Mon, 14 Aug 2000

Badung Regent offers praise

By Brant Connors

DENPASAR, Bali (JP): As Bali celebrates its 42nd anniversary as a province, Badung Regent A.A. Ngurah Oka Ratmadi SH praised efforts to develop and promote Bali and Badung.

Badung Regency stretches through more than 400 square kilometers of central Bali, from the secluded Nyang Nyang beach on the Indian Ocean to the Nungung waterfall high in Central Bali's green hills.

Though not the largest regency, it is economically important -- it includes the Nusa Dua resort, the busy Kuta area and the international airport.

Instrumental in developing Badung's popular destinations, Ratmadi also has plans for its lesser known attractions.

Known mainly to surfers, Suluban, Labuan Sait and Kedonganan, offer quiet stretches of white sand and clear blue water, and have been targeted as growth sites.

Wildlife observers can see turtles thriving in the calm waters and on the beaches of Deluang Sari island, while the mangroves and lush vegetation are home to song birds and water foul.

The Sangeh Monkey Forest, 14 hectares of holy Pala trees that grow naturally in this part of Badung, but cannot be found elsewhere in Bali, is home to hundreds of monkeys.

In the mountains to the north, adventurers can find unspoiled forests and native villages. Villages such as Pelaga, 45 km north of Denpasar, have developing agro-businesses such as coffee, vanilla and corn. Other villages such as Petang offer unmatched highland views of terraced padi and fruit trees. The surrounding areas contain some of Bali's most impressive and challenging trekking opportunities, and the adventurous can splash down the Ayung River, Bali's longest, with one of the white water rafting outfits.

Ratmadi hopes as Bali enters a new year, everyone can work together to continue to develop the wonders of Badung as well as other sections of Bali. "On behalf of the governor of Bali, and the people of Badung regency, I would like to congratulate Bali on its 42nd anniversary. We hope that in its 43rd year, we will all step hand-in-hand to increase our discipline, cooperation and togetherness as a nation."