THE BALI DILEMMA
IN the wake of the July 17 Jakarta bombings, the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory to Indonesia states, ‘‘ There is a possibility of further terrorist attacks in Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia, including Bali. In past years, terrorists have attacked nightclubs, bars, restaurants and hotels in Bali and Jakarta; we judge that these types of venues are still targets of interest to terrorists.
‘‘ We continue to receive credible information that terrorists could be planning attacks . . . You should exercise great care, particularly around locations that have a low level of protective security . . . If you do decide to travel to Indonesia, you should exercise extreme caution.’’
The overall level of travel advisory has not changed;
advises readers to monitor the situation carefully.
Snooze control: Rest and recuperate at Sungai Gold, a one-bedroom luxury retreat with a private pool dawn calls of roosters to the basscroak of frogs and the uh-oh of geckoes chirruping in mock surprise.
We have bobbed in the pool, arms outstretched along the edge, peering into the dense vegetation on the opposite side of the slender river.
Little Made showed us the bunut bolong trees, a kind of banyan, one evening as clouds of rice sparrows whirled about our heads and orange and brown butterflies settled on branches. It is the wet season but the rain is soft and unhurried and we tell our underwhelmed friends how dragonflies skim the river and squirrels scamper from tree to tree seeking shelter under the canopy of leaves. It takes commitment to do nothing, I confess.
Our friends seem sceptical
but cannot argue that we look as if we have just emerged from a very satisfactory convalescence. And indeed we have.
Villa Sungai (four doubles plus king singles, as required) and Sungai Gold (for couples) come with 24-hour service and chauffeured vehicle on call. Priority airport arrival service at a small extra cost (and worth it to speed through the formalities, including visa purchase). Tariff includes cooked breakfasts, airport transfers, laundry and pressing, and unlimited tea, coffee and bottled water. The Sungai vehicles (which seat eight) are included for up to eight hours a day; thereafter, $30 for four hours or part thereof; petrol refills extra. Massages and spa therapies on request in a double treatment room. There is a special of 10 nights for the price of eight valid to June 30 next year (excluding Christmas). Villa Sungai is from $US700 ($830) to $US1000 a night plus taxes, depending on the season. More: www.bali-villasungai.com. Sungai Gold is from $US500 to $US700 a night, depending on the season. More: www.baliluxuryhoneymoons.com. The two villas can be combined for a large group stay. More: www.baliluxuryvillacollection.com. Curious Cook: Jimbaran Bay’s new Rock Bar — Page 4