Amazing Grace and the Balinese Gigolos

The Balinese authorities have got it all wrong where it comes to the hooha over the news documentary Cowboys in Paradise, about the Kuta Cowboys, gigolos selling their services to foreign women tourists. Instead of getting angry with Singapore-based director Amit Virmani for allegedly besmirching the island’s reputation, they should instead thank Amit for restoring […]

Does Indonesia Suck as a tourist destination?

@anakcerdas just alerted me to this blog posting in Travel Blog with the terse and succinct message: “Memalukan yah” (Shameful, isn’t it?). Yes, it is indeed shameful if even half of what the blogger, Mike Foster, says is true. As someone who’s adopted Jakarta and Indonesia as my home I feel duty bound to defend […]

Indonesian tourism’s secret weapon?

Someone help Unspun here please. Can anyone explain how a “senior” singer such as Eddy Silitonga, him of the cheesy mustache and unkempt haircut, is going to attract droves of tourists to Indonesia’s shores? Does the Tourism Minister, in his infinite wisdom and impeccable taste, think that Eddy will appeal to would be tourists in […]

Australia new playground of the Chinese noveau riche?

Amazing to revisit Melbourne after 30 years or so of trying to be a geology student at RMIT, which is now a university. Swanston Street now has a huge proportion of Asian food restaurants, including Indonesia’s own Es Teler 77 (disclosure: a family connection here)  just diagonally opposite  the Melbourne Library. The makeup of the student population […]