A British woman’s warning not to come to Bali has backfired with the young woman being told to “shut up” and do her research after she complained about the holiday hotspot’s traffic and dirty beaches.
“Everyone says, ‘come to Bali, it’s an amazing place to come’,” traveller Corrin told her followers from the streets of Kuta. “Honestly I absolutely hate it. Look at this.”
Turning the camera around, the young woman captured the cars and motorbikes passing in front of her. “Traffic is everywhere,” she said. “Look how built up it is. It is awful. You can’t even move. You can’t even cross the road. You stand at a zebra crossing, everyone still goes by.. The traffic is unbearable and I’ve never seen something like this in my life. Honestly it’s changed my perspective completely.”
A day later Corrin filmed herself at Kuta beach, acknowledging that she had been “a little bit negative” in her last post. “But unfortunately, I’d done so much research in terms of TikToking and Googling before I came out here, in terms of where to go, and this place came up so I really wanted to try it.”
“I am so, so disappointed with the outcome, just look at this,” she said, before revealing piles of rubbish scattered along the sand. “There is literally rubbish all along the waterfront... What the actual f**k. Why don’t people show you this?”
“I’m so sorry to be the person to explain or tell it but when I'm looking for something and I want to make sure there’s good reviews, that there’s good places to go, why doesn't any influencer or anybody tell me on TikTok or anything that the beaches are like this? Because this is not what I want... The beaches are absolutely awful. What the f**k is this?”
But Corrin’s comments didn’t go down well on social media, with many people commenting that she went to one of the region’s busiest tourist spots. “Go to the other side of Bali if you want the real deal,” one person wrote on Facebook. “Go to the secret Gili islands, go to the unspoilt islands... Do proper research before you start b****ing.”
While someone else commented that it’s “all part of the experience”. “Winging bloody pom, go back to the UK if you don’t like it,” another added. “Go home and shut up then,” a fourth said.
‘A little bit of naivety’
Unfortunately, Corrin’s comments are nothing new, with tourists regularly taking to social media to reveal the side of Bali that the brochures don’t show.
“I did not expect to see all this junk lying here,” Scottish YouTuber Dale Phillip told his followers on TikTok recently, while filming piles of rubbish at the bottom of Pengempu waterfall near Ubud. “I’d seen this place looking amazing in many flashy, glamorous Instagram photos but when I arrived here myself I found out that it was covered in garbage.”
And there lies the problem, according to Gareth Butler, a Senior Lecturer in International Tourism and Events at Flinders University, when tourists are getting their reference points from photos on social media which “are largely inaccurate, crazy snapshots in time that are not really representative of everyday life there”.
“If you go back 20 odd years, people's knowledge and awareness of destinations came from a really narrow range of sources, like tourist information websites,” he told Yahoo News Australia. “But because of how we now distribute images, and with people modifying and filtering their images, I think it's given us an increasingly unrealistic understanding or perspective of what these places really are like.”
“I look at some of the pictures and I've been to the same destination and I think, wow, if that is your reference point, you're in for a bit of a shock.”
Along with a “little bit of naivety” of what a developing country is actually like, Butler added that Corrin and Dale’s perspectives are also “probably a bit down to geographical proximity”.
“Most Australians grow up with a more acute awareness of Bali and what Indonesia is like as well, and a lot of Australians do grow up going to Bali,” he explained. “Europeans, I think, probably have a more romanticised notion of what Bali is as a destination.”
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