Unlocking Bali’s potential for tourism, investment, sustainability

It has been several months since I landed in Indonesia. It is a great nation with a diverse culture and marvelous nature. I have had the chance to meet dozens of people and visit several regions across the country. It was a unique experience because I aimed to visit Indonesia as a student in Malaysia several years back.

Unfortunately, I could not visit Indonesia at that time. Fortunately, I have had the time and opportunity to see all around Bali today.

There are many things to write about this friendly nation. The best part is its great potential for tourism. Therefore, when we talk about tourism, Bali is a world-class destination for all kinds of tourist activities in Indonesia. Kuta, Seminyak and Changgu are for those who look for a fast lifestyle, while Amed, Sanur and Ubud are much calmer areas. Uluwatu and Jimbaran are other booming regions. Places like Kintamani and Auman are very exceptional and unique areas for nature and silence lovers.

I was very surprised when I visited those areas, thanks to the lifestyle, food, nature, people, fruits and many other things. Firstly, the lifestyle: Muslims and Hindus live together with tolerance and mutual understanding. We just had Nyepi day (Silent day), 24 hours of silence with no electricity, internet or noise, just birds and silence for 24 hours. Nowadays, we are having Ramadan peacefully.

In addition, it is very common to see hard-working villagers in rural areas, and it’s even easier to see female construction workers across Bali. Even the local people in rural areas are very friendly and welcoming if you respect them. They let you try their fruit; they know how to treat you even though they have little. I found this very similar to Turkish culture indeed. Many types of foods are available here, such as ayam betutu, nasi tempong, pie susu and many others.

Secondly, I was surprised to see local watermelons, grapes, strawberries and apples. When I saw them for the first time, I thought, “Those fruits aren’t local.” I do not have a deep knowledge of geography, but Bali is a very fruitful island. That is why local people know the value of their surroundings and have their own culture and traditions.

If we talk about fruit, durian (the king of fruits) is the tastiest one for me, then mango and avocado. I can eat several durians at once, which is my super skill. Even the locals are surprised when they see me eating them eagerly. I met with a local man, whose daughter works in Mardin, Türkiye, who said, “Mister, slow down, one durian is enough.” Then I just ate one in front of him and ate the rest the next day. There are many local durian sellers in Bali. The majority of tourists don’t like the taste but try it at least once in your lifetime.

I had never tried riding a motorbike in Türkiye, Malaysia or anywhere else. But riding a motorbike is a must and a skill here in Bali and Indonesia. If you ride a motorbike in Bali, there are no issues with time; otherwise, heavy traffic will waste your time tremendously. I learned to ride a motorbike with a local friend. I have had falls and accidents several times but did not give up. I’m like a MotoGP rider, as they comment on my riding skills.

My suggestions to those who wish to have a wonderful holiday in Bali are: First, rent a motorbike, make a proper plan, choose Kuta as a center, and then begin your journey all the way around Bali. Second, there is more to observe than nightlife. Thus, visit local Balinese villages, interact with locals and observe the other suburban areas.

My suggestion to investors is to focus on projects that include construction, food, health and water quality improvement. These are straightforward sectors. Bali is also a place where green and environmental projects can be implemented. Solar energy and wind power are some simple examples.

The Daily Sabah Newsletter

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