Bomb in Jakarta- Still go to Bali?

Sep 9th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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Bomb in Jakarta- Still go to Bali?

Just read the terrible news about another bomb blast in Jakarta, near the Australian Embassy there. I just booked my plane tickets to Bali for November, but now wondering if I should reconsider. However, part of me is definitely saying "If I don't get my Bali vacation the terrorists win".
I work in mid-town Manhattan, so I always joke that I'm at more risk in my office than in Indonesia, but now I'm not so sure...
cruisinred is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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I would say go- from what I have read (others can validate) they have beefed up security and I suspect the danger there has subsided.
BillT is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 05:51 AM
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Cruisinred - On another post you said you read my JBR on, (part 1 of which is entitled "Americans in Bali - Is it Safe?") I think the same holds true now as it did then. We had just purchased our plane tickets in October 2002 when the bombing in Kuta occurred but did not change our minds and went to Bali in July of 2003.
Craig is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Cruisinred...we were just in Bali this past summer and true, there is security with the large hotels. It was one of our best trips ever and we are in love with Bali....I would hate to miss going there. But I must say we (and my husband in particular) were freaked out by the lack of security at the airport. I do think I would stay away from large American resorts. I cannot imagine they would aim at Ubud, they seem to go for the touristy or big city places. I can't blame you for being tentative right now. I make the same argument about being near NYC and at more risk here.... but then again, NYC infrastructure/transportation systems etc. can support emergencies better than Indonesia. I would much rather be in NYC than Indonesia in an emergency. Just my opinion. I hate to say it, I love Bali so much. I would probably still go, just stay away from the typical western touristy areas and hotels.
stockexchanger is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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jakarta is jakartta. it is the only place ive ever realy felt scared in and i've hung out in medillin as the cartel blew up building every other day.. I've just finished hearing a reporter say the indonisia has had a major bomb blast every year since 9/11. so maybe this is it for next year. but of course there have been bombing going one for years but we didn't give a darn since it was post 9/11. or the days when it was not our problem.

hmm hard call especially since you do live in THE CITY.
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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When 9/11 happened we told the whole world they should come to New York to show their support and they did! It seems to me we should show the rest of the world the same respect. I mean it isn't like there is no threat of terrorism in this country and we are certainly urging tourists to come. Now I'm not saying you should go into a war zone but I am sure there is less of a chance of a terrorist attack while you are in bali than there is for me working two blocks from the Sears Tower. Go, have fun and support the wonderful Balinese people.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog.

You have given your kids an experience they will never forget. My mom took me to Bali and Java for 3 weeks when I was 10, and it was an incredible experience.

Oh, BTW, I am also planning on using the famous PUTU
cruisinred is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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I am scheduled to leave in 3 weeks to celebrate my birthday in Bali and have no hesitation about still going. I totally agree with your thoughts that we are at more risk at home - I live in LA and am sure I am more at risk driving to work everyday than going to Bali. Plus, I remember that following 9-11, I had no hesitation about going to NYC a few months after. I am getting my Bali vacation - terrorists be damned!
LCY64 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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The terrorist activities should be a concern but you must put it in perspective, meaning not only to look at the events, but also evaluate the odds that you might actually become a victim. The odds are very very slim, a lot smaller than the chances that you might involve in a motorbike accident with those cracy teenage drivers in Indonesia. And the odds, statisticly, are no bigger than you spend your scheduled days anywhere else, including hanging around your home town.

To reduce the odds to the minimum, you might change a bit of your travelling habit - styaing away from the fancy hotels, for instance.

Finaly and ironically, the safest time to visit a country with terrorist activities is probably right after a new insident takes place.

I'd definitely go if I were you.
kang is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Even though the Australian Government has posted travel warnings for Australians for Indonesia including Bali, I'd still go to Bali. Don't let the terrorists win. The Balinese people suffered enough after the Kuta bombing, don't put them through it again.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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Only you can decide if you are comfortable with traveling to Bali now. I have a trip planned to Lombok in November, and I'm not changing my plans.

By the way, I've noticed recommendations like "stay away from fancy hotels." But the bombing in Bali was in a bar in Kuta where most of the lodging is very cheap. The bombing in Jakarta was at an embassy.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 07:54 PM
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staying away from fancy hotels is a not a bad idea. the people behind the bombs are sead to b JI members they tend too like targeting lux forign hotels.. they hit the marriot jakarta and one of thier plots too bomb lux hotels in Bangkok durring APEC meeting last year was thwarted.
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 09:18 PM
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Orgy-you're quite right. And boy, how quickly we forget! Does no one remember last year at this time that a bomb detonated in the LOBBY of the JW Marriott in Jakarta? That 10 people died and over 100 were injured? The terrorist situation in Indonesia is nothing that a tourist should treat lightly or disregard! Indonesia is clearly NOT New York-not quite the same security infrastructure in effect over there! Those going to Bali cannot, in any way, act like it's business as usual, great care should be taken to stay aware at all times-more so than usual, and more so than traveling to other countries. The JI, the group believed responsible for the present bombing, is a branch of al-Qaeda, and is thought responsible for the JW Marriott and Bali bombings, so that is reason enough to reflect carefully on your decision to travel to that country. There were reports, as Orgy said, that there would be an attack against the luxury hotels in Jakarta-but instead the bomb targeted the Australian embassy-which of course, is not to say that there may not be multiple bombings-but luxury hotels in Indonesia ARE a target of this group. I would also say that this group's particular m.o. is not centered in Bali, but that's just not saying much, in this day and age-Bali is where the bulk of the tourists go in Indonesia. I think you would be well-advised to keep it low-key, stay away from mass westerner venues, go on the US State Dept. website and read their travel advisories for Indonesia, and maybe even the Australian Embassy's as well. Just don't disregard the threat to tourists and others-because the threat is very real there.

Spygirl is offline  
Sep 9th, 2004, 10:55 PM
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I'm an American who has lived in Jakarta for nine years. I travel to Bali frequently. When I go back to the US, I mostly visit New York. In Europe I vacation in Italy. So the question is where do I feel the most safe, or the least un-safe? Answer: None of the above. Question: Would that stop me from continuing with life and visiting all of these places? Answer: Absolutely not.

Terrorism, and specifically Islamic extremism, is a terrible thing. The government of Indonesia has made enormous strides in combating this lunatic fringe, but obviously there is much, much more to be done. In a country that is 90% Muslim, this is a sensitive issue.

Although it pains me to say it, I agree that security at Indonesian airports is not what it should be, the medical and emergency response is pitiful and that the threat is very real.

On the other hand, I also agree that the actual risk to the individual traveler is miniscule. The major hotels in Jakarta and Bali are quite secure now (after the Marriot incident, which was a car bomb, not in the lobby).

The Balinese are deeply resentful of the Javanese "takeover" of their island. After the Bali bomb, they are extremely vigilant of strangers in their midst, so I feel that Bali is safer than it was before.

In conclusion, I'd say go to Bali. Avoid crowds, learn how to contact your embassy, then forget about it and have a wonderful trip.
marmot is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 12:30 AM
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Marmot: it was a car bombing that exploded in the driveway leading to the front entrance of the hotel, which caused the lobby roof to cave in. And I think it very unwise to tell tourists traveling to this part of the world to just "forget about it and have a good time." One should never be in the mode to just "forget about" a clear and present terrorist threat in this part of the world-that's what traveler advsories are all about, so that one can stay informed and aware of just what the threat is assesed to be-and to heed the advice provided.
Spygirl is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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My question about travel advisories is that our country always tells us not to go to places like Indonesia after a bombing but they also tell us we SHOULD go to NYC or to the World Series or to other events that are terrorist targets. I mean I have a lot of friends who go to work every day at the Sears Tower or Wall Street. On the one hand the luxury hotels may be a target. On the other hand, they are the onew with the best security.

I was at the Orienta in Bangkok after the Asean conference. They had installed a system where your luggage goes through x-rays before going to your room (they always took it from you when you arrived). You don't see it but it's there. There were also a huge number of security men (all in normal clothes) roaming around.And one of the reasons they started enforcing a dress code is that enabled them to cut down on the number of tourists who just come to look and also to not let people in who looked suspicious. It was all very discreet and probably not noticed by 99% of the people there but because I know staff I talked to them. I suspect the luxury hotels in Bali have taken similar precautions.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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I am one who dosn't think too much about US state department advisories. I mean why is it that Isreal just about NEVER has anything negative posted about it. it's way too politacal.

personly im in the camp that sh--t happens when it happens you die when it's your turn too die. but for those that want too be cousious and don't quite believe in fate. but follow probabilaties i'd say do your own reaserch. check many embasy warning check the news. post on foroms like this, talk too people that come from the place your travaling too (if you know of any). and as I was tought in travel tourism classes pack your brain.. this is the #1 thing that is always left behind.
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 07:24 AM
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Hi Cruisin...
Glad you liked our blog
You will love love love Putu. Tell him we said hi!
I had the same panic before we went, but it subsided because I wanted to go so badly. Also there is some statistic which my husband knew from some medical journal....we are 1000 times more likely to die in a plane crash than a terrorist attack, and of course a million times more likely to die in a plane crash than we are in a car numbers are wrong but it is that extreme. Just be careful and wise. The reason why I did that blog in the first place was because our parents thought we were nuts, directed us to websites with travel warnings, etc.
Anyway enjoy the trip, you won't think about it once you are there.
stockexchanger is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 08:19 PM
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Cruisinred...Personally, there are plenty of places in this world that are just as beautiful as Indonesia. I am trying to understand the "terrorists can't win" response, but when you see the beheadings of foreigners in these dangerous types of countries, is it really worth it? I say go to a safer place so you will not have to "look over your shoulder" wherever you go
rock is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 02:46 AM
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In the 1970s and 1980s Irish terrorists made a regular habit of bombs and bombing campaigns on the British mainland; Birmingham and London were extensively targeted.

Life still went on. Yes, you concerns are raised, but the threat is still miniscule.

There is a greater threat to our future existence from global warming than there is from global terrorism.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  

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