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ISSUE 110

 

LOMBOK – NYEPI ESCAPES!

Nyepi, the “day of silence”, will be celebrated in Bali on 23 March this year. For 24 hours, until 24 March, people in Bali are required to stay inside, and avoid all light and noise. Restaurants and bars are closed, the streets are quiet and there are no flights into or out of Bali airport.

Our Balinese community in Lombok also celebrates Nyepi but, as we’re a multi-cultural island, we keep the lights on and life goes on as normal. Restaurants and bars are open, there’s music and dancing, and all the usual fun in the sun. Plus, we join with our Hindu friends for one of the best Ogoh Ogoh parades around!

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PERFECT NYEPI ESCAPES!

Nyepi, the Hindu New Year, will be celebrated in Bali on 23 March this year with the traditional “day of silence”.

For 24 hours, until sunrise on 24 March, residents of the island are required to stay inside their homes, make as little noise and use as little lighting as possible, and avoid all work and entertainment. Balinese Hindus believe that by staying quiet and drawing little attention to themselves, it will appear as if the island is empty and the evil spirits will pass by without noticing them… an auspicious start to a New Year!

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•We were delighted with the response to The Lombok Guide 2012 Photography Competition and in awe of the beautiful images of Lombok that we received, as well as the talent of Lombok’s photographers.
The Lombok Guide held the photography competition from January until 20 February 2012, inviting all photographers in Lombok to submit entries in three categories: Culture, Landscapes and People.
After judging the many beautiful entries we received, we are pleased to announce the following winners in each category:

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THE FUTURE OF SELAPARANG STILL UNCLEAR

The fate of Selaparang Airport, Lombok’s old airport which was closed on 30 September 2011 when the new Lombok International Airport commenced operating on 1 October, remains unclear.

Currently a signed “Memorandum of Understanding” exists between the airport authority, PT Angkasa Pura (AP), and gold mining investment company, PT Merukh Enterprises, to use the airport for aircraft repair and maintenance.

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AIR AUSTRALIA GROUNDED

Air Australia, formerly operating as Strategic Airlines, have grounded their entire fleet of airplanes, leaving an estimated 4,000 passengers stranded in destinations from Hawaii to Bali and Phuket.

The grounding of the airline occured when aircraft at various international destinations were reportedly refused refuelling by airport operators.

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FUEL PRICES TO INCREASE

Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jero Wacik, has warned that fuel prices are set to increase but, to his credit, he has also apologized in advance. Quoted by Kompas.com, Wacik said, “Apologies to the people of Indonesia because the price of fuel will increase.”

The Minister’s apology was made to a group of reporters while Wacik was accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a session to brief and instruct Indonesian diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23 February, 2012.

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LOCAL SCENE

BBQ NIGHT @ THE CHANDI

Special guests from overseas joined Mehdi, Melanie and friends at the newly opened beachfront restaurant at The Chandi in Batu Bolong for a delicious barbecue feast, including locally grown oysters, scallops and other specialties provided by Lombok seafood supplier, Bruno.

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QUESTION: I am a single male and the owner of a small holiday villa in sunny Senggigi. I have a small garden and I chose the location because of the many coconut trees in the area. My next door neighbour is also single and very nice. She smiles and waves every time she sees me. I’m sure she fancies me!

She has many coconut trees in her garden. She also has 2 beautiful coconuts at the front. Just the other day, a coconut fell on my roof and smashed through the ceiling onto a glass topped table and nearly decapitated the cat. It caused a great deal of damage and several tiles had to be replaced. As the coconut came from my neighbour’s tree next door, who is responsible for the damage to my roof?

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CALM RETURNS TO BALI PRISON

Local news reports say that Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison had regained a degree of normalcy on Saturday, 25 February 2012; after five days of rioting that saw the inmates take full control of the facility, sending guards and prison staff scampering for safety outside the prison walls.

The Bali Post reports 37 members of the press were allowed a 10-minute tour of the prison on Saturday, but were forbidden from interviewing any of the inmates.

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FORBES RANKS BRUNEI AS FIFTH RICHEST NATION

According to the Asia News Network, FORBES has ranked Brunei Darussalam as the fifth richest country out of 182 nations worldwide, due to its extensive petroleum and natural gas fields; giving the Sultanate just over US $48,000 per capita.

Brunei Darussalam's economy has been dominated by the oil and gas industry for the past 80 years, and hydrocarbon resources account for over 90 per cent of its exports and more than half its GDP.

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EXILE ON GILI T!

Back in the 90’s, Gili Trawangan was just a small – albeit heavenly – dot on the backpacker trail east of Bali.

Accommodation was limited mostly to thatched huts on the northeast coast, with places like the old “Good Heart Bungalows” offering a basic bed and mandi bathroom for less than Rp 50 000 a night.

Bamboo lean-to’s on the beach with palm-leaf roofs dispensed nasi goreng to hungry beachgoers and, at sunset, the local ladies on the mainly Muslim island would furtively dispense large bottles of Bintang beer from coolers filled with tepid melted ice water hidden behind the huts.

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Gili Air 

This is my tenth column for the Lombok Guide – how exciting is that?!

This being the tenth column lends itself perfectly to a “Top Ten List of Things to do on Gili Air”.

I asked on Facebook and Twitter to see what people thought and I received at least thirty different answers. I was really hoping that there would be a clear “Top Ten” but, as everyone has their own favourites, it became a list of ten great things to do on the island – in no particular order!

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