Stingy Bali Tourists, Or Bali Government?

Stingy Bali Tourists, Or Bali Government?

By Vyt Karazija

The chairman of Bali’s Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, opened his mouth wide last Wednesday, and firmly inserted his foot. Annoyed that, despite a rise in total tourist numbers to Bali, visitors are now staying for only an average of three or four days instead of the seven days which was the norm 10 years ago, and spend only US$100 per day instead of $300, he blamed the tourists.

“Stingy tourists” are overcrowding Bali, he whinged. “When they come, we have serious problems of traffic and waste. The island becomes dirty,” he said – falling headlong into the time-honoured local practice of blaming everyone else except yourself. It’s a little shocking to see officials – whose job it is to attract tourists – turn on their target market and accuse them of not being good little visitors by staying longer and spending more. It’s more than a little disconcerting to see a high-profile public official actually exhibit the same cargo-cult mentality that pervades many less sophisticated villagers here. In effect, he is saying: “You have it. We want it. Give it to us. If you don’t, you are a stingy bule.”

Well, Ngurah, you might think that, but as the voice of Bali tourism, you are not supposed to say it, because the backlash from tourists as a result of your rudeness will only result in a wider public discussion as to the real reasons that people are deserting Bali. I was a tourist for 12 years before coming here to live. Now, as a resident for over three years, I have constant contact with “stingy” tourists, and as a result of their feedback, I am happy to summarise for you just why this trend is developing.

Look around you, Ngurah – not with the rose-coloured glasses of a local, but through the eyes of someone arriving in Bali after a long, tiring flight. What do you see?

You will see tourists paying $25 each for a 30-day visa-on-arrival to enter the country, and then another $16 each to leave. Family of four coming for only five days? That’s $164 out of the spending budget already, and no way to save money on a one-week visa, because officialdom has withdrawn the short-stay visa facility. Visiting Bali on a cruise lay-over for six hours? That’s $25 per person, thanks.

You will see chaos, delays and inefficiency in a hot, overcrowded arrivals hall, with insufficient staff to handle the passenger load and a confusing queuing system.

You will see tired visitors being pounced on by “porters” at the baggage carousel and cajoled into letting them wheel their bags 20 metres to the customs desk, then stridently demanding $10 for each bag before running off to scam their next victim, as airport “security” personnel stand by and grin.

You will see the monopolistic taxi counter “mistakenly” ask for a rate higher than the official published rates displayed, then see their drivers try to con their passengers out of another Rp40,000 on arrival at their hotels and villas with a pathetic sob story, or an insistence that “this is the rule!” You will see arriving visitors quail as they face the long, long, crowded walk to their car during the chaotic and visitor-unfriendly airport reconstruction.

You will see tourists arrive at what are now grossly overpriced and over-starred hotels, which no longer offer the “book 7, get 10? incentive packages of past years, only to be told, “Sorry, your room is not ready.” Even Singapore hotels are now cheaper than those in Bali, which is no longer competitive.

You will see a proliferation of minimarts in garish colours selling monstrously overpriced items to the hapless tourist. Buy a local magazine there, published in Bahasa Indonesia, with a printed price of Rp25,000 on the cover, and you will be charged Rp55,000 when it is scanned. Shrug from the cashier. “Boss’ rules.”

You will see tourists being accosted by rude touts, women being physically manhandled by sellers who refuse to accept a polite refusal to buy their wares, stallholders muttering thinly veiled abuse at tourists who won’t pay four times the going rate in Bali (and twice the price in their home country) for their shoddy goods. You will see criminal moneychangers short-changing gullible tourists every day, and the arrogant taxi mafia (the non-Blue Bird companies) overcharging customers and threatening real taxi drivers with violence.

You will see tourists stuck in traffic for hours on Bali’s poorly maintained roads, because no one even considers the gridlocking consequences of allowing local drivers to park wherever they feel like. You will see suicidal motorbike riders come close to killing pedestrians with their brainless antics and causing accidents with cars, after which they shrilly demand compensation for their own stupidity.

You will see visitors to Bali try to negotiate the open drains with lids which masquerade as footpaths here, and injure themselves when brittle manholes collapse beneath them. You will see tourists with infants in strollers being forced to risk death by having to share the narrow roads with texting drivers and motorcyclists.

You will see tourists now being expected to pay the same prices as at home for mediocre Western-style meals, and absolutely exorbitant rates for imported wine, spirits and food. Spirits in bars are frequently counterfeit local replacements and deliberate half-shots in mixed drinks are common. Despite smokers being banned in all restaurants, bars and clubs from the first of June this year, tourists can expect no relief from the constant burning of toxic plastic waste all over Bali, the carcinogenic mosquito-fogging smoke and noise, or from the stinking emissions of the ubiquitous buses, trucks and illegal 2-stroke motorbikes.

You will see tourists give up on visiting the “cultural epicentre” of Ubud because of traffic jams and the hundreds of huge buses clogging the town. You will see them give up on visiting far-flung temples and seeing the “real” Bali, because it’s all too hard, and now too expensive. Eventually, you will see them avoiding the immense, noisy, polluted construction zone that is south Bali altogether.

You will see tourists recoil from the stinking piles of garbage on the beaches, on the streets and in the rivers. Where garbage is collected, it ends up in makeshift tips anywhere the collectors choose to dump it. Just have a look at the huge rat- and snake-infested mountain of refuse dumped opposite villa developments in Legian, just off Jalan Nakula; have a look at the environmentally disastrous heap of rubbish at the entrance to the Mangrove Park.

You will see tourists cautious of potentially rabies-infected dogs, scared of contracting dengue fever from the incessant mosquitoes, wary of getting Legionnaires disease from poorly maintained air conditioners and amazed that nothing is being done about electricity outages and Bali’s looming water shortage. They are worried about increasing crime and a police force that does nothing without money up-front.

And what does the Tourism Board do to make Bali a more attractive destination for visitors? Nothing. It blames the “stingy tourists.” Wow. What diplomacy; what amazing sensitivity. What a truly stupid, irresponsible thing to say.

Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, I have news for you. Tourists have been coming to Bali for decades because it has a special sort of magic. The magic is still there, but it is now being countered by a not-so-special sort of opportunism and greed, over-development, collapsing infrastructure and an arrogant belief that tourists will keep coming, no matter what.

They won’t. They have already stopped coming; and those who do still come are spending less. Tourists are changing the Bali paradigm, not because they are “stingy,” but because they are driven by the concept of value for money. And frankly, Bali simply does not provide value for money any more.

The question for you, sir, is what will you and your cohorts in government do to change this?


  1. henry says:

    Well said and not too soon, everything you say is just so true….i applaud your posting.

  2. di says:

    this is a terrifically written statement regarding the current condition of Bali … I have recently been to Bali which was about my 8th visit in over 26 years… the Island has changed so much & most of it as you have pointed out negatively … However I am still in love with its magic & people & will continue to travel there with my family .. But I believe that the Indonesian Government need to start spending some of millions of dollars of visa takings on the Island (where does all of that money go )… for infrastructure, the main beaches are disgusting & I think a lot of people are heading straight to the nearby Islands for their beach holiday & the local people … How about providing free education for all children along with free health services … if the people are educated the island will benefit in the long run .. I also applaud your posting Vyt your right on the money with every comment

  3. Dave says:

    Well, I am must say yhat I am not astounded by your article because it is so true. I have been to Bali 3 times and each time it has been in regards to the terrible incident on October 12 2002. Even with that in the background I have really felt for the Balinese people. They have lost so much and require the government to do more for them, to encourage more visitors to the once beautiful Bali. I for one have found a much better holiday and is looking more likely to be my retirement destination in the Phillipines. It is so visitor friendly, very clean, everything is wonderful which is what Bali used to be. I for one already have spoken with many friends about visiting us in the phillipines of which everyone is so happy to do. Bali government = your own fault.

  4. Bali Resident says:

    As a long term resident I cry for the recent advent of mass tourism and the mark it has left on the ecology and the culture of Bali. After years of looking at it, I have come to the conclusion that Bali being an
    inexpensive place is its greatest problem. The reason there are so many cars on the road is because they rent so cheaply. Compare the prices to any other tourist destination in Europe, America or Australia that get this many tourists. I think that by raising the tourist visa fees to the tune of 100$ per day Bali could take in the same amount of money with less than half the budget tourists. Raise all the prices for tourists and appeal to the high end of the market. Raise taxes on Foreign owned businesses and put the money into the hands of the local community. Look at Bhutan as an example. End low budget mass tourism, and limit the amount of (Expensive) tourist visas issued per year. Bring back cultural tourism and you will get a better educated and more conscientious and considerate tourist, respectful of the culture and its uniqueness. Instead short sighted appeal to as many tourists as it can get, (who ARE cheap) is the very reason they dont stay long as they did, and dont return.

  5. Dewi says:

    It is very unfortunate for me to say that all is true. I am a bali-born n breed and it breaks my heart to see my home in its current state. At least as a tourist or foreigners you get to leave bali once ur holiday is over but as local we have to live with the situation. All those visa money the tourist paid to get in has no effect to the island because all of it goes to Jakarta. I know for a fact that a small community in the kuta tourist area is trying to do something about Kuta because it is not even safe for the locals that lives there anymore. Greedy non-balinese are trying to take over n the local government are letting them to do so. The tourists are just as annoyed as the locals. I do hope the local governments are reading this and take it into their thick skull of what they’ve done to Bali!! Otherwise I believe the tourist won’t return.

  6. Brian says:

    And this is only one reason I shall never return. Don’t forget to mention the corruption of the police and immigration officials!

  7. Julie says:

    Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, I love Bali, as a tourist it is the only overseas destination I have been to… Since 1997 I have been 5 times.. The last time I was saddened to see so much construction building large new hotels which once built will need tourists to occupy them.. The traffic jams where like I have not experienced ever before.. So many buses on the roads which are not built for such large vehicles..
    It is time some of the tourists $$ gets spent on cleaning up the footpaths, the beaches, the roads & on looking after the people of Bali.. The reason I keep going back is because I can see past the negative aspects & I love the Balinese people & culture.. A lot of first time tourists can’t see past all the negatives & probably won’t connect with Bali and only ever visit once… The comments made by this man makes me wonder if the whole tourism board feel the same way about tourists???

  8. RAQUEL says:


  9. noelle says:

    10 years ago you could come for 2 months…then they cut the visa to 1 month. So obviously the Average stay is shorter if the long stay is shorter

    other comments you made are very to the point

  10. Lee says:

    I hope somebody will have the good sense to have this spot-on and scalding analysis translated into bahasa Indo and post in a public forum along with contact details for Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya so that everyone in turn can email this directly to him, only then will he “get the message”!

  11. WD says:

    Dewi: seems you have missed quite a few points…visa price is hardly the most important thing here. And greedy non-Balinese?? There are just as many greedy Balinese as non-Balinese, if not more!

  12. dave says:

    Mate in 30 years ive seen Bali change so much, seen locals getting marginalised by greedy people from other parts of Indonesia, crime has gone up..
    Our estate is all Indonesian with 3 bule and total of 4 Balinese Families in an area of 20 houses,all the others are not from here,we experience these problems every day, rather than banning smoking(was in Legian 61 the other night, wife could hardly breathe for the smoke…)there should be a small fine for littering and a decent garbage disposal program,would help a bit NO MORE development either
    I miss the old Bali, and will probably not retire here if it keeps up this way(Phuket is cheaper, bigger land and houses, and CLEANER)…
    Some days my crap old house in Abruzzo looks really good…
    My family is Balinese and are just as appalled as i am by the touts, the crime, rubbish and the white trash tourists who dont have a clue…

  13. Jim says:

    man grows dull from the use of taste intensifier MSG and plastic

    manusia tumbuh kusam dari penggunaan penambah rasa MSG dan plastik

  14. leny connery says:

    stingy tourists..true. those who will bargain to the last cent and insisted on paying the same as locals whose salary scale are world apart to theirs. I have seen chinese tourists in Ubud comin into a restaurant, ordered a bottle of water between the two of them and then procedeed to eat the fruits they bought in the market!!!
    on the other hand, the culture of fleecing tourists with no return is annoying to say the least. everything vyt said in the article is true. yet we still come to bali because ‘the heart’ is still there: the balinese.

  15. Alex says:

    Bali is a milk cow for all the bitches from goverment, increasing the prices for turist and visa fees to improve the situation is making no sense..Only government can change the situation with lots of money pouring in environment and development,they suck from it-they should pay..otherwise you all stupid goverment fucks will have your island fucked up.

  16. MAXX MAXTED says:

    All true, unfortunately.
    I agree with every one. Crikey!

  17. Dirk vleugels says:

    Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya (born in 1951) is not a high-profile public official.

    He is the owner and manager of his family-owned hotel. This means that he also takes care of the daily management of his hotel.

    His parents have built Segara Village Hotel in the early fifties. Tourists like Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo stayed in Segara Village hotel in Sanur in the year 1959.

    Segara Village Hotel was one of the first “bungalow style” hotels of Bali.

    Nowadays Segara Village is a four star hotel in Sanur.

    Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya was elected chairman of Bali’s Tourism Board, a non-government body. He is not a government official. He is a private person. He does not work for the government and he is not paid by the Indonesian government.

    Blaming Pak Ngurah for all the problems that tourists encounter on the island of Bali is utterly unfair.

    How can Pak Ngurah influence Made Pastika (the governor of Bali), who in turn has to talk to the higher and mightier guys in Jakarta ? A difficult task, isn’t it, if one takes into account how the system works over here.

    Mr Vyt, you should address your complaints to the governor of Bali.

    I’ve known Pak Ngurah for the past 30 years and I’ve been living here for the past 30 years.

    Indeed, there is pollution and there are touts, but don’t blame Pak Ngurah. He is powerless to change that.

    Dirk the Belgian (born in Belgium)

  18. Bali lover says:

    Great article! Your observations are bang on. I have been coming to Bali for over 30 years and since 2002 have been bringing in groups from Canada. I spent 1 month in Bali last November (with 2 groups)and was appalled at the traffic, polution, poor conditions of the sidewalks and of course the never ending barage of people trying to rip you off. I still love Bali but am seriously considering other destinations as Bali has lost some of its’ charm. The beach hotel I stay at in Legian has increased by over 100% in 3.5 years and does not even want my business any more. Very short sighted on their part and they don’t care about long term relationships. It’s all about making money which is understandable in the business world but you still have to think long term. Thank goodness the Ubud hotel I use still ‘gets’ what it means to appreciate those who have supported you for many years. I feel sorry for the local people who are trying to make an honest living in the tourism industry. They love Bali more than any of us and must feel bad to see what is happening on their beautiful island. Is it greed or plain stupidity on behalf of the Government? Or maybe a bit of both. Whatever the problem is Bali might just be a victim of its’ own success. There are lots of other beautiful destinations that are now a better value than Bali and I for one am investigating where I should take my next groups.

  19. Milla says:

    I love your article and it’s all so true! We lived in Bali for 15 years (1995-2010) and left because of the greed, changes, environmental problems and simply the fact the unfortunately the Balinese are loosing their culture because of quick money. It’s really sad because they are beautiful people and the island was paradise for us for many years. We went back last Christmas and we were shocked of the changes down south and it’s not ‘our’ Bali anymore….. This statement from the President is truly wrong and it’s another case of the Indo Goverment shooting themselves in the foot, huff said!:(

  20. Christiane Frankenstein says:

    Thank you for your unfortunately so true words! I do love Bali so much. I am a long-time tourist in winter in Bali. With all these things you mention, I cut down year after year my stay in Bali. I wonder how it will be next season…

    I feel not well criticizing Balinese. There is so much good we can learn from Bali and its culture! Personally I feel the weakness of Balinese people is GREED, through all casts and levels, private and governmental. Of course not everybody in Bali is greedy, but yes, I feel it is a national problem. And yes, there is an arrogant believe that tourists will come, no matter what!

    Personally I am also very upset what is happening to ‘Bule’ when they go on their own to the tempel in Besakih.. I feel it’s more than a shame! As a result of the Balinese guides at the temple, I can’t go there alone anymore. Two times for me same bad stories.. I dont understand why the government dont protect the tourists there!

    The hot springs in Toyo Bungkah are to mention as well. This year fee was rised to a 100.000 rupiah. No improve except rise of prices, toilets still outside. Water was chloraged! in supposed healthy hot springs! Something inside the water caused heavy itching and strong allergy, also to Balinese people. Balinese not complain, we didnt do either… But I will not go there again, too.

    I really hope that these bad ‘improvements’ will stop and that Bali will remember its true spirit!

    P.S. How much formalin is in Bintang and other beers?? More than before!! Indonesian and Balinese people should become stupid??

  21. love bali says:

    You said it all!
    And so true, I totally agree..

  22. dave says:

    Stinging words, but it is only true words which cause the most pain.
    I have been coming to bali for 10 years, and of course have seen many changes. i chose to move here for work over a year ago, and i have to say it has opened my eyes to the problems more than ever before.

    The word which hits the spot is GREED. Everyone involved in the destruction of this amazing island is being greedy.
    From the greedy tourist wanting to get the most for his/her buck and endulge until they explode, or get as many waves as is humanly possible.
    The greedy politicians who run the show, placing even more pressure on local businesses, tourists, etc resulting then in many problems.
    And the greed of the indonesians in Bali itself…trying to squeeze every last cent out of the tourists.

    The end result…overcrowding so bali cannot cope…airports, roads, hotels, garbage system…the ocean.
    Have you been to the ocean lately in Bali? It has to be the most disgusting ocean i have ever surfed in…and that even in quiet surf spots further up the coast.

    Bali is turning (and very fast) into a corrupt, dangerous open sewer…and yes tourists come here, see how shit it is, and then flee to other islands such as Gilis, Lombok, etc…and who is to blame them.

    Sorry Bali, looks like you took on more than you could chew…
    And due to the Indo government, i dont think things will change for the better…only get worse.

    what a shame…

  23. Ledhep says:

    I am Indonesian,
    Feel like to seen a bit too much.
    and feel like understand why now tourist won’t to spend amount of the “coin” as before!!!!
    when the island star getting better and better they should be proud “PROUD” and behaving. which maybe somehow they will start to think to kee the “ORIGINAL” way as we “INDONESIAN” think “why they spend abbout this mount of money here” BECAUSE BEFORE…. IT MAYBE IT IS EXPENSIVE BUT IT STILL REASONABLE… BUT NOW IT EVEN IF IT IS CHEAP… IT IS NOT REASONABLE AT ALL… as a tourism minister… THEY HAVE TO realy start seeing what’s happening… MAYBE that’s also one of the reason why as an “INDONESIAN” we are not realy interesting work for the GOVERMENT… we know we could but…………….

  24. Ledhep says:

    GREEDY…. that’s the “word”.. I feel ashame as an INDO gal

  25. Maxime Dumont says:

    I agree with the fact that putting ALL the blame on tourists is not the way to go; while travelling (yes, I make little money and still travel because I was raised travelling around the world, and having no money doesn’t mean I should stay home all year freezing my ass off far from the ocean) to bali for the first time last year (my girlfriend’s 4th time there, and she has lots of local friends who quickly became my friends too), I was aurprized to see a similar level of dirtyness as I found when I was living in Haiti, or even in Benin, two of the poorest countries in the world with no tourism at all, or barely. And talking with some locals about the issue, I found out many of them have nice words to say when it comes to pollution, but they’re the first ones to turn around and throw their plastic bottle in the jungle, or on the beach! When asked why they wouldn’t walk 10 meters to the next garbge can, the reply would be: ” it’s okay, it’s the local way”!!! Astounding. Also, I was surprised to see that many hotels do not have waste management policies, and everything goes to the “rivers”, which are now open-sky sewage for some of them (i.e. Seminyak). Only the local can make a switch to sustainable development, and enforce environmental laws and regulations to make their own place liveable for the centuries to come. I don’t say that some tourists are not polluting deliberately the place, which is very sad, but many locals could revisit thair habits.

    Also, regarding the fact that tourists are cheap and not spending enough money, what kind of discrimination is that? Because you don’t make 100 000$ a year salary does not mean you should not travel! And also a lot of those low budget travellers are often way more respectful of the local culture, want to blend in and live the local eay: what’s wrong with that? You won’t see rich families at the same places as the “lower class”, which is sad because they will stay in their 5star resorts and produce alot more waste than any eco-traveller. Have you ever seen rich tourists picking trash on the beach and in the ocean to help a bit, as I did a lot of times?
    And of course we bargain! The prices have artificially blew up because of rich tourists willing , for example, to give a 20$ bill to any dude with a guitar who obliges you to listen to him some mexican songs (WTF!?! It happened to us) and when you reach for a dollar or two, they insult you and say you’re just a greedy prick! What about the 5$ I have left in my account when I came back? Was I supposed to give it to him for a one-minute mariachi-style Guantanamera song ( which has nothing to do with Balinese culture I was eager to soak in)?! He makes more money than I do! All of this to say that keeping only the rich tourists is not going to help much, and you’ll lose those really interested in Bali for what it is, culturally and historically, not just as a beach and cocktail destination in all-inclusive hotels like Cancun or other cheesy places like that.
    Respect Bali and its People, and take responsibilities accordingly. I wish I could go back soon, i really miss that place. Bon courage!!!

  26. KJBeinke says:

    I have never been to Bali – but those who have love the place and love the people.
    It appears tourists are being ripped off because I went to Phuket and none of this is occurring. Sure there is robust bartering and I did buy a cashmere suit which turned out to be cotton but none of the piles of trash. This needs to be addressed. If they dont and there are a series of negative issues there wont be a problem of stingy tourists. There wont be any tourists. Why should tourists pay top dollar to visit a rubbish tip?

  27. Peter Austin says:

    have just returned from a 10 day holiday in Bali. Our 15th trip since 1982. Bali has changed over the years . I can relate to most of the things you said in the article. There are many hotels to choose from but so many are old and tired and need money spent on them. Some of these hotels are rated higher than what they should be. eg the melasti beach resort, I think it is a 3.5 star but should be a 2. Its prices should reflect that. The rubish on the street often is from locals.We will still come to bali because we like the people. However, i suggest to fix up the olde buildings/ hotels before building new ones. Also try and restrict residents of other parts of Indonesia from moving to bali. 4 million people in Bali is too many.

  28. Bule says:

    Bali is cooked. The coastal areas are overbuilt, the infrastructure woefully deficient, and the the whoring out of land for ugly villas is leading Bali towards a big bubble. I used to love Bali for many of the same reasons everyone did. It is lost, and I am afraid can never be brought back. Unless they are willing to demolish all the ugly rukos and tokos that inhabit the island. Thailand or Vietnam is a much more appealing destination. bali is cooked, done. Now just wait for the property bubble to burst. Then the angry locals will demand their land back, of course the villas you built on it included. It is all of their own doing. Karma, funny how that works. you’d think they would understand that concept

  29. luc hapers says:

    thanks VYT for your report…I could’t have said it better! so I keep it simple…hahaha…
    I’ve been to bali about 20 times now!! so I’ve seen it changed! and I must say I prefer the bali as it used to be…when there was more of a backpacking/surfing vibe…when the oberoi was about the only luxury hotel in seminyak. no ‘sunset road’ or any of this…just the bypass. pollution is a big issue as well! the packpackers are NOT to be blamed at all!!! I’m sure the locals would rather have them than the ‘package tourists’ who stay, shop and eat in their hotels. packpackers contribute more to local communities and are more wary when it comes to environmental issues. they won’t spend as much in one holiday but they will def. come back! And I think that the government has to think in long term. not trying to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time!! I’m not saying that Bali has to be a backpackers place. It’s all a matter of respect for eachother and the environment! and another thing that’s annoying me…is the hassling and rudeness!! mainly in kuta, airport and some main tourist spots. This year I’m going again, but if problems keep worsening…??? there are more beautiful places in Indonesia…or elsewhere!! without all this. PREVENT IS BETTER THAN CURE!!!

  30. Serg says:

    Nice article! totally true! when will mr Ngurah and governor undestand THIS? they scream about cheap tourists by buses after Bali Hell article in The Times. Promised NO MORE BUSES! after 1 month triple times more buses comes to Bali! THANK U, governor and minister of tourism!

  31. Queeni says:

    Absolutely wonderful... This is by far one of the best posts about Bali i have ever seen lmfao....

    When i do my first trip to Bali, I wish to stay with you thanks. im serious!!!

  32. My dear Vyt Karazija, i thank you for reminding us of our cultural values. For us, atithi, a guest, a visitor is “deva” – divine. Our sages declare atithi devo bhava – regard your guest as divine.

    Alas, we have forgotten this injunction. On behalf of all those, who have forgotten this injunction, i sincerely apologize to you and to all those tourists/visitors who have suffered due to this amnesia on our part.

    My humble salutations to you, and to all tourists, all visitors to Bali.

  33. mark says:

    Spot on Vyt!
    My first visit to Bali was ridiculously expensive for food in Villa resorts…2 to 3 hundred a day to eat to begin with for 3people.
    Enjoyed the scenery sun etc…Was a little upset by the racism from Javanese which was plain to see…Not to mention i got Legionella upon my return from A/C you mentioned…Never again- Thailand leaves it for DEAD!

  34. steve says:

    we my balinese wife and kids are getting out of this shit hole and building north of singaraja in the hills

  35. meidy says:

    Yes, that is the true fact that happened in “modern” bali.
    But for me as come from balinese father and born in Jakarta but has stayed in Denpasar since 1999, the “local” balinese have a part also.

    Money would be the best reason for all the changes. You want to do something that need “banjar” then they would cost you a lot of money in the process.

    Stingy? nah… i prefer to be a smarter consumer than extravagant buyer 🙂

    For Anand Krishna, i couldn’t agree more. Visitor (domestic or international) should be welcome as the same. Amnesia? for money? Nope..:)

    Anyway local or non local need to broaden their horizon that there a wide world to live so everyone will live in harmony.

    Just my 2 cents

  36. Maxx Maxted says:

    I have always been concerned that the elaborate ceremonies, in particular, cremations,can almost bankrupt even rich families because for example, a royal cremation takes months of work from many artists and artisans, food preparation on a massive scale and hours away from regular, wage paying work which has to be compensated for. This has led to an attitude of ‘Harvesting white coconuts
    Greed however can also become an unwanted result of this harvest when the tourists decide that they are not getting a fair trade or are hassled out of money, the harvest.
    ‘Atahi devo bhava’

  37. Surf* says:

    Bali has shot themselves in the foot. For them to blame tourist exemplifies their “Give me your money & f***-you attitude,…. next…”

    In classic “act first, think later” they decided to add another runway at the airport in hopes of doubling revenue. Unfortunately the Balinese math will prove wrong. But what the hell they can always build a 3rd runway right?

    Abusive practices of police & the street gypsies continue to be ignored.

    The other day I paddled in from a Legian surf and the water line had numerous syringes. I looked up towards the beach to see many tourist families, small children playing in the sand only to realize Bali is done. I seem to frequently get sinus infections after surfs here. But the most telling issue is the amount of jellyfish now.

    Locals bomb the coral to catch what’s left, illegal fishing of dolphins, mantas, and sharks are norm. In 5-10 years Bali will be a sea of jellyfish.

    Bali will soon have nothing to offer visitors. But who the hell wants to go to Bali when you have Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, and other Indo locations. (Edited by moderator)

    Karma is a bitch!

  38. Antjies says:

    Sadly it is true. Tourists are not stingy, but a spirit of greed has rooted itself in Bali due to the fact that Indonesians are paid paupers salaries and can most definitely not enjoyed dignified living. Another reason that businesses in Bali unashamedly overcharge for the majority of products and service of poor quality. I often think about all the rejection the stall owners at Kuta art market and other such place experience and my heartbreaks for them, yet I have not seen the government or any Indonesian training centre teach them how to produce quality merchandise. No one has ever taught them that if they lower their price and provide customer service, their customer will return and refer others as well.

    I have to admit that I detest having people in my face trying to force me to buy a product and I’m not a mister, either, but they are so desperate, because they have no hope of finding something sustainable.

    Bali has changed a lot and even Indonesians complain that they can’t afford to enjoy what Bali has to offer, because the prices are insane.

    Before living here it was so easy to sell Bali as a destination. Now, living here, I look at the broken, smelly toilets in 4*-5* hotels, bad quality food, not properly cooked and overpriced, I look at business owners selling coffee to a non-Indonesian at $20 and the same packet “harga lokal” is Rp 65 000.

    Look at all the businesses for rent. eventually they become white elephants, because people can’t pay a 4- or 5 year contract in advance. Who is the looser….Bali, Indonesians?

    Because I love Bali, I hope the government gets their act together that Bali can be Bali again or else it will only be a memory.

    May the local government, business owners and population be humble enough to allow those of us who cares for Bali to assist them to make it better.

  39. azza says:

    @ Bali resident: Crying about the advent of mass tourism? Why do you think people have been coming to Bali for so long? Because it “was” inexpensive.
    I still love the place and have many good friends there but it has gone downhill quite notably over the past 10 years, much to the chagrin of the majority of Balinese as most of the profits go to Jakarta. Most major hotels and more recent developments are owned by the corrupt ex officialdom which still hold sway on land grabbing such as the new eyesore at Nusa Dua. Ever noticed as you leave that the date on the departing customs desk computer is a day ahead of itself and you get hit with the fine? Cheeky but what can you do? Have been coming for 12 years, 3 times a year and considering Vietnam and Cambodia next time but will miss my friends. Alas the corruption. Megawati said it is the grease on the wheels that keeps it going but I think the bearings are quite rusty….

  40. Sigourney says:

    I stumbled across this website. We are thinking about going for a holiday and I had a bad experience I. Bali when I went years ago. Wanted to see if anything had changed.

    I travelled with another female and we were quite young. In the time I was there, I was told by a hair braided on the beach that “if I had a knife I’d stab you”, when I declined to have my hair braided while going down to look at the sunset. Our plane had landed just 2 hours earlier.

    I got told by a touter to “suck his dick”, when I declined to by a watch. We could not walk along the street without being set upon by touters. At times I became very concerned and we avoided shopping all together in the end. NEVER again. I’m going to Singapore! Lol

  41. Tiago says:

    Well, I’ve been 6 days in Bali and I’m almost sure it will be the first and last time!!! Nice beaches? I’ve way better in my country or almost any other south European country! The water is warmer, that’s true! Traffic? F**k all that traffic! Did the Dutch came here only to rip off this country? I can’t understand how a tourist’s destination from the thirties has so bad infrastructures!!!!!! Taxis, stop stealing tourists and do not horn every time u see a tourist!!! I’ve read somewhere that Ubud was still an almost tourist free area… Hell no!!! Bars packed with white trash from Australia… Oh boy, is there a place where I can hear other thing than Candle in the Wind???? Or nice well frequented bars/restaurants, with nice people (Gado Gado, Sardine and Kudeta are all very nice)? All this bars, but packed with british white trash I can find 500 km from home, no need for a 16 hours flight… I had this image of Bali that actually doesn’t exist, maybe in very remote areas, but I can’t say!! I miss my vacations in Greece last year!!!!! In the end all this was my fault, I should have stayed with Iceland, my first idea for vacations!

  42. Thanks great article
    , Putu

  43. Haris says:

    Every points made in this article was just very true. Won’t even bother to go back to this place again.

  44. Noodles Rivers says:

    I never been to bali but we were planning this christmas. Company trip. This is really shocking

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