Rambling during Ramadan

 

Rambling during Ramadan

When we arrived in Bali on July 3, 2012, we had plans for a big adventure to Sulawesi and the Banda Islands but then we found out the dates of the upcoming Ramadan month. I did not think traveling in a 98% Moslem country during Ramadan was a great plan. I had been in Oman and a few other countries in 2000 during Ramadan and had experienced challenges.

After five weeks in Bali and talking with other travelers, we decided to go to Lombok and the Gili Islands during the last week of Ramadan. In Senggigi, there were no issues. We spoke to several locals with our best Bahasa Indonesia. They think we are pintar (clever) as we have belajar (learned) a tzedeket (few) words in the local language. We can count, ask for the check (bolle saya minta bone), and say, Seh-nan-bertamu anda (nice to meet you). Actually, George can speak quite a bit more words than those! He is quite impressive with his language skills.

We arrived in the Gillis and immediately noticed the large amount of new development here since our last visit in 2008 when the Gili Cat (Fast boat) had just begun. Now everyone in Amed, Padang Bai, Kuta and everywhere else had a fast boat to the Gillis. The number of tourists able to access the islands has grown immensely.

The place we stayed before, Blue Beach Cottage is not only still here but also has gtown two internet cafés, a restaurant, boat trip excursions, and a second hotel, Blue Beach 2. Everyone is getting into the act of touristic development. We remember hearing the call to prayer from a mosque on our last visit. Three years ago, a new large mosque was built next door to Blue Beach 1. As it is Ramadan, as I write this I am listening to the 10-11pm shift from the mosque.

The man as we came in said, “Don’t worry, it is only until 11pm.” I said, “Until it starts at 4am.” He said, “Oh no, 4:30.”

Felt a bit like a scene from “My Cousin, Vinny:” “Does that train always come at 4am?” and the reply, “Oh no sir.” So the next night at 4:30am the train sounds start. The man at the desk says—“oh that train it was early the other night.”

The only place that has not adapted well is the ocean. All of this love for the island with fast boats, larger and fancier hotels and more people is creating a problem for the coral reef. I do not think it has been protected and that its integrity and bio-diversity are in danger.

August 14, 2012

VIDEO: Ramadan Parade Gili Meno

 

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.5 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers”

2 responses to “Rambling during Ramadan

  1. so sad to hear about the Gilis. I was supposed to go there back in 2008/2009, but couldn’t make it. While planning my trip back then, I remember of only hearing about tilted basic huts and gorgeous waters; nothing else.

    Seems like now not only are the islands developing fast, but irresponsibly. I really hope that the locals take the matter in their own hands and protect their ecosystems. It is so sad to hear when beautiful places are trashed like this… such a tragedy

    – Maria Alexandra

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