Bali Bombing

Travellers stick to plans, but will tread with caution

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am


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Despite the terrorist blasts casting a shadow over holidaymakers' plans in Bali, some tourists, including a couple on their honeymoon, have not been deterred by the attacks.

South Korean banker Hwang In-do and his new wife, who were in transit at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport from Korea, said they would continue on their planned five-day honeymoon in the popular resort destination of Jimbaran. Two bombs had exploded at Jimbaran on Saturday night.

The couple, who left Hong Kong yesterday for their honeymoon, admitted they were concerned and would be cautious and not go shopping.

'I heard that there was a bombing in Bali last night. I have just read the newspaper and knew that there was a bombing in Jimbaran. I am worried about this,' Mr Hwang said.

He said the attack had dampened his mood for their honeymoon.

'We will stay away from areas crowded with people,' he said.

But some were fearless, saying the probability of another bombing would be low for areas that had just been attacked and they would avoid crowded areas or stay in the hotels and on the beaches.

Robert Williams, a British citizen who is touring Asia with his wife, said: 'I'm very concerned about the situation. As to now, we have not been given any advice on whether it is safe to travel.'

Mr Williams, who had been in Hong Kong for two days before heading to a resort in Sanur about 9km southeast of Denpasar, the capital of Bali province, said he and his wife would stay in the hotel and the beach during their one-week stay on the island.

Steve Chan, who will avoid crowded areas with his girlfriend, said he would not cancel his trip because Bali was touted as a scuba-diving paradise and he wanted to see sunfishes.

Mr Chan said they would stay around the beach and in the water most of the time during their week-long trip.

A group with EGL Tours yesterday morning set off for Bali. Tour guide Jim Lau, who declined to specify the number of tourists in the group, said he was not clear whether there would be any changes to the touring schedule.

Susanna Lau Mei-sze, general manager of Hong Thai Travel Services, said it had cancelled a visit to the famed Kuta Beach area for its 25-member tour group, which went to Bali on Saturday night.

'This is because the members know that there was a bombing in Kuta ... apart from that, the tour in Bali will go ahead as scheduled,' she said.

Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of the Travel Industry Council, yesterday said it had not received any calls for assistance.

He said the three or four local tour groups in Bali all were safe.

Mr Tung said local tour agencies had not reported frantic cancellations from travellers booked on tour groups to Bali. 'The peak season for tourism is over and not many local tour groups will go to Bali in the coming few days,' he said.

The Hong Kong Security Bureau said last night that it had not received any calls for help. The Chinese consulate in Bali said the casualties did not involve Chinese.

Meanwhile, the British consulate in Hong Kong has sent a seven-member rapid-deployment team to Bali. The team would provide logistics and accommodation support to British nationals in need, a spokeswoman said.

It has also set up a hotline for friends and relatives of British people who might be in Bali. The number is (852) 2901 3077.