Is Bali shaking?
Ever since I started living here,
I have felt a tremor here
and a tremor there.
Then a few years later,
there was that famous tsunami.
….and then a few serious earthquakes
in other parts of Indonesia.
If you’re curios enough to find out what is happening,
well then take a deeper look into the earth.
Bali is on very shaky grounds!
In fact, it’s right on the Ring of Fire.
To be precise, Bali is right on a
smaller plate known as the Sunda Plate.
Sind the Australia Plate is moving northwards
at the amazing speed of 6 cms a year
it pushes and pushes the Sunda Plate from underneath it.
The line where these plates meet is just south of Timor,
South of Sumba, then along the West about 250 kilometers south of Bali
and Java until somewhere to the west of Yogyakarta
(where there was a strong earthquake just a few years ago),
and then it turns NW and runs about 22o kilometers
off the west coast of Sumatra and up through the Andaman Islands.
To the south of this line is a deep trench
in the sea bed known as the Sunda Trench.
This is where all the actions is…
on of the most unstable areas on the planet!!!
If things seem to be pretty peaceful for a while,
don’t be fooled…because that is when stress
in this area has been built up between the plates
and we can expect the earth to take on a strong shake!
In terms of seismic hazard the most dangerous area is
But this does NOT leave Bali out of a high risk earthquake area.
If you would like further information on this, visit:
Part 1: Breaking a leg in Bali
Lets face it,
with the ruthless way
that driving is conducted here;
the amount of motorbikes
used as a way of transportation;
the poor infrastructure of roads
and even the so-called sidewalks
that one uses to walk on,
makes breaking a bone or two
as common as catching Dengue Fever,
or even getting Bali Belly.
(…not to mention the possible surfing accidents.)
And even though these incidents are common,
we may get caught at a moment of surprise
and in a position in not really knowing what to do.
So, it eventually happened to me.
After my 5th year in Bali,
I had a motorbike accident.
First things first…..do you have insurance?
If so, then go directly to BIMC
These are private clinics in Bali
with a better reputation than most others.
And one does wind up getting charged for it.
So, either be insured or have a fat wallet.
It is most probable that they may not have
the equipment to treat a serious fracture,
but they’ll prepare you for flying out of the country
to seek an alternative health care provider if needed.
If you don’t have insurance,
then first go to a local hospital to get an x-ray,
a first diagnosis to identify the seriousness of the fracture
and get wrapped up for the possible next step.
Two local hospitals are Sanglah Denpasar
which has an International Department.
JI., Diponegoro, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-227911
and Kasih Ibu.
For a list of hospitals in Bali, click on:
Hospitals in Bali
(visit at your own risk)
I myself, winded up at Kasih Ibu,
where they took 2 x-rays of the fracture.
The doctor, who treated me at the time,
spoke a very basic English.
He quickly explained to me that
I had a fracture at the top of my tibia,
and would wind up having arthritis in the future.
In the emergency room
he took out the blood from the area,
and he then put on a very tight cast
from my foot to my upper thigh,
and told me to come back at another time.
I myself, being familiar to the limitations
of the health care service here,
and after being advised from fellow expats,
I started seeking other opinions.
Note By this time, my leg was extremely swollen,
causing a lot of discomfort and causing lack of sleep.
There are expats with injuries that do opt to have surgery here,
but in some cases, stories of improper healing
and then needing to re-do an operation
to re-fix the damage is heard of.
Consider your options carefully.
I sent my diagnosis to contacts overseas,
and we also seeked a second opinion
from another local, orthopedic doctor.
Now here’s another tip to take into consideration:
many doctors in Bali work with several
health care facilities or have their own private office.
We were recommended to Dr.Bramantya
who happened to also be
a part time doctor at BIMC and at Sanglah.
Instead of making an appointment with him at BIMC,
where the charge would have been $150,
we went to where he does consultations
between 7-8 pm for 200,000 rp
at the less equipped hospital:
RS Dharma Yadnya
Jl. WR. Supratman No 256
His contact is:
Tel. 0361-244 330
There he reviewed my x-rays
and suggested that we do additional CT scans
to review the damage done to my tibia.
Since the hospital where we visited him,
does not have the equipment for this,
we needed to visit him the following day at Sanglah.
There a CT scan was performed.
It was suggested to us that we seek
outside medical assistance for an operation.
The consultation ran around 450,000 Rp,
and the CT scan was about $100-$150.
Now…most expats living in Bali,
would automatically consider going to Singapore.
With a recent trip to Singapore,
I was reminded how expensive Singapore can be.
(…and remember, I didn’t have insurance.)
I already had the experience
of visiting Bangkok for my yearly medical check ups.
So, Bangkok became my choice.
Next was finding a way to get there.
Via Thai Air we were finding rates from $400-$800 R/T
and via AirAsia we were finding prices of 1,600,000 O/W.
So Air Asia we flew!
Now comes the flying out part.
Bali is definitely not on the top of the list
of being wheelchair accessible.
And eventhough my mother
had gone to the airport the day before,
to reserve a wheel chair for me,
when we arrived, nothing was immediately available.
My mother needed to leave me stationed
on one of the benches at the entrance of the airport,
while she went in to the Air Asia counter
to request a wheel chair.
The wheel chairs provided at the airport,
are a bit run down,
but one has to do with what is offered.
From there on,
a wheelchair assistant was offered to us,
which ran pretty smoothly.
We were taken up an elevator,
directly to immigration,
and wheeled through any lines.
We were first to board on the plane,
which allowed me to find comfortable seating.
(I needed 3 seats to stretch out on,
since my cast was so long)
During my 4 hour + flight,
I read an article in the
Air Asia in-flight magazine,
from a passenger praising the
wheel chair assistance provided by Air Asia.
I became hopeful!
Until I got to Bangkok……
Chapter 2: Getting an operation in Bangkok
My dog is gone!!!
The disappearance of dogs here is common.
No, I am not talking about the sick dogs on the street.
I am referring to the dogs owned by expats.
At first, I thought the main reason
why dogs would disappear is because
they would wait for the reward sign to go up
before releasing them back to their owners.
Then I read the following article:
Dog Gone or a Dog of a Different Color?
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud and theft
is a serious and growing problem
not only in Indonesia, but also
in other areas of Asia.
Travelers should avoid using credit cards,
if possible, and use cash.
If used, credit card numbers should
be closely safeguarded at all times.
There have been many reports of shop,
restaurant and hotel staff writing down
the credit card numbers of customers and
then making purchases using the credit card number
after the consumer has departed the retail location.
Speaking with the local people
There are quite a few westerners that,
come to Bali and start desiring
a piece of so-called paradise.
With all eagerness,
they go out a contract a piece of land,
or think that they are
buying a piece of land
and in all excitement start building
what they consider will be their dream house.
Quite are the few,
that they come and exercise what
they believe is normal procedure.
I buy, this is mine.
Well, in Bali, there is
a strong sense of community,
no matter what you think.
So, you can go ahead and
start building that dream home
in your own way, but if you don’t
establish a relationship with your community,
you may just run into some nightmare issues.
It’s helpful to discuss your plans
with the local community and
that way you start socializing with
what will be your neighbors
and hopefully in the future, in some way,
be your protectors.
If not, if for some reason,
you fall into a community that
does not appreciate your master plan
of your dream house,
they may stand together
and make your life very difficult.
No violence, no aggression
nor confrontation will be applied,
but a steady resistance will be applied
making your life difficult.
They may even wait until
you have poured your many dollars
into tons of cement which,
has already built that dream house of yours
and then you are really screwed!
Bali is-a changing
For those who return to Bali after a few years,
or those who have lived here for several years,
may feel a bit astonished at the velocity
of how devolvement has evolved.
It seems like those who are blindly building,
and only seeing the self benefits,
have not taken even a glance or a consideration
at the environmental issues, the lack of planning
and the poor service infrastructure,
that the island has.
With government officials
willing to bend over and
brake the building rules upon donation,
areas that have been reserved as green belt,
or even land that has been reserved as Temple Land,
are easily traded off to fill the pockets of a few.
It seems that more and more people
want to buy a piece of paradise,
but do not see the poor sewer treatment,
which has taken a toll on the population with disease;
nor have the noticed the electrical problems
that are occurring on the island,
or the shortage of water that is growing each day.
If matter are not taken into proper hands,
sooner or later this paradise island will choke,
leaving those who thought that
they bought a piece of paradise
are actually living on an island
slowly destroyed by greed.
Balis Need for Comprehensive Planning and Action
Cry the Beloved Island
The Limited Water Supply
On an Island where it is common
to use wells as a source of water,
ground water pollution is
becoming a major problem.
In most cases,
it is caused by water waste
which is not processed
by correct septic tanks.
Then with more and more
structures getting build,
like the unneeded 17 Hole golf course
the already limited supply of water
is being put under much strain.
It seems that there are plenty
of developers out there,
willing to make a profit,
but not to many are considering
in contributing to an already
very, week infrastructure.
Those who will probably
pay the price at the end,
are not only the Balinese,
but those who buy into the projects
created by these greedy developers
Everyone remembers the Bali bombing on Kuta Beach in 2002 that killed 202 people and injured 209 more. Terrorism must not win. Here is a photo of the memorial built on the site that used to be a bar. Many foreigners were murdered in the suicide bomber attack including 2 Canadians. I felt safe in Bali even though I was there a week after the second bombing in 2005. The only unpleasant time I had was at the airport when I arrived the immigration officer took a liking to my watch and asked if he could have it.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Oooops! There’s a crack in my wall!
I can’t help but to laugh and laugh,
over and over again,
at how some foreigners come over here,
stubborn headed and seeing life here
through a pair of rose spectacles…
wanting to invest into property and then
go as cheap as they can in construction,
or at least cut a corners here or there.
In Spanish we say,
‘Lo barato, sale caro.’
(Look it up)
Anyway, sometimes especially
if you are going to invest a
certain amount of money here,
it’s worth your while to
pay a bit more and get an engineer
and a construction manager that
really knows what they are doing.
Not that they have only built a house or two,
but that they understand the land,
know how amateur the locals work here,
and knows about building materials found here.
I keep seeing people who may
not want to pay a firm
that is knowledgeable in the subject matter
and then they trust a local Balinese
or Indo to do the job.
Soon, within a short time,
you are bound to start realizing
there is a crack here,
or your electricity is a fire bomb,
or simply, the house is sinking because
you didn’t have a deep enough
foundation built on what
used to be a rice field.
Anyway, the choice is yours.
I’ll just be watching and
laugh again and again.
Life is beautiful!
- Business Travel
Take carefull with Monkey Forest
, There are so many places for visiting a monkey forest sanctuary in Bali, but don't visit the one in SANGEH, the monkey in Sangeh is a very bad habit one, they can steal everything of your own, even something from your pocket, your money, sun glasses, necktie, camera, your wallet. Ther is one please to visit monkey forest sanctuary in a safe, the one that situated at Alas Kedaton
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Adventure Travel
- Road Trip
Extremely Corrupt Immigration Police at Airport
I just came back from my Bali trip. At the airport, the immigration police demanded bribe from me. They said that my U.S. passport only have 1 page left even though the passport is still valid until 2009. They asked me "Do you have anything to give me?" I pretended not knowing. They just kept fidgetting with my passport. He then passed to his boss and then they asked me to pay them $60 U.S. dollars on top of the $25 Visa fee. When I gave the money to them, I saw them just putting the money into their own pocket. I later met an Australian who have visisted Bali many times. When I told him of the incidence, he said that I should tell the Immigration police to go "f**k themselves." His passport has no pages left and when he made a scene shouting out loud that they are a bunch of corrupt officers in front of the tourists, they left him alone -- too ashamed to demand bribe. It is a well-known fact that the Immigration police at the Bali airport is extremely corrupt. Most of them are very uneducated but due to the money they got from the police, they drive luxurious Mercedes cars and live in extravagant villas while most Balinese people suffer in dire poverty. This is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Balinese and Indonesian people.
Don’t call me anymore!
If you’re a foreigner
planning to get intimate
and personal with a local,
and then things don’t turn out
as they expect,
which may be a life time,
be warned; telephone terror
is a popular pastime in Indonesia,
where direct confrontation is avoided
abusive anonymous messages are favored.
The driver whom I hired was reluctant to take me to Besakih initially, but after some insistance, he gave in ( I never found out why - could it be out of the 'tourist route'? or he has no commisions?)
At the entrance you are required to register and then hire a guide. I'm not sure if these are guides licensed by the government - or basically 'mafias' running the show - they did show us their tags - but I wasn't convinced. Unfortunately, you must pay for a guide. No way out.
To further convince you regarding their guide fees and worth, they will show you a 'guest book' which lists the names of the visitors and the corresponding prices they paid to the guides (mostly ridiculous/*** prices). I have been warned by the driver, to only pay a fixed price (I think it was IDR 60,000 per person - price Feb2005).
Remember: Unless you're a rich person, pay the correct price. Don't spoil the market for other travellers. If you choose to pay more - don't write it down on the guest book (I wasn't even given the opportunity to pen my name :-)
After showing you the temple, the guide will ask for more money! At first I was reluctant, but later I paid him a small amount ( I think about IDR 20,000).
Imagine this: If every tourist gave in (just like me).. these guys are making heap lots of money!
While outdoors, be careful of ants, they bite! I was bitten while sitting in our hotel room veranda and did not notice it till afterwards when i had a big unusual bite which i showed to our driver. He asked if i sat on any bamboo furniture, so there was my answer! The ant that i remember seeing and which is probably the one that bit me was a silver coloured one.
If u r being hassled to buy sth on the street, be very careful. Some ppl can be masters of trickery with words. They will say anything to grab ur attention and get u 2 agree 2 buy what they r offering. Once u've agreed, the rules change.
We had an incident in Kuta where a girl was offering me a manicure but i was not interested so she kept bringing the price down untill she gave us a "special morning price" of $1. I did not even want the manicure but was intimidated into it as i felt bad 2 turn her down when she was so insisting and hey, whats a dollar? So i agree and i let he give me a manicure and then when we r ready 2 pay, she asks for $10! She tried to convince us she meant $1 per nail and acted as if we were mad to believe u could get a $1 manicure! Anyway, we started to argue but we refused to give in and just walked away with her shouting and making a scene, trying 2 embarass us.
Second incident, someone trying to sell us a nice wooden carved statue of a fisherman with a fishing rod...we were not interested so he kept bringing the price down untill he brought it down from $40 to $15. So he gets our attention and we agree. We try 2 pay him the $15 and suddenly he acts as if we r crazy, he claims he said $50. When that doesn't work, he claims he meant only the fishing rod is $15. We start to get irritated, lose interest and walk away after which he finally gives in and we get it for the $15.
To avoid these type of incidents, tell them very clearly what u understood from what they said before agreeing into anything. If they still manage 2 trap u, stand ur ground and just walk away.
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