Bali needs more modern development, yes?
With the current onslaught of no-quarantine-required tourists here on the Island of the Gods comes yet another controversy.
And it affects the surf and sunset beers crowd directly.
Having opened its borders to such tourist rich countries as Tunisia, Cambodia and Belgium, “the powers that be” have deemed it necessary at this jubilant junction to pour ice down the pants of beachfront businesses, both humble and luxurious.
This is rumored to be with an eye to save these prime pieces of real estate for more lucrative investors.
After all, Bali needs more modern development, yes?
Why keep the charm of the place when you can bury it under a mountain of cash and cement in the form of overseas resort investors?
So here’s the rub: It started with a fire that burnt down this semi-secret luxury beachside club near Balangan up in the Bukit (Voted among the top 50 best beach bars in the world near a benevolent left breaking wave beloved by all) .
While rebuilding, an access road was hastily built to fight possible future fires. This drew attention to the prime location and a case of suspected misappropriation of a seaside parcel of public land was slapped on the owners.
Now, the traditional villagers and the restaurant owners they had a pretty sweet deal with are ensnared in a labyrinthine legal horn lock with “the powers that be.”
And everybody knows how it will turn out.
Special fees, fees and more fees.
So, fresh from this success, “the powers that be” have now turned there attention to the 30-odd illegal businesses “discovered” near Berawa Beach, Canggu’s latest hot spot for the surf and sunset cocktails crowd (if you are thinking of visiting you might want to brush up on your Russian language skills).
No word yet on any scrutiny of nearby Echo Beach, Old Man’s, and its longboard haven stalwarts extraordinaire.
Anyway, it seems these illegal “buildings” on Berawa were built by local residents who then lease them out to “outside interests” who, smart enough, offer the village inducements like employment guarantees and high-blown rental payments for the right to use these prime locations otherwise banned from private use.
Says one disgruntled investor in a heavy Russian accent, “You gotta realize that Villagers view these beachfront lands as part of their ancestral legacy and can be disposed of as they please. And we like that”.
In contrast, provincial officials insist that any “public lands” are forever held by all Indonesians and regional laws take precedence.
In other words, a total shit fight with one side heavily favored.
The final dispositions in these cases may have far-reaching surfing effects in Bali, where so many surfside warungs have broken every building code in the book.