Your Dreams Are Our Creations.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Discover the Real Bali Part 2

In my previous article about discovering the real Bali, I promised you to tell you more why you should try that out.

Last week I went to North Bali, to explore new discoveries.
I cannot count the times that I have been to North Bali during the last 10 years. But let me assure you, that every time I go there, I am discovering new places of interest.
If you are not exploring Bali on your own or with some help, but instead book a trip with one of the many tour & travel companies in the commercial South of Bali (where you are most likely staying for your entire holiday), you will brought directly to Lovina, the tourism beach strip close to Singaraja. You’ll stay in one of the many home stays or hotels on the beach, while the next morning making a Dolphin watching trip. After that, back to the South. A bus ride, that lasts around 3 hours.
Such a shame and a pity, that you spend money, time and energy and see so little of this beautiful part of Bali.

This time I was invited to visit the Damai Resort in Lovina. A few weeks ago we did video shooting there for the Astra Satelite TV in Europe and heard the most exciting stories about them. So I was very eager to see the Damai Resort by my own experience.
In contrast with most hotels, homestays and resorts in Lovina, the Damai is not located on the beach side. That makes it already special. To go there, you follow a small windy and steep road up the mountains. It is located on the hill side, between the local communities and has a supreme view, overseeing the ocean down in the valley. Because of the limited number of villas, there are only eight of them; the resort offers privacy, intimacy and serenity. In short, it is really top of the bill. One has no words enough to describe the beauty of this resort. The very professional staff, smiling and overwhelmingly friendly, is constantly around to assist you in any way possible. However, they are never putting themselves on the fore front. What makes this Resort the more unique and a must – visit place, is the fact that is a real organic and eco friendly resort. In their operations, they are also completely involving the surrounding local community. Whatever they need for their operations, they grow in their own organic gardens and they also made a new, eco friendly water recycling system. The water of their swimming pool is not “cleaned” with chloride or other chemicals; it contains fresh and pure mineral water. Although in the midst of mountains and lush jungle, they keep surprising you the whole day long. They impressed me most with their fabulous food. It is not just good dining; this is a real Culinary Treat! If we would have the Michelin Star system in Bali, the Damai Resort would definitely receive 2 or 3 stars! All in all, it is the resort where you not feel like very much appreciated guests, but where you really feel like Kings and Queens. By the way, talking about Kings and Queens, among their clientele are many royalties from the European Kingdoms. And that is not surprising me at all. Since a couple of years, this resort has a new General Manager, Mr. Glenn Knape. He is a very active man and does whatever is possible to improve the operations of his resort and simultaneous with the surroundings. As a matter of fact, he is constantly promoting the North Bali region in a very positive and professional way. And by doing that, he helps and contributes in improving the living conditions of the people over there. Beside of that, he is truly the perfect host.
Among one of the social things that he actively and fully supports, is the exposure of the children Music & Dance group, called: “Dwi Mekar”. To see them perform is enjoying the youth from Northern Bali. Their performance is simply breathtaking, outstanding and whether you like it or not, it touches your heart and soul. Thanks to the support of Damai Resort and its General Manager, Mr. Glenn Knape, this group was recently on a tour to Europe, where they performed at the Royal Castle for His Highness Prince Henrik, Queen Magrite, Prince Frederik, Princess Mary and 700 Consuls of Denmark.
In a upcoming article, I will tell you more about the “Dwi Mekar” group.
After enjoying the romantic dinner and marvelous wines, we went to bed. The next morning we wake up at 05.30 hrs, as we were participating on a Dolphin watching trip, Also this trip was perfectly arranged by the Damai Resort. Indeed, once out on the ocean with local fisher boats, we spotted maybe a hundred dolphins as well as some whales. Impressing indeed and while being on the impressive ocean, it is a totally different experience as visiting a Dolphin Zoo Park at home.
After breakfast, we went trekking in North Bali.
Although the travels only promote and book Lovina / North Bali for 1 or 2 nights, this part of Bali is worth staying at least 4 or 5 nights. Whereas the “Diamond Experience” of the Damai Resort, makes you want to stay even much longer.
In my next blog, I’ll tell you more about the unique and undiscovered “Off the Tourist Track” of North Bali.

If you are interested in more info about the “Damai Resort” and their services and activities, go to their – also upgraded – website: www.damai.com
If you are planning to visit Bali, you better think twice, before booking your entire stay in the commercial South. Don’t miss the unique experience of the Real Bali and as icing on the cake: the Damai Resort.
You can book directly through their website, or in case you like more information about the Real Bali, feel free to contact me at the address below.

Johan Hensen
Active promoter of the Real Bali.
E-mail: johanhensen2004@yahoo.com
Visit: www.bits-bali.com
www.Bali-the-Inspiration.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Discover the Beauty of the Real Bali


Discovering the Real Bali: Part I

There might be many of you, who have never visited the South East Asian tropical Bali Island. But still you might have heard of its magic and mystique. It may create to you an image of an exotic Paradise on Earth. A “dream holiday” destination, which should be visited at least once in a life time.
You might be dreaming about this beautiful, exotic and friendly people with its unique and peaceful life style. An island, filled with a stunning variety of Fauna and Flora, stunning views and rice fields, green mountains and jungles, white tropical beaches and untouched beauty of marine life.
Well, this all is true. Bali has it all to offer and can cater up from low budgets visitors till the demanding high spending tourist.

However, for many of those, who came with this dream to Bali, it turned out into a huge disappointment.
As they never did see, join or enjoy the above mentioned beauty of Bali. To discover this hidden beauty, you have to know a little about Bali, or know some people over there.
Many just book their holiday with a (commercial) travel and only look at the pictures of the hotels, the package deal and so on.
They all end up in the typical tourist trap that exists anywhere in the world, not only in Bali.
You will end up in a Hotel in the crowded tourist area of South Bali. Especially the area of Kuta and surroundings, have nothing to do with the Real Bali. It is just for the young (Australian) people that come for Surf, Beach, Sun and Party.
It is better to stay in the traditional villages of Sanur and Ubud, while from there discovering Bali on your own. Don’t book hotel nights in advance for your whole stay, as this limits you in your discoveries and freedom. Unless you are willing to spend more money, as you would be staying overnight in another hotel during your discovery trip.
The best way is to contact trustworthy people in Bali and discuss with them what you like to see and experience. Communication is so easy these days. At the bottom of this and the next article, I will give you some addresses and links.

As a foreigner, living here in Bali now for almost 11 years, I am still discovering new parts and fantastic elements of this inspirational island. It is never boring for me, not one single day.
There are so many elements to see, join and enjoy:

Inspiring Art works and Artisans
Unique Culture and Lifestyles
Colorful Music and Drama
Breathtaking and stunning Nature and Views
Tropical beaches
Volcanoes and their lakes
Marine Life, ideal for snorkeling and diving
Sense and Sensitivity
Romance and Inspiration

Well, it goes on and on.

As the Balinese have also this great creativity, this Island is also very attractive for business people in search for new products or designs. For those artists, writers and documentary makers, desperately looking for new inspiration.

You will only believe me, if you experience yourself.

This all makes you interested in finding out more about Bali?

Feel free to e-mail me: info@bits-bali.com
or visit : www.bits-bali.com

Also see the following articles coming up in the next days on this weblog.

Warm greetings to all of you
From the Paradise Island Bali


Johan Hensen

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

56 Ways to use a Sarong

Sarong, even handy for men

56 ways to use a Sarong

From cotton, rayon, silk or hand loomed fibers, this easy to wear cloth is commonly called a Sarong.
It is the most universally and most useful textile around.
If you have but one Sarong to your possession, you will be well dressed and in possession of the greatest utilitarian garment around.

But it offers you more possibilities than just wearing it around your waist and legs.
Below are just a few of the simple ways this handy textile can be wadded, wrapped, tied, thrown or tacked into everyday uses.
If you don’t have a wardrobe of 10, or take one as a souvenir to everyone you know, you’ve missed one of life’s simplest treasures.

A Sarong can be used as:

Art
Awning
Backpack
Baby-carrying sling
Bath towel
Beach cover up
Beach mat
Beach towel
Bed sheet
Blanket
Blindfold
Decoration
Dish towel
Dress
Dust cloth
Dust cover
Cloak
Curtain
Fabric, sewn into any garment
Flag
Foot warmer (in air conditioning)
Hammock
Headdress
Head scarf
Hobble
Horse blanket
Interior deco
Kite
Lamp shade
Lap robe
Laundry bag (tied)
Mini skirt
Mop
Muffler (neck)
Pet bed
Pillow
Pool mat
Pool towel
Room divider
Safety belt (motorcycle)
Sail
Sarong!!
Seat cover
Shawl
Shopping bag
Skirt
Sunshade
Swimsuit
Table cloth
Tent
Turban
Umbrella
Waist bag
Wall hanging

Good luck and pleasure with trying out.


Johan Hensen
www.BitsBali.com
E mail: bits_bali@yahoo.com/ johan@bitsbali.com



Tuesday, August 23, 2005

International Media support in TV, Internet, Radio, Newspapers, magazines, Documentaries, total coverage in Bali and Indonesia

BITS - MEDIA
International Media Support

Intro:

If Media & TV broadcasters want to make good documentaries of the real Bali, we sincerely invite them to see, feel, enjoy and cover this unique Bali.
If the problem is a lack of budgets, we can help you reducing the operational costs.
If the problem is the presumption of enormous bureaucracy and corruption, we also can help.
If the public puts some pressure on TV executives and other media, they will and have to act. So perhaps it is time we become more interactive viewers and begin demanding less so-called “reality TV” and more plain reality. Otherwise we can expect the world to continue to deliver unpleasant surprises, as the needs and responses of its people become ever more opaque to us.




“BITS – MEDIA” or International Media Support is part of the “BITS – Bali” company.

All members of the international media, wishing to make some kind of documentation or coverage, TV or Photo shooting, must obtain media permits.
Many media professionals have found that maneuvering their way through the bureaucratic red tape in Indonesia is a time-consuming and therefore costly exercise. For many crews, a short visit has turned into several weeks or even months while they wait for permission or documentation to facilitate their activities here. Those unfamiliar with the many government departments who must give their approval for shooting in Indonesia usually find they are out of pocket with “additional costs” that they could not have foreseen and therefore haven’t budgeted for.
This is where we come into our own. Personal and intimate knowledge of “The System”, particularly in Jakarta, means we can organize appropriate permits and permission with no fuss, leaving you free to concentrate on the task at hand.”
Indonesia is an extensive, vast country, consisting of over 17,000 islands with a population of more than 225 million people.
A unique archipelago, with a great diversity in:

Nature
Flora & Fauna
Marine life
Wildlife
Traditions and Communities with different life styles
Cultures
Arts and Crafts
Music, Drama and Dances
Architecture
Food & Beverages, Culinary, herbs etc.
Mystic & Spiritualism


BITS - MEDIA, is based in Bali and specializes in helping to promote this beautiful island. We also have experience in helping journalists, film crews, photojournalists and radio reporters with their work all over this magical and mysterious country.


What can we offer you?
One stop service, by arranging all media licenses needed in Indonesia at central and regional government levels.
Act as your local producer during your active stay here
Research, collecting information and input, checking of facts and realities, preparations, planning, etc.
Being your professional source of Information before, during and after your visit
Guaranteed professional communication, with direct responses.



· Indonesia covers a huge area and a massive population. The world's biggest Muslim country has a population of more than 220 million people and consists of more than 17.000 islands. It is a unique country, with great diversity.

· Any media organization wishing to cover stories or shoot photographs in Bali or elsewhere in Indonesia must first obtain a media license, press card, shooting permits, and so on.

· Because of regional autonomy, these permits must not only be obtained from the central government in Jakarta, but from the regional authorities as well.

BITS-MEDIA can organize all permits, licenses, press cards and even provide translators to suit all your production needs.

Living in Bali, retirement or business

Living in Tropical Paradise Bali

So You Think You'd Like to Live in Bali?
Breaking away from the stressful city life and escaping to a sunny tropical island sounds like an idyllic fantasy.
Most people acknowledge that it's just a fantasy and would never pursue the idea.
Many of Bali's visitors say they love the place but couldn't live here.
Others, however, claim that they feel a strong affinity with the island: - As soon as I arrived, I just knew that I wanted to stay!!! I felt very strongly that I was meant to be here!!! Immediately I got off the plane, I felt like I had come home!
If you're really considering the possibility of living here you'll have probably already spoken to some, or many, of the Westerners who already do.
You'll have probably heard some mixed reports; most expats will have had many similar experiences. You will have heard some incredible, heart-warming, magical stories, you might have been told about the great business possibilities - or the numerous business initiatives that have failed.
You'll have heard some scary stories and some horror stories. You'll never really know what living in Bali is like until you try it. A two-month holiday or a series of two-month stays might help, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing!
The truth is that Bali is not entirely the Paradise that people imagine, it's stressful - but in a different way from the West - don't expect things to run smoothly.
It is expensive - sure you can buy street food for as little as Rp 3,000; but visas, imported commodities, education, and medical attention are all expensive requirements.
Paradise is hot, wet, dangerous, exciting, challenging, scary, and wonderful.
You can fulfill your dreams here or you can drown in a treacherous sea.If you make this momentous decision as part of a couple or a family, you can help and support each other, but if you don't share the same passion for the place it won't work. If you come here on your own, you will only have yourself to consider, initially.
But during those difficult early days you'll have a lot of challenges to face alone. There is so much to deal with like making friends, finding somewhere to live, securing a means of making some money, learning your way around, mastering the language and understanding about the way things work here.
If you've never lived in Asia before the first six months will be a culture shock. You won't think of it as culture shock, you might think you're coping well, but you'll wonder why your emotions are so intensified. Why do you feel so happy, joyful, tearful, angry, frustrated and scared!If you're financially comfortable, you may find yourself a target for the rip-off merchants.
You can make things easier by employing someone to help you deal with the complicated necessities of living here. But isolate yourself too much from the reality of everyday life in Bali and you might find that you're not learning the essential lessons.
Moreover, you will be ill equipped to cope with some of the challenges that you are presented with.On the other hand, if you're struggling to survive on a tight budget, you will probably find yourself living in fear of the immigration department - in the house from hell - with an unreasonable landlord - and a demonic employer.
In fact, if you're hoping to find employment here, it's not an easy road. It becomes a bit easier after you've lived here for a while, have made the appropriate contacts and speak the language.If you try to fight the system you will just stress yourself out, there's no point in getting angry with every taxi driver who says he hasn't got any change, or the supermarket check-out girl who gives you candies instead of coins.
The frustrations of living in Bali and attempting to conduct business here are enough to try the patience of a saint.
Why is everything so complicated?
Why isn't it possible to pay the bills by direct debit?
Why does so much incoming post go astray?
Why don't things work properly?
Why is everybody always late?
Why are there so many power-cuts?
Why is the traffic so terrifying?
Make friends with the local people, learn the language, acknowledge the dangers, take care on the roads, accept the things you can't change, embrace the challenges, explore the island and the culture, and be open to the intense spiritual energy here.
Bali is full of magic and wonder, if you truly want to be here you will find a way to make it work. There are a lot of lessons to be learned on the way, but if you have a passion for Bali, the joy and rewards of living here are immeasurable.
Good luck!
You want to know more about holidaying, honeymooning, or living in Bali?
Feel free to contact me.

Johan Hensen
Expatriat living in Bali
E-mail: manager@bits-bali.com
www.bits-bali.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My Dear Love,

IF I KNEW ...

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute to stop
and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
of which I was so sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today

Your one & only

Friday, August 05, 2005

Is Bali truly a Paradise?

Is Bali really a Paradise?
No, far from it!!!
Of course, surely it still (but for how long) can be said, that the island is gloriously green and verdant, with lush countryside, rice paddies, palm trees, terraced landscapes, lakes, beaches and other tropical ravishments.

In the matter of inner resources & culture, Bali is still very rich.
But there is desperate poverty as well, sometimes even starvation, when crops and tourism business is insufficient.
The people need many things in the line of materials, worldly goods, basic foods, health care, education, human resources, etc.

The Balinese (and Indonesian) people are in no way different from people around the world, when they also want a better future.

Poor families (farmers) are selling their land, so that their children can go to school / university, get a job.
For obtaining a better future, also for the family itself.
But now, there are no more jobs, the land is sold and the income gone.

For already more than 50 years, tourists from all over the world are coming to Bali, attracted by the fact that it is the center of spiritual inspiration, a guarantee for mental & psychical relaxation and re-charge of the human batteries. What a real holiday should stand for.
An island, full of cultural activities, in which all Balinese citizens participate, from young till old, from rich till poor. Dance performances, the arts of painting & sculptures, religious festivities. Bali was and is a Living Museum, full of daily activities and a source of inspiration.
With love, they shared this with who-ever was interested and respected them.
The international visitors mostly came especially for the unique Art & Culture, fascinating Nature and the unforgettable, impressing and refreshing interaction with the Balinese people.
No world traveler was able to rest, before visiting Bali. And once “hit” by the Bali – Virus, a second or third visit surely followed.
Because of that, it became the popular holiday destination in Asia among Europeans, Australians, Japanese, Taiwanese and Koreans.
It was because of this warm, human interaction that some Public relation / Marketing people from the travel industry “invented” the image of Bali, the Paradise on earth.
But was and is it a real Paradise for the Balinese themselves? No, because a real paradise, does not know poverty, starvation, illiteracy, gender- physical or religious discrimination or corruption. It does not lack basic goods, basic human rights, and freedom of expression. It would have equal distribution of wealth and power.
Maybe for the short term visitor, Bali / Indonesia appear to be a paradise, as they don’t have a look behind the façade. Like what happened in Spain the 1970’s and 1980’s.
But the Balinese / Indonesian communities are mere bystanders, on-lookers in what is going on and not full participants.

Johan Hensen
BITS-BALI, Intermediary Services in Tourism & Trade and International Media Support
info@bits-bali.com

Bali, safer than ever

I dare saying that Bali is SAFER than EVER.

And Bali was already a model, a paragon of safety, an oasis of aggression- & stress free environment, without any trace of hatred or violence. No intimidation, aggression or threats towards visitors. Although some (sensation oriented) international media loves to insinuate, to create that impression.

One must have been in Bali, to really know or trust this.
As a foreigner and guest staying in this extra-ordinary fascinating country and living in Bali, I can assure you all, that life here is more safe, more peaceful, than in any country or destination in Europe, Australia, America or Asia.
Many other expatriates from an enormous variety of nationalities, are of the same opinion and don’t see the urge or need to leave this country. On the contrary!!!

Why not first check with these experts in the field, to learn about the real situation? They are the same people that together with the locals of Bali took care of the victims, the wounded, the families & friends. Who made this rescue operation a big success?
Now they have to watch with bleeding hearts, how the international institutions are dropping Bali as a hot & rotten potato. Isolating it as a pariah and taking away their means of living. As if they are the criminals, the perpetrators.
Just as thanks for what they positively contributed towards international Tourism & Trade, for ages.
Bali as the promoter of Peace & Non- Violence.
This is seeking the way of less resistance.

In her battle against Terrorism, the world community could be better off by helping and really supporting others, not by isolating them.
By making sure that Bali & Indonesia (a young & developing nation on its way to democracy) can survive, on the short as well as on the long term.
This can be done, among others, by Tourism, by buying Indonesian products ( stimulating Trade & Export), more cultural & educational exchange programs, investments, Grants, Donations or participation in really necessary projects, such as:

· Medical Facilities & Infra structure: well-equipped, modern hospitals, training, management, health care, ambulances etc. Up-to-date Medical University
· (drinking) Water supply & Infrastructure
· Independent Electricity / Power supply
· Sewage systems, garbage recycling & infrastructure
· Destination PR & Marketing training & education facilities
· Better telephone & Internet facilities & infrastructure
· Upgrading Education, Schools & Sport facilities

But most of all, a lasting, continuous, direct dialog & co-operation, most of it carried out in Bali, to ensure the participation of the Balinese and - very important- to make the Balinese Culture an integral & central part in this all and in Tourism.
This alone will guarantee the Uniqueness and the further development & existence of a SAFE & PEACEFUL BALI / Indonesia and good relations between the neighboring communities.

International Tourism & Trade has taken and received a lot from Bali. At the expense of its land, nature, agriculture etc.
Now it is time to do something back.
But only if meant seriously, not as a buy-off, because of feelings of guilt or sorrow.

I call on the international communities and especially our neighbors from Australia, to put some pressure on government and related institutions:

· To keep Bali open and accessible for (individual) Tourism & Trade or other visits
· To endorse interactive Information and Communication on community levels
· To only initiate and realize useful projects, as mentioned above
· To initiate more real publications and real documentaries on TV / all kind of media, about foreign communities, to achieve better understanding & communications.

Only then, we can successfully fight a joined battle against injustice, poverty & terrorism.
Only in that way, we can honor the victims and their relatives.

Johan Hensen
BITS-BALI
Intermediary Services in Tourism & Trade and International Media Support
info@bits-bali.com

Monday, August 01, 2005

Surfing In Bali

The best beach to surf at in Bali is Balian Beach, or you can try Dreamland.

Hi From Bali!

This blog is created for all those who love Bali.