The Beauty of Bali

Personal Perspective | Written By, NOW! BALI |

There is a natural beauty and there is, almost unique in the world, a man-made beauty in the rice fields, which have been crafted out of the countryside by artisans over thousands of years. Then there is the harmony between the real Balinese development which dictates the alignment of the houses to the Mother Temple at Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung, the spatial arrangement of the compounds with their family temples and sleeping and living areas, and the artistic adornment of the houses themselves with carved symbols and statues. It is a complete system which was undisturbed until about thirty years ago.

Text by Alistair G. Speirs, Photo by Ayu Sekar

One of the subjects I come back to time and again is how beautiful Bali is.

There is a natural beauty and there is, almost unique in the world, a man-made beauty in the rice fields, which have been crafted out of the countryside by artisans over thousands of years. Then there is the harmony between the real Balinese development which dictates the alignment of the houses to the Mother Temple at Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung, the spatial arrangement of the compounds with their family temples and sleeping and living areas, and the artistic adornment of the houses themselves with carved symbols and statues. It is a complete system which was undisturbed until about thirty years ago.

Now the horror of unplanned and uncontrolled strip development is on us. 

Bali, quite correctly has to improve its roads, and we were all delighted when the major artery of Jalan Sunset was driven through the empty fields to join Kuta to Petitenget. What we didn’t expect was that every meter of each side would be filled by commercial, almost industrial, buildings blocking forever the view, and leaving us with an urban, totally non-Balinese blight.

Now it starts again up the east on the coastal highway called Prof Dr Ida Bagus Mantra. There are no regulations, it seems, to stop both sides of the road being filled with, again mostly industrial buildings, obliterating the beauty of Bali for everyone travelling to Gianyar, Candi Dasa and Amed. And there are thousands doing this daily.

Soon we will have continuous, urban concrete views from Nusa Dua to Kuta, From Kuta to Canggu, from Jimbaran to Sanur and from Sanur to Candi Dasa.

Is there no way to stop this?

Goodbye Bali. It was my pleasure to know you while someone still cared.!

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NOW! BALI

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