Come live in colonial splendour on Indonesia's "Island of 1,000 mosques"!
First the surfers came to Indonesia, then the tourists, and now the bankers.
(Of course, erudite readers will complain that this is not completely true. The Portuguese and then the Dutch came, plundered, enslaved and so on before Sukarno showed ’em the door in 1949.)
But for the sake of modern Indonesia, that’s the lineage.
Let me ask. Are you a habitué of Bali and beyond?
Do you enjoy the terrific deals you can get on a hunk of land and a modernist villa right there on the beach? It ain’t what it used to be in Bali, half-a-million bucks used to buy you a palance, now it’s a villa way off the sand.
The smart money is headed to Lombok, home to Desert Point and only forty clicks across the Lombok Strait from Bali.
And, today, in the newspaper, The Australian Financial Review, there is an excellent story that confirms the rise of the Australian banker in the gentrification, no wait, that came with the tourists, the wolficiation, of Indonesia’s pretty islands.
Let’s wet our toes momentarily into the piece entitled The Australian bankers who built their own luxury resort in South Lombok.
Australians Andrew Corkery and James Nash were typical young gun investment bankers who liked to work and play hard. They met as traders in Hong Kong in 2006 and, like so many others their age, were soon making an annual Bali pilgrimage to surf, relax and drink Japanese beer far from the madding stock exchange.
“We wanted to invest in Bali but couldn’t make the numbers work,” Corkery reflects. “Then we went to South Lombok in 2010 for a surfing trip and it just made sense.”
“Fast forward to May this year and Sophisticated Traveller is sitting with Corkery and Nash enjoying Bintang beer, cocktails – an organic lemongrass mojito in my case – and warm sunsets by the infinity pool of Aura Bar & Lounge, part of their luxury villa community, Selong Selo Residences. Despite the perfect surrounds, the complex is still very much under construction.”
“The project won’t be completed until 2020, when they hope to have most of the villas built (their vision is for 58), along with a kids’ club, health spa, fitness centre and tennis courts.”
“But there’s reason to clink beer necks: four of the villas have been completed, with many more sold off the plan. Investors pay $US500,000 ($632,000) on average for a two-bedroom villa spanning 250 square metres, although they are building villas of up to seven bedrooms, the largest home being 910 square metres.”
Can you imagine living out your days in splendour, the lord of the manor, while little brown men and women scuttle back and forth with your citrus-y cocktails, you admiring how they keep those uniforms so white?
Oh I could!
And do you think the people of this island of four million muslims, promoted by the Indonesian government as a sharia paradise and where hotels have signs pointing to Mecca, korans in the rooms, MTV is banned, unmarried couples are turned away etc, are thrilled when hunks of their ancestral land is cut off to be filled with “exclusive communities”?
I think, yes!
The Balinese are still smiling and they sold everything!