Bali, 7/10. What’s wrong. One simple way to fix it

Robert Pimm
Robert Pimm

Bali has some ugly features which risk spoiling a beautiful island.  It’s easy to fix.

I was lucky enough this year to enjoy a holiday in Bali.  Fabulous.

But the island faces challenges.  Development is eating up the beauty which draws visitors.

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Rice field on Bali (Photo Robert Pimm)

Locals seek prosperity.  Visitors want somewhere to stay and amenities to enjoy.

The same tension tingles in tourist hotspots from Barcelona to Istanbul.  How do you prevent tourist development ruining what the tourists have come to see?

Here’s my modest suggestion for Bali: start by protecting the skyline.

Much of Bali remains low-rise.  From a distance it mostly looks unspoiled.  But here and there – eg the Bukit Peninsula – a single out-of-scale high-rises piercing the skyline is visible for miles, broadcasting a dismal tale of destruction.

There’s an alternative.  Many Caribbean islands are overdeveloped .  But they keep their idyllic image.  How?  By having development codes which protect skylines.

You may be able to build a property at place X.  But only if it doesn’t break the skyline, as observed from places Y and Z.

They even do a similar thing in London, on a more limited scale, with “protected vistas“.

How about protected vistas for Bali?  Or, if they already exist, how about enforcing them?

That way Bali will stay fabulous for longer.

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Panorama of Uluwatu, Bukit Peninsula (Photo Robert Pimm)

For: beautiful holiday destination verging on the idyllic and spectacular in parts.

Against: threatened by overdevelopment, some parts already overdeveloped.

P.S. if you enjoyed this review, you’re welcome to explore other writing on this site, starting with the sitemap and guide.

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