If you spent 27 hours and lots of money getting to Paradise, you expect some serious paradise, right? Not in Jimbaran Bay or Kuta Beach on the Island of Bali, Indonesia when I was there. The water and beaches were filled with more trash than I have ever seen on a beach. Indonesia’s Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has blamed the terrible condition of many of Bali’s famed beaches, including Kuta, on the wind. The second-term minister, who has in the past faced criticism from the tourism industry about his ineffectiveness, said strong winds blew the garbage, dirt and other detritus onto the beach from the ocean.
Jero, himself from Bali, also defended the resort island against a scathing article in Time magazine, which was titled “Holidays in Hell: Bali’s Ongoing Woes.” In the article, writer Andrew Marshall didn’t hold back.”Rivers swell and flush their trash and frothing human waste into the sea off Kuta Beach, the island’s most famous tourist attraction, where bacteria bloom and the water turns muddy with dead plankton.”
He said skin infections caused by spending just 30 minutes in the ocean was just one of Bali’s problems: “water shortages, rolling blackouts, uncollected trash, overflowing sewage-treatment plants and traffic so bad that parts of the island resemble Indonesia’s gridlocked capital Jakarta.