Preparations have begun in Bali for the visit next month of US President Barack Obama, The Bali Times has learned.
The Bali government has ordered a welcoming billboard at Ngurah Rai International Airport featuring Obama and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the landmark visit draws near.
Obama’s trip to Indonesia will start in Jakarta and had been scheduled for March but was postponed – after earlier being delayed – due to a transformative healthcare vote, which the US leader won.
Authorities in Bali also plan to line the island’s main roads with Indonesian and American flags.
Obama spend four years of his childhood in Jakarta. A film about his time in the nation’s capital is being shot in West Java and is due to be released to coincide with the trip. Obama has also been to Bali, where he part-wrote his memoirs.
Religious leaders at Uluwatu Temple on the southern tip of Bali say that as President Obama is due to visit their dramatic-clifftop shrine, they hope he will absorb the true atmosphere of the temple by observing religious rites.
It is understood that controlling measures will be undertaken to ward off the temple’s brazen monkey population, which lunges at visitors to pinch personal items such as sunglasses and hats.
After Indonesia, Obama will travel to Australia for a state visit.