I headed off shopping with mixed emotions as I pass shops that I had purchased from for many years and they were closed.  I’m feeling sad that they had not made it through covid.  A lot of the shops had changed now targeting the local people, small warung’s had popped up, laundry's, petrol, groceries and shops selling offerings were now along this road.   I continued riding with a heavy heart as I found more of my suppliers’ shops closed. 


However, after some time things changed as I found some of my suppliers that I thought were closed further along the road.   These small businesses were forced to let go of their leases during covid and now that Bali was opening they were renegotiating a new lease wherever they could get the best deal or moved to a smaller shop if they needed to.   Below is Damai one of my supplies a happy reunion, as I thought she had gone bankrupt.  She had moved and downsized her shop and had just opened the week before so she was very grateful for an order. 


Some of my suppliers found me as they recognised me on my motor bike and would yell out or wave at me so I would stop.  If you come to Bali your favourite shops and restaurants may have closed as many businesses did not make it through the pandemic.  However look around because you may find they have just relocated or downsized and you will be reunited again! 


To be honest this is the most rewarding trip I have ever felt.  My suppliers are just so happy and grateful to see me. Some of them do not speak English but have tears in their eyes and are hugging me.   I have taken my time and had  a chat with them to hear their pandemic stories.   This is Sity below who had many challenges during the pandemic, personally, financially and healthwise however she is a strong business woman who has persevered and we are just catching up over a Sumba coffee on the last 2 1/2 years. 

My massage lady today told me she was selling rice on the street for the last 2 years because she had no work.  She is happy now and is getting busy.  She also got covid and was so unwell that her body swelled and she had no power in her hands.  Her hands are her gift for massage as she is the best healer.    She said she cried, she prayed and took lots of turmeric after 1 month and 10 days she got her power back.  She is very grateful and her business is back up and running.  Today was Sunday so my day off and a treat to myself a 2 hour massage with Wayan.  She also  covered me in Boreh (a  traditional mix of herbs and spices including chilli) which makes your body hot like a Balinese medicine for the body.  .  You leave it on a few hours and then shower.  Always a must for me every trip and so glad she still has her business.

So many Balinese had to go back to their village and work on the land and some of them are still there as they do not have jobs until everything reopens.  One of my drivers just helps at his family village everyday as he still has no work. There are still too many drivers and not enough tourists.

 I guess during the pandemic Bali was a bit like the old Bali before tourists with everyone working on the land, growing their own food, wood carving or painting.  Unfortunately most of the business here rely on tourism so Bali has really suffered and is just starting to resurface as tourists roll in. 

If you love Bali it is very safe I have not heard of anyone having covid and I have been here nearly 3 weeks.  You no longer have to wear a mask outside however it is still required inside although, it seems, this is not being enforced..  If you enter a bank they are still taking your temperature you need to sanitise and also have a mask.  A lot of Balinese are still wearing masks inside and outside.  I think they just want Bali to stay open so will do whatever they can to make everyone safe.

  Please come to Bali  and do not bargain too hard.  Treat those Balinese who have looked after you by giving a small tip to see how happy it makes them, this will surely make you feel pretty good as well. 

  In Ubud and about half the shops and half the restaurants are now open with more opening every day as the tourists are starting to roll in.   Some restaurants went bankrupt and sadly will not re-open.  Some have been sold and changed to a different business or are being renovated.   

Thankfully Michelle the owner of Atman Kafe and Atman Nourish has now re-opened as this is often my Bali Office I love to work here with this ricefield view and beautiful fresh food with a large menu.  

Michelle was originally from Melbourne and now lives in Bali with her 2 children.  She runs several shops and restaurants that were all closed during the pandemic so has done it pretty tough having no income and needing to support her family.  She is very happy to now be open again.
Some Restaurants are nervous to open if they do not get people through the doors they still have to pay wages and buy the food and will incur a further loss so are waiting a little longer to re-open.   If you see a restaurant empty go inside sometimes it takes one person to go in and then slowly more come in.   I have done this a few times and truly it works, sit up the front and look happy and you will attract the crowd for them.  An empty restaurant does not attract a crowd.   If you are the first there you will certainly get amazing service. 
In Canggu there is lots of construction happening new buildings and renovations.  Finn's Beach Club is having the roof replaced. See below and I believe is still open. 
 On Berawa Beach it was ordered that 30 Businesses be levelled for Zoning Violations.  Unfortunately the rubbish from this is still on the beach and likely to be washed into the ocean on high tide.   Hopefully this will  be cleaned up soon as  it looks terrible for someone just arriving to Bali for the first time. 

I was told during the pandemic Seminyak and Legian were basically closed however Canggu never closed as I guess it has a large expat community.  I am in Canggu now and finding there are traffic jams everyday at sunset and even in the mid morning and this place is busy. 

I am at Milo by Nook restaurant tonight and outside was totally full I had to take a table inside.  Seminyak and Legian are getting tourist but still a little quiet.   If you don’t want traffic jams Seminyak and Legian may be for you.  There are still a lot of shops and restaurants closed however they are opening daily as the crowds return to this area.  There is certainly change here but yet it still feels the same as it is the people that make Bali so special.

Alot of people have gone bankrupt including some of the larger restaurants and accommodation and now that Bali is open these should quickly resell and hopefully reopen and employ the local community once again. 
The Balinese people are the same so happy, so grateful and just want to help you.  Just stay safe and enjoy Bali the Island of the Gods.  The energy and people here are like no-where else in the world. 
Just love it!! 
Thank you Bali 😊