These reports are useful information about Bali from our personal experience and from our son and his Indonesian wife who live there.

Bali Travel Insurance – Sensible or Scam?

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot

The Province of Bali is examining how to provide insurance coverage for international tourists to Bali in order to provide proper care when visitors fall sick, are injured or die.

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika, said that for insurance purposes a fee would have to be paid by every visitor passing through a Bali air or seaport. From this fee a premium would be paid to provide both insurance coverage and separate funds for the protections of Bali’s culture and environment. [Read more...]

10% VAT Refund for Bali Tourists

VAT Refund for Bali Tourists

VAT Refund for Bali Tourists

A 10% VAT rebate for luxury goods bought in Indonesia is available for tourists at international airports on the day of departure. The VAT Tax Refund for Tourist program is now in place at five Indonesian airports: Soekarno-Hatta in Jakarta; Ngurah Rai in Bali; Adi Sutjipto in Yogyakarta; Juanda in Surabaya; and Kuala Namu in Medan.

The head of the Bali Tax Office, Arif Yanuar, told Bisnis Bali on Thursday, October 10, 2013: “The execution of the VAT refund using a web-based service at the Ngurah Rai Bali Airport is increasingly efficient. There have been 535 applicants receiving a total of Rp. 585 million in refunds.” [Read more...]

Bali Tourism not for the Balinese

Bali Not for Sale

Bali Not for Sale

The property boom on Bali brought about by excessive tourism development has seriously disadvantaged the very people whose environment, culture, and relaxed social style tourists come to enjoy. Balinese people can no longer afford to buy land on their own island, nor can they afford the property taxes imposed on traditional owners and developers alike.

An article in the Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) underlines that among the “lessons learned” by Bali over the past decades is that tourism development has an equal propensity for bringing both benefit and calamity. [Read more...]

Garuda Indonesia Wi-Fi Internet and Live TV

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia now offers passengers both WiFi connectivity and live TV during flights.

The vice-president of corporate communications for Garuda, Pujobroto, said, “Garuda passengers flying on the Boeing 777-300ER can enjoy Live TV from six international channels. The channels include CNN International, BBC World, BBC Arabic, HK World Premium, Euronews and CNBC.”

The director of passenger service for Garuda, Faik Fahmi, said he hoped the in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offered by the airline would represent an important added value to passengers, allowing them to continue to work on the Internet or enjoy live TV while they travel. [Read more...]

Buying ‘freehold land’ on Bali

Expats Beware

Expats Beware

The following is taken from articles by Bali Discovery and The West Australian, and gives good advice for non-Indonesians wishing, or even thinking they can acquire freehold land on Bali or any other Indonesian territory.

The West Australian Newspaper has carried an article quoting the director of the Bali-based Saville Rowe Property Group describing how “freehold ownership” is increasingly popular among Australians investing in real estate on Bali, as opposed to those merely leasing land and property on the island. [Read more...]

Air Asia flies Darwin to Bali

Air Asia

Air Asia is planning to resume its Bali to Darwin route effective July 1, 2013. Plans are to operate four times a week between the two cities. AN A320 Airbus will fly the route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

AirAsia Indonesia CEO, Captain Dharmadi, told the people of Darwin, “AirAsia Indonesia is back in town and we’re bigger and better than ever. Darwin Airport and the Northern Territory Government have worked hard to get us back and we’re excited to again provide Territorians with more choice and competition when it comes to their favourite holiday destination. Beautiful Bali is a very popular short break destination for Territorians because of its easy access from Darwin.”

Virgin to offer free meals and drinks on overseas flights

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has announced a significant upgrade in their food and beverage services on all flights from Australia to Bali, Phuket and Trans-continental flights.

As of April 24, 2013, all flights to Denpasar and Phuket will serve guests, regardless of fare type, a complimentary hot meal and beverages, upgrading the service to align with current Trans-Continental flights. All full service flights will have an ambient retail cart designed to complement the meals provided for guests by offering snack options and spirits not included with meals. [Read more...]

More affordable wines for Bali

Plaga Wines

Plaga Wines

Indowines is busily launching its Plaga range of wines made from imported Chilean and Western Australian grapes and bottled in Indonesia.

During a series of tastings conducted across Bali, Plaga is initially promoting 3 varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Rose. Later, Cabernet Sauvignon will join the brand line.

Produced to be drank now – but with a shelf life of at least a year, don’t look for vintage years on the labels of Plaga.

Targeted towards youthful drinkers looking for refreshment in Bali’s tropical climate at an affordable price – the average Plaga drinker most likely doesn’t have a wine cellar or the patience to keep a wine until it matures. [Read more...]

Honesty on Bali

Ahmad The Honest

Ahmad The Honest

Amidst the negative image of Bali, and reports of widespread corruption in the tourism industry, the police force, and customs officials, a young scavenger who makes his living from sorting through garbage at the local rubbish tip has made the news, and given renewed belief in the basic decency that remains the predominant characteristic of the Balinese people.

The young scavenger named Ahmad discovered three boxes of gold in the back of a garbage truck in Denpasar, Bali on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Bedazzled by his find easily worth years of his meagre income, he immediately contacted his boss, Made Raka, to help make sure the gold found its way back to its rightful owner. [Read more...]

Cape Discovery Wines does it again

Cape Discovery Wines

Cape Discovery Wines

After winning a bronze medal last year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, Cape Discovery has acquired two more medals at the 2013 China Wine & Spirits Awards recently held in Hong Kong.

Gold was bestowed for Cape Discovery Chardonnay, and Silver for Cape Discovery Sauvignon Blanc. The CWSA is the only award program in the world based entirely on consumer preferences and demand.

The judges at the CWSA 2013 were drawn from China’s most influential wine and spirits buyers, distributors, food and beverage directors and sommeliers who tasted their way through 3,300 wines and spirits from 25 countries in one of Hong Kong’s largest and most anticipated competitions of the year.

Also winning medals at this year’s CWSA were prominent wine brands such as Otuwhero, Wolf Blass, Jacobs Creek, Taylors, Lindeman, Wyndham Estate, and Evans & Tate. This is distinguished company indeed. [Read more...]