My book, Bali Raw: An exposé of the underbelly of Bali, Indonesia, reveals the dark side of the tropical island of Bali.
Bali is a wonderful holiday destination - its people are world famous for their selfless friendliness. I have experienced this first-hand. Yet throughout Bali Raw I level criticism at Bali, Indonesian people, the Balinese and expats. I do this because I believe Bali is sick and sometimes bitter pills have to be swallowed.
Writing Bali Raw, I wanted to be controversial. I wanted these things noticed. I wanted to help Bali, a place I have grown to love over many years.
Recently I was speaking to my father and he told me that he no longer likes to travel to Bali. These were his exact words. "I loved Bali in the eighties, and nineties. But now it has a nasty feel, it has become very rough and dangerous. Bali never used to be like that."
These things need to written about. If they are ignored the island will never be given a chance to heal. The wonderful place it once was will be lost unless these problems are addressed.
Bali has problems. The infrastructure has to be looked at. Corruption has to be dealt with. Medical checks for working girls have to be put in place. Tourists have to be warned about the more dangerous aspects of Kuta nightlife. The gangs have to be controlled or cleaned out. And most importantly to me, Bali expats have to realise that they are guests, not locals.
If I didn't care for Bali so much, and if didn't want these problems tackled, I would not have bothered to write this book.
I have lived in Indonesia for close to ten years and in that time I have utilised all that Bali and Indonesia has to offer. Living in Bali has supplied me with an income and it has allowed me many great experiences. I have nothing against Indonesia or its people. And I am proud to say I have some wonderful, honest and caring Indonesian friends. But like any country, Indonesia has its problems and, like any tourist hotspot, Bali has its seedy side.
Tourists to Bali must keep in mind that Bali is in Indonesia. It is not the other way around. A lot of the problems Indonesia has stem from poverty, lack of education, and corruption. This would be expected in one of the youngest democracies in the world and a country that has suffered numerous occupations from the Dutch to the English to the Japanese.
If I have thrown the spotlight on a few of these problems by writing Bali Raw then I have done what I set out to do.
Bali Raw is published by Monsoon Books. It is available in paperback and e-book from various retailers. Click here for more details on how and where to buy a copy where you areAb.