Mount Agung Update

Om Swastiastu …

Mt. Agung continues to rumble but has yet to erupt. White smoke at a height of 1,500 meters was seen over Mount Agung on October 7, 2017.

More than 100,000 have evacuated their villages with government officials unhappy that perhaps as many as half the evacuees, acting out of fear and propelled by rumors, have fled homes located in areas considered safe from an eruption. The Governor is urging those coming from safe areas to leave the temporary camps and return to their homes or, at least, stay at a local hotel. Meanwhile, inside the “danger zone” Bali’s sacred Besakih Temple and the surrounding community have gone dark, abandoned, at least temporarily, until Mount Agung’s alert level is lowered.

The Ministry of Tourism has established a Hospitality Task Force to keep the public reliably informed on all developments related to Mt. Agung. In this connection, Bali’s Governor wants those spreading hoaxes and false news about Mount Agung charged with a crime and brought to justice.

In his efforts to keep the public reliably informed, Governor Pastika has met with foreign legations in Bali and asked them to keep their home constituencies informed that Bali is still safe for holidaymakers.

The Minister of Tourism visited Bali last week to review contingency planning and meet with Bali Hospitality Task Force’s Media Center. Minister Yahya estimates that cancellations of groups to Bali may be running between 20%-30%.

Hotel News: Bali Hotel operators confirm cancellations connected to Mount Agung’s status are taking place. Meanwhile, Bali Hotels join forces to remove 1,500 kilograms of trash from beaches around Bali. And, a Balinese Woman has been named as general manager of the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah in Ubud.

Not all news this week is connected to the Mount Agung volcano. The teen-Age Son of Bali Lawmaker Appealing 4-year Prison Sentence in Murder of Army Cadet. The death of a man in North Bali last week is blamed on rabies. And, Indonesian celebrity and the Bali Zoo take flak for a magazine shoot using a captive orangutan.

 

Mount Agung Bali

Om Swastiastu …

Now 10 full days after the alert level on Bali’s volcanic Mount Agung was increased to the highest level “IV” – the volcano continues to rumble but has yet to actually erupt. The number of people who have evacuated their homes is now estimated to have surpassed 140,000 – a number officials claim is driven by fear, with perhaps half of that number fleeing homes that are, in fact, considered well out of the “danger zone” should Mt. Agung erupt.

News related to Mt. Agung dominates this week’s update. We have the latest summary update from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Meanwhile, scientist say magma that has risen from a depth of 100-kilometers below the crater to now just two-kilometers below the peak, is now at an impasse, momentary or otherwise, as its tries to break through the hardened crater floor. Satellites focused on the crater have detected a large fissure and a hotspot, both of which are now being monitored closely by scientists.

Meanwhile, the Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism insists that tourism to Bali remains unaffected by the warning connected to Mt. Agung. Governor Pastika pleads for moderation in reporting on the volcano, saying that in the event of an eruption, damage would be limited to areas immediately surrounding the mountain and far removed from the densely populated parts of Bali. Road officials have surveyed roads and bridges that could be affected by any eventual explosion of Mt. Agung.

While all eyes point to Mt. Agung, we have reports on the installation of 5 early warning sirens installed on the mountain’s slopes. The TelkomGroup has plans well in hand to keep telecommunications operating in the areas surrounding Mt. Agung in any eventuality. Banks in Karangasem are working with customer who may be economically disadvantaged by the alert warnings on Mt Agung. And, Airbnb implements an “Open House” plan for people who want to provide free, temporary housing to those displaced by developments on Mt. Agung.

Bali is witnessing an unparalleled response to the hardship of those living near Mr. Agung. Balinese are helping feed and clothe the homeless, save abandoned animals, and provide housing to fellow islanders. The Anand Ashram Foundation is providing anti-stress yoga training to evacuees. And, the villagers of Tejakula in Buleleng have welcomed those seeking refuge from the mountain with dances and music.

Bali’s crime beat last week saw the case files for those arrested in the Akasaka Discotheque drug bust in June handed to prosecutors. A South African woman has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for trying to smuggle more than a kilogram of drugs via Bali’s airport.

Official in Klungkung have postponed indefinitely the Nusa Penida Festival-IV set to start on October 5th until the Mt. Agung crisis passes.

A Balinese Ceremony of remembrance for Australian humanitarian John Fawcett will take place in Bali on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

 

NUSA LEMBONGAN

Nusa Lembongan is a small island off the southeast coast of the main island of Bali. Quickly becoming one of Bali’s most popular attractions, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in colour

Nusa Dua Bali light Festival

Nusa Dua Light Festival is the first event to be held in Peninsula Island Nusa Dua Bali. It will be held on 17 June – 30 July 2017 and will be open from 05:00 – 10:00 pm. Various shapes of lanterns will be displayed with a performance of music and there is also food and beverages stands. You can enjoy the different atmosphere in every hapes of lanterns

Nusa Penida Island – Bali

For a Spiritual journey and extraordinary holiday, you need to go to an extraordinary destination. So if you’re looking to step into a world of awe-inspiring beauty and discover experiences found nowhere else on earth, you’ve come to the right place

There are some neighboring islands near to Bali. There are 3 most famous, located around 20 km away from Bali to the south-east known as Nusa Penida Island, Nusa Ceningan Island and Nusa Lembongan Island. Each of these Islands shares their own unique tourism destination and arts. For many peoples, these three Islands might not be recognized as parts of Bali’s district. Somehow, they give a great contribution to the tourism development in Bali area. Among these three islands, Nusa Penida Island is the largest one, and also well known as the best destination for scuba diving. Although the two others islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is located separated, they’re still administratively belong to the Nusa Penida area. Administratively, the islands is a district of Klungkung regency. The Badung Strait separates the islands and Bali.

In this archipelago, specially Nusa Penida Island, you will find beautiful pure beaches and some conservation places protecting plants, birds, and also turtle. When you are diving in Nusa Penida Island, you will likely to see the large pelagic, such as Manta Ray’s (Manta Birostris) at some locations and Mola Mola (Oceanic Sunfish). If you get lucky, you will sometimes see the whale-shark too.

Bali Today

Om Swastiastu …

I’m traveling to Singapore later today to speak at a conference organized by the Ministry of Tourism at the Bugis Village Hotel on February 16th. If you’re a reader in Singapore – particularly if I can provide information on travel to Bali – I’d love to hear from you!

Leading the news this week: An earthquake on Friday in West Sumba was felt in both Bali and Lombok. A South African tourist has died in a motorcycle accident in North Kuta. A Chinese tourist has drowned at Nusa Lembongan. The body of a dead infant has been found on Kuta Beach. And, a Swedish woman claims she was raped by a motorcycle jockey in the Seminyak area.

The trial of Bali-born former Minister Jero Wacik has ended in a guilty verdict and a very light sentence. Prosecutors say they will appeal and seek a stiffer punishment.

Aviation News: Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air are reported to have been in a “near miss” flight situation over West Bali last week. The government has mandated a 5% reduction in the top economy fare that can be charged by Indonesian domestic air carriers. In response, INACA issues a statement disagreeing with the move to reduce the ceiling price on air tickets. Last week, a Lion Air Boeing 747 was forced to “return to base” in Bali after being refused overflight rights in Hong Kong. Garuda reveals plans to increase revenues by 10% in 2016 and secure a 50% market share of all domestic air travel. And, Bali’s deputy governor announces a traffic underpass will be built at the entrance to the Island’s airport.

We have two articles on investing in Bali. Bali has had a record year for foreign and domestic investment in 2015. Last week, investment rules were redrafted allowing more and greater involvement by foreign investors in the Indonesian economy.

The Bali Consumer Protection Agency criticizes PT Telkom for poor infrastructure and abysmal customer service.

Efforts to remove illegal cigarette advertising from main roads in Bali run into opposition and trickery from well-connected tobacco companies.

Blaming high taxes and exchange rates, Harley Davidson closes all its Indonesian dealerships.

Read about a special birthday party for a girl from the jungles of Sumatra held on Valentines Day at the Bali Safari and Marine Park

Bali Mice Guide

Om Swastiastu …

If you’re involved in planning corporate and meeting travel and will be in Jakarta this Thursday, consider dropping us an email to join the Launch Party for the 8th edition of the Bali MICE Guide.

In a world besieged by terror threats, Bali is maintaining a high state of security. We have coverage of the high-profile police presence in leading tourist areas of the Island; complaints that foreign visitors are not getting properly scrutinized at the Gilimanuk Port when entering Bali; and assurances from the Provincial Chief of Tourism that Bali remains a safe tourist destination.

Other leading news this week: North Bali police continue to investigate a written bomb threat delivered to a government office in Buleleng. A Bali police officer may have done irretrievable damage to his law enforcement career by joking about a bomb while waiting for a flight in Makassar. The disgraced former head of the Kuta Police precinct, removed from his post for involvement in extorting money from a group of Australian tourists, has received a one-year demotion. Tourists complain that visitors to the Sekumpul Waterfall in North Bali are subjected to repeated illegal fees demanded by local villagers.

On Saturday, a bridge on the road between Denpasar and Gilimanuk collapsed and is now causing significant traffic disruptions up and down the entire west coast of Bali.

Last week, Bali performed its first successful kidney transplant, signifying another important step in ongoing efforts to bring world-class medical care to the people of Bali.

Responding to the fast-growing travel market from India, Garuda Indonesia has declared its intent to commence flying between Mumbai and Denpasar in 2016.

The Department of Transportation, responding to protests from local taxi drivers, has banned UBER from operating in Bali with immediate effect.

Statistically speaking: The Tanah Lot Complex welcomed 3.17 million visitors in 2016. Meanwhile, Bali tentatively sets a target of 12 million foreign and domestic tourist visitors for 2016.

In the ongoing trial of the Bali-born former Minister of Tourism, Jero Wacik, prosecutors have demanded 9 years in prison and damages amounting to Rp. 18.97 billion payable to the State.

Mount Barujari Volcano in Lombok has been declared “back to normal.” Meanwhile, the lake surrounding the Mount Batur volcano in Bali is declared to be under severe environmental threat.

In other news: Bali’s Governor calls for a shift away from mass tourism to quality tourism. The Bali Agung Show at the Bali Safari and Marine Park has raised the curtain on its 1,500th performance. Immigration makes it easier to apply for a student visa or temporary stay permit by putting the process online. The traffic police have changed the rules for those applying for a motorcycle or car license.

We also have two stories to share of the triumph of the human spirit. Read about a woman on Nusa Penida who runs her own shop despite being born without arms or legs. Equally inspiring is the story of a young man who has built a technically advanced robotic arm to overcome paralysis in his left arm.

Gambuh is Feared to Frail

Various attempts were made to develop and preserve the arts of Bali, but some ancient dances are feared to extinct because there is no next generation who inherit it. “Art of gambuh for example, in addition to the artists that has been very rare, the play is also less attractive for younger generation today,” said the lecturer of Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Denpasar, I Nyoman Carita SST, MFA in Denpasar.
Master Degree of Field Study of Choreography University Of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the United States said his party is trying to revitalize gambuh dance along a prominent artist in his village, Singapadu, Gianyar.
Gambuh dance as an inspiration and a source of Balinese dance movement through the revitalization process along a prominent local artist I Ketut Muji (64), is expected to get around to collaborate with other art elements.
The effort is expected to create qualified dance movements, while still holding traditional values ??in Balinese arts.
Gambuh art, the source of all motion and dance, with the new packaging in the dance drama performances as a result of revitalization is expected to attract young people, as well as address concerns about the extinction of that ancient dance.
The revitalization results remain in the pack which is loaded with art and culture of Bali, but the performance is more attractive for audience, including tourists and international community

Limited Bali flights resume after volcanic ash eases

Some Jetstar flights between Australia and Bali have resumed after the volcanic ash cloud over the island began to retract.

Mount Rinjani on the neighbouring island of Lombok started erupting earlier this week, causing major disruptions to air travel.

The airline is only operating flights to and from Bali in daylight hours.

Some flights are still cancelled while others have been rescheduled.

“Following assessment of the latest forecast from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre this morning, our senior pilots and expert operational team have determined that the improved flying conditions around Denpasar Airport mean that we can resume limited daytime flights from Bali today,” the airline said on its website.

Virgin Australia has again cancelled its morning services and will make an announcement later today about its afternoon flights.

Passengers are being urged to check the airlines’ websites for updated flight inform

LUWAK COFFEE

We welcome you to experience our delightful FREE RANGE Kopi Luwak coffee. We are one of the first U.S importers to provide you with “Authentic Kopi Luwak” direct from the Island of Indonesia. We only offer 100% top quality Kopi Luwak and NOT a blend!
Kopi Luwak coffee is an exotic gourmet coffee, which comes from the ripest coffee berries that have been eaten and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian palm civet. The Luwak then deposits them in the jungle where the local coffee farmers carefully collect them. This process takes place in the islands of Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Bali. Kopi Luwak Coffee is known as the most expensive and rarest coffee in the world and only 500 to 700 Kg. is available per year. The beans are meticulously washed out and are roasted medium/light to keep its complex flavors that develop this desirable coffee
Kopi Luwak began showing up in North America during the 1990s due to the Starbucks-inspired gourmet coffee craze. This coffee is well known in Europe and Asia. It has been sold in the U.S. for up to $595 per pound and can cost as much as $30 for a single brewed cup in some parts of the world. Coffee connoisseurs agree Kopi Luwak is worth every last drop. Its quoted that Kopi Luwak has “Rich and strong aroma, and the coffee is incredibly full bodied, almost syrupy. It’s thick with a hint of chocolate, and lingers on the tongue with a long, clean aftertaste”.
Kopi Luwak Arabica is only grown in the highland elevation between 800 to 2000 meters in Sumatra Indonesia. Kopi Luwak Arabica requires subtropical climates, rich soil, shade and humidity. This coffee is less concentrated in caffeine and holds a sweeter taste.
Kopi Luwak Robusta beans are hardier plants capable of growing well at low altitudes of 200-800 meters in Sumatra Indonesia. Kopi Luwak Robusta is well known worldwide for its mass production. Kopi Luwak Robusta is stronger in caffeine and has a bold earthly taste to it.