Communities in Bali are sharing their excitement at the opening of the glass bridge that connects two districts together. The 200m bridge connects Blangsinga Traditional Village, Blahbatuh District, and Tegenungan Traditional Village, Sukawati District, and is the first of its kind in Bali.
The bridge stands at 40m above the Tukad Petanu stream. As tourists cross the glass-bottomed bridge they can see the water flowing beneath and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. There are also plans to excavate and landscape the area below the bridge into a more formal garden setting.
Community leaders Bendesa I Wayan Murtika and I Nyoman Artawa were bought together by the project and worked to complete the construction of the glass bridge that has been funded by Chinese investors. They met with local reporters to begin promoting the new tourist attraction before the formal opening.
Murtika told local reporters ‘According to Mr. Zhang [the investor], it was the Indonesian government who invited them to invest in Indonesia. They were interested, then chose Bali’. According to the duo, the investment contractors looked at several potential sites in Bali before settling on Blangsinga Traditional Village and Tegenungan Traditional Village.
Murtika explained to local reporters that there has been a collaborative process between the community and the investors. He said ‘”We collaborate on land use, the capital is purely from PT Kaishi. It is hoped that this September or October Glass Bridge will be completed’. Though the bridge is safe enough for the construction teams to walk over, there are final safety procedures to be completed before the bridge can open to the public.
The community leaders explained that is it hoped that the development will attract tourists and in turn boost the village economies. Murtika said ‘Later, there will be a percentage of the income to the traditional village from the gross proceeds’.
He confirmed that the community is on board with the project and is open to the increased tourism it may bring ‘cooperation is quite good. Of course, we hope it can have a positive impact on those already in Blangsinga’. When sharing more details about the build of the glass bridge, Murtika shared that the bridge has been built to withstand large amounts of foot traffic ‘a maximum of 250 people can go up [and] that’s a quarter of the strength of the bridge’.
He confirmed that there have been improvements made to the access to the parking area close to the bridge, now buses can park up and the road will be widened by the local government construction teams next year.
The glass bridge is not the only new tourist attraction opening in Bali. The Aan Secret Waterfall has officially started operating their tourism program after receiving a government grant. The Aan Secret Waterfall initiative is located in Aan Village, an hour from central Denpasar.
Tourists can explore the three waterfalls and the village itself. The community worked together to clean up the waterfall and streams that had become polluted with waste, they then used the funds to improve the walkways down to the waterfalls so that tourists can access the natural wonders more easily.
Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies has shared his vision for the future of Bali. He wants to see a greater focus on ‘serenity, spirituality, and sustainability’ with a stronger focus on heritage and historical tourism. The new glass bridge connecting Blangsinga Traditional Village and Tegenungan Traditional Village may not directly fit into these categories but does serve another key purpose; it is a symbol of investment and collaboration with Indonesia and China which is of great importance to the current government administration.
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