Island Recap: Life in Bali – October 20th edition, 2014

Welcome to InBali’s fortnightly account of life on the Island of the Gods – from the mouths, the keyboards and the lenses of those who love it the most.

Here’s what went down in Bali from Monday the 6th until Monday the 20th of October, 2014. If you missed it, please do come join us next fortnight.

Balinese Hindus Celebrate Pagerwesi under the light of the Blood Moon, whilst Expats celebrate.. well.. celebrating.

On Wednesday the 8th, Bali was alive with the vibrant sound of Gamelan and the gentle hum of prayer, as women’s singing echoed in unison throughout the village, paying homage to a rare and radiant moonrise.


Pagerwesi is observed every 210 days to honor Siwa as the “teacher” of the universe. Pagerwesi derives from the two Balinese words pager and wesi, which means fence and iron. The iron fence is a symbol of strong self-protection and on Pagerwesi, the Balinese focus on building a strong personal fortification to ensure that evil does not enter their minds, speech and deeds.

This years Pagerwesi was monumentally powerful, falling on the same date as a spectacular Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon), glowing red over the festivities, which ran well into the night.


Meanwhile, the Blood Moon was celebrated by expats on the beach; eskies full of Bintangs and the sound of moon howling drowning out the gentle waves crashing on the shore. This is an ancient practice observed by Westerners each full moon, recognized as signifying mate-ship. The alpha males of the pack sing to the moon, displaying brawn and confidence, while the sound of girls giggling echoes down the beach.

12th Anniversary of Bali Bombings invites quiet reflection

October 12th marked the 12th anniversary since the Bali bombings, which claimed 202 lives in 2002. With predominately Australian victims, it has become an event that ties the Balinese and Australians closer together, united in our grief. This year’s memorial was respectfully low-scale, the sombre event being marked by silent reflection and a memorial service at the bombing site on Sunday morning, organised by the Isana Dewata Foundation.

BasaBali WIKI launches with “Learn Bahasa Bali” software

If you’re anything like us, you probably find yourself scratching your head at what Google translate spits back at you when you try to unscramble a cryptic message sent to you in Bahasa. Fear not – help is on its way! A first of its kind, publicly edited Balinese-English-Indonesian Dictionary has just launched online.

A wiki-based application, BASAbali is a collaboration of people all over the world who have an interest in promoting the Balinese language. The community and its contributors aim to encourage the latest generation of Balinese to preserve and develop their mother language amidst globalisation and a changing way of life.

Detailed software packages will also be available for Westerners hoping to get a grasp of the local language. No quicker way to get in with the Balinese and impress friends, colleagues & acquaintances with your Bahasa Bali skills. BECIK!

Find out more at

Komune Pro wraps up

Event Runner-up Dean Morrison (left) & Winner Dede Suryana (right)

The inaugral Komune Bali Pro presented by the Mad Hueys wrapped up in Keramas last week. Indonesian national Dede Suryana won the ASP 1-Star QS and Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) event, pipping Aussie Dean Morrison at the post, taking home the title on his birthday and the same week his wife gave birth to a new baby. What a week for Dede! And what an event. We look forward to witnessing many more of its kind, from the cool comfort of the pool at Komune Resort. Not a bad way to spend a week in Bali.

Project Jugs UU: Bras for Bali

There is a mass bra collection taking place in Bali this week, as part of Project Jugs UU: Bras For Bali. The project has been set up by two Adelaide sisters to provide bras that are new or in good condition – in all sizes, colours and styles – for less fortunate women in Singaraja (the northern tip of Bali). The donations have been thankfully received in the past by women who often cannot afford the luxury of a correctly sized bra.

For those wanting to get involved in the cause, bras can be donated via a collection point in Canggu (contact Helena Mackay).

Orca beaches itself on Pantai Batu Bolong 10th October


Got ya!!!

Salty Volt Salon Series: Social Entrepreneur Joe Green

The team at the recently opened Salty Volt Co-working space in Echo Beach are continuing to bring us the goods. As if sipping on a San Miguel poolside whilst chewing up super fast wifi wasn’t enough to keep us happy – they have gone and introduced a schedule of insanely engaging events aimed at connecting and inspiring Canggu’s creatives.

The “Salon Series” is a range of  thoughtful presentations and panel discussions, exploring the most thought provoking topics of the day with world experts and talented minds. All talks are free and open to the public.

The Salon Series was inspired by Gertrude Stein, legendary writer and art collector. In Stein’s day, Paris was abuzz with literary and artistic iconoclasts and innovators including Picasso, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Matisse, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound and countless others. An incredible writer in her own right and patron of modern art, Stein’s house became a hub for all of these creative thinkers. Everyone congregated at the Stein Salon to discuss the modern issues, literature, and art.

Previous Salon Series’ topics have included:

  • Environmental Conservation and Public Health Initiatives with National Geographic’s Explorer of the Year, Chris Golden
  • Race, Politics and the Penal System in a Post Obama United States with Harvard University professor Brandon Terry
  • Searching for Extraterrestrial Life with NASA’s Ved Chirayath
  • Innovations in Modern Genomics and Neuroscience with Rhodes Scholar and Kingsley Lab’s Alex Pollen

And most recently, Salty Volt was joined by two researchers from Facebook to discuss technology and internet access in the developing world. The next Salon Series takes place on October 29th, with Silicon Valley social entrepreneur Joe Green, who most recently founded, an organisation aimed at engaging the tech community on issues of vital importance to America’s global competitiveness.

Joe Green

Details & RSVP:

We love this concept and plead with Salty Valt to keep the brain food coming.


A flight attendant was spotted escorting her standby ticketed boyfriend to the check-in counter at Denpasar Airport, where he got bumped into the only available seat, allowing them to stride smugly past the crowd of in-transit-ers tolerating their third painful day in airport limbo due to 2 cancelled flights to Australia.

Not happy Branson.

Said transit-ers made use of the situation and taxi-pooled to the nearby Fave Hotel on the Kuta Bypass where they killed time wasting the ultra fast wifi, watching re-runs of Revenge on cable TV and enjoying poolside Happy Hour with new friends. All this for less than 300,0o0RP per night. We just might start (purposely) accidentally missing our scheduled flights – there are worse places to be stranded!

All got home before work returned Monday morning, with tales of their little Bali-Bypass.

A not-so D’Luxe Bali wedding experience

At least 10 couples have come forward this week after discovering the Perth-based wedding planners they were using to plan their upcoming nuptials in Bali had gone into liquidation.

It’s the worst nightmare of every Bali-bride-to-be…the deposit has been paid, you’ve been assured that all creditors for the big day have been organised, and then suddenly: communication is cut off. No replies to emails, no phone calls answered, social media pages deactivated – no explanation.

To make matters worse, the defamed organisation, Bali D’Luxe, have been found to have accepted and acknowledged payment transactions as recently as October 2nd, only 5 days before liquidators were appointed. It was very clear they knew they were headed into liquidation, but they proceeded to accept consumer funds regardless.

The 10 couples are reported to be owed in excess of $AUD200,000 in combined deposits and their wedding day plans are left in disarray.

Turning Balinese.. she thinks she’s turning Balinese.. she really thinks so.

So we’ve noticed a trend. Youtube is starting to clog with Indo-based Westerners producing mockumentaries poking fun at the Indo way of life.

Perhaps it’s an attempt to replicate the fame of Canadian videographer Sacha Stevenson and her “How to Act Indonesian” series whose videos have been known to clock more than 500,000 views! Others have now jumped on the bandwagon, creating a stir amongst the local expat scene.

Sacha’s videos were initially aimed at an audience of Westerners living in Indonesia, but she found accidental fame with a huge following of local Indonesians. Her most recent post listing, The Most Powerful Indonesian Swearwords, went viral amongst local 20-somethings, who were all sharing the video on Facebook and having a laugh about it with friends. Seems the Indonesians can take a joke – PHEW!

The latest postings come from the group “Everything & Nothing is Sacred” with their new series “Quick & Dirty Productions”. Newsworthy only because it seems to be causing such a stir on social media platforms; we decided to take a look.

This week’s video, Turning Balinese, is a mockumentary dubbed to the tune of The Vapor’s “Turning Japanese”. It was shared in the “Bali Expats”Facebook group and was met with harsh critique and scathing retortion. Ouch!

Judging by the name of the Production crew, it was obviously just a playful jest, but it seems those loving living all-things-Bali took serious offence to the video. Youtube comments scroll endlessly, ripping the production to pieces. Trying to get internet-famous for all the wrong reasons? Or we just can’t take a joke? You be the judge.

Safety First!

This man was seen partaking in some daringly dangerous beachside behaviour on Berawa Beach this week. FISHING.

Remember folks, stay calm and keep your helmet on.. Wherever, whenever. You just never know when that giant man-crushing tuna will take leap!

Dangerous behaviour, Berawa Beach, Canggu

Psst! We heard..

Two women arrived in Bali from Sydney after a hellish flight that was delayed by 2 hours. After battling the usual crowds at customs, they finally meet their waiting driver at around midnight, who is as tired as they are after a long night awaiting their arrival. They have booked accommodation in Berawa Beach, Canggu (for the sake of keeping this Psst! feature confidential, let’s call it Kadek’s Villa).

Excited to have finally arrived, but exhausted and desperately seeking a shower, they describe the location of Kadek’s Villa to their driver. “Oh ya! Villa in Berawa, just down the road from the beach – owned by Miss Kadek – I know it! Lovely place” the driver responds. Everyone involved is understandably a little absentminded after the long journey.

At around 1.30am, they arrive at The Villa in Berawa Managed by Miss Kadek, and are met by a non-English speaking security guard who ushers them in. He shows them to their made-up room, guides them around the villa grounds – pool, lounge, kitchen with a fully stocked fridge (nice!) – and then ducks off into the darkness, leaving them to get settled in.

They shower, freshen up and compare notes on the impressive luxury toiletries in the bathroom, labelled with the logo and branding of a very well known women’s sanctuary designed for those travelling alone. In a panicked confusion, they scale the room for more evidence and find the guest directory, outlining the week’s retreat offerings and advising what time yoga starts in the morning – EEEEK! They realised they have been mistakenly checked-in to a very boutique, and rather pricey wellness retreat, their room soon to be occupied by the intended guest.

It seems A LOT had been lost in translation, and they were now lost in Berawa at 2am.

Meanwhile, almost in unison, the manager of the correct “Kadek’s Villa” calls to ask where they are and see if they had lost their way. It was established that they were literally just around the corner from their booked accommodation – metres infact – so they gathered their bags and decided to high-tail it out of there.

Dizzy and disorientated, they took a wrong turn and ended up at Berawa Beach. They turned around and headed back up the road wheeling their bags along the asphalt, making one hell of a ruckus for that time of the morning. Such a noise, in fact, that it disturbed a herd of buffalo who proceeded to chase the two women up the road. This time, thankfully, in the direction of their intended destination.

At 3am, they finally check-in to the real “Kadek’s Villa”, showered to wash off the stress of their little adventure and settled into bed.

Sounds like you two need to rest & relax after a night like that– anyone know a local retreat they could check into?

Oh, Bali.

Party of the Week: What So Not – Stereosonic Launch Bali @ Salty Seagull

On Saturday the 11th, the Salty boys hosted Bali’s launch party for the highly anticipated arrival of Stereosonic on the Island of the Gods, featuring a set by What So Not (one half of Sydney’s FLUME).

For those of you camped out in Bali missing this year’s Stereosonic Tour (kicking off in Sydney on Saturday November 29th), the festivities should have brought you a nice little taster. Held at Bali’s go-to hotspot, Salty Seagull, which takes prime position along Jl Pettitenget,Seminyak, it was a night of Stereosonic’s trademark good times fused with Salty Seagull’s trademark effortlessly cool.

A bit of a big deal for old B-town.. a sign of the times to come?

** Are you hosting a Party this week that you would like us to feature? Contact: [email protected] **


We hear whispers of Sydney venue, Mrs Sippy, opening a sister venue (Beach Club) in 2015,  just down the road from Salty Seagull. And apparently even Bondi Icebergs is looking to stake their claim on a beach club somewhere in Canggu.

What Happened this week on InBali

The 5 plagues of Bali – who to avoid and why
A compiled a list of the 5 Plagues of Bali that grate the nerves of average Joe Travelman and whom should be avoided at all costs.

From Oberoi & Petitenget: how to smash it in the stretches of Seminyak
From Bali’s best fashion boutiques and designer homewares to scrumptious spas and salons, we locate the best shops, spas and restaurants in Seminyak, Petitenget and Oberoi.

The 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival – a celebration of all kinds of storytellers
The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is a celebration of storytellers. Mediums and publishing history fall short against the significance of bravery and passion, the trademarks of every speaker at the 2014 event.

Bali film festival 2014: a week full of stars, films and glamour
Bali film festival 2014 Bali is already known as a hot holiday destination for the stars, with the likes of David Hasselhoff, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis all spotted swanning around the island. But for a full week starting from today, October 12th, Bali will be rolling out its red carpet for a full blown Hollywood affair.

Indonesian food: Breakfast ’til midnight snack
The next instalment in a series taking you through eating traditional Indonesian food in Bali.

From the lens of Indonesian photographer Mohamad Basuki
Each year, the island of Bali is imprinted by the footprints of over 7.2 million human beings. About 4.2 million of them are locals and about 3 million of them are foreign tourists. Despite all the commonalities and differences between these beings, one thing is for sure: they all have a different Bali story. Here: Bali through the lens of photographer Mohamad Basuki.

Go hard or go home: Extreme Sports in Bali
If your idea of a holiday is an adrenalin-fuelled adventure, then read on my friends, read on. From jumping off cliffs to climbing active volcanoes or ejecting yourself superhero-style up in the air – Bali is the perfect place to engage your wild side in some action-packed extreme sports.

The very best of Jimbaran: luxe hangouts and rural bliss
Once famous for being a rural fishermen’s village, Jimbaran is getting fancier by the day. New restaurants, luxe beach clubs, drink spots with killer views, one-of-a-kind spas, the legendary fish market; this is one glorious pocket of Bali to lose a few weeks to.

Daytripping – Tampak Siring
Tampaksiring, in the Northern reaches of the Gianyar region of Bali, is something of a market town that has grown around the popularity of its two major tourist attractions: the holy water temple, Tirta Empul and the new world heritage site, Gunung Kawi.

Bali vs Phuket: Asia’s yin & yang of beach getaways
Need some help deciding which flight to book this summer? Here’s the lowdown from someone who spent her tween summers in Phuket, and ultimately comes back to Bali again and again.