• Bali News

    Here are some Tourism and all about Bali.

    Delaying a Visit to Paradise

    Indonesian Hotels Say Mount Agung Alert Status Causing Postponement of Some Group Travel to Bali.

    (10/8/2017)

    Balipost.com reports that most of the sudden downturn in visitors to Bali connected to the increased warning level for volcanic Mount Agung is due to group cancellations while the individual (FIT) market remaining relatively unaffected

    I Nyoman Astama, the chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel General Managers Association (IHGMA), said on Tuesday, October 3, 2017: “What’s actually happened is a decrease in group tourism. Individual travelers are not much affected, but there is (also) a decline. The biggest (impact) is from MICE (meetings, conferences, conferences and exhibitions).”

    Astama said he expects more cancellations over time as all members of IHGMA report in.

    The IHGMA chairman said that cancellations had reached 6,000 room nights from all hotels in Bali. Based on the assumption that each stay is for 3 nights, this mean some 2,000 cancellations have been received. He said he expected this number to at least double.

    The cancellations, he said, are coming from countries that have issued travel cautions to their citizens. Adding: “This is what is triggering the postponement of trips (to Bali). These postponements are affecting not only this month but also the entire year. This is the actual case we are encountering.”

    Individual tourist, said Astama, continue to visit Bali. “We are urging those with fears, to simply postpone the date of their travel. Maybe they can come next month, two months, six months or a year from now. We are flexible,” Astama explained.

    He suggested that villas are suffering less from cancellation due to the fact they serve individuals, while hotels seeking group travel are most affected by any cancellations.

    The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, estimates overall hotel bookings have declined 20-30 percent.

    Tjokorda said that if the volcano warning stays in place, November might see even more cancellations with November marking the beginning of Bali’s “shoulder season” for hotel bookings.

    Meanwhile, Bali’s Governor continues to urge calm, saying only 28 out of 78 villages in Karangasem fall within the danger zone. To provide perspective, this is only a portion of the Regency of Karangasem and Karangasem is only one out of 8 regencies and one metropolitan area that comprise the Province of Bali. To people harking back in fear to the 1963 eruption of Mt. Agung, the Governor says that any eruption of Mount Agung at this time will be mitigated by the sophisticated equipment, well-trained manpower, and detailed contingency plans now in place.

    © Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17554
    Re-posted by Pande

    Australian drug suspect mentally ill and could die in Bali jail without meds, says lawyer

    The lawyer representing Australian Joshua James Baker, who was arrested earlier this month after Bali customs found drugs in his luggage, fears her client could die in custody without his medication, though she did not specify precisely what medication he was lacking.

    Attorney Pande Putu Maya Arsanti — who has served as defense counsel in a number of high-profile drug cases involving foreigners in Bali — also argued that her client is mentally ill and cannot be held accountable.

    But while she reasons that his alleged state is enough to justify deportation to his home country for treatment, Indonesian police are moving forward anyway to have Baker prosecuted.

    Baker was stopped at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Oct. 8, where 28 grams of marijuana and 37 pills of the sedative Diazepam (originally known as Valium) were allegedly discovered in his luggage.

    The Aussie made a getaway from the toilet when he was doing a routine urine test on Oct. 9, climbing through a ventilation shaft. But his escape was brief — police tracked him down just 10 hours later in Canggu.

    Dr. Denny Thong, a psychiatrist that previously treated the Aussie back in 2015 for hallucinations and mental instability, was brought to the jail yesterday, but police did not allow him to see Baker.

    “I got the impression that he’s very unstable,” Thong said, as quoted by News Corp Australia, adding that he had previously prescribed the Aussie psychotropics and a mild anti-psychotic.

    “From my part, for his mental health, he certainly needs professional help.”

    It was not immediately clear if Dr. Thong now lives in Bali or if he had been flown there to provide an independent medical evaluation.

    Arsanti said police doctors treating Baker couldn’t speak English, weren’t familiar with his medical history, and had stopped giving him his medication, which she feared could kill him.

    “He said that if he doesn’t get the medicine, he feels that something presses his chest,” Arsanti said, without specifying whether she was describing a heart condition or a psychosomatic reaction brought on by his alleged mental illness. 

    “My client said that he felt like his chest was pressured. It’s very dangerous,” she added. “We want to give letters, evidence, that he cannot be charged legally because he has a mental illness. People with mental illness cannot be charged.”

    That said, the Australian has already been formally named a suspect for drug possession and importing narcotics, which could land him between five and 15 years behind bars if convicted.

    Arsanti says her client had been prescribed the Diazepam by a doctor in Cambodia. While that’s certainly possible, it’s worth pointing out that Cambodian drug stores are notorious for not requiring prescriptions and a vast array of painkillers and opioids that would be illegal without a prescription elsewhere are readily available over the counter. 

    “He uses drugs, maybe he also went to a healer. He went to Cambodia for treatment (errrrr). He went to many places for medication. He used drugs, he used anything, but it doesn’t work, he is still sick.”

    Baker was moved on Tuesday from a police hospital to a regular holding cell.

    On the police side of things, however, Bali deputy director of narcotics Sudjarwoko says Baker is not so mentally ill that he can’t be held accountable.

    Baker could answer all questions police asked him, Sudjarwoko said.

    “If the person was crazy, if we asked him one thing, he would answer another thing. He would then need to be released under the law. But [Mr Baker] could answer the questions we asked him,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

    “Anybody who has a legal problem with the police suffers some sort of mental problems. No one would happily face such a time.”

     

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/australian-drug-suspect-mentally-ill-die-bali-jail-without-meds-says-lawyer/
    Re-posted by Pande

    Rabies Death Reported in Buleleng

    (10/7/2017)

    Ketut Restiada, a 32-year-old man from the Village of Bebetin, Buleleng, North Bali died at the Buleleng General Hospital on Friday morning, October 6, 2017, after having been bit twice by a local dog.

    Restiada, who worked as a guide, was brought to the hospital two days before his death complaining he was unable to urinate. After doctors installed a catheter, the man was allowed to return home for continued care as an outpatient.

    Later, on the same day, Restiada returned to the hospital suffering respiratory problems.

    A relation said Restiada said he was bitten on the ankle by a 6-month-old puppy 3 days before but, due to other commitments, sought no treatment for the bite. More important, however, the man had also been bitten six months prior to that by a dog that died and was later determined to be rabies positive. Restiada, despite the positive rabies finding on the dead dog, did not seek treatment with an anti-rabies vaccine.

    In the final 24 plus hours at the Buleleng General Hospital, Restiada exhibited classic rabies symptoms including rage, hydrophobia, and foaming at the mouth.

    Restiada is survived by a wife and three small children.

    Hospital officials have confirmed that the man’s death was probably due to rabies, a diagnosis to be confirmed by laboratory tests.

    Hospital officials urged the public to always seek medical treatment if a dog bites them.

    © Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17553
    Re-posted by Pande

    Bali Police hunt down man posing with ‘AK-47’ in viral photo, weapon turns out to be airsoft gun but guy arrested anyway as raid uncovers stockpile of knives

    Police found the Balinese man posing with in these viral photos had quite the blade collection.

    Police hunted down a Balinese man after photos of him posing with what looked like an “AK-47” went viral.

    Ketut Sri Wibawa, a Bali hotel security guard, uploaded the pictures to Facebook months ago on April 19, 2017, captioning the post in Indonesian, “for fun.”

    Police say a number of people reported the photos to them, leading to Wibawa finally just being arrested in Nusa Dua on Oct. 13.

    Upon raiding Wibawa’s home, police found that the weapon pictured wasn’t a dangerous assault rifle after all, but just an airsoft gun that the man had borrowed from his neighbor.

    However, the 37-year-old wasn’t off the hook. Police arrested him anyway for ‘stockpiling’ bladed weapons.

    At the raid on the man’s house, police found he had all sorts of knives, spears, and swords.

    When questioned, Wibawa said he had the weapons to “take care of himself,” police told reporters on Tuesday.

    Wibawa technically committed no offense by having all the weapons, but his arrest was justified by Bali Police Criminal Investigation Unit Subdirectorate III, Supt. Made Sinar Bawa, as an “emergency,” who said police were deepening their investigation into the man.

    “In this case, the suspect is being held by Bali Police not for ownership of an airsoft gun that resembles an AK-47. However, because he had knives everywhere. the reason, is just to keep watch on him,” Bawa said, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/bali-police-hunt-man-posing-ak-47-viral-photo-weapon-turns-airsoft-gun-guy-arrested-anyway-raid-uncovers-stockpile-knives/
    Re-posted by Pande

    Site & Safety Check by Tourism Minister

    Tourism Minister Visits Karangasem as Tourism Activities Continues in Both Karangasem Regency and Entire Bali Despite Volcano Alert for Mount Agung

    (10/7/2017)

    On Thursday, October 5, 2017, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, visited Bali to review safeguards in place for visiting tourists during the current period of increased alert levels for volcanic Mount Agung.

    Upon arrival in Bali, the Minister travelled the more than 60 kilometers from Bali’s airport to tourism objects in the Regency of Karangasem, the regency which is home to volcanic Mount Agung and a large number of tourism objects located outside the limited “danger zones” demarcated within a 12-kilometer radius of Mt. Agung’s peak.

    During his whirlwind visit to Karangasem, Minister Yahya met with tourism operators and members of the mass media. In Karangasem, the Minister encountered and spoke with a number of tourists enjoying their holidays in the Regency. The Minister personally thanked the visitors for understanding how safe it is to holiday in Bali and the Regency of Karangasem during the current period of heightened volcanic activity.

    Reviewing the threat posed by Mt. Agung and how any danger has been mitigated through careful planning by a number of official agencies, the Minister met with, among others, officials of the Central for Volcanic Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG), the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), and the administration of the Karangasem Regency.

    Minister Yahya told the press that in the current situation that anticipates an eruption of Mount Agung, the tourism sector is focusing on “The Three A’s” – maintaining accessibility, amenities, and attractions.

    Accessibility is being preserved and safeguarded through coordination with land transportation providers, the Ministry of Transportation, the regional transpiration authority, the state-owned airport authority company Angkasa Pura, airlines, airport management and seaport authorities.

    Amenity support is being promulgated through coordinating efforts with the tourism sector, such as the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), in order to promote special offers, discount prices to visit local tourist attractions, free local transportation offers, and travel bonuses such as free health checks.

    Tourist attraction enticements include presenting special entertainment programs and information on alternative tourism destinations.

    During the Minister’s visit, the Bali chapter of the Association of Recreational Parks (DPD PUTRI) announced it is staging “Gebyar Wisata 2017” (A Tourism Spectacular) October 6-8, 2017 at the Beachwalk Mall in Kuta with 16 PUTRI members slated to participate. The organizers are championing the 3-day event as further proof that Bali remains a very safe tourism destination.

    On October 15, 2017, the 10th Herbalife Bali Triathlon will be held on Sanur Beach Bali with 2000 athletes registered to join in the Olympic Distance, Sprint Distance and 5-kilometer fun run representing more than 22 countries.
    .
    The Media Center of the Bali Tourism Hospitality Task Force has been established and will be regularly publishing accurate updates on developments on Mount Agung and how major tourism centers are very well removed from any direct threat of a volcanic eruption.

    © Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17552
    Re-posted by Pande

    Harley-Davidson showroom in Bali goes up in flames, estimated damages at least IDR200 million

    A fire broke out at the Harley-Davidson showroom in Jimbaran, Bali on Monday, causing at least IDR200 million (US$14,812) in damages.

    While thankfully no one was injured, two ‘hogs’ reportedly didn’t escape the flames.

    Although damage to the building’s structure wasn’t so severe, those bikes were expensive—total estimated losses range from IDR200 million to IDR300 million (US$22,216), Bali Post reports.

    Starting around 1:30pm, it’s alleged that the fire was due to a short circuit. It’s believed that sparks came from a loose AC cable.

    Chief of the Badung Fire Department, Wayan Wirya says that three fire trucks rushed to the scene to extinguish the fire, but they came later than intended due to heavy traffic as they tried to reach the showroom on Jl. Uluwatu.

    “Access on the entire way was jammed. There were many motorists who did not want to make away, so we were late getting to the location,” Wirya said.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/harley-davidson-showroom-bali-goes-flames-least-idr200-million-damages/
    Re-posted by Pande

    Silent Majesty

    (10/7/2017)

    NusaBali reports that while no one is allowed to enter the Besakih Temple on the slopes of volcanic Mount Agung except to pray, the Bali Police Command has stationed 52 officers to protect Bali’s most sacred temple until the current increase in volcanic activity abates.

    The temple is off-limits to tourists while the “Level IV” warning is in place and guarded by police working in three shifts.

    A company of police from the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) of the Bali police is fully armed to protect both the temple and the abandoned homes of people living near the temple.

    While many villagers return to check on their homes and belonging during daylight hours, all return to temporary evacuation camps outside the danger zone after dark, when police intensify their patrols of the area.

    Local businesses are now shuttered with the surrounding community resembling a ghost town. At night, homes and business normally lit up by lighting now sit in complete darkness.

    © Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17551
    Re-posted by Pande

    VIRAL: Middle school boy poses disrespectfully on top of Hindu shrine in Indonesia, apologizes after scolded by netizens

    An example of what not to do at a temple or place of worship of basically any religion.

    There’s nothing like an angry storm of comments from thousands of netizens to get someone to remove offensive content.

    A middle-school-aged boy in Indonesia has apologized over some photos of himself that went viral on Sunday, in which he disrespectfully posed with his feet up on a Hindu temple.

    “To those of the Hindu faith… I am deeply sorry… I did not mean to offend you guys… please forgive me,” the boy wrote on his Facebook page, after removing the offensive photos.

    The post had been captioned “OTW Pura Bali” (on the way to a Balinese temple), but it’s believed that the pictures were actually taken at a Hindu shrine on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, reports Tribun Bali.

    Before the post was removed from the boy’s account, it had been shared as many as 5,989 times and had over 4,000 comments, many of them from Balinese Facebook users cursing the boy out for “blasphemy.”

    While blasphemy is an offense punishable by time behind bars in Indonesia, it does not appear any charges will be pressed over the photos because of the boy’s age.

    The Chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Youth Association, Sures Kumar, condemned the photos but said that because of the boy’s “young age”, it could be that he did not understand what he was doing.

    So, a “forgive him, for he know not what he do” sort of situation.

    “It’s certain that the young kid did not understand,” Kumar said on Monday, as quoted by Detik.

    “It must have been ignorance for the kid to have behaved that way. If he knew what he was doing, I’m sure he would not be able to do that.”

    Only Balinese priests are able to go up to plinggih padmasana, the type of Hindu shrine pictured in the boy’s photos, says Kumar. The shrines are shaped as thrones, left empty for Balinese Hindu deities.

    “You cannot go up there. Only those who have been sanctified can go up there,” Kumar said.

    Related to the incident, the chairman of the Balinese Assembly of Traditional Villages (MUDP), Jro Gde Suena Putus Upadesa advises people to stay calm and not be provoked so easily by such content online.

    “It happened outside of Bali, correct? We must first check what’s true. The problem is that it could have been edited. The Sumatra chapter of the PDHI (Indonesian Hindu Religious Council) should clarify this. Don’t get carried away by information that’s not confirmed. Let’s not be divided and taken over by religious affairs,” Upadesa said.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/viral-middle-school-boy-poses-disrespectfully-top-hindu-temple-indonesia-apologizes-scolded-netizens/
    Re-posted by Pande

    Reigning in Unjustified Fear

    Bali Governor Calls on Consulates to Assure the World Bali Remains Safe for Tourist Visitors

    (10/7/2017)

    Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika met on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, with representatives from 35 foreign consulates in Bali to discuss the continuing situation on volcanic Mount Agung.

    Beritabali.com reports that the Governor told the foreign legates that visitors to Bali do not need to worry about the conditions on Mount Agung. He said that in the event of an eruption of Mount Agung only 28 villagers in the Regency of Karangasem living in the foothills surrounding the mountain are considered in danger. All the residents of these communities have been evacuated to temporary evacuee centers until the condition subsides.

    The government has identified a radius of 12-kilometers from the mountain’s peak as areas that need to be evacuated.

    Separately, the Governor has emphasized that the densely populated tourist areas of Bali and the Island’s airport are some 60-kilometers to the south of Mt. Agung – well removed from any region considered under threat from an eruption.

    Underlining the limited scope of any threat, the Governor said popular tourist areas such as Candidasa and to the South of Mt. Agung, are in an area deemed safe for tourist activities. Even further to the south, Denpasar, Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Kuta are not in harms way from an eruption.

    And, in any case, the Governor said all major departments of the national and provincial governments have put in place contingency plans that contemplate every scenario in the event of an eruption. The Governor is certain that there will be no loss of life from any eruption providing people avoid the 12-kilometer “no go” zone.

    The Governor said plans are also in place in the event volcanic ash causes a temporary closing of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, including land transportation from Bali to the nearest operating airport.

    Pastika is calling for the media only to reference reliable sources in reporting on Mount Agung. He bemoaned that a large amount of unreliable information about the mountain being posted on the Internet. He urged the international community not to worry unduly about the safety of visiting Bali.

    The governor asked that countries issuing travel warnings about Bali should rescind those warnings as Bali remains safe for travel.

    © Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17550
    Re-posted by Pande

    Australian charged for drugs in Bali after escape bid: Police

    An Australian who was nabbed with drugs in his luggage in Bali and briefly escaped custody by climbing through a toilet air vent has been charged with narcotics possession, a police spokesman said Saturday.

    Joshua James Baker was detained after arriving at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport from Bangkok on October 8 when Indonesian police found drugs in his luggage.

    “He had 28 grams of marijuana and 37 diazepam pills,” Bali police spokesman Hengky Widjaja said.

    But Baker slipped away when he was led to a toilet for a urine test on Monday, climbing through a ventilation shaft to make his getaway.

    Police soon became suspicious of his long bathroom break and launched a manhunt when they realized he had escaped. They found him around 10 hours later in the beach village of Canggu.

    Baker is charged with drug possession and faces a minimum of five years in prison if convicted.

    Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest drugs laws, with sentences including the death penalty available for smugglers who carry five or more grams.

    Several foreign and Indonesian nationals have been convicted to death by firing squad in recent years including Australian Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, a case that sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the penalty.

    Nevertheless foreigners are regularly caught trying to bring drugs into Bali, a tropical resort island that attracts millions of tourists each year.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/australian-charged-for-drugs-in-bali-after-escape-bid-police/
    Re-posted by Pande

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