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Dreamland beach: Too tempting for developers

Dreamland is the largest white sand beach on the western Bukit peninsula. That fact was not lost on Tomy Suharto, who with the help of rich friends tried to develop the place some years ago. For most Bali visitors Dreamland is a cool place to go for a beach afternoon, sip a juice in a local warung and forget about life for a while. Well that’s coming to an end thanks to the men with money who see a great piece of Bali as their ticket to cash. A golf course and condos are planned and Dreamland will not doubt be changed forever. Here’s a letter to the Jakarta Post on the subject.

Tropical nightmare

Dreamland, a place so aptly named for its dreamlike qualities, holds a special place in the hearts of many surfers and beach-goers, local and foreign tourists alike.

The quaint beach-side small food shops (warungs) coupled with an amazing a-frame wave, water so blue that it looks like it should belong in one of those brochures at your travel agent and a beach second to none, combine to create a dream that of late has been shattered and transformed into nightmare by the conglomerate behind a new golf course development.

The beach side warungs look more like a building site from hell now, completely ruining the beach’s previous atmosphere.

A huge desalination pipe to water the golf course now runs out into the surf, whilst diggers and trucks plow the land above, basically what was a place that still held some of the magic of Bali is slowly but surely turning into yet another tourist-filled commercial center that will only add to the pollution and continue the slow destruction of one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

My only hope is that other people like me will come to realize that playing golf in sweltering hot Bali is so out of context that the conglomerate behind the development will go bankrupt once again, thus bringing the whole operation to a grinding halt.

The angry feelings directed at the destruction of Dreamland seems to have made people blind to the fact that barely half a kilometer down the beach in Bingin, the locals are selling state-owned beach-side properties for huge sums to bules who are using the tidal pools as foundations to build their condo-style villas.

Although it is illegal, the state seems to be doing nothing. On top of this, these bules are not taking the problems that the increased amount of sewage and garbage will cause to the environment into consideration.

All these illegal buildings that are popping up at an incredible rate are being built without taking into account the impact upon the beauty of the place, sea and nature surrounding them.

The lack of interest from the local authorities has fanned the flames and has sped up a phenomenon that will ultimately be the destruction of the Bukit coastline from Dreamland to Uluwatu.

As a tourist who has been visiting Bali almost religiously for the past six years I have noticed this decay, so it seems incredible to me that nobody is doing anything about it! Please, somebody do something.

THOMAS HARLAND
Kometjie, South Africa

In hindsight one could of predicted all this. After all there is only so much beach front property and the large hotel companies hunger for it. What chance does a Balinese local have when confronted with that kind of financial power?