties.

In fact, Indonesia has a chance to attract more Chinese tourists as both countries have a characteristic proximity. "Chinese people like Chinese-friendly things, such as culinary and tradition," Counsel of Social and Culture in the Indonesian Embassy for China Rosmalawati Chalid said on the sideline of the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai recently.

Chalid said that since an open economy policy adopted in 1978, China's tourism has been growing rapidly. The fast economy growth promotes the increase of Chinese tourists.

In 1998, the number of Chinese tourists was only 5.32 million with six favorite countries as their tourism destination.

This year, the number could increase to 50 million to all over the world.

However, Chalid said that not much information could be obtained by the Chinese about Indonesia's tourism. "80 percent of them know Indonesia's tourism via the Internet whereas tourism information in the Internet is dominated by Bali," she said.

Therefore, Indonesia needs to be more active in promoting tourism destination besides of Bali, Chalid said.

Promotion Director of the Tourism Ministry Esthy Reko Astuty also admitted that tourism promotion in China is not enough. "Most of them only know Bali. Now, we want to invite them to see other regions like Manado (of North Sulawesi province)," she said.

Chinese tourists' favorite of beach tourism should be responded by introducing alternative destinations such as Wakatobi of Southeast Sulawesi province, Bunaken of North Sulawesi province and Raja Ampat of West Papua province.

Titien Maryatin Soekarya, an official of the Tourism Ministry, said that China is expected to be the largest tourist supplier in the world in near term. "At least there will be 100 million Chinese tourists going abroad in 2015 and Indonesia is ready to welcome them," she said at the St. Ragis Hotel of Shanghai recently in a table-top that was a part of a series of programs made by the ministry in the 12th China International Travel Mart.

On the occasion, as many as 30 sellers from Indonesia made a direct transaction with more than 70 Chinese buyers.

In order to attract more foreign tourists, the Indonesian government has been improving security and providing comfort for foreign tourists. Supporting infrastructures such as transportation, especially direct international flight to Indonesia, has been improved and increased.

Bali Phone Tips & Time Zone

* The time zone in Bali is GMT +08:00 This is the same as Perth Western Australia which is GMT +8 hours (Western Standard Time WST). Perth does not have daylight saving. Other Australian time zones that may be of interest are to be found on this link * World Time * which gives the current time for each Australian state including any daylight saving.

* Land line phone calls. The sounds that the phone makes when dialing Bali is different to ours and there is a time delay before the phone connects so wait a bit for the connection. There is a time delay while talking to the other party so allow for that or you will talk over each other.

* To ring a land line in Bali from Australia dial: 0011 + 62 + area code + telephone number. Example: To ring the All Seasons Resort Legian, the area code for Bali is 361 and the hotel phone number is 756203, making the dial number 0011 62 361 756203.

To ring a land line number from a land line in Bali i will use the hotel as a example. You dial the area code + telephone number. That makes the number 361 756203. To ring a mobile from a land line in Bali just ring the number as is. I use G’days number as a example 081338760074.

To ring a land line in Australia from Bali using a land line dial: 001 + 61 + area code + telephone number. Here we run into problems because the ring out code in Indonesia could be 001 or 008, { try both or if you use a hotel phone ask them } the area codes in Aus start with a zero, Western Australia is 08 , NSW 02 , QLD 07 : etc – you need to drop the zero. Example: to phone Western Australia dial 001 61 8 12345678 or to phone NSW dial 001 61 2 12345678. (If you are behind a switchboard you may have to dial ’0′ or ’9′ (or another number) to get an external line.)

* Mobile phone calls. If you want to ring Bali from a mobile phone you can ring the same number as the land line or you can change the 0011 to the plus sign + { the plus sign replaces 0011 } thus making the All Seasons Resort Legian hotel number . I can not tell you the codes to ring Aus from Bali as i could not get my mobile to work with the local sim card, i think that as my phone was a older Nokia it was not suitable. It is cheaper to ring Aus with a Bali sim card so take a unlocked phone with you or buy one over there. In some places you will need your passport to get a phone or a sim card. Click on this link for a web blog on mobile phones in Bali and what type. * Mobile Phone Link *

Do not pay to much for a sim card, when i went to the Maharaja shopping center to get one the sellers in their little kiosks wanted 400,000.00 rupiah about Aus $40.00, i got my driver Mickey to go and get one and he paid 150,000.00 rupiah. If you pay to much for a sim card you may as well take you own phone and do not use it very much. Do not forget to activate international roaming. When buying a sim card get the salesman to fit it to your phone and activate it, have him ring from his phone to test and get the dial out codes from him.

Do you wish to phone Aus mobile to Aus mobile whilst in Bali? don’t do it! It means you are phoning Australia first and then the person you are phoning pays for the call from Aus to Bali! You pay double whammy and calls to Aus are hugely expensive from Bali. If you need to contact someone on an Aus phone in Bali – send an sms, don’t phone. If you have to do this then dial +61 etc. Click the link for all * International Phone Codes *


How to Get Around Bali

Getting Around

G'Days vehicle. Air conditioned front and rear. Ph from your land line 00116281338760074

In Bali there is no public transport but you can get around.

* In places like Kuta the streets can get very congested and parking may be a problem so walking is a option as the beach, shops and hotels are close by.

* In Denpasar you can get taxis in the form of cars or people movers. If you need a taxi as a car you can use Bluebird Taxi’s as these have meters and for short rides are cheap. If you are not up to bartering just yet these are a good choice. As you get the feel of how much it costs for a short trip you can try the other taxi’s and barter your fare before you get in and this should get you a safe ride at a price you are happy with. There are also private cars or MPV’s who will approach you as you walk down the street or leave a shopping center and all that is required is to barter your fare.

taxi kiosk bali

* When you get through the airport and if your hotel is not picking you up, you will need a taxi { you can pre book a driver read on about our drivers } you can walk across the road via a cross walk directly out front and get transport there. This can be confronting as you will get swamped with offers of transport and will need to barter your fare, or as you exit the building before you cross the road and on your RH side you will find a taxi kiosk. Tell them where you wish to go, pay them and you will get a receipt. Wait a bit and your taxi driver will walk across the road and escort you to his vehicle. This cost us Rupiah 55,000 per person { about Aus $7.50 } to go to Legian { refer to our page Where are we } and it will then give you some idea of cost going elsewhere. For families it would be better to pre book a pick up from G’day, you will need the room for the extra luggage. Going via taxi or pre booked transport will give you your first taste of the chaos that is Bali traffic. Note that Taxi prices aren’t that negotiable to or from the airport, as the driver must pay a tax for entry into the airport grounds – outside you will find that travel over a similar distance will cost less. The taxis we got at the airport ( Bluebird ) would only allow 2 people per car plus luggage, G’day and Mickey can take 4 each plus luggage or 6 each if hired for a trip.

* Hotels can help organize bus tours.

* If you have a international drivers licence you can hire cars, mpvs or a motor bike.

* Some tour packages have a pick up and return service.

* If you stay in the quieter places like Sanur a taxi will be expensive so private transport is the way to go.http://firsttimebali.com/transport/

Haggling and Money Tips Bali Shopping in Legian

Haggling is a way of life in Bali and they seem disappointed if you do not join into the spirit of it. At first haggling if u are like us { first timers, tired, hot, sweaty and jet lagged } can be a chore. Try not to buy anything on the first day you arrive, wait until you have had the chance to understand the prices and until you are confident to engage in bargaining and don’t be tempted to buy anything on the beaches as the prices can be more expensive compared with the small stalls in the streets of Kuta. When buying anything, anywhere, market stalls, transport or places that sell tourist goods, if you do not haggle you will pay to much.

In the fixed price shops ask for discount as there is a good chance you will get one. Haggling should be done in good humor and do not get to serious as the difference between a shirt or transport that costs Rupiah 55,000 or Rupiah 45,000 is only about $1.20 Aus. Check the Currency images below. When haggling i start at less than half the asking price and knowing it is unlikely that i will get what i want at that price i work up.

Sometimes if you buy more than one you can get it at half price and remember during haggling to say ” i brought one yesterday at this price ” or ” i can buy one down the road at this price. If the haggling was done in good humor by both parties and the price is agreed on i give a tip to the merchant and this can be part of the Bali experience. Some street merchants can be a bit aggressive and if so just walk away or if you want to buy get what u want as cheap as u can and no tip.

Some market stalls promise various things at very cheap prices to get you to enter, then when you look, whatever you look at is suddenly “really good quality” so is double the price they enticed you in with. If you want to buy start the haggling process by looking at various things in the market stall first even if you have already decided what you want.

Take your time – being on holiday u should have lots of that and Balinese people are generally in no hurry , then ask for an opening price. Depending on this and how much I want to pay, I’ll generally offer either half or less than the opening price. When you have reached the maximum price you are prepared to pay, if they don’t budge, walk away slowly. Usually (thought not always) they’ll run after you to agree to the price. Some find haggling with men easier than women who are hard bargainers.

Money Tips

Bali, being part of Indonesia, uses the Indonesian currency, the Rupiah (abbreviated, Rp.) as its monetary unit. Banknotes come in a range of denominations, including the commonly available Rp.100,000, Rp.50,000, Rp.20,000, Rp.10,000, Rp.5,000, Rp.2,000, Rp.1,000, there are coins but they are basically worthless. I put our coins in the hotel donation jar.All of the notes and coins are reasonably distinctive, but take care while you are getting used to dealing with the cash as there are a mix of old and new styles in circulation. Click on the four images to see what the major notes are and approx Aus Equivalent. Any notes below Rp.20,000 are used for change and/or tipping.

Exchange rates have run up to around Rp.10,000 to one U.S. dollar, or around Rp.8,000 to one Australian dollar ( exchange rates vary day to day currently we the are same as the US dollar ). Every Hotel clerk , merchant or street hawker know the current rates but expect a lesser rate when converting to Rupiah, as commissions will be charged on the conversion transactions. You will get a better rate from a bank but finding a bank can be a pain so we went to a local shop called Circle K { these are all over Denpasar } and are like a Aussie Deli, you can also buy supplies of Bintang there .

Foreign money can be exchanged at most banks in Bali. Banking hours are usually from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and until 1.00 p.m. Saturday. Money can also be changed at the airport, at hotel cashiers, and at authorised money changers (found in almost every medium to large village and city). The exchange rates are published daily in newspapers and are usually posted prominently wherever money can be changed. Most authorised money changers operate seven days a week, and remain open daily until about 10:00 p.m. Most major credit cards are acceptable at hotels, large restaurants, department stores, travel agencies and many businesses that cater to the tourist trade, including galleries, arts and craft sellers.

* Money Changers
Be careful when changing your money. Always check the exchange rate and commission (if any) the money changer is taking. Remember to count your money before you leave the money changer, a reputable money changer will let you count your money before you hand them yours and give you a receipt and ask them to show you the calculation on their calculator. For online currency converter click on the flag.

International yacht race from Fremantle to Bali officially launched

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

FSC VC & Consul on Sue Sea
Consul & FSC VC in front of Miss Saigon
The 22nd November marked the start of a new era of ‘big boat’ ocean racing in Western Australia with the official launch of the Visit Indonesia Fremantle to Bali 2011 event hosted by Fremantle Sailing Club.

Fremantle Sailing Club Vice Commodore Kaye Riseley announced Visit Indonesia as the major event sponsor, through a five-event partnership with the Indonesian Government’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, starting in 2011.

“After months of planning, Fremantle Sailing Club is thrilled to be officially announcing the return of international ocean racing to Western Australia - after a gap of 14 years.

“In partnership with the Indonesian Government Ministry of Culture and Tourism we look forward to the Race becoming the premier offshore sailing event on the Western Australian sailing calendar and possibly even being known as the Sydney to Hobart of the West.”

“At 1440 nautical miles, the event is more than two-and-a-half times the distance of the Sydney to Hobart, so it will be a real challenge for competitors,” Vice Commodore Riseley said.

Representing the Indonesian Government, Consul General of the WA Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia Syarief Syamsuri expressed their enthusiasm and support for the event.

"We are pleased to be partnering with the Fremantle Yacht Club for the Fremantle to Bali 2011 Race and look forward to the opportunity of promoting our beautiful country to sailing enthusiasts and welcoming competitors to Bali.

“We believe the event will assist in promoting positive relationships between Australia and Indonesia through sporting links, and also through an event that truly symbolises a connection between our two nations,” he said.

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the first Fremantle-Bali race. The event has not been held since 1997 and the Fremantle Sailing Club looks forward to bringing highly competitive international ‘big boat’ racing back to Perth.

Event Patron and Australian yachting legend Rolly Tasker competed in the first Fremantle to Bali race in 1981 and still holds the record time of six days, 15 hours and 39 minutes in his yacht Siska.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit said the event would be a great boost for the local economy.

“The Fremantle to Bali race represents great opportunity for Fremantle businesses and residents. We look forward to welcoming competitors and showing them the delights of our great port city,” said Mayor Pettit.

The Visit Indonesia Fremantle to Bali 2011 comprises an ocean rally commencing 23 April, an official yacht race from 26 April, and the two-day Visit Indonesia Festival on 25 and 26 April 2011. Depending on the weather, the fleet is expected to start crossing the finishing line at the Royal Bali Yacht club from 29 April 2011.


Bali breast explosion

* Source: Global Times
* [08:44 November 23 2010]
* Comments

"It was really a nightmare!" recalled Zhou Xiao'ou, a 40-year-old woman in Chongqing, who had both her breast implants removed on November 5 after the left one broke following a "breast enhancement massage" in Bali.

Zhou, a businesswoman who deals in construction materials, said her breast felt numb and a little painful after the firmly rolled a wooden ball around on it during a holiday visit to the Indonesian resort island.

She had neglected to tell him that she had implants and the force of the massage apparently broke the gel sack.

A month later she said her breast was indeed larger, (the right one remained the same size) but it was too painful to be touched and was inflamed and a medical exam showed that it was hemorrhaging.

After having the implants removed, Zhou said she is content now with her "natural" look.

Nusa Penida-Bali Marine Protected Area Declared

Klungkung District Commits to Conservation and Sustainable Resources Management

NUSA PENIDA, BALI, INDONESIA — November 21, 2010 — Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Fadel Muhammad and District Head of Klungkung I Wayan Candra officially launched Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Penida Island, The Nature Conservancy announced today. The 20,057-hectare Nusa Penida MPA, established by Klungkung District Ordinance No. 12, is aimed to protect the area’s rich marine and coastal life and to support local marine tourism and fisheries. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Klungkung District Government together with the people of Nusa Penida, the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Affairs and The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia Marine Program, with assistance from the USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership.

Minister Muhammad said that the Nusa Penida MPA will contribute to the government's target of protecting 20 million hectares of coastal ecosystems and marine areas by 2020. “The establishment of MPAs in some areas in Indonesia, including Nusa Penida, is a concrete step taken by the government to implement the plan of action under the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security,” says Fadel. The Initiative is a commitment led by the Indonesian Government along with the governments of the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. © Andreas Muljadi/TNC
Indonesian Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Fadel Muhammad launches the Nusa Penida MPA
Photo © Andreas Muljadi/TNC

Candra, the District Head of Klungkung, explains that the waters around Nusa Penida have the highest marine biodiversity in Bali. “You can encounter Mola mola [oceanic sunfish], which is a rare and unique treat. They average about two meters in size and they appear between July and September. Mola mola sightings are a big draw for divers from around the world, who come to Nusa Penida just for the occasion.”

According to a marine ecology study by international marine experts . Emre Turak and Gerry Allen in 2009, there are about 296 species of coral reefs and 576 species of fish in Nusa Penida,. A Conservancy-led survey found there are 1,419 hectares of coral reefs, 230 hectares of mangrove forest containing 13 different species of mangroves and 108 seagrass fields containing eight types of seagrass.

Next steps for the Nusa Penida MPA include zoning, long term planning, forming managing bodies and developing a long-term funding mechanism that can ensure local ecological and economic resources continue to enrich the region’s people and wildlife. With the support and involvement of stakeholders in Nusa Penida and the District of Klungkung, the effective and sustainable management of the Nusa Penida MPA is a real possibility.

“We appreciate the District Government of Klungkung and the people of Nusa Penida for establishing their area as a conservation zone,” says Arwandrija Rukma, the Conservancy’s Indonesia Country Representative “We will continue our successful cooperation with the community government and international development agencies to create effective MPAs that benefit people.”

Also present at the launch were the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, the Governor of Bali, village leaders, fishing and seaweed farming representatives, marine tourism operators, local teachers and students and representatives of local and international NGOs.


AirAsia president director Dharmadi announced in Darwin on Tuesday that daily flights would begin from December 23 between Darwin and Denpasar in Bali

Asian airline to establish Darwin hub
Larine Statham
November 23, 2010 - 2:39PM


Budget airline AirAsia will establish its fourth Australian hub in Darwin.

Indonesia AirAsia president director Dharmadi announced in Darwin on Tuesday that daily flights would begin from December 23 between Darwin and Denpasar in Bali.

AirAsia will become the second airline to fly the route currently serviced by JetStar.
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AirAsia already operates flights out of Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast, primarily to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Concerns have been raised this year about the fees charged by Northern Territory Airports for carriers to operate out of Darwin Airport, as well as the flight time restrictions imposed on airlines.

Earlier this month, Tiger Airways cancelled flights, on which some passengers were already booked, between Darwin and Melbourne for a period of almost two months due to poor demand.

Mr Dharmadi told reporters in Darwin on Tuesday that AirAsia would trial the route for up to six months but that he was confident of its success.

"We will stay as long as you fly ... hopefully forever," he said.

He said the low-cost airline had not dumped any of its routes, either in Australia or Asia, since it began operating a decade ago.

He said the cost of operating out of Darwin per unit would reduce as passenger load numbers increased.

Mr Dharmadi said Bali had always been a very popular short break destination for Australians but added that Denpasar was fast becoming an AirAsia hub for connecting flights into other parts of Asia.

He said he hoped the move would result in more Indonesians visiting the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory Airports chief executive officer Ian Kew said "exciting new airlines" were being attracted to Darwin to establish themselves in the "Australian gateway to Asia" market.

He said $40 million would be spent expanding the airport over the next two years.

"We welcome competition ... and I know the boss of JetStar will welcome it as well," Mr Kew said, adding that negotiations with AirAsia had been running for about 12 months.

He said Darwinians had been "cut off" in the past and were forced to travel through places like Brisbane to get to Asia.

To celebrate the new route Mr Dharmadi said 10,000 $99(AUD) one-way flights would go on sale at midnight on Tuesday, to fly between December 23 and November, 2011.

He said that when the four-day sale concluded, the flights would typically be priced between $175 to $200, but that they could cost up to $400.

NT Tourism Minister Malarndirri McCarthy said, in a statement released on Tuesday, inbound flights would boost the NT economy.

The Top End currently attracts about 11,000 visitors from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand each year.

The tourism industry employs around 18,000 people in the NT and contributes $1.7 billion to the economy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unruly man forces flight to land in Broome

November 21, 2010 - 4:44PM


A passenger's unruly behaviour forced a flight from Bali to Melbourne to make an unscheduled landing in Broome on Sunday.

The 148 passengers on the Virgin Blue flight were stranded for several hours in Broome.

One passenger, Katie Payne, said his behaviour caused the pilot and flight crew to fear for the safety of those on board and the plane was diverted to Broome, where it was met by police at 1am (WST).
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Ms Payne said two prison guards on board the flight helped the crew handcuff the man and take him to the back of the plane.

"He was becoming increasingly aggressive to the point where the pilot and the crew feared for the other passengers' safety," she told the ABC Radio.

"The staff on board were trying to keep us calm while it was all happening because it was a pretty unusual and quite frightening circumstance."

One of the off-duty prison guards, Mark Cornell, said the man was acting so aggressively they had difficulty trying to restrain him to his seat.

"He had his arms up in the air, he was twisting and he had slight muscle spasms at the time," Mr Cornell told ABC Radio.

"By the time we landed his muscle spasms were ... almost violent and we were having trouble actually keeping him pinned to the seat."

Virgin Blue spokeswoman Melissa Thomson said the man was handcuffed because he disobeyed instructions and requests by the crew.

Sergeant Geoff Dorrington, of Broome police, said the passenger, a 40-year-old Melbourne man, did not threaten anyone on the plane but had displayed "bizarre" behaviour that had alarmed passengers and crew.

"He has an undiagnosed mental condition and has been admitted to hospital," he told AAP.

"He will be flown to Perth for treatment."

He did not appear to have been affected by drugs and would not face criminal charge, Sgt Dorrington said.

Ms Thomson said the 148 passengers had been put up in hotels and would be flown back to Melbourne later on Sunday.

An engineer had to be flown from Perth to check the plane, which was reported to have made a heavy landing.

© 2010 AAP http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/unruly-man-forces-flight-to-land-in-broome-20101121-182av.html

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New on DVD: 'Eat Pray Love' Filmed in Bali

DVD Eat Pray Love: This movie serves up nearly 2 1/2 hours of banal self-help platitudes, accompanied by soothing, picture-postcard images of Italy, India and Bali. The characters speak in the clich├ęs of spiritual healing, and it implies you can achieve that by quitting your job and spending tens of thousands of dollars on a trip around the world. Yet there's also no denying that, for certain moviegoers, especially those who feel battered and defeated by a lousy economy and an uncertain future, it's going to strike a chord. The Elizabeth Gilbert memoir upon which the film is based did not sell more than 7 million copies for nothing. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

-- Christopher Kelly

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/11/19/2645532/new-on-dvd-eat-pray-love.html#ixzz15smIdhU7

Bali Baby!

By Bob Schiff

A scenic view in Bali. (Bob Schiff)

Editor's Note: Our roving international correspondent, Bob Schiff, has been traveling throughout Asia, reporting on the obscure and exotic. Here is his fourth of many communiques detailing his travels. Enjoy Shiff's musings on the locals, customs, accommodations, and certainly the visual and descriptive majesty of the sites he is visiting and documenting.

A three hour van from Ijen to the port on the western tip of Java, a half hour ferry ride across to Bali followed by a three hour bus ride to Denpasar and a half hour taxi ride and I arrived at my hotel in Legian. I think everyone has an image of Bali in their minds - idyllic tropical island with beautiful white sand beaches and an exotic culture unlike anything back home. Wrong - at least in the tourist area of south Bali. South Bali is a heavily overbuilt and crowded tourist scene. Australian is the predominant language spoken here, mate. There are a few areas that range from high-end Seminyak to the young and wild party enclave of Kuta. The beach runs all along the western shore but with all the development it's not very inviting. It does have killer sunsets though. Rip tides claim quite a few tourists; three people drown on Kuta beach the day I took my first surfing lesson.

Padang Padang beach, about 45 minutes south of the Legian/Kuta area.

Surfing is huge throughout south Bali. The breaks off the entire southern peninsula are legendary. Most of the rental motorbikes have u-shaped brackets to hold surf boards. Surfer shacks and guesthouses dot the cliffs of the southern Bukit peninsula.

There is a great beach near the southern end of Bukit called Padang Padang that runs true to my vision of Bali - tiny crescent of white sand surrounded by steep cliffs. Calm turquoise water with a surf break beyond the bay out in the Indian Ocean. Lunch is available from a traditional warang right on the beach. I went there three times during my week stay in south Bali.

Unlike the rest of Indonesia, Bali is primarily Hindu; a beautiful interpretation of Hindu unique to Bali. After weeks of traveling through Java during Ramadan it was refreshing to get to somewhere where there was pork and a vibrant nightlife. The Balinese dishes are a nice change from the rather bland and somewhat limited food choices in Java. My plan is to wait out the rest of Ramadan here in Bali. The holy month ends with the two day festival of Idul Fitri and a nine day holiday of Lebaran when Muslim people go back to their villages to celebrate with their families. It is a crowded time to travel in Indonesia. In Bali many of the workers (mostly from Java) go back home and many of the rich from Jakarta come to Bali with their families for holiday. Many hotels are booked during this period and prices are firm.

Padang Padang beach.

Now this is a magical place. Ubud is in the hills a little over an hour north of the south Bali tourist area. Steeped in the Balinese rendition of Hindu culture it exudes charm. Incredibly green rice fields and tropical mountain jungle everywhere. Many of the vistas are breathtaking. Unfortunately it is deservedly-so a major tourist destination. The roads were never designed to handle the larger vehicles used by the hotels and tour operators to move people around so traffic is a nightmare. Not unlike Rt. 27 in the Hamptons in August. On a motorbike with no visible enforcement of traffic regulations I easily skirt the worst of the congestion.

There are endless performances and religious celebrations and festivals. Every evening just after sunset one can hear a mix of many gamelan musical performances throughout the village. One can't help but feel the spirituality and ancient mysticism in this special place. One evening there is a parade from the main temple in town to another a few kilometers away. Most of the local townspeople, dressed in traditional costume, participate in the procession.

Tough to find good value with accommodations but I did luck into two great places for my week long stay. There are many four and five-star hotels and spas and plenty of great restaurants. Nightlife is limited. As I'm exploring the area by motorbike I'm distracted by the sweet smell of barbeque from a smoking grill on the sidewalk in front of a crowded warang - Naughty Nuri's Place. It's packed with Asian tourists. I strike up a conversation with a table of local expats and am invited to sit down. One of the guys, Brian, is a very funny New Yorker and immediately we hit it off. He and his wife, a local named Nuri own the place. It's the same scene as at Cyril's table in Amagansett - a group of middle-age guys sitting around all afternoon drinking and telling tales while the place just jams with business. I feel right at home and spend about five afternoons there with my new friends. Oh, and easily the best pork ribs for thousands of miles.

The Balinese architecture around Ubud is spectacular. Dozens of temples and traditional family compounds. There is a large artist community and many galleries. Crafts - wood carvings, stone carvings, architectural details, garden features, etc. - from all over Indonesia are presented to the wholesale export trade in the Ubud area. I'm tempted to try my luck at a container of goods but quickly come to the realization that I'd most likely loose my shirt. Plus, I'm not ready to stop traveling yet.

Finally I tear myself away from the beauty of Ubud and my new friends at Naughty Nuri's and head to Sanur to sort out transportation to Gili Trawangan island – my next port of call.


Sunset at Jimbaran beach.

Friday, November 19, 2010

World antivirus vendors gather in Bali

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 11/19/2010 9:27 AM | National

JAKARTA: Antivirus vendors from all over the world gathered in Nusa Dua, Bali, for a conference starting Thursday to discuss malware.

Alfons Tanujaya, from vaksin.com, the conference organizing committee, said the 2010 conference attracted 150 participants from all over the world.

The annual conference, called AVAR for Association of Anti-Virus Asia Researchers, gets its main sponsorship from ESET, an antivirus vendor from Slovakia. ESET sent eight antivirus experts to the event, tempointeraktif.com reported on Thursday.

Alfons said AVAR was mainly an association of antivirus vendors in Asia Pacific, but it had grown and the 13th conference had attracted participants from countries outside Asia Pacific.

This is the first time Indonesia has hosted the AVAR conference, Alfons said. The previous 12 were held in places like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Australia and China. — JP

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Green property becomes global requirement

Burhanuddin Abe, Contributor, Jakarta | Thu, 11/18/2010 9:41 AM

Environmentally friendly properties are now more than a requirement, green and energy saving properties have become a global trend that is revolutionizing the property industry and have become a symbol of technological progress as well.

The green property industry began in the early 1990s with the related criteria starting in England in 1993 and was made popular in the United States by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) which issues a certificate called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Soon developers began to apply an ecological framework in their properties. This was in line with the global demand for green and energy saving buildings which in the long term will reduce the exploitation of natural resources.

“Sooner or later environmentally friendly properties will be the consumers’ main requirement especially in major cities and the property industry has an important role in developing such projects,” said Stephanus D. Satriyo, associate director for property and facilities management of PT Cushman & Wakefield Indonesia.

Well, how about developers here in Indonesia? Are they really concerned about the issue? Unfortunately not totally, because it is still under discussion. Moreover major tenants, like multinational corporations, are not demanding “green” buildings for their office space here.

Actually such major tenants are in a good bargaining position to demand a green building as they use huge spaces for their offices and pay a lot of rent.

However, in Indonesia we now have the Green Building Council of Indonesia (GBCI) which was established in 2009 comprising professional construction service providers, developers, education and research institutions, professional associations and individual members concerned about the

GBCI is a member of World Green Building Council (WGBC) with headquarters in Toronto, Canada, which currently has 64 countries as members and only acknowledges the existence of one GBC in each country.

GBCI conducts various extensive awareness and education activities for the public and provides Green Building Certification in Indonesia based on an evaluation standard that is uniquely Indonesian and is called Greenship.

The construction of such green buildings in Indonesia will be sustainable ecologically, energy saving, economically efficient, competitive and socially responsible as a global citizen.

In short such green buildings will greatly contribute to our sustained existence on planet earth.

However, as GBCI is only one year old it has not been able to do much. This is understandable as green buildings are comparatively more costly than conventional buildings. To obtain the green certificate there are numerous prerequisites. The construction must not damage the environment, the materials used must be environmentally friendly (conforming with the reduce, reuse and recycle principle), and be water and energy efficient.

Undeniably a small number of developers have started to construct green buildings and some offices and apartments are called green buildings although they only include a number of green aspects, such as a green area that is more spacious than the area of the building, the air conditioning is no longer centralized and the water is recycled.

Unfortunately in Indonesia there is no building that is totally green to date, because until now no building has been certified as a green building.

The fact is there is no demand for green buildings yet. Moreover there is a misperception that
such environmentally friendly buildings are costly and not feasible business wise.

In developed countries the view point is totally different. Green buildings are not only supported and appreciated but have a high resale value.

Actually this trend is not limited to developed countries. In Mexico, India, China and Vietnam green buildings have already been constructed based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), initiated by the Green Building Council of the United States.

Properties are enjoying positive growth worldwide, but the demand for green properties here in Indonesia is still at the discussion stage.

Indeed eco property was the main focus of the 61st World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) in Bali from May 24 to May 28 this year. The congress titled “Save the World: Green Shoots for Sustainable Real Estate” was probably a turning point for all stakeholders in the property business to make a real contribution toward sustainable existence.

Although at present there is no real demand for green buildings it is possible that in three or four years multinational corporations that are concerned about the environment will demand buildings with green certificates.

Indeed there is also the impression that the government pays little attention to this matter as no regional administration or government has issued any related regulations although eco-property issues emerged five years ago.

Chairman of the Association of Housing Development in Indonesia (Apersi) Eddy Ganefo said that the central as well as the regional governments should actually be proactive in the formulation and application of regulations on eco property so that developers have proper guidance. “It has been very slow to date while many countries are already applying this concept to reduce global warming,” he told Koran Jakarta.

He said there should be sanctions as well as incentives like discounts in the permits and Land and Building tax discounts (PBB) and banks can lower their interest rates for home loans for such green buildings or apartments.

Eddy said that the incentives were important because green properties are huge investments so developers can be persuaded to implement this concept by reducing their production costs.

As a matter of fact basically developers welcome the concept of green buildings, while at the same time many things have to be prepared, such as guidelines, equipment and other related standards. GCBI is expected to disseminate information on the green building concept. But most importantly green buildings are not only the responsibility of developers but all of us to preserve mother earth.

Environmentally Friendly, Energy saving

What is delightful about green property is the energy saving building design, for example aerodynamic skyscrapers that are stable in the face of wind pressure and the use of filters to absorb sunlight to save on electricity and air conditioner use.

The recycle, reuse and reinvest technology also saves energy. Some of the criteria of environment friendly property is they should save energy, use clean water and process waste, have quality air and atmosphere and energy management.

Today there are many eco friendly products available, for example Dulux.

The go green trend is also widespread in the paint industry. Using Solar Reflectivity Technology, Dulux Weathershield Keep Cool can reduce the absorption of sunlight so that the temperature of the walls inside the building is reduced by 5 degrees Centigrade hence saving a 15 percent saving on electricity is possible per year.

This high quality paint is committed to being a green product. Currently almost all Dulux products have been given the Singapore Green Label certificate to indicate that they are environmentally friendly.

Heat from the sun and rain can damage exterior walls; fungi can grow on the walls and the color can fade. To solve this problem Akzonobel Paints has come up with Dulux Weathershield Max and Pro.

Both paints have Triple Protect formula and contain 100 percent Acrylic Latex which is elastic. The paints can close thin and small cracks so that water does not go inside.

Latex protects the wall from the heat and weather. Latex is made from rubber and is very elastic. One can easily clean any stain on it. It is also combined with Acrylic or Polyvinyl.

Dulux Weathershield is based on Elastoshield technology that covers cracks and prevents dampness or the growth of fungi. Color Lock inside Dulux Weathershield Max can protect walls from ultra violet rays.

Yes, indeed global warming has made almost everyone concerned about the preservation of the


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Telkomsel Dials Up Drive for Cellphone Money-Transfer Service

Editors Note: I wish before Telkomsel launches any new services they would make sure that their current services are working well. My friends and I who have Telkomsel Kartu Halu sim cards have been experiencing terrible service for over 6 mths. now.
We are sure that it is because of over subscribing to the users and not keeping the size & quality of equipment at par for the amount of new users they have .

Complaints fall on ignorant ears with the attitude of a a monopoly that doesn't care about their service.

Wake up Telkomsel with blogs and tweets the word gets around and it won't be long before you have competition that hurts.
Your Truly, One angry, fed up customer.

Shirley Wibisono | November 18, 2010

Jakarta. Telkomsel, the country’s largest mobile service provider, has officially launched a new service that allows customers to transfer money using their cellphones.

Customers using T-Cash Kirim Uang, or Telkomsel Cash Transfer, send text messages to transfer funds, which recipients can claim at customer service centers and thousands of Indomaret branches in Java, Bali and Lampung.

Ricardo Indra, Telkomsel’s corporate communications manager, said the service, which became fully functional last week, was the first of its kind in the country.

“Our target market is people who do not have bank accounts, especially in rural areas,” he said on Thursday.

Subscribers need to register for prepaid e-wallet deposits, which function like bank accounts. Funds from the account can be sent to another person, who will receive a transaction number on his or her cellphone.

The recipient must show this transaction number to an authorized merchant like Indomaret to claim the money.

The transaction fee for receiving cash is Rp 1,000 (11 cents) and Rp 5,000 for sending cash. Fund transfers can reach as high as Rp 1 million, with a monthly limit of Rp 20 million per user.

Telkomsel will share an unspecified percentage of revenue with authorized merchants.

Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, granted a license for the T-Cash service in February after trials were carried out in May.

Bambang Supriogo, vice president of the T-Cash Management, said in a press release that Indomaret was the only outfit authorized for payouts but more partners would be added next year.

“By the end of 2011, we’re expecting revenue to grow by eight to ten times,” he said, adding that T-Cash was a cheaper and faster alternative to remittance services offered by couriers.

After its soft launch in November 2007, Telkomsel hoped to have five million T-Cash subscribers within two years.

However, only three million users have so far registered — about 3 percent of total Telkomsel subscribers.

However, Supriogo said T-Cash and similar services like top-up vouchers and bill payment through electronic transfers had already seen success.

For these, the company has partnered with more than 260 retailers and corporations across Indonesia, with more than 7,000 sales points from Aceh to Papua.

A great day out with the animals in Bali!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Everyone loves a day at a safari park and Bali Safari and Marine Park is no exception as I discovered on my recent trip to Bali and the great news is also that you can now book a great day out at Bali Safari and Marine Park before you even leave Australia for Bali, with Bali Success Tours

So, out, if you are looking for an unforgettable day out Bali Success Tours’ Bali Safari and Marine Park package is for you at $A100 for adults and $A90 for children from 2yrs to 12 yrs, with great add ons, including: -

* Entry into Bali Safari & Marine Park
* 2 Safari Journeys (Tram Ride)
* 45 Minute Elephant Safari
* 10 Minute Camel Ride
* Unlimited Animal Encounters (cuddle the baby animals)
* Professional Animal Photo
* 5 Course Lunch/Dinner at Tsavo Restaurant
* Free use of the Water Park
* Entry into all shows
* Unlimited Fun Zone Rides
* Souvenir

Wow, what could be better, a really fun filled day out for all the family, with the Elephant Back Safari offering a breathtaking experience of a 45 minute elephant ride through African themed bush land surrounded by wildebeests, zebras, and rhinoceros, roaming free and have the once in a lifetime experience of dining with the lions at Tsavo restaurant, with a delicious five course meal up close and personal with these magnificent animals with just a wall of glass to separate you.

You also receive a 10 minute camel ride, unlimited animal encounters, two Safari Journeys and unlimited rides at the Fun Zone! Amazing and it gets better with Bali Safari Park providing a free shuttle service with pick up points located in popular areas of Bali.

Bali Safari & Marine Park opening hours areMon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat & Sun 8.30am - 5 pm and Tsavo restaurant is open late every night.
Need I say more, except that remember that Bali Safari and Marine Park can be booked and paid for in Australian dollars before you even leave Australia, so for more information visit: http://www.balisuccesstours.com.au/bali/About_Us-Bali_Safari_Park_Rhino_Package.htm

Please continue with me this week as I continue my amazing journey through Indonesia and Bali, discovering fabulous Indonesia and Bali product, not only in articles hot from the destinations, but also amazing on location videos – for the two next weeks starting last Monday 8 November on eTB and eTBTV go on location from Indonesia and Bali brought to you by Garuda Indonesia and Garuda Orient Holidays.

John Alwyn-Jones reporting for e-Travel Blackboard and e-Travel Blackboard TV on location from Indonesia and Bali brought to you by Garuda Indonesia and Garuda Orient Holidays.


Bali Pushing for Ambitious Switch to Organic Farming Methods by 2013

Made Arya Kencana | November 17, 2010

Denpasar. The Bali administration has announced it would allocate Rp 10.3 billion ($1.1 million) to help local farmers adopt organic farming methods by 2013.

Ten farmers’ collectives applied for the program when the administration first rolled it out in 2009, and received Rp 200 million each to change their operations to comply with organic farming standards.

They also used the money to buy 20 head of cattle each.

This year, 50 collectives have applied for the program, according to Made Putra Suryawan, head of the Bali Agricultural Office.

Under the program, the administration guides the farmers on how to integrate their crop and livestock farming operations through developing biogas collectors, compost-processing units and reforestation efforts.

“The farmers who participated in 2009 now produce their own compost and biogas for their own household needs,” Putra said on Wednesday.

He added that in 2011, his office expected to enlist 100 farmers’ collectives from across the island, mainly known as a resort.

“By 2013, we hope to have helped 350 collectives successfully practice organic farming, so that Bali will be known as an organic island,” he said.

Putra added that under the program, the administration hoped to ensure that 70 percent of the island’s produce was grown organically by 2013.

One of the steps toward achieving this will be phasing out the current subsidy on chemical fertilizers and promote the use of organic varieties.

This year, half of the provincial fertilizer subsidy of Rp 4 billion has been allocated to organic fertilizers, Putra said.

“Next year, we’ll provide a Rp 3 billion subsidy for organic fertilizers and Rp 1 billion for chemical fertilizers,” he said.

“In 2012, chemical fertilizers will no longer be subsidized by the administration.”

He added that with organic produce fetching higher prices at the market than regular crops, the switch would also result in a boost in income for local farmers.

However, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations has blasted the administration’s target for making the switch to organic farming by 2013 as overly ambitious.

Kauci Gunanjar, director of the Manikaya Foundation, said an island-wide switch to organic farming would require a lengthy and sustained education campaign that could last more than five years, given the farmers’ decades-long dependence on chemical fertilizers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, Announced as 2011 Global Spa

Summit Platinum Sponsor
With Summit Set for Bali Next May, Partnership Shines Spotlight on Indonesia’s Ancient, and Rapidly-Growing, Spa and Wellness Culture

Quote startWe’re delighted that senior executives of spa companies and associations from across the globe have chosen beautiful Bali as their venue to convene the 2011 Global Spa Summit.Quote end

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 9, 2010

The Global Spa Summit (GSS), the premier annual event for spa and wellness industry executives, today announced that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, has joined as a Platinum sponsor. The GSS and the Ministry will work together to promote the growth of the worldwide spa and wellness industries, and to shine a global spotlight on Bali’s traditional - and fast developing, modern - spa culture.

The Summit travels to Asia for the first time in its five-year history in 2011 (a market of 4.1 billion people, or 60% of the world’s population). The Summit agenda will explore the diverse spa markets within the “Asia-Pacific umbrella,” the fastest-growing spa economy in the world.

“We’re delighted that senior executives of spa companies and associations from across the globe have chosen beautiful Bali as their venue to convene the 2011 Global Spa Summit,” said Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Indonesia. “And I’m convinced that Indonesia, with its long history of traditional herbal medicine, spiritual meditation, massage and other healing arts is a strong representative of the best of spa tradition.”

“While we were courted by numerous extraordinary destinations across Asia, last year’s Summit delegates overwhelmingly indicated that their first choice was Bali,” said Pete Ellis, Chairman of the Board of the GSS. “I want to thank the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism for their strong support of the Summit, and for preparing a warm welcome to the hundreds of industry leaders that will gather there next spring.”

The Balinese Spa Scene:

Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands consisting of many distinct ethnic and cultural groups, offers a wealth of indigenous, centuries-old spa and wellness traditions. And Bali, with its unique spa culture dating back to the 15th century, is where the most varied spa and wellness centers can be found: from modest, open-air wooden structures to award-winning, super-modern luxury spa resorts.

Bali (expected to attract 2.5 million leisure visitors in 2010), has been named the “Asian Spa Capital” twice in the last five years , and was also honored as the “Best Island in the World” by Travel and Leisure magazine in 2010. Beyond establishing itself as a world “spa capital,” Bali is renowned for its sophisticated art forms, including dance, painting, music, sculpture, etc. As with each Summit, delegates will be immersed in the local cultural and spa scene.

The Global Spa Summit will take place from May 15-18, 2011 (with pre- and post-trips to various spas in Bali planned). The specific venue for the 2011 Summit in Bali will be announced in upcoming weeks.

Registration has opened, and can be accessed here: http://www.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=7b1d0897-311b-404c-9e4e-cf14c664eb9a

For further information about registration/sponsorship opportunities, contact: info (at) globalspasummit (dot) org or visit: http://www.globalspasummit.org

Press inquiries: contact Beth McGroarty at beth (at) rbicom (dot) com or +1 213 300 0107

About Global Spa Summit: The Global Spa Summit is an annual event that attracts top-level executives and leaders from around the world with interest in the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors including hospitality, investment, finance, real estate, medicine, manufacturing, technology, consulting, product, tourism and other related industries attend this intimate, high-level gathering focused on advancing the spa and wellness sectors. With record attendance in 2010, the Global Spa Summit delegation in Istanbul Turkey represented 40 different countries, from all continents.