Bali Bliss Tour

One Stop Shopping For Bali Tours and Activities




Who's Online

We have 79 guests and no members online

Bali Zoo Happy at Birth of Dusky Wallaby


It was indeed heartwarming news for the Bali Zoo management and animal lovers all over the island as they greeted the birth of three rare and endangered species – a Javan, silvery gibbon; a Bali starling and a dusky wallaby, adding to the zoo’s collection of 350 rare and endangered animals.

“This was the first birth for each of the three rare and endangered animals at Bali Zoo. It is a great occurrence for us and we are very happy and grateful to have them all together,” exclaimed the zoo’s public relations executive, Emma Kristiana Chandra.

Chandra’s happiness was being shared with a group of journalists invited to the zoo.

“The baby gibbon was born to a 12-year-old couple named Minul and Koko,” Chandra said joyfully.

The baby was born on Nov. 17 through a normal delivery and weighs 500 grams. It looked normal and healthy, she said. “We still don’t know whether the baby is a male or a female as its mother is holding the baby tightly to her chest,” added Chandra.

The birth of a dusky wallaby also brought cheer to the management of Bali Zoo. The wallaby was born on Oct. 6 weighing 400 grams.

“We took three dusky wallabies from Gembira Loka Zoo in Yogyakarta. One of them was already pregnant when she arrived here, the other already gave birth. So now we have five dusky wallabies and four bush kangaroos,” Chandra stated.

The dusky wallaby is a marsupial belonging to the Macripodidae family. It is mostly found in the Aru and Kai Islands, Papua province and Papua New Guinea.

Its natural habitats are subtropical and tropical dry forests, and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. The animal is threatened by massive habitat loss.



Bali Governor Wants to Build a New Airport at Buleleng Regency


Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika wants to develop a new airport, because in his opinion Buleleng regency needs an extra airport. This should be a big influence on the balance of the economy of the island.

“The airport has to be made, whether in the east or west,” he said that during the meeting of the representatives of the people of Buleleng regency, in Denpasar.

According to him, Bali require alternative airports outside Ngurah Rai because it will be overwhelmed. The maximum capacity will be overrated, if the number of foreign tourists to Bali reached more than five million.

“Unfortunately there can not be an no expansion of the ‘runway’,” he said.

He expects an average of 2.8 to 3 million visitors/tourists a year plus the domestic tourist visits about 7 million. These numbers are increasing to 15 million a year.

Pastika hopes that various groups do not fuss too much and react quickly to the presence of investors.

“Our disease is often to say ‘no’ to foreign investors so people will look at our region as not conducive,” he said.

We are affraid that foreigners will say, that Bali has have a lot of constructions.

He hoped in the future the parties who are not competent in the field of aviation do not comment too much because he feared that it would make investors become worried.

There should be an arranged meeting with Minister Dahlan Iskan to talk about construction of the airport in Buleleng, including funding that could be financed by the state and local governments.

He said Indian investors had already shown interest in financing the construction of the airport in Buleleng, yet reversed that after seeing many negative comments from parts of the Balinese community.


Indonesia Struggles to Revamp ‘Hell-Hole’ Bali Prison


The sound of male inmates singing a hymn of repentance as others play tennis in a lush garden would have you believe Indonesia’s most infamous prison has been radically transformed.

But those who spend time in Kerobokan prison on the holiday island of Bali say the jail is still a cesspool of bribery, drugs and clandestine sex, despite a management overhaul aimed at cleaning up its image.

“You can still get anything you want if you have the money,” an Australian prisoner siad outside the prison church. “Nothing’s really changed.”

New management was installed in February after the prison warden and Bali police commander were sacked following days of jail riots, triggered by a gang-war stabbing, further tarnishing the prison’s already gritty reputation.

Around 1,000 police were deployed, firing water canon and rubber bullets to contain the grossly overcrowded facility after the prison guards fled unable to control the mayhem.

Order has been restored, but last month two mysterious deaths were reported in the prison and volunteers who work with the inmates say drug use and bribery are still rampant.

“Inmates tell us of drug deals being done at church and on the tennis court, and guards are still taking money to allow sex in toilet cubicles,” Indonesian Prisoners Association chair Ida Ayu Made Gayatri said.

“We know that people are still throwing drugs over the prison walls and some are even coming through the front gate with staff.”

Like many prisons in Indonesia, Kerobokan struggles with space – it is three times over capacity, with 1,015 inmates, including 68 foreigners and nine children.

It has been home to Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby since 2004 and the Bali Nine – a group of Australians found at the island’s airport with heroin strapped to their bodies.

While the women sleep on mattresses brought in by an NGO in neat but cramped rooms that resemble university dorms, the men are packed tighter into larger cells, many sleeping up to 70 on a concrete floor with little room to stretch.

The new prison chief, I Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, is determined to strip Kerobokan of its reputation, which hit rock bottom in 2009 with the publication of “Hotel Kerobokan” by Australian author Kathryn Bonella.

She described the prison as a “hell-hole” where cash-rich inmates – thanks mostly to money brought in by visitors – enjoy a life of relative luxury beside their poor peers living in squalor.

The book portrayed the prison as Bali’s “drug hub,” describing paid-for sex parties, murders and suicide.

Wiratna’s first step in cleaning up the colossal mess at Kerobokan is the “zero rupiah” program to ensure prisoners cannot pay for special treatment and to curb the bribe culture that feeds hungry prison guards.

“This kind of violence happens because rival groups here form around money and they fight over payments,” Wiratna said, explaining that the bulk of the gang members have been moved to another facility.

“Bribes used to happen in the open. Visitors used to have to pay to come in and prisoners would pay guards to do activities that should be free. That’s all stopped now.”

But a foreign woman recently imprisoned, struggling to adjust to life inside, said she was unable to go to church until she paid the guards for a pass.

“I don’t have anything to do here. I’m trying to get a punching bag brought in just so I can exercise. I’m still waiting to be able to go to church,” she said, tears welling in her eyes.

“I don’t know what to do here or how the system works.”

While money can still buy just about anything inside, prisoners in Block W, the women’s block, complain the usual cash flow has slowed since Wiratna took over.

“Things in Block W are okay, but the economy’s not great,” a 24-year-old Indonesian woman convicted for drug possession said.

The woman who washes fellow inmates’ and guards’ clothes in Block W for a Rp 10,000 to Rp 20,000 ($1-$2) said people had been short of cash recently.

Block W is indeed an economy – a dozen women in the kitchen were frying glutinous sesame balls while others sewed handbags they hoped to sell on the outside somehow – but it is one in which the guards retain the power and wealth.

“The women cooking in the kitchen are paid by the guards, who sell the food back to the prisoners for a profit,” another foreign woman convicted for drug possession said.

The prisoner holds up a plastic bag with a slice of bread, a banana and two pieces of papaya.

“That’s all foreigners get to eat each day. The kitchen is supposed to be ours, but the guards use it to make money. Any other food we want, we have to buy,” she said.

“In the end, no one starves, but you spend a lot of your time working out where to get money just to feed yourself.”


Denpasar Inflation Rate is High


The inflation rate in Denpasar was recorded at 0.13 percent in November 2012. Inflation Rate in Denpasar is reported by the Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS, the national statistics office) The inflation rate in Denpasar is higher than the average national inflation rate of only 0.07 percent from the same month.

While the inflation rate of the calendar year from January to November 2012 amounted 4.10 percent and the inflation rate from November 2012 to November 2011 amounted 4.61 percent.

The Head of the Statistics Office of Bali, I. Gede Suarsa said that inflation in Denpasar was due to an increase in the prices of goods and services, including transport, communication and financial services by 0.55 percent.

Food, beverages, cigarettes and tobacco rose 0.19 percent, health care 0.15 percent, 0.05 percent, foodstuffs, and housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel 0.01 percent.

While the goods and services index fell 0.22 percent, this includes clothing and education, recreation and sport decreases by 0.06 percent.

In addition, the commodity prices has risen during the month of November 2012, including air transportation as well as some commodities and foodstuff such as onion, carrot, tuna, lemon and garlic.

Some foodstuff has decreased such as cayenne pepper, red pepper, mustard greens, chicken meat and eggs.

Gede Suarsa explains that 66 cities in Indonesia was targeted to survey, 33 cities experienced inflation and the other 33 cities experienced deflation. Denpasar ranks 25th out of 33 cities that recorded inflation, said Gede Suarsa.

The highest inflation is in Manado by 1.01 percent and the lowest inflation is 0.03 percent in Jember. While deflation occurred in Manokwari by 0.96 percent and 0.01 percent in Semarang.


Bali to Cut Gas Emissions


The provincial administration is currently drafting a gubernatorial regulation on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of its Bali Green Province program.

Head of the provincial Environment Agency I Nyoman Sujaya said that the regulation, referring to “The Regional Plans for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction” would stipulate the province’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of a national program.

The Indonesian government has committed to cut emissions by 26 percent compared to its “business as usual” baseline through national efforts, with a further 41 percent support from foreign parties.

There are five sectors targeted for the emission cuts: agriculture, forestry and peat land, energy and transportation, industry and waste management.

“Through this regulation, Bali contributes to the reduction of emissions in line with the national program. We expect this regulation to be issued before the end of this year,” Sujaya said.

This year, the central government disbursed Rp 6.5 billion to Bali to be allocated for environment-related projects through the special allocation fund scheme.

Earlier this year, the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) launched guidelines to assist provincial administrations to develop their respective programs on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The guidelines contain explanations on how the regulation should relate to development policies both at a national and local level, as well as technical steps, timeline and format of activities that need to be set.

“The issue of climate change involves all stakeholders. Therefore, we hope that the regulation we issue will stimulate more environmentally friendly local development, in line with sustainable development principles,” Sujaya said.

This regulation not only achieved the national greenhouse gas emission reduction target, but also created space for local governments to participate in sustainable development, he added.

The provincial government will be facilitated and assisted by the central government in carrying out the emission reduction programs.

In Bali, the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions are garbage, as well as agriculture, husbandry, forestry and transportation.

The island produces around 10,182 cubic meters of garbage per day, which emits methane gas if the garbage is not properly processed.


Bedugul-lane Thoroughfare Built in Buleleng



Buleleng Regent I Putu Agus Suradnyana says, the lane in Bedugul, Tabanan towards Buleleng be built “shortcut”.I

“Obviously this year Buleleng regency budget is to make the lane Bedugul-Buleleng,” he said in Denpasar.

In addition to make a “shortcut”, from Pancasari, Buleleng, there is also a need to built bridges, to shorten the distance.

“Reduced curves and coupled structuring this area because it will be the first gate to Buleleng,” he said.

According to him, the plan is judged the be the most realistic and fast for easy access to the north of the island of Bali. The acquisition of land becomes more easier because the land is not subject to a lot of people for the plantation.

He expects the length of the road that connects Bedugul-Buleleng reach up to 26 kilometers, this can be a “shortcut” the possibility to cut over 12 km.

“This year we are trying to work out the design first and we budgeted for land acquisition assistance for 2014. We seek frugal-efficient use of the budget,” he said.

The budget required for the construction is about Rp. 1,7 billion,” said Suradnyana.


Australian Guest Helped Orphanage with Grand Istana Rama Hotel


With millions of children left in orphanage with no parents to care for them, it was a touching moment when Mr. John and his wife Ms. Lenore Davis, our repeater guest from Australia revealed their wonderful desire to give new shirts they brought from Australia to all orphan children.

Grand Istana Rama Hotel management helped them to donate the shirts to Hindu Dharma Jati II Orphanage in Denpasar. There were 205 children start from 5 years old live there with many reasons. They looked very excited and happy with this donation, Mr. John and wife looked so touched and they wished to always support them in many ways.

As a four-star hotel, Grand Istana Rama has an excellent location on Kuta beach, offers a convenience, relaxation and some of the best surf spots in the world just a few steps from your door. Next to the largest new shopping mall “Beach walk” that can be reached within walking distance and near to the entertainment point at Jalan Legian.

Grand Istana Rama Hotel has 149 rooms that have been renovated, consists of four types namely Superior Upper, Ground Superior, Deluxe and the Garden Suite and has lush tropical gardens covering an area of 1.7 hectares. All rooms and exterior spaces reflect the charm and fascination of Bali.

Grand Istana Rama Hotel is located in a very prime location in front of Kuta Beach. As a four-star hotel, we have created cultural activities to ensure our guests have the impression during their holiday in Bali. By staying at the hotel, we want to ensure that our guests not only have photos of the beach, or a souvenir to show that they have been to Bali before. The activities we have is a cooking class with Balinese dishes. We invite guests to engage the emotions, ranging from the very traditional to visit the market to buy the ingredients, and back to the hotel to cook along with our professional chefs. Other favorite activities that we have are one element of culture and language. We share the lesson of Indonesia language.

The simple lesson Indonesia language is given affectionately by our professional staff at our very beautiful garden. The guests will be confident to deal or negotiate directly with art market vendor if they want to purchase souvenirs. Or they might be able to reject politely the street vendors who are annoying and disturbing. Other activity is Coconut Climbing Show.

We’ll show that the Balinese did for living. They explore the coconut to become charcoal as the heater for traditional clothe iron, beside to be made coconut milk. Some others activities like offering decoration, will be consistently shown to our guests.


Foreign Investors Dominate 80 Percent of Tourism in Bali


Some 80 percent of investment in Bali’s provincial tourism industry are dominated by foreign investors, the spokesman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) office chapter has said.

“The domination of foreign investors is dangerous to Bali’s provincial economic condition. Therefore, the role of local investors should be strengthened,” the Badung district chief of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry office chapter, Anak Agung Ngurah Alit, said here.

According to Alit, foreign investment results in disadvantages to poor people, since much of the profits go only to foreign investors.

“We hope the government can issue a policy in an effort to protect local entrepreneurs, Alit disclosed.

In the meantime, the Bali provincial administration has planned to develop new tourism spots located in the northern region to attract elderly tourists.

“The Buleleng regency administration has expressed enthusiasm towards the plan. Moreover, an airport will also be built in the area,” Bali Investment and Promotions Board Chairman Ida Bagus Made Parwata said here during a scientific seminar entitled “Caring For The Elderly”.

He said plans call for five new tourism spots to be built, though some have already become tourism locales that need to be managed and helped in other ways.

Parwata mentioned five new tourism spots to be developed for senior tourists, including Perancak in Jembrana regency, Gerokgak in Buleleng regency, Amed area in Karangasem regency, Bedugul-Tabanan area in Pancasari regency and Kintamani in Bangli regency.

“Agricultural parks will be developed in Gerokgak, such as the cultivation of pineapple and dragon fruit. Those varieties were chosen due to the area being covered by dry soil,” she said.

Parwata added that the elderly will be able to take advantage of a retirement village, fitness center and nursing personnel.

He said a number of visitors from Abu Dhabi and Dubai have expressed interest in developing new tourism spots in Bali.

“The accreditation of the appropriateness of the area will be managed by Bali Retirement Tourism Authority (BRTA),” he added.

Meanwhile, BRTA deputy chairman Ni Made Ratnawati stated that the development of new tourism spots for the elderly is part of programs to improve tourism in Bali.

“In general, the visits of the elderly seem to be stable through all seasons and they take vacations for a long time. Therefore, facilities, such as health and security services, must be provided,” she said.

Ratnawati expressed hope that the new tourism spots will attract more visitors who wish to learn about marine life, yoga, meditation, and organic plantations .