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It’s not easy to find solace among the din in Canggu

You can’t hear yourself think in Canggu

VOLANTE Those exotic playgrounds aren’t what you expect when they haven’t coped with growth, with noise pollution the unwelcome consequence, as Stanley Moss discovers in Canggu, Bali
Photographed by Paula Sweet




Bali Canggu’s crowded and loud at night

Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.

The city fathers of Canggu, Bali are definitely not paying attention to the great tourism-killer, noise pollution. Every day at 4 p.m., some very thoughtless people down on the beach pump up the volume on concert-scale speakers, pounding the adjacent neighbourhoods with incessant boom-boom-boom music that goes until 4 a.m. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of local guests are serenaded with this intrusive audio track, preventing sleep, disturbing massages, and driving away business from everyone else except the beachfront bars that proffer overpriced drinks to the tourist hordes who flock to the outdoor venues on the sand. It’s a mindless and impolite condition that is doing nothing to make Canggu a preferred tourist destination. Allowing this kind of noise destroys local business, dampens revenues and keeps visitors away.

Granted, Canggu has experienced unprecedented growth over the past five years. What was once simply the best surfing beaches on Bali, where rice paddies met the shore, has now transformed into an overbuilt honkey-tonk. Staggering visitors from the antipodes stumble down the narrow sidewalks and cluster around open front bars. Surf shops and curio sellers nestle side-by-side with trendy fashion stores. The waves are crowded with wannabes.

Two other communities on the south shore of Bali have succumbed to the lure of intoxicated westernization: Seminyak and Kuta. It’s a tragedy that Canggu permits noise pollution on this heroic scale. Nobody benefits except perhaps the one hundred obliterated tourists prostrate down on the beach. The rest of the community and guests occupying the surrounding neighbourhoods suffer from such a policy of ill-manners. Something needs to be done to prohibit deafening desecration like this. And nobody seems to consider the temple on the beach where local citizens mutely tolerate the vulgar interruption of their traditional ceremonies resident on these shores for centuries. •






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