Why the anti-Bali bias from Lonely Planet Indonesia Writer?
Replies: 93 - Last Post: May 30, 2012 5:09 PM Last Post By: dude_Copronymus
May 25, 2012 11:38 PM
Have you read the Bali intro. on this site (destinations)? Yes,the general Indonesia intro.talks about 'precocious style cats' (whatever that means).However there is a lot more if you click on Bali as a destination........
It talks about rice terraces,surf,temples and dance.'World class' restaurants.
And that Bali is the 'most visitor friendly island in Indonesia'
Doesn't seem particularly anti-Bali to me......
May 26, 2012 2:12 AM
May 26, 2012 2:33 AM
May 26, 2012 12:17 PM
78#67, I can return to Bali pretty much at will. I just passed up the opportunity last month, opting for Sumatra instead.
No doubt there are still some areas of Bali where you can escape the tour buses and little white rental vehicle swarms; I've been to many on my last two trips to Bali, where I spent days helping a university professor find and collect fungi in a vehicle driven by a Balinese sopir with 30 years of experience in their Forest Service before he bought the Kijang. We got to a pretty comprehensive selection of places where no tourist and damned few travelers ever go, all over the island, and we were helped by villagers wherever we went.
I'm well aware that there are enclaves and backwaters where you can escape from the mass tourist onslaught. There are also pockets of pre-Muslim worship in East Java. That doesn't mean that Bali as a whole hasn't been overhyped and overdeveloped, any more than those Hindu holdouts show that Java isn't overwhelmingly Muslim. Incidentally, I don't consider pirating power from a light pole to be very representative of the highlights of unspoiled Balinese consciousness.
The fact that enclaves exist doesn't change any part of my sadness at the overpromotion and overdevelopment of the island as a whole. I'm not wallowing in nostalgia over some Kuta of long ago; it always developed as a zoo in a way, so people escaped to Legian, until it became a zoo and they escaped to Seminyak, until it became a zoo... I have much deeper sorrow for Ubud, which was an unselfconscious centre of consciousnness until it got "discovered" and became a zoo so they overdeveloped Campuan, which became... I regret the degradation of the marine environment around Lovina, the coral at Candidasa destroyed by mindless overdevelopment, and the trampled coral at Amed,and I defy anyone to find a piece of the Balinese coastal/marine environment that isn't in trouble.
I don't expect tourism in Bali to go away, nor do I begrudge those Balinese who are able to profit from the gross exploitation their share of the spoils. I just laugh at the notion that Bali is suffering from a lack of promotion, or that (this is especially ludicrous, of course) budget travelers have only recently discovered Bali, thanks to the bold $1,000 a day pioneers.
Which leads me to chuckle again at #65. You're starting to froth, Sparky.
May 26, 2012 4:46 PM
79“I don't consider pirating power from a light pole to be very representative of the highlights of unspoiled Balinese consciousness.”
Would burning old Dutch oil lamps to provide light be more “representative of the highlight of unspoiled Balinese consciousness” in your mind?
In other words, where do you draw the line? Or, more to point, how do you define “unspoiled Balinese consciousness?” Do you define that as walking to get about, rather than riding a motor bike, not having a hand phone, not sending your kids to school, never wearing western type of clothing, etc.? If you do, then I’m sorry to say that you don’t have very much of an understanding of “Balinese consciousness.”
“I have much deeper sorrow for Ubud, which was an unselfconscious centre of consciousnness until it got "discovered" and became a zoo so they overdeveloped Campuan, which became...”
At what point did Ubud cease to be “an unselfconscious center of consciousness” in your mind? Was it when they paved the roads, covered the ditches and open sewers that used to run along side all these roads, started to provide public water supplies, built good schools and medical clinics, added street lights, built some resorts and restaurants…?
I’m sorry, but in my mind you sound awfully much like an armchair anthropologist who shows up here from time to time and forms opinions with little or no understanding of the Balinese culture and what best defines Balinese consciousness.
Balinese consciousness is best defined as the inseparable ties they have to Bali Hindu Agama which many westerners mistakenly identify as religion. Far from the shortsighted aspects of organized religion, Bali Hindu Agama is a way of living, and that has not changed in Ubud one iota. For the fewer number of Balinese who remain in Kuta, this hasn’t changed either.
On the other hand, if it were to pass that the Balinese stopped doing their daily offerings, stopped living in traditional family compounds, stopped doing their ceremonies, (most of which outsiders rarely, if ever, witness), stopped learning Bahasa Bali, stopped building more temples, and actively sought to leave their ancestral villages, then yes it could then be said that the Balinese (wherever they are in Bali) have lost their “Balinese consciousness.” That has NOT happened however, and it’s highly unlikely it ever will.
With one point you make we have total agreement:
“I just laugh at the notion that Bali is suffering from a lack of promotion…”
It’s quite obvious that Bali has been very well promoted, and for nearly a hundred years now when considering the early promotion of Bali by the Dutch and English touring companies. However, despite all of that promotion, the Balinese have very much retained their consciousness, and I know this very well on a fist hand basis by virtue of living among them 24/7 for over 14 years, being married to one, and raising three sons in a totally Balinese environment.
On your next visit to Bali sit down and talk to some Balinese and offer your opinion that they have lost their “Balinese consciousness.” Be prepared for some laughter, as that notion would be rejected out of hand…rejected by the ones who know best just how untrue that is…the Balinese themselves.
May 26, 2012 7:26 PM
May 27, 2012 6:24 PM
81but I do get a bit of a surprise. dude_ copronymous writes under different nicks in the Cambodia and Vietnam branches (maybe search 'pith helmet', he also doesn't like people who drink G& Ts) and it looks like MrSteve has new ones too.
Your right and you are wrong - this is an old handle because I was, uh, well same thing that happend to Tezza. However, saying that, I think you have me confused with someone else. Actually I use a different handle than this to post on this branch and always have, keeps riff raff off the post
Mr Steve spends too much time on the sports branch and handles have a short life expectancy on that branch.
May 28, 2012 12:53 AM
May 28, 2012 1:17 AM
83It seems that there many armchair experts on Bali with differing points of view writing in this thread, and I think this is not necessarily a bad thing but I do object to people like Lucapal insisting that I 'Don't know what I'm taking about' in order to give the impression that they and other people who agree with their opinions are the only real exports worth listening to. With so many people on this planet, with so many alternative perspectives, it must be hard to get by with such an attitude.
Also Re #78 - My worthy adversary ;) actually i'm writing this with a smile on my face an and not too much froth on it... also I think that you may be trying to twist my words into making it appear as if it is my opinion that budget travelers have only recently discovered Bali, that was not my point (my point was that the budget travellers persisted in coming to Bali despite the New Order Government push to move Bali in the High-end direction - and as MadeIndra suggested, it is often the case that the Balinese will do what suits them even if that means conflict with Jakarta. For the record I do realise that the artists, hippies, surfers, the Balinese themselves, etc. all did their bit to promote Bali each in their own way long before Nusa Dua was even imagined, however it was precisely because this type of uncontrolled tourism/economic development so riled Suharto and his cronies (mostly because they weren't getting their cut and also because ideologically they didn't really want these bohemian types hanging around in Bali - don't forget these were the days of the 'Ministry of Information' that controlled all media, books, etc. under a harsh censorship regime that included the blatant denial of historical facts that didn't suit their version of the past) that the policy to develop Bali as a high-end tourism destination was initiated when it was. Personally I think it is great that Bali is lucky enough to be able to cater to all types on all budgets.
Also thanks MadeIndra for the supportive comments... obviously having lived in Bali for so long it gives one insights that can't be replicated by on-again off-again travellers or tourists! Feels safer now to leave my pith helmet at the door.. haha.
FYI - my teeth are very straight ;-)
May 28, 2012 1:43 AM
May 28, 2012 1:50 AM
May 28, 2012 3:22 AM
May 28, 2012 3:25 AM
87On the 'armchair experts'....I strongly suspect that that is exactly what you are.
Your ignorance on other parts of Indonesia suggests to me that you have never been to those places you write about.
This is an opinion however...
May 28, 2012 3:36 AM
May 28, 2012 7:42 AM
89What are you,a Balinese tour guide?
That would make sense actually....so,you are not ignorant but inventing 'facts'to try and get more people to visit Bali.
Really...its not necessary.People will visit Bali despite people like you........
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