19 Oct Rambling during Ramadan

Rambling during Ramadan

When we arrived in Bali on July 3, 2012, we had plans for a big adventure to Sulawesi and the Banda Islands but then we found out the dates of the upcoming Ramadan month. I did not think traveling in a 98% Moslem country during Ramadan was a great plan. I had been in Oman and a few other countries in 2000 during Ramadan and had experienced challenges.

After five weeks in Bali and talking with other travelers, we decided to go to Lombok and the Gili Islands during the last week of Ramadan. In Senggigi, there were no issues. We spoke to several locals with our best Bahasa Indonesia. They think we are pintar (clever) as we have belajar (learned) a tzedeket (few) words in the local language. We can count, ask for the check (bolle saya minta bone), and say, Seh-nan-bertamu anda (nice to meet you). Actually, George can speak quite a bit more words than those! He is quite impressive with his language skills.

We arrived in the Gillis and immediately noticed the large amount of new development here since our last visit in 2008 when the Gili Cat (Fast boat) had just begun. Now everyone in Amed, Padang Bai, Kuta and everywhere else had a fast boat to the Gillis. The number of tourists able to access the islands has grown immensely.

The place we stayed before, Blue Beach Cottage is not only still here but also has gtown two internet cafés, a restaurant, boat trip excursions, and a second hotel, Blue Beach 2. Everyone is getting into the act of touristic development. We remember hearing the call to prayer from a mosque on our last visit. Three years ago, a new large mosque was built next door to Blue Beach 1. As it is Ramadan, as I write this I am listening to the 10-11pm shift from the mosque.

The man as we came in said, “Don’t worry, it is only until 11pm.” I said, “Until it starts at 4am.” He said, “Oh no, 4:30.”

Felt a bit like a scene from “My Cousin, Vinny:” “Does that train always come at 4am?” and the reply, “Oh no sir.” So the next night at 4:30am the train sounds start. The man at the desk says—“oh that train it was early the other night.”

The only place that has not adapted well is the ocean. All of this love for the island with fast boats, larger and fancier hotels and more people is creating a problem for the coral reef. I do not think it has been protected and that its integrity and bio-diversity are in danger.

August 14, 2012

VIDEO: Ramadan Parade Gili Meno

 

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Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver is a travel expert, writer, artist, entrepreneur, and on-camera host who has explored over 95 countries. Niver has established a following through her written and video content, garnering nearly one million video views on YouTube, Amazon Fire Tv, Amazon Short Video and Roku. Also the founder of a top 100 travel blog, We Said Go Travel, she has created eleven international travel writing competitions and published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries. Lisa’s approach blends her world-class travels in an entertaining and educational style. She has contributed to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, Yahoo Travel, The Huffington Post, the Jewish Journal, Sheknows and National Geographic, among others. Niver is verified on Twitter and was listed by Klout as the #1 Expert in Travel Writing. She was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize.

2 Comments
  • nomadic translator
    Posted at 05:52h, 23 October Reply

    so sad to hear about the Gilis. I was supposed to go there back in 2008/2009, but couldn’t make it. While planning my trip back then, I remember of only hearing about tilted basic huts and gorgeous waters; nothing else.

    Seems like now not only are the islands developing fast, but irresponsibly. I really hope that the locals take the matter in their own hands and protect their ecosystems. It is so sad to hear when beautiful places are trashed like this… such a tragedy

    – Maria Alexandra

  • Liesbeth Pieters
    Posted at 06:10h, 21 March Reply

    Do not forget to visit Bali during Balinese holiday also! http://www.jakpost.travel/news/a-photo-story-nyepi-in-bali-uMnD7BHcTS2Rwdrf.html

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