Indonesia

I had just returned from a trip to Indonesia. This was meant to be a business trip visiting one of our factories. I had the opportunity to witness the chaos of Jakarta. Indonesia had suffered tremendously from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which sent its currency to plunge in value 5 fold. From the people that I had spoken to, the past few years saw many companies going bankrupt, and had put my company’s local factory in much hardship also.

Traffic

My impression of Jakarta is an endless traffic jam. From the number of new motor bikes on the streets, I think this country is in recovery. However, its lack of infrastructure, such as roads, is limiting its development (and this is pretty much the same scenario with other SE Asian countries like Phillipines). I hear that corruption in governmental posts used to be rampant, is reducing, but is still not good enough. To make things worse, the somewhat xenophobic and anti-Chinese sentiment in this country is scaring potential investors away. So, it’s stuck in a slow pace of advance, which the rest of Asia (especially China, India, and now Vietnam) marches on.

Kuta

I took the weekend off to go to Bali. Its serenity is in stark contrast to Jakarta’s chaos. The beaches are one of the best that I had set foot on. In my opinion, the waves are just perfect to surf in; not too big, not too small. The rainforests are natural, and the people are friendly. However, Kuta, where I stayed in, was way too commercialised. Surf clothing stores lined the streets. Australians with very little clothing on walk around drunk, with a beer bottle in their hand, singing rugby war cries. I hope tourism, the hand that feeds this place, doesn’t slowly exploit its beauty to death.

Kecak dance

I hate to say this, but I hope the bombing was a wake up call to the foreigners to be more sensitive to local cultures.

My gallery is here:

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