Hello folks. We are pleased to say that Bali is back open and in business, with foreign and domestic tourists arriving every day by the plane load.
It’s now about two years and two months since Bali closed down. Totally closed to tourists, almost no flights in or out and the Bali community stopped in its tracks, going back to basics, and in the most part without any income. For the first year or so, the pandemic slowdown came as a welcome relief for many living in south Bali. Like a forced holiday, beaches were pristine, without tourists everywhere, the pace was slowed and the Bali life was basically good and healthy. I had not stayed home so much for decades. But after a while it all began to grind down, money became tighter and tighter among the expat community until the last few months and the continuing restrictions worked away at people’s mental states, every month worse.
As the months went by, many bars and clubs remained open, and until late hours, but behind closed doors. No phones allowed inside, no photos allowed to be taken, or posted. No one wanted the authorities to crack down on this prohibition style nightlife, it was way too much fun, and a welcome relief to the boredom of the pandemic. Not to mention some cash in the tills to pay the staff.
Yes, it’s all over now for the moment, but what we just lived thru was unprecedented. To those still here and standing, we wish you well, and we hope and trust nothing like that will happen again – in our lifetimes anyway.
If you are new visitor don’t hesitate to tip your driver, waiter or anyone you come across some extra cash, everyone has had it tough and I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated. Cheers
Friday Jan 8, 2021
2021 arrived without much hurrah. All venues were closed by authorities at 11pm as was announced two days before NYE. It must be said that that did not give the venues much chance to prepare their pending demise, or at least more finacial woes. It was announced that all NYE events would be cancelled back around 20 Dec though. Some people just didn’t believe it was really going to happen it would seem. Well, many punters just went indoors and rented villas to party and see the new year in. Good times were had all over the island.
The nightlife is going to be partially locked down from Jan 12 to 25 with all clubs totally closed and restaurants open but with a total 25% capacity. So batten down the hatches and have a relaxing time on the island. The lockdowns are a lot worse in many other places around the world. Let’s hope it helps curb the virus numbers down.
Monday Nov 16 2020
Some parts of Bali are as busy as ever while traditional tourist hot spots like Kuta and Seminyak are still a lot quieter than usual. As everyone knows the foreign tourists were not allowed back to Bali on Sept 1, but as what happens in Indonesia often it is not all as it seems. There is a small opening, an agreeable loophole that does allow some foreigners back in. The flexible business visa (which is quite expensive) is available at an embassy near you and has an extendable duration of six months. Anyone who would like to escape their lockdown please apply at your earliest.
Meanwhile, the Bali nightlife is moving along nicely with enough people around to make it interesting. Cameras are still being blocked by stickers on phones at venue entrances so the whole thing has been forced underground, which is kinda fun. Also the reason you don’t see much on social media.
Some venues are beginning to post events for NYE 2021. Check our dedicated page for more info. Also tune into the Thursday Night Live with Miss M show on the radio and live on our IG @thebeat.bali every Thursday evening for the latest news in Bali. Peace and happiness to you all.
Monday Aug 10, 2020
Domestic tourists were allowed back to the island on July 31, which was also a national Muslim holiday, Idul Adha. Apparently over 4000 tourists arrived that first day and have continued arriving in large numbers since. Beach bars are open, beach clubs remain closed, some hotels are reopening, while the big ones remain closed. Most of the venues are now open and functioning till around 2am. Patrons are supposed to keep a distance etc, but obviously that is not so easy in a dark room with pounding beats. I believe there has not been a case of coronavirus reported in the tourists areas from Kuta to Canggu since the beginning of this pandemic. Let’s hope it stays that way.
September 11 is the date the Bali provincial government has announced that the ban on the arrival of foreign tourists will be lifted. From all sources we have checked, this will be the case. This will mean the visa on arrival will need to be reinstated. Bring it on!
Monday July 20, 2020
Normally, Bali would be starting to fire up for another grand high season by this date. Not in 2020.
However, the island was successfully re-opened to local Bali residents on July 9 after a number of days of ceremony around the island culminating in Pegawasi and the full moon ceremonies. The New Normal was then in action for real, with many restaurants and bars re-opened all over town, but many also remaining closed.
So how has the new normal panned out since? The Beat has visited a number of venues since the reopening, noting that all bars and restaurants have some of the protocols in place and are adhering to them best they can. As numbers of Covid cases around the island continue to climb, people would do well to follow those protocols too. And none more relevant than staying home if sick and wearing a mask whenever in public. We note that ShiShi makes people wash their hands before entering, as well as taking forehead temperatures. Other venues could take note of the hand washing exercise. Besides the virus prevention, clean hands is always a good thing in any venue. Not sure the sticky label over the phone camera was actually on the protocol list but seems to serve a purpose in most venues, especially after those pre-opening, underground-like parties were closed down earlier this month. No doubt those stickers will be gone soon, too.
Domestic tourists are allowed back to the island on July 31. I have been told hotels and flights are already being heavily booked for after that date. September 11 is set to be a positive day this year with international tourists being able to come back to Bali for the first time since the closure of the borders on March 20, 2020. We look forward to their return and better days ahead, not that it has been so bad over the past months, but it definitely is time to get back to work.
Always remember that we are all very Lucky to be in Bali.
Saturday, May 25, 2020
Hello all. The strange days and nights continue… but don’t you love it.
Bali has weathered the Corona virus storm rather well. I wish I had taken a screenshot of the fear warnings from the Aust government at the start of this pandemic. Talk about a carry on!
So, what’s happened over this time (the past more than two months)? You would expect not a lot, but the fact is most people I talk to say they have been as busy as ever, but doing their own things as well as new things. Myself included. Most people also say they have been enjoying their time and are quite happy to spend more of it around the home. It makes you wonder how long it will take now to get back into the grind of work and the swing of normal life, but as we all know that day will be coming soon enough so enjoy the remaining time the best you can, while you can.
We are probably a few weeks out from being back to normal, but without too many tourists. Many restos are open until 9pm every day now and there are now many people buzzing around during the day.
Talk soon. SDW
Tuesday. April 7, 2020
We are now basically in semi-lock down on Bali, with all nightlife venues closed including bars, beach clubs and nightclubs. There are still some smaller restaurants open till early evening. We are allowed out, but we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
For a while the clubs tried to keep open but eventually it became apparent that the party was over. I didn’t realize it was happening but I was lucky enough to be out on the last Sunday night before everything closed up. From 707 to Damaria then ShiShi for a Sunday night send-off to remember. That was March 15. Since then most people have been house bound with the occasional sortie out into the streets buying food or maybe doing a little work if possible.
We are now all wearing masks when going out. I must say it’s quite eerie riding the bike on the empty and dimly lit streets at night. I took a friend home to Kuta just last night from Berawa, Canggu at around 11pm. On the solo return there wasn’t any traffic in front or behind me the whole way. I was gunning it (of course) and arrived back in 15 minutes, which must be some kind of record. At night the streets are empty, so empty. It feels like you are on another planet, and not the Bali we all know. The only time I can recall it being like this was after the first bomb, and that was only for a couple of weeks. Now it’s like the first bomb Bali but the bomb hasn’t even gone off yet. The same can’t be said for during the day, though. There seems to be too many people on the streets, buzzing around doing their thing. Seemingly unaware of any impending doom at the door.
I am living in hope for the warm weather to be the cure, or at least the dampener of this virus, herd immunity kicking in properly, and now the talk of antibody testing that may get people back into the work force soon gives me even more hope. We will be back on the road again before you know it, be sure of that. Peace.
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