life in bali
Island Recap - Life in Bali

Island Recap: Life in Bali – November 3rd 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. 

It’s been a mixed bag this fortnight – a new President, a Muslim New Year, newlyweds and global news headlines. There was the controversial release of a documentary detailing polygamy in Bali, restlessness over the Benoa reclamation and creepy chronicles of both over and under skin ailments – enough to make your skin literally crawl.

In sickness and in health, we bring it all to you…

Muslim New Year celebrated in Bali

Saturday the 25th of October marked the 1436 Islamic New Year. Selamat Tahun Baru!!

InBali sends love to all those who recognise this day; we wish you a year of prosperity and happiness.

Jokowi inauguration – Indo’s new President takes to the stage in true rockstar form

Indonesia’s new president was sworn in to office on October 20th, his inauguration celebrated in rockstar fashion as he took to the stage in front of the screaming masses.

Joko Widodo (best known as Jokowi) represents not just the rise of a relatable man to the forefront of national politics, but also the emerging influence of a new generation of Indonesian voters who came of age after the downfall of President Suharto in 1998. Jokowi was able to captivate his younger voters through his pioneering use of social media throughout his campaign (see Jokowi’s twitter account).

As he was announced Presidential winner, waves of celebration rippled across social media platforms, cementing the progressive Jokowi as Indo’s newest pop-culture star. Tech-savvy young Indonesians account for 9.2 of the 185 million eligible voters. The world’s third-largest democracy, Indonesia is also one of the top five global users of social media, rapidly becoming known as the social media capital of the world.


Another campaign utilising social media to influence young Indonesians is ForBALI‘s #balitolakreklamasi.

ForBALI (Forum Rakyat Bali Tolak Reklamasi) is an alliance of people in Bali who are concerned with conserving the island’s fragile environment and who share a common belief that the reclamation of Benoa Bay is a step towards the destruction of the island. The group’s members span a diverse range of organisations and individuals including students, artists and NGOs.

Despite the numerous protests, President Yudhoyono issued Presidential Regulation No. 51/2014, which permitted the reclamation of Benoa Bay. The regulation has twisted spatial planning by designating Benoa Bay as a business site, a far cry from its previous positioning as an environmental buffer zone and green-belt area.

Artist and co-founder / creative director of MotionByDesign, Panji Krishna, has responded to the issue by devising a series of powerful images to bring awareness to the impact that this unpopular development will have, not only the natural environment of Bali’s Benoa Bay, but also the heritage and culture of the local’s beloved land and people. Using phrases like “We don’t need disneyland to play and have fun” and “I am here just for friendly Balinese, not for F1 circuit” over black and white photos, Panji shines a light on how this proposed development stands to destroy the virtue of innocence in Benoa and force a progression that many locals reject.

tolak reklamasi in bali

Panji Krishna has cleverly utilised the Nation’s red and white colours in his works; red is thought to be representative of the blood shed in the War of Independence, while the white is understood to symbolize the purity of the Indonesians. Watermarked with the social media tag, #balitolakreklamasi, it is now in our hands to capture these images, hashtag them and spread the word. This isn’t over yet!

Ebola In Bali?

An email from a concerned Australian friend made it to the inbox of one of our readers with the subject: “Ebola has moved to Bali – are you ok?”

Ebola in bali

Naturally, it was a media-induced panic; the reader’s friend had heard over the radio that a young girl had been traveling by bus through Bali carrying the dreaded Ebola virus. Alerted and concerned, the reader googled the latest Ebola news, to see it widely confirmed that Ebola had reached “Mali”.

Bali remains thankfully Ebola-free, the virus reportedly contained at this time in West Africa. The lesson in this? Don’t believe everything you hear. A quick fact check will dispel any paranoia.

Sadly, local authorities in Mali are scrambling to calm fears after the virus reportedly claimed its first victim, a two year old girl who had travelled from neighbouring Guinea. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for quick containment and safe treatment.

Spider Man commemorates Bali trip with chest tattoo

Whilst on the topic of all things “viral”, Western Australian man Dylan Thomas – now dubbed “Spiderman” – found viral internet fame this month after his creepy crawly ordeal on return from a holiday in Bali. According to reports, Dylan unknowingly allowed a tropical spider to enter his torso through an old appendix scar, where it then spent 3 days tunnelling up towards his chest. It was later discovered by doctors back in Australia, after Dylan had been experiencing a burning sensation in reaction to the spider’s venom, leaving a “searing” scar in its trail.

News of Dylan’s newfound “spider-powers” went viral after his mother posted photos to Facebook, turning her superhero son into an overnight net sensation.

spiders in Bali

This modern day Peter Parker now hopes to commemorate the time he and the spider spent together by having a large spiderman tattoo drawn across his chest, reportedly asking his friends to foot the bill.

“Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills”

Nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills… [Napoleon Dynamite]

Looking to upgrade your skills portfolio? Look no further than the Skills Seminars that launched this month at Salty Volt.

Hubs In Bali

A fine accompaniment to their existing Drink & Draw and Salon Series, the Skills Seminars are aimed at aiding entrepreneurs in the start up and development of their professional ventures, by sharpening up their tools for success.

The first of the Skills Seminars was held yesterday for free. Yep. GRATIS!

Presented by Lauren Hoston of, this debut presentation covered Digital Marketing, offering attendees tips on how to promote their business or project to a wider audience by utilising digital media and marketing.

Check out the Salty Volt website for future seminar dates.

Jetstar Crash: of the technological kind.

Jetstar’s price war with Air Asia last week caused a huge site meltdown, with the airline offering a public apology via their Facebook and Twitter Pages. The sale seemed to put “significant pressure” on the airline’s booking system, as consumers battled with the refresh button to snag $99 flights. When the site buckled under the pressure, their system checking out for a holiday of its own, enraged would-be travellers jumped on social media hash tagging the incident a massive #jetstarfail. Ouch!

In response to Jetstar’s $99 drawcard, Air Asia pulled out a wildcard – $88. UNO!

Air Asia reportedly have their sights set on the Australia-to-Bali routes, looking to command a 22% share of the takings.

Shhhh! You didn’t hear it from us…but “Bitter Honey” is on its way to Bali!!

It has been confirmed  that the controversial “Bitter Honey” film is making its way to Bali’s shores. To be met with intrigue and curiosity, the exposé reveals life inside the Balinese polygamist. It was launched in the USA in October, and the producers have just this week revealed their plan to bring the film to the prying eyes of its hometown.

Bitter Honey is a feature-length documentary presenting an intimate and emotionally charged portrait of three polygamous families in Bali. Following these families over a seven year period, the film portrays the plight of Balinese co-wives, for whom marriage is frequently characterized by psychological manipulation, infidelity, domestic violence, and economic hardship.

Living in a society where men have authority in many domains, these women have a limited voice in steering or protesting the conditions of their domestic lives. Bitter Honey draws attention to their struggle, documents the work of those taking steps to better protect and empower them, and aims to trigger a wider conversation about contemporary polygamy and women’s rights in Indonesia.

Adopt, don’t shop

If you have a soft spot for fur babies, we advise you to look away now. This collection of cuties were born to make their way into your hearts, and hopefully into your homes.

When she’s not busy fashioning darling little marzipan flowers to cupcakes, Olivia of Ole Ole Ollie somehow finds time to arrange Puppy Adoption Days to help find forever homes for orphaned Bali Dogs.

Working in association with the huge-hearted Francseca of I Love Bali Dogs and the Sunset Vet, Olivia hosts the adoption days one Saturday a month in the garden of her cup-cakery in Echo Beach. All puppies are vaccinated and full of puppy love. If the commitment of a fur baby is too much, you are welcome to just come for a cuddle, and pick up some treats to help raise much needed funds.

Dogs in Bali

Ole Ole Ollie Cupcakery can be found on Jl. Batu Mejan. Gang Kampung Bali 2 no. 2


The last fortnight wasn’t all illness and cupcake overindulgence.

Here at inBali, we are huge ambassadors of a healthy balanced lifestyle, so we were pleased to see the Bali Fitness Weekend take place at the Hard Rock Hotel on October 31st – November 2nd on Kuta Beach.

Showcasing the hottest new fitness styles and featuring the world’s best Zumba instructors, each jam packed day was topped off with a party to celebrate. After all, the attendees had earned it (see? Zumba + cocktail = balance!).

Held annually in Bali, this event shines a light on some fun ways for the expat community in Bali  to stay fit, and highlights some of the amazing talent we have on this island. Naomi McDougall, this means you!


Fluro Friday – Canggu crowd dons their 80’s best in aid of Mental Health Awareness

On Friday the 24th of October, Pantai Batu Bolong was alive with electric oranges, hyper pinks, neon greens and highlighter yellows; a technicoloured dream coat of surfers dressed in fluro supporting One Wave is All It Takes – a not-for-proft surf community raising awareness of mental illnesses, spanning everything from depression and anxiety to bipolar.

What a way to bring these issues “out of the darkness”. The day was a vibrant get-together, calling on all surfers, sufferers and survivors to get fluro, get out of the funk and talk it out.

Our favourite part of this day was a collaborative effort between One Wave Is All It Takes and the uber-cool surf label Salt Gypsy. They produced these hyper-cool fluro surf leggings, with every $89 pair sold funding an hour long surf lesson for a young person experiencing mental health issues. They are still available for purchase online through Salt Gypsy.

s for mental health in Bali

One helm of a good idea

One Innovative Indonesian has given you one less reason to ride your motorbike sans-helmet.

Sarong Helm is an exciting new product designed to transform your daggy, scratched helmet from drab to fab! A stretchy, elasticized cover in a HUGE range of designs wraps over your old helmet to customise your head (let’s be real – that Despicable Me minion helmet was NEVER cool). You will be the talk of the town – or should we say: banjar. And even better – they are cheap as chips.

To place an order or enquiry call: 0812 2754 6179


Market wrap-up from Old Man’s

The gang at Old Man’s brought us the goods yet again during their monthly market, hosted in the grounds of Old Man’s at Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong.

Appealing to the garage-sale-goer in all of us, it’s a gathering of all that makes Canggu oh-so-hipster-chic, with organic produce, vintage clothing, art & handmade jewellery, and bric-a-brac of all sorts. We LOVE.

Markets in Bali

Selfie Innovation

Why pay retail for a go-pro docking mount, or an i-phone selfie pole, when you can make your own, Bali-style!

selfie in bali

PSSSST! You heard it here first..

A little La Birdy tells us it’s only a few La Moments until La Lagoon opens its La doors.

Coming to you as the next instalment of the “La” family, this project is the brainchild of notorious duo of Gonzalo & Luigi, who did La Plancha and La Favela. Tucked away in the back of Berawa (on the lagoon – well derr) and about 100 metres from the LV8 resort.

Already scattered with their trademark antique furnishings and a resident peacock, we are eagerly awaiting this opening party!

Party of the week: Aussie-born Ryan’s traditional Balinese wedding

We are mixing it up with this week’s party of the week – celebrating a Balinese wedding party. Because: love.

One of our favourite parts of life in Bali is the traditional Balinese Hindu ceremony. Particularly lovely is the combining of two cultures, as was the case when Nathan Ryan, an Australian expat who has been living in Bali for 7 years, married his sweetheart Nono, originally from Karangasem, in a traditional Balinese wedding.

Nathan is an avid surfer and golfer, and when he’s not living it up on the surf or the turf, he runs a successful real estate agency, Bali Realty on Sunset Road, dealing in villa sales and management.

Nathan and Nono met at work and instantly fell in love. Though Ryan maintains strong roots with his home country, he has well and truly embraced all aspects of life in Bali, most recently converting to Hinduism and deciding upon a beautiful traditional Hindu marriage ceremony to celebrate his nuptials with his gorgeous bride.

Although the couple live in Seminyak, Ryan’s conversion ceremony took place in Nono’s home village. Their traditional wedding rituals were celebrated at Jeeva Saba, near Amed, and in a month’s time they will host a Western blessing ceremony in Sanur for the couple’s western friends and Balinese employees to come together. What a perfect fusion of local Balinese and Western cultures and traditions.

inBali wishes Nathan & Nono many blessings for a lifetime of happiness together as husband and wife.

weddings in Bali

What Happened this week on InBali

Freediving in Bali: the perfect playground

Bali is renowned for its crystal clear waters, lush coral beds and almost everything you do there revolves around the ocean. The perfect playground for Freediving.

World class restaurants in Bali: pleasure your palate

World class restaurants in Bali. Recommendations for eating out around Seminyak, Kerobokan, Ubud and Jimbaran Bay.

Top tips for Bali first timers

Top Tips for Bali First timers, written by someone who has been there herself and made all the wrong choices. Your essential go-to guide.

12 super sexy AirBnB villas in Seminyak and Petitenget

We rounded up the sexiest AirBnB villas in Seminyak and found ultra-modern properties, beautiful boutique villas and a few surprises!