You can find out
specifics of Bali's problems such as pollution, disease
/ health risks, crime, terrorism, extortion, etc. on
the pages listed in the right hand navigation column.
Here we summarize for you the risks for particular areas.
Most of the hotels in Nusa Dua are built on
"stolen" land (land bought at low prices under
Suharto's compulsory purchase program and then either
used by his family and / or sold to foreign hotel chains
at great profit). Nusa Dua also seems to suffer the
worst from illegal garbage (including effluence) dumping,
plus basically deprives the balinese of their legal
right to use the beaches if they so wish. Given the
number of large western branded hotels here and the
proximity to the airport / flight paths, the hotels
here are certainly a likely preferred target of the
Al Qaeda terrorist network.
So close to the airport and flight paths, and
perhaps with less security than Nusa Dua, Jimbaran's
larger hotels would make an obvious terrorist target.
In one of the large housing estates above Jimbaran,
sewerage coming out of the sewers was once a major problem.
And many of the fish restaurants here have a terrible
reputation for selling seafood not fit for consumption
by any animal (they often contain lead and are far from
Less of a terrorist risk, maybe, than neighboring
Nusa Dua. But it certainly suffers from major beach
erosion (the Indonesians destroyed the protecting coral
reef to make building concrete), to the extent that
some hotels are in jeopardy of losing their star ratings.
Also, the pollution problem certainly affects Tanjung
A highly likely terrorist target given its
association with the western expat community, and some
very large brand name hotels with relatively easy street
access and also on the airport's flight path. Most of
the beach is patrolled by aggressive hawkers (salespeople
who often wait just outside the hotel's boundary ready
to pounce), drug dealers and even pimps / prostitutes
(particularly just south of the Sanur Beach Hotel).
Like other coastal areas, Sanur's coral is long dead
and the beach consequently suffers from erosion. Sanur
also suffers a lot from the illegal waste dumping around
Benoa, and has waters reckoned to be extremely dangerous
health wise. Sanur's dishonest money changers, etc.
are reckoned to be the worst in Bali, second only to
those on Jalan Legian in Kuta.
Kuta / Legian / Seminyak
The target of the last terrorist bombing, and a likely
candidate for future attacks given the fact the main
road goes directly through the shopping and entertainment
area, where many young tourists go. In Kuta and parts
of Legian you can find the most dishonest retailers,
money changers, etc. Kuta and Legian have such horrendous
garbage abuse problems, they often resemble dumping
grounds. Kuta and Legian are renowned for their prostitution
problem, and for gay friendly areas (but be warned,
homosexuality is a serious crime in Indonesia).
Denpasar Area (also includes Sanur, Kuta and
Denpasar is so filthy it is malarial, for sure, confirmed.
It also is the home of drive by shootings, kidnappings,
and the corrupt Mafia police of Bali. Unfortunately,
Denpasar borders many tourist areas. Denpasar airport
(which is actually between Tuban-Kuta and Jimbaran)
has a large marshland area at the Eastern end of the
runway which would provide excellent cover for any terrorist
with a shoulder fired surface to air missile (the type
which came out of Afghanistan and has been used in Kenya
by Al Qaeda terrorists), yet which has not been sealed
of by the police.
Candi Dasa / Padang Bai
"Has anyone seen my beach?" is the old joke
about Candi Dasa, as the locals used the coral reef
to make cement to build the large oil terminal just
down the road. Which meant the beach was literally just
washed away. Actually, not far from one of the cleanest
towns in Bali, so refuse is not such an issue here.
But certainly the oil and ferry terminal make for obvious
terrorist targets, and most hotels have easy direct
road access (although tend to be smaller, so less of
a terrorism risk).
Lovina / Singaraja
Singaraja has definitely had reports of malaria infection
and chicken flu in the past. There are some busy tourist
street areas which pose an obvious security risk. Plus
the most aggressive hawkers in Bali frequent the often
dirty beaches in Lovina.
Quite a clean area and less dishonest / corner cutting.
But the Monkey Forest Road and Ubud Market areas are
very accessible by road, heavily frequented by young
western tourists, and therefore has to be considered
a possible terrorist target.
Please do not become a victim or part
of the problem. Read:
Tourism (Should I go, where, and how do I avoid
adding to the problem / putting myself / my family at
risk in Bali?).