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NEWS

ISSUE 79

 

LOMBOK FOR CHRISTMAS!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

With less than two weeks until Christmas, the festive atmosphere is already building and the party season has begun in Lombok. Our hotels are reporting good occupancies and the festive season looks like being a busy time on our beautiful island.

Christmas is a time for sharing happy occasions and Lombok’s hotels and restaurants have special events and festive menus planned to make sure all guests have a merry and memorable Christmas. In this issue we feature the best choices of where to celebrate Christmas in Lombok, starting on page 10.

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/distribution.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

To all our clients and readers around the world, we wish you a happy and safe Christmas and all the joys of the season!

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WHAT’S ON FOR CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is a special time for sharing with family and friends, enjoying great traditional foods and relaxing in comfortable surroundings. In this issue, we bring you the best offers from Lombok’s businesses, to make your Christmas special!

The festivities kick off with a big fashion gala combined with a Christmas Eve party starting from 6pm on 24 December at Café Alberto, on the beach in Batu Bolong. Hosted in conjunction with Ciokolata Boutique, guests will enjoy a lively fashion parade and competition with the dress theme of red, white and gold. Competitors have the chance to win trophies, cash and prizes from the sponsors.

Tickets are just Rp 100 000 and include a welcome cocktail, 3-course dinner and door prizes. It’s sure to be a big night of fashion and glitter, complete with live music featuring Gemma Bruno. Phone Café Alberto 693039 for details and bookings.

Popular Senggigi venue, Asmara Restaurant, is once again offering their Traditional German Christmas Eve Dinner… a delicious combination of Roast Duck stuffed with apple and onion, and served with gravy, red cabbage and potato croquettes. It’s a meal that has gained the restaurant many fans for Christmas over the past few years.

Asmara celebrates Christmas Day with a special Christmas Brunch, starting at 11am. Join the festive crowd upstairs for a feast of Roast Duck and other popular Asmara dishes. The meal will be accompanied by live classic guitar until 2pm, and then guests can party on with a live band until 5pm.

Price is Rp 150 000 per person (all inclusive); children under 12 years of age: Rp 50 000, and children under 6: free of charge. Bookings are highly recommended: 693 619.

Qunci Villas has earned a reputation as having two of the best restaurants in Lombok at both Qunci resorts on the beachfront in Mangsit. At Quah Restaurant, diners have the choice of romantic dining over Christmas, with the ala carte menu featuring international fare, authentic Thai dishes and creative Asian fusion cuisine.

The stylish Quali Restaurant presents a Christmas Set Dinner on 25 December from 7.00pm. Price is US $45++ per person including a complimentary glass of Christmas Cocktail, a glass of red or white wine and a traditional Sasak Dance performance.

The 4-course menu includes Grilled Chicken Salad with Orange and Cranberry Sauce and Clear Green Tomato Soup served with Salmon Wontons. Main course is a choice of Grilled Seafood Combination with Blanched Palm Tips and Coconut Tamarind Sauce, or Grilled Beef Tenderloin served with Potatoes Wedges and Lombok Cocoa Bean Sauce. Finish this exquisite repast with Chocolate, Orange and Strawberry Shortcake served with Chocolate Sauce, and tea or coffee. Bookings are recommended on 693800.

The feast at the Holiday Resort on Christmas Eve is always excellent value and this year looks to be a winner too! The festive buffet includes a huge selection such as Thai Beef Salad, Avocado Prawn Cocktail, Chicken Terrine, Antipasti and salads, Cajun Fish Fillet, Seafood Lasagne, as well as chicken and beef dishes. From the Carvery Station, select traditional Roast Tom Turkey with cranberry sauce and giblet gravy, and Blackened Mackarel with lemon butter sauce. There’s an equally large selection of delicious desserts (Traditional Christmas Pudding, Yule Log Cake, Crème Brulee, Chocolate Eclairs, a Gingerbread Christmas House and much more) all prepared fresh by the creative bakery team. Bring the family -- price is excellent value at only Rp 135 000 ++!

If buffets aren’t your style, Rinjani (the resort’s signature restaurant), is offering a “Glory Night” set dinner for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner for Rp 150 000++.

Meanwhile, at KA, the relaxed poolside restaurant offers guests at “Go Archipelago” buffet dinner on 25 December, featuring delicious and authentic foods from throughout Indonesia, including local Lombok specialties. Price is Rp 135 000++ for this “all you can eat” feast.

Be entertained by live music at all events. Phone: 693444 for reservations.

Manna Kebun opened earlier this year and celebrates its first Christmas with a “Romantic Christmas Eve Dinner” on 24 December. The lovely restaurant by the pool will be decorated with a Christmas tree and lots of candles, and children will be delighted by a visit from Santa Claus. Enjoy Prawn Bisque, Gratinated Scallops for appetiser, Roast Turkey with Baked Potato and Cranberry Sauce for main course, followed by Crème Brulee for dessert.

Be entertained by a Children’s Choir singing Christmas carols. Price is Rp 150 000 per person. Reserve your table by phoning 692999.

See page 71 for special Christmas offers on Gili Trawangan!

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WHAT'S HOT!

• After many months of building, the screening wall has finally come down on Senggigi’s newest dining venue -- Sendok Bar and Restaurant. A visit last week was a highly enjoyable experience, with the old Sunset Restaurant premises being totally revamped and recreated as a comfortable place to dine with loads of ambience. The menu has an impressive selection of dishes, with many seafood choices as well as popular international fare. It’s also wonderful to see a restaurant which features some of the best Indonesian cuisine, not usually found in tourist areas. The Homemade Tomato Soup, the King Prawn and Avocado Salad with Citrus Segments, and the Almond Crusted Chicken Breast are all highly recommended. For those with a large appetite, try the Honey Roasted Duck… guaranteed to please in both size and flavour. It looks like Senggigi has a new fine dining venue in the making!

• The curtain was raised on another long-awaited project a few months ago, with the opening of Jeeva Klui on the beach in Klui (just north of Mangsit). The old Nusa Bunga Hotel was demolished to make way for these luxurious villas, which feature beautiful woods, stone and natural building materials. Set in a serene and peaceful environment, with a nice stretch of beach overlooking Bali in the distance, Jeeva Klui has created another world for those looking for true relaxation… and another wonderful addition to the up-market accommodation choices available in Lombok!

• Rainy season in Lombok means lots of insects and those weird pesky flying creatures that arrive to commit hara kari by hurling themselves at your light bulbs. Fortunately, a local company has the solution with a range of services that includes fogging for mosquitoes, and spraying for spiders, ants and most other creepy crawlies. Ananta Guna Lestari is a professional local pest control company that is already servicing a number of hotels and businesses in Lombok, and also offers a complete service for your home or villa. Single treatments or monthly packages are available at very reasonable rates. Ph: 0818 544 921 or 665 7069 for a free consultation.

Blue Marlin Dive Senggigi is conducting a weekend Medical Training Course, available for all hotel and restaurant staff based in Lombok. The programme is part of Blue Marlin’s on-going commitment to tourism and safety here in Lombok, and is a fantastic opportunity for hotels and restaurants to train staff in how to cope in emergency situations. Emergency First Response covers First Aid and CPR skills - essential life skills for anyone, but especially those involved in the hospitality industry. Indonesian staff will be on hand to assist with logistics and translations. The best part of EFR training is learning serious medical emergency response skills in an upbeat, positive environment. Trainees gain confidence that will prepare them to stay calm and help in an emergency.
Dates: 29 and 30 January 2011. The full day training program includes lunch and will be held at the Holiday Resort and Senggigi Beach Hotel. For more information please email: senggigi@bluemarlindive.com

• The next GOTONG ROYONG (Community Clean Up) will be held on this Friday, 17 December from 8am. This month’s clean up will focus on the strip of land between Bukit Senggigi Hotel and ‘The Cow Café’ (Warung BB). Another target that needs a good clean up is the area in front of Indra Foto. Meet outside one of these areas in the morning or if you prefer, just focus on the area in front of your own business. What’s important is that we all join in and lend a hand to clean up the appearance of Senggigi before the Christmas and New Year high season. Rubbish should be piled neatly on the street verge, to make it easy for the pick up crew to remove. So please, grab a shovel and some gloves and join in the fun to make our town look clean!

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YOUR SAY

Hello Editor

Regarding “Your Say” published in issue 77, I have something I would like to add to the following issue. As an Indonesian who lives in Senggigi, I do not feel comfortable about irresponsible scam artists like Dino and friends who arrive at the homes of expatriates or at houses rented by foreigners and tourists, purporting to be asking to see the person’s Report Certificate (Surat Tanda Melapor) from the police and if they do not have the certificate, Dino and his friends intimidate the person into paying them, by threatening them with jail if they don’t pay.

Scam artists like Dino and his friends must have strong action taken against them! Scumbags like Dino and his mates give the island of Lombok and the Senggigi police a bad name.

Westerners who holiday in Senggigi and are scammed in this way will of course tell others about this bad experience and this is very bad for Lombok and for the promotion of tourism on our island.

Lombok is known for its natural beauty and friendly people, so please don’t let it be ruined by of the actions of people like Dino and his mates.

I ask the police in Senggigi to take harsh action against scammers like Dino and his friends. And to Dino and his mates, I say go and find money in the right way, by working like most people. Don’t make a living from putting the squeeze on westerners!

Name withheld on request.


Indonesian:

Hello Redaksi

Menanggapi Your Say terbitan lalu issue 77, saya ada sedikit tambahan untuk issue yang berikutnya. Sebagai orang Indonesia yang tinggal di Senggigi, saya merasa tidak nyaman dengan keberadaan oknum-oknum liar seperti Dino dan kawan-kawan yang mendatangi rumah-rumah orang asing atau dengan rumah- rumah yang disewakan kepada orang asing dengan alasan meminta surat laporan dari polisi dan kalau mereka tidak punya surat laporan, Dino dan kawan-kawan akan memeras orang asing untuk membayar mereka, dengan menakut nakuti mereka hukuman penjara jika mereka tidak membayar.

Oknum liar seperti Dino dan kawan-kawannya seharusnya ditindak tegas. Dengan adanya oknum Dino dan kawan-kawan akan merusak nama baik pulau Lombok dan Kepolisian Senggigi. Orang asing yang berlibur ke Senggigi akan menceritakan pengalaman buruknya kepada orang lain selama liburan di pulau Lombok, dan ini tidak baik untuk pulau Lombok yang mempromosikan turisme. Pulau Lombok terkenal dengan keindahan alam dan keramahan penduduknya tolong jangan di cemari karena ulah orang-orang seperti Dino dan kawan-kawan.

Kapolsek Senggigi saya mohon untuk mengambil tindakan tegas kepada oknum liar seperti Dino dan kawan-kawan. Dan untuk Dino dan kawan-kawan carilah rejeki yang halal dengan cara bekerja seperti kebanyakan orangan.Jangan mencari rejeki dengan cara memeras orang asing!

Kepada Redaksi tolong dijelaskan bahasa Indonesianya scumbag ?....

( tolong dirahasiakan nama saya )

 

Dear Editor

As I told you on the phone yesterday, here the details about Wednesday night’s robbery:

My husband and I were on the way home from Mataram to Senggigi on Wednesday night, riding our two motorcycles. My husband drove in front of me. It was around 10pm when we were close to Warung Menega and I noticed a motorcycle behind me.

All I felt was just a soft grip on my right shoulder where I had my handbag. Within a second, the motorcycle sped past and I realised that my handbag had gone. I tried to follow, I pushed the horn repeatedly, I waved my arm frantically but no one paid me any attention.  I was in shock... I don’t even remember any details about the guys or the type of cycle they used!

I was stupid enough to follow them at full speed. I didn’t realise I risk my life.  Somewhere around Batu Bolong I lost them. My husband continued chasing them until Lian Karaoke... but lost them too. All he remembers is that it was two guys on a black motorbike which was modified, made a very loud sound and could go faster than a regular machine. They had turned the rear lights off, which made it impossible to see the registration plate and made it hard to follow them.

The same night we made a report at Senggigi Police Station, where they told us this kind of ambush happens all the time in Ampenan and Mataram, but not here. The police have been very friendly but seem helpless.

espite the report there was no action. We asked if they could locate my mobile phone as it was still active but they said they couldn’t!?! We asked if they could make a public announcement at the villages, which is commonly done through speakers from the mosque to let local people know and to find out if anybody saw or heard something suspicious.

I now feel the impact of such an attack. It is deeper than I ever thought it would be!! I feel unsafe, my holiday is spoilt; I have to run around to organise to get new reading glasses and… and... and! When all is done, I sit poolside but all I feel is emptiness and sadness. That is the reason why I decide to write this message: to make others aware of that danger, because nobody ever warned us!!

I spoke to many people over the last two days and suddenly I hear many stories like mine, mostly happening to local people. Starting from people snatching the phone while calling until ripping a golden earring from a Balinese lady’s ear....all while riding on a motorbike!!!

I don’t have to mention how lucky I am that I haven’t been injured because the gangsters must have used a knife or razorblade to cut the grip of my bag.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my story. I really still feel miserable about it.

Best regards
Conny (Tourist from Germany)


Indonesian:

Kepada Penulis

Seperti yang saya beritahukan melalui telepon kemarin tentang perampokan pada Rabu malam:

Suami saya dan saya dalam perjalanan pulang dari Mataram menuju Senggigi pada Rabu malam, mengendarai dua sepeda motor. Suami saya berkendara di depan saya. Sekitar jam 10 malam ketika kami mendekati Warung Menega dan saya merasakan ada sepeda motor lain di belakang saya.

Yang rasakan adalah sentuhan pelan pada bahu kanan dimana saya menggandeng tas tangan saya. Dalam beberapa detik, sepeda motor itu melaju cepat dan saya menyadari tas tangan saya sudah hilang. Saya coba mengejar, saya membunyikan bel secara terus menerus, saya melambaikan tangan dengan panik tetapi tidak satu orang pun memperhatikan saya. Saya sangat terkejut… saya bahkan tidak mengingat bagaimana rupa orang itu ataupun sepeda motor apa yang digunakan.

Saya cukup bodoh dengan berusaha mengejar mereka dengan kecepatan penuh. Saya tidak menyadari bahwa saya membahayakan hidup saya. Di suatu tempat sekitar Batu Bolong saya kehilangan jejak mereka. Suami saya terus mengejar mereka sampai Lian Karaoke… tetapi kehilangan jejak mereka juga. Yang ia ingat hanya dua orang menggunakan sepeda motor berwarna hitam yang dimodifikasi, dengan suara knalpot yang sangat ribut dan bisa melaju lebih cepat daripada sepeda motor dengan mesin biasa. Mereka mematikan lampu belakang, sehingga tidak mungkin untuk melihat nomer plat dan menambah sulit untuk mengikuti mereka.

Pada malam yang sama kami melapor ke polsek Senggigi, dimana mereka memberitahu kami kejadian seperti ini terjadi setiap saat di Ampenan dan Mataram, tetapi tidak disini. Polisi tersebut ramah tetapi sepertinya tidak bisa membantu. Padahal kami sudah melapor tetap tidak ada aksi yang dilakukan. Kami meminta kalau mereka bisa mengetahui lokasi handphone saya karena pada saat itu masih aktif, tetapi mereka bilang tidak bisa!?! Kami meminta kalau mereka bisa membuat pengumuman di kampung, dimana biasanya dilakukan melalui pengeras suara di masjid agar orang lokal mencari tahu  jika ada yang mendengar atau melihat sesuatu yang mencurigakan.

Sekarang saya baru merasakan akibat dari serangan tersebut. Lebih dalam dari yang saya bayangkan!! Saya merasa tidak aman, liburan saya terganggu; saya harus kesana kemari untuk mendapatkan kacamata baca yang baru dan…dan…dan! Setelah semuanya berlalu, saya duduk di pinggir kolam renang tetapi yang saya rasakan hanyalah kekosongan dan kesedihan. Itulah sebabnya saya memutuskan untuk menulis pesan ini: untuk membuat orang lain lebih waspada akan bahaya ini, karena tidak seorangpun pernah memperingati kami!!

Saya telah berbicara ke banyak orang selama dua hari terakhir baru kemudian saya mendengar banyak cerita yang seperti kisah saya, kebanyakan terjadi pada orang lokal. Mulai dari orang merebut handphone pada saat sedang bicara sampai menarik anting-anting emas dari telinga seorang wanita dari Bali… semua terjadi pada saat mereka mengendarai sepeda motor!!!

Saya tidak harus mengatakan betapa beruntungnya saya bahwa saya tidak terluka karena orang-orang itu pasti menggunakan pisau atau benda tajam untuk memutuskan tali tas saya.

Terima kasih banyak telah memberikan saya kesempatan berbagi cerita saya. Saya benar-benar masih merasa tertekan.

Salam

Conny (Turis dari Jerman)

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LOCAL SCENE

THE TRAWANGAN – NOW OPEN!

Top movers and shakers from Gili T and Bali turned out in force to applaud
the opening of The Trawangan – Gili T's newest luxury villa resort – on 2 December

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MR FIXER

(Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal building problems)

QUESTION: As you know, I’ve been delivering presents to boys and girls all over the world for some time now. Every year it’s getting harder and harder. Even the elves have started complaining. Not only are there more presents to deliver each year but it’s getting more difficult to get into peoples’ houses and villas. There was a time when all I had to do was slip down the chimney and leave the presents by the tree, but these days there are not as many chimneys and mums and dads are forgetting to leave a window open for me.    Added to that, the advent of air conditioners and security alarm devices has meant it takes longer to get everything delivered in time for Xmas morning. I’m afraid that one day I might forget someone and that would never do! Can you suggest anything? S. Claus.

MR FIXER: Have you tried contacting all the alarm manufacturers and getting them to give you a secret code that works for every alarm system? Most alarm systems are made in China and go faulty within weeks, and end up being switched off anyway, so they are not a problem. Hope this helps. Thanks for the screwdriver set. Can I have an electric one next year, please?

QUESTION: My fiancé and I have come to the idyllic island of Lombok with the romantic idea of getting married in a tropical setting with blue skies and swaying palm trees. We have found a small hotel with a white sandy beachfront setting and have invited a few close friends and family. My husband-to-be has hired a white tuxedo and I have bought a silk and satin full-length traditional wedding dress with train and puffed sleeves. The flowers and posies have been arranged by the hotel, as has the catering for the wedding lunch. The bar tab is being paid by my future father-in-law. 

To be honest with you, as the day approaches, I am beginning to get cold feet, as my fiancé has some rather disturbing habits such as passing wind loudly in public places, leaving the toilet seat up, and firing snot balls in the garden. My fiancé has also admitted to a severe case of the prenuptial jitters. Can you catch this off toilet seats? I have not been brought up like this. Do you think I should cancel the wedding now, or do you feel there is any way that I can train him to get rid of what I consider appalling habits? If I do go ahead with the marriage, I am very concerned that I will forget my lines for the service; do you have any suggestions to assist me to remember them?

MR FIXER: You and your fiancé should see a doctor about some of your problems, eg:  the snot ball firing could be an underlying sinus problem. I am also concerned about your cold feet and would like you to see a doctor as this could be a circulatory problem.

Alternatively, I suggest that you both go to the ever-popular Happy Café in Sengiggi.  This will clear his sinuses and have the added advantage of making his loud flatulence inaudible, due to the extremely loud music. For yourself, try ordering a jug of “Illusion” (not delusion… you will find this after some time of marriage). Once consumed, the jug of “Illusion” should get you dancing and increase your circulation. I have no doubt this will warm your feet. There are several ex-pat women who will boogie with you, while your fiancé can de-boogie his nose while sitting on his own! Unfortunately, however, leaving the toilet seat up is a common problem with western males. I can only suggest that you count your blessings as, if you were to marry an Indonesian (who do leave the seat down), you would have the continual problem of washing footprints off the seat. I don’t know how they manage to do that! How do they get up there in the first place? 

When my friend George got married for the fifth time, his fiancé was very concerned about forgetting her vows.  His wife Flo, (so nick named due to being very relaxed and going with the flow), and between you and me, is so relaxed that she’s spent most her life in various horizontal positions. Anyhow, Flo solved the problem by using small flash cards to prompt her memory.

The first card said “Isle”

The second card read “Altar”

The third stated “Hymn”

As she proceeded on the way to the ceremony she could be heard chanting:

“Isle, altar, hymn. Isle, altar, him. Isle, alter him. I’ll alter him. I’LL ALTER HIM!!”

PS. George is now arranging his sixth marriage!

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LOMBOK HAS ITS OWN CALENDAR!

Just in time for Christmas and the start of a new year, Lombok has its own beautiful new calendar.
Produced by The Lombok Guide for the Rotary Club of Lombok, the Lombok 2011 “Images of Lombok” Calendar features stunning photos of the landscapes, people and traditions of Lombok. Photos were kindly donated by local photographers Nanang Wirawan and Iwan Haryanto, as well as by The Lombok Guide, Blue Marlin Dive and Mark Heyward.

Special thanks also to our printers -- Temprina Media Grafika in Bali, who co-sponsored the printing costs and to the talented team at Temprina for their high quality production of the calendar.

The Lombok Guide designed and produced the calendar free of charge for Rotary, in recognition of the Rotary Club’s impressive efforts in community projects, particularly in funding cleft lip operations for disfigured local people and providing clean water filters for villages throughout Lombok.

To date the Rotary Club of Lombok has helped transform the lives of around 200 Lombok people, many of them children, afflicted with cleft lip and cleft palate deformities. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of facial surgeons who donate their time and expertise to perform the life changing surgeries, and the Rotary Club of Lombok who fund the operations in local hospitals, these people are now able to lead normal lives and smile at last.

Rotary has also been responsible for the installation of water filters in villages throughout Lombok which previously did not have access to clean water; helping around 4000 families lead healthier and more hygienic lives. The Club also helps sponsor free dental care for school children and has provided new classrooms, toilet facilities and educational equipment to disadvantaged schools over the past few years.

Proceeds from the sales of the calendar will be used to fund ongoing community projects in 2011.
The beautiful “Images of Lombok” 2011 Calendar makes an ideal gift for Christmas and New Year for friends and family, both in Lombok and back home. They are also perfect for local businesses to present to VIP guests, industry associates and business partners. It is a wonderful way to promote Lombok to the rest of the world, while helping to support extremely worthy projects on our island.

This highly collectible calendar is on sale now for just Rp 75 000. Hotels, restaurants and other businesses (and individuals) wishing to purchase calendars in bulk can buy 20 for Rp 1 million, reducing the price of the calendars to just Rp 50 000 each. These can be used for promotions and gifts, or resold at the recommended retail price of Rp 75 000.

Calendars are available at The Office Bar and Restaurant, Asmara Restaurant, Lombok Property and Villas, the Holiday Resort, Windy Beach Resort, Qunci Villas, Senggigi Abadi and Senggigi Jaya Supermarkets, and Sekolah Nusa Alam. On Gili Trawangan, purchase from Gili T Resort and other popular island resorts and restaurants.

For bulk purchases, buy direct from The Office Bar and Restaurant, or phone Howard: 0812 375 7740 or Mark: 0811 417 004.

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SENGGIGI FESTIVAL 2010

The Senggigi Festival was held from 25-28 November this year and, although the exhibition of Lombok’s cultural arts was as impressive as ever, many are left shaking their heads over the timing and organisation of this important tourism event.

Few people knew about the planned dates for the Festival, which was organised by the West Lombok Department of Culture and Tourism (Dinas Pariwisata Lobar). The Lombok Guide was informed just five days before the start date, preventing us from publicising the programme and informing tourists about the cultural event.

Indeed, the whole organisation of the Festival appears to have been a last-minute deal, with banners announcing the dates only being erected in the streets three days before the start of the Festival.

We spoke to members of the tourism industry at the opening parade on 25 November, who said that they had only been notified days before and were equally disappointed with the timing of the Festival this year.

In previous years, the Senggigi Festival was held during July, at the start of the “high season” in Lombok so as to maximise the promotion of Lombok arts and culture to the greatest number of overseas visitors.

“If the Department of Tourism were to ask any hotel operator or tourism industry stakeholder what was the worst time to hold the Festival,” one said, “It would be November -- locally known as the ‘low season’ and the time of the least number of tourists on the island.”

Most people acknowledged that the holding of the Festival was a last-minute exercise to disburse government funds for the event, prior to the December cut-off date. According to Indonesian rules, the local government must spend funds allocated for a particular purpose prior to the end of the tax year (January to December), or miss out on budget funds for that purpose in the coming year.

It is difficult to know whether the Tourism Department suffers from a complete lack of understanding of the tourism industry in Lombok or whether the powers that be are just too apathetic to bother, but neither attitude excuses the poor results the Department shows in managing tourism promotion on this island.

Regardless of these internal problems, however, the people of Lombok must be applauded for putting on a display of wonderful cultural traditions and performing arts for the Festival.

Participants from villages throughout Lombok dressed in elaborate traditional costumes, parading through the streets exhibiting traditional dances and playing a wide variety of musical instruments -- including the popular Gendang Beleq (the big drums for which Lombok is famous). Theatrical enactments of local legends, including the amusing pseudo-military pantomime of the Rudat dance, and the grace and beauty of Dewi Anjani from the Rinjani legend, entertained and awed the mostly local crowds who lined the streets.

Those few tourists present were stunned at the magnitude of the opening parade and the fascinating cultural traditions that exist in Lombok. We can only hope that the Festival is better organised next year and will be held in July or August, so that more people have the chance to witness this spectacular event.

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IMMIGRATION HAS DIFFICULTY CATCHING ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS

The Bali immigration office has told Bali Post that they encounter substantial difficulties in efforts to overcome the problem of illegal foreign workers in Bali.

The Head of the Denpasar immigration office, Hatomi, said, “We have to admit the difficulty of overcoming the problem of foreigners using tourist visas for employment purposes. Immigration frequently received reports of illegal workers, but unless we can catch them actually working, it’s hard to prove a violation.”

Hatomi said that many illegal workers are employed in the tourism sector as employees of hotels, guides and at a number of foreign companies. He cited this situation as a world-wide phenomenon and not-unconnected with Bali’s popularity as a leading tourism destination.

”On the one hand we need them (tourists) to come in great numbers, but not a few of them compete for jobs with local workers,” Hatomi added.

The Denpasar immigration office oversees five regencies and one municipality. The office deported 40 foreigners in 2010 for violating immigration rules.

The official number of temporary resident permit holders (KITAS) issued by the Denpasar immigration office through to the end of August 2010 totals 5 931 foreigners.

”We will take a strict attitude towards foreigners who break the rules. If they stay in Indonesia with proper documentation their presence here will be protected and safeguarded. On the other hand, if these people come to Indonesia and don’t hold legal documentation, we will not only deport them but also process them in accordance with the law,” Hatomi stated.

Foreigners receiving paid employment in Indonesia must hold a valid work permit (Izin Kerja Tenaga Asing or IKTA) issued by the Manpower Department and a limited stay permit (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas or KITAS).
The classes of visas being used by illegal workers include:

• Tourist Visa -- Valid for only 30 days and able to be extended for another 30 days, a tourist visa is only for temporary visitors to the country. No employment of any kind, paid or unpaid, is allowed on a tourist visa.

• Social-Cultural Visa (Sosial Budaya) is issued to people visiting relatives/friends; social organisations; exchange visits between educational institutions; undertaking research and attending training programs in Indonesia. These are valid for 60 days, but can be extended for 30 days at a time, up to 4 times (a total of 180 days), upon application to the immigration department. While some cultural and educational activities are permitted by this class of visa, paid employment for any Indonesian legal entity is not allowed to holders of this class of visa.

• Business Visa -- available to foreigners visiting Indonesia for normal business activities (including attending a conference/seminar or carrying out business negotiations), which do not involve taking up employment or receiving any payments whilst in Indonesia. Valid for a stay of 60 days, business visas can be issued for single or multiple stays.

* Retirement Visa -- this visa allows a foreigner over the age of 55 years and receiving a pension to live in Indonesia, subject to terms and conditions. Visas are valid for one year and are renewable each year for a maximum stay of 5 years. Again, this visa does not permit foreigners to conduct business activities or to work in Indonesia.

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HOLIDAY RESORT GOES GREEN…

The Holiday Resort in Mangsit has been involved in environmental projects for many years now, with two particularly “green” projects.

The Holiday Resort maintains a special turtle rehabilitation facility on the beachfront at the resort and arranges special turtle releases for their guests when turtles are deemed to be large and strong enough to survive in their natural environment. Inspired initially by Heinz von Holzen, a concerned conservationist living in Bali, Lombok’s turtle rehabilitation project was eagerly embraced by “The Green Team” of the Holiday Resort, headed by leader Widodo Trijono, around ten years ago.

Heinz also taught the team the fundamentals of organic planting and cultivation and, today, the nursery and gardens of the resort are thriving. Organic compost is made at the resort to fertilise the gardens and many of the delicious herbs used in the restaurants are picked fresh daily from the garden.

As part of their continuing green programme, the Green Team held a special planting day on Wednesday, 30 November at the resort. 42 different seedlings were planted in the nursery, including local tropical fruits such as mangosteen (manggis), lime (jeruk nipis), avocado (avokat), star fruit (belimbing manis), sapodilla (sawo) and menteng (kepundung). The fruits will eventually be used in the restaurants and fruit baskets at the resort and as part of the hotel’s greening programme.

AND FRENCH…

Certificates in French language were presented to 15 employees of the Holiday Resort Lombok by its GM, Stephan Leu, last week. The resort staff had successfully taken part in a special in-house course in Basic French.

The newly established Lombok Training Centre (LTC) in Senggigi, headed by Harrie Stavenuiter, was responsible for this latest innovation in hotel staff training. The language centre specialises in teaching a number of foreign languages at their Senggigi office and customises language and skills training for hotels and businesses.

“Since the number of French guests is rapidly increasing, we decided to arrange for French lessons with LTC, so our staff could improve their communication skills as part of our on-going commitment to investing in our people,” Mr Leu said.

The LTC French course for hotel staff turned out to be very effective and now, after successfully completing the basic level, five of the candidates will be participating in the extended LTC French course, to take their new language skills even further.

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JALAN LEGIAN IN BALI CLOSED TO TRAFFIC

In a bold experiment, local authorities and Bali police are closing one of Kuta’s busiest streets every Saturday night to vehicular traffic -- giving pedestrians and cyclists free reign where traffic congestion is more normally the rule.

Jalan Legian, between Bemo Corner and the Jalan Patih Jelantik intersection, was closed on Saturday, 27 November 2010, from 10pm until 5am. Police guarded both ends of the road, diverting vehicles via detour routes or directing the public to a parking area in Patih Jelantik.

The stretch of road, which is home to numerous night spots, is also the site of the 2002 bombings in Bali which claimed 202 lives.

The Jakarta Post reports that the launch of the “car free zone” was generally met with enthusiasm by Saturday night revellers, including a group of 50 cycling enthusiasts who descended on the street which is normally crowded with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

One of the cyclists, Endra Datta, said, “We’re here to enjoy the different ambiance in the street. This is phenomenal! Who would have thought that the most crowded streets in Bali would be closed to vehicles?”

Police in cooperation with local community guards (pacalang) will continue to assist with the “car free” Saturday nights as Kuta police continue to evaluate the impact of the programme.

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IRON MAIDEN TO PLAY IN BALI

30 years on and 855 million albums later, IRON MAIDEN remains at the forefront of the “metal” music scene, continuing to represent a major influence on contemporary music.

Ambiguously dubbed “The Final Frontier Tour”, permitting die-hard fans to embrace the idea that the group will continue to tour for at least three more decades, the 66-day around the world tour will start in Moscow on 11 February, 2011, and include 29 performances in 26 cities spread across 13 countries and 5 continents.

The tour is in support of a new Maiden studio album, “The Final Frontier” released in August 2010 by EMI Records, which soared to the No 1 best-selling album in 28 countries.

The Iron Maiden tour plays two dates in Indonesia: appearing in Jakarta on Thursday, 17 February 2011, at the Stadium Utama Gelaro Bung Karno Senayan; and on Sunday, 20 February 2011 in Bali at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana.

Promoters are promising the same extraordinary level of passion, total commitment and stunning musicianship that have been the trademark of the band’s power-charged stage appearances in the past. From the air-raid siren vocals of Bruce Dickinson, to the soaring melodies of “3 Amigos” guitarists, Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Adrian Smith -- all forged into one dynamic powerhouse by the thunderous rhythm section of Steve Harris on bass and Nicko McBrain on drums.

Organised and promoted by Original Productions, the Iron Maiden February dates represent the first Indonesian appearance for the legendary group.

Making their traditional Gothic entrance, Iron Maiden will be arriving in their customised Boeing 757 airliner “Ed Force One” which will transport the band, crew and an entire 10 ton stage production. Hitting high notes both on stage and en route, lead singer Bruce Dickinson, a qualified Airline Captain, will share the controls of the distinctively painted jetliner.

Tickets are now on sale for both the Jakarta and Bali concerts. For online ticket sales and information, visit: http://tommypratama.com/

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CHRISTMAS… GILI T STYLE!

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, the dazzling white sand beaches of Gili Trawangan could be mistaken for snow, but you won’t find stodgy cold-weather fare at the island’s top restaurants and resorts!

Read on for our special summary of the great Christmas celebrations the island has on offer!

Top Gili T Resort, Hotel Vila Ombak, celebrates a family Christmas with a magic show, fun and games, and Santa visiting with surprises for the kids. Join the “Astonishing Christmas Dinner” on 24 December from 7pm in the lovely beachfront dining area and feast on a sumptuous buffet of traditional Christmas fare and festive dishes.

The huge buffet includes Maple Glazed Turkey, Roasted Duck with Hoisin Sauce, Roasted Pork Loin, Seared Salmon, Sautéed Prawns, Roast Lamb, seafood dishes, cheeses and deli meats, gourmet salads, Xmas Puddings, Chocolate Truffle Cake, pastries, petit fours and many other delicious creations by the award-winning kitchen team.

Price is Rp 750 000 p/p, with 50% discount for kids under 12 years. Join in the Christmas joy with music by Yellow Jacket Band and dancing on the beach under the stars. Ph: 642 336 for reservations.

ko-ko-mo Resort celebrates the season with its usual elegant flair and style. The Christmas theme is white, gold and silver with a snow-tipped traditional Christmas tree, stylish themed decorations and carols ranging from the traditional to contemporary. ko-ko-mo’s menu will surprise and tantalise as it ignores the cold-climate traditional fare in favour of a fusion of Asian, European and Pacific Rim flavours, emphasising quality ingredients and a sophisticated twist on favourites.

The Christmas Eve Menu has a selection of gourmet choices for entrée including Seafood Antipasto, Sashimi Plate, Beef Carpaccio and more. Main courses include Beef Tenderloin, Grilled Spatchcock, Poached Atlantic Salmon, Australian Veal Rack or Jumbo Prawns. Finish with a tempting dessert choice of Plum Pudding, Apricot Frangipane, Tart Tartin, a Cheese Plate, and coffee or tea with Biscotti. Price includes Amuse Bouche and a Lychee Champagne Cocktail.

The Christmas Day 5 course menu offers similar gourmet experiences, starting with a Champagne Cocktail and Amuse Bouche, together with entrée selections such as Oysters Mornay, Kilpatrick or Salmon and Hollandaise, Seafood Mousseline, Game Terrine and Chicken Liver Pate. Main courses offer a choice of Australian Harvey Tenderloin, Lobster and Prawn Pasta, Poached Atlantic Salmon, Whole Roasted Spatchcock or Seafood Platter with lobster, prawns, scampi, fish, calamari and scallops. Desserts include Christmas Plum Puddings, Crème Brulee, Tart Tartin or Cheese Platter with lavosh, grapes and fruit bread. Finish with coffee or tea and biscotti.
Both menus are Rp 450 000 ++ per person and offer the chance to dine in style for Christmas at one of Gili T’s top fine dining venues.

Undoubtedly, The Beach House is a favourite for Christmas Day, with its combination of a fantastic Christmas lunch, upbeat contemporary Carols, and fun, bright Christmas theme, and the ever-popular seafood BBQ.
The celebrations start with a delicious 3 course set dinner on Christmas Eve for just Rp 250 000. For entrée, choose from Peking Duck with Hoisin Sauce, Beef Carpaccio, or Tomato Bocconcini. Main courses include the popular Roast Turkey, Australian Harvey Tenderloin or Poached Atlantic Salmon. To finish, enjoy homemade desserts such as Christmas Plum Pudding, Strawberry Dacquoise, or Tuille Biscuit with fresh berries and mango sorbet; and coffee or tea.

Christmas Lunch this year is a fantastic buffet of Roast Turkey with traditional stuffing, Honey Roasted Ham, Suckling Pig, and Whole Poached Atlantic Salmon. Accompanied by roast veggies, a selection of salads and Chocolate Xmas Pudding, Rhubarb Cake, Crème Caramel and Fresh Tropical Fruits -- all for just Rp 250 000! Put on your Christmas hat and join the crowd for a fun Christmas lunch!

Horizontal Lounge celebrates Christmas with something different! Enjoy traditional Indonesian festive foods in the perfect beachside location for you and your family. The “Christmas Extravaganza Island Style” can be served either directly on the beachfront or in the beautiful restaurant overlooking the beach.

Start with a complimentary cocktail and canapés, and then feast on a selection of delicious Indonesian festive foods from around the archipelago served on banana leaves at your table (not buffet). Finish with a selection of local desserts, coffee and chocolates.

All this for only Rp 100 000 ++! “The best value on the island…” (Lonely Planet)
Island Style Christmas is available on Christmas Eve and throughout Christmas Day. Ph: 0819 1744 6052 for bookings.

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7TH INDONESIAN BIOROCK WORKSHOP A SUCCESS!

This year’s Biorock Workshop was a great success for Gili Trawangan, thanks to the generous support of the Gili Eco Trust and the entire Gili Trawangan community.

The 7th Indonesian Biorock Coral Reef Restoration, Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Shore Protection Training Workshop was held on Gili Trawangan, Lombok, from 15-21 November 2010.

The Vice Governor of Lombok opened the workshop, along with Pak Agung Prana, Balinese ecotourism pioneer. The Governor sent the head of the Regional Planning Agency, (BAPEDA), to discuss future developments as well as the Bupati (Regent) from North Lombok.

More than 80 people participated in the Workshop, including a wide range of divers, students, conservationists, scientists, engineers, artists, doctors, and lawyers.

The majority of participants were from Indonesia and included more than 20 students in Marine Science, Biology, and Forestry from Mataram University in Lombok, all of whom were trained as divers for the workshop and are planning Biorock related research projects.

Indonesian people from Gili Trawangan came along to learn about the technology they have seen being installed around their island for the past 5 years: people from the Youth Association “Remaja Karang Taruna”, teachers from the local primary school, SATGAS (ocean security), students and teachers from the Gili Trawangan high school of tourism and the Kadus and Kades (Heads of the village and of the three Gili islands).

Besides Indonesia, participants came from many parts of Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait, State of Qatar, China, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. 

Students learned all aspects of Biorock® Technology theory and practice, including the fundamental physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and biology; along with hands-on training in design, construction, installation, monitoring, maintenance, and repair. They saw documentary films and heard lectures on the latest developments in marine ecosystem restoration.

More than 16 new Biorock reefs were designed, built, installed, and planted with corals by the students, bringing the total of Biorock reefs at Gili Trawangan up to nearly 60. These are located in front of every dive shop and many of the restaurants and hotels in Indonesia’s major dive attraction. The projects at Gili Trawangan now rival the Karang Lestari Biorock project in Pemuteran, Bali as the world’s largest and most spectacularly successful coral reef restoration project.

The Biorock® method was invented, developed and patented by the late Prof Wolf Hilbertz and Dr Thomas Goreau and uses low voltage electrical currents to grow solid limestone minerals on conductive surfaces.

The method being used in the Gilis involves welded steel frames submerged at varying depths in the ocean, through which a small electrical charge is run, generating mineral growth on the frames. These solid surfaces then become the framework, or artificial reef, on which corals can anchor and grow.

Biorock is the only method that increases coral growth rate and resistance to environmental stress, so Biorock reef corals bleach less, recover faster, and have higher survival rates from global warming-caused heat stroke. This course came at a very critical juncture, because 2010 has been the hottest year in history, and severe coral bleaching took place across the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, the West Pacific, the Persian Gulf, and the Caribbean this year, including Lombok.

Water temperatures throughout Indonesia -- and many of the most important coral reefs in the world -- now remain several degrees warmer than average, and will start to bleach in the next few months if this weather pattern continues. If it is as severe as is expected, only places with Biorock Coral Arks will have much coral, fish, and beaches afterwards.

Biorock graduates are now trained to restore coral reefs and fisheries, and reclaim severely eroding beaches. They can apply these skills as soon as local communities, government policy makers, and international funding agencies recognize the critically urgent need to restore rapidly vanishing coral reefs and the fisheries, create shore protection, and protect tourism, and the biodiversity services they provide to over 100 countries, before they vanish.

Only those with proper Biorock training have the knowledge and skills to implement new projects, and will receive full support with advice, advanced training, and the materials needed to start new projects designed to save marine ecosystems from the runaway effects of global warming, global rising sea levels, and unsustainable over-exploitation of the world’s coral reefs.

The Gili Eco Trust, with the support of the business community on Gili Trawangan and local government agencies, shows how westerners and local communities can work together to preserve and rehabilitate the coral reefs around the Gili islands; leading to a sustainable future for everyone.

For information on other Gili Eco Trust projects, or to make a donation, visit www.giliecotrust.com.

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