When I started NOW! Bali seven years ago, I set out with two principles One, to support “Real Bali” whenever and wherever possible, by ensuring we had at least one temple, one museum and one natural attraction in every issue. By starting every issue with a Balinese Dance and by closing with a story about Bali that the tourists don’t see, in “Secret Bali”. By continuing Made Wijaya’s unique insight into Balinese life in the temples and palaces of Balinese Society.

When I started NOW! Bali seven years ago, I set out with two principles One, to support “Real Bali” whenever and wherever possible, by ensuring we had at least one temple, one museum and one natural attraction in every issue. By starting every issue with a Balinese Dance and by closing with a story about Bali that the tourists don’t see, in “Secret Bali”. By continuing Made Wijaya’s unique insight into Balinese life in the temples and palaces of Balinese Society.

Two, to campaign against the destruction of Bali by non- Balinese development.To ban all real estate advertising and promotion from our pages and to encourage hotels not to circulate such promotions.

Seven years later the destruction of the southern belt is almost complete, and the development spreading to Ubud, CandiDasa and the north.  The streets are lined with builders merchants and suppliers to the booming real estate business. Every spare piece of land is filled with three star hotels, condominiums and malls. The traffic is bad, the parking dreadful, there are billboards everywhere, and the rules governing the design of buildings all forgotten.

Some of our clients are saying to us, “change your style, get with modern Bali, you are out of phase with what’s happening”. But my reply is “no”, that’s not what we stand for, it’s not what the soul of Bali is, it’s not the right thing to do. Bali’s values can’t be compromised. Bali’s culture and religion can’t be compromised. Bali is not represented by cheap hotels and souvenir shops, by clubs and pubs. Everyone else can do that. I can’t. I love real Bali and it will remain in the pages of this magazine and in our books as long as I can keep going. So join me in my fight to keep Bali real. Support us and keep the developers at bay for a little longer. Have a great holiday. And go and look for real Bali. It’s still there.

Alistair G. Speirs

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