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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A tropical equivalent of the Sydney Opera House


While making plans for the next Bali holiday, I surfed the net for alternative accommodation and came across the Bali Eco Village which, located on the side of a volcano a thousand metres above sea level and with open fireplaces and blankets on the bed, is not your typical Bali resort.

The resort had its start in 2009 when the owners, Endah and Mo Rufiko, built the big bamboo building first, which they thought was going to be semi-permanent, when they were struck by the idea of creating an eco-resort. 750,000 bamboo roof tiles, 350 bamboo trees and 2-1/2 years later, it consists of five bungalows and three standard rooms, all built in a fanciful style right out of a scene from the Hobbits.

With a king size bed downstairs and two single beds upstairs, the interior is rustic yet artistic with every piece of furniture and the majority of the building materials made of bamboo - railings, stairway, clothes stands, wastebaskets, bed frame, lashings, a soaring bamboo shingle roof and woven bamboo floor matting that bounce when you tread on it. Even the curtains have bamboo motifs.

I also noticed that it was listed for sale with Ray White Bali for Rp.5,500,000,000 which, after you've chopped off all the zeros, converts to something like AUS$550,000.

That's an awful lot of money for a pile of bamboo which in that damp jungle environment need constant maintenance and renewal. Still, I wanted to know more and so I emailed the agent last week. He replied, "Thanks for your interest in my listing. I am on the way to visit the resort and spend the weekend there. I'll meet the owner to update the details also. I'll email you when i get back, ok? Regards Seif".

Well, even before getting back to me, he has already 'updated the details' by increasing the price to Rp.7,500,000,000. Good one, Seif! Has the price of bamboo shot up by almost 50% in less than a week?