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Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

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Caloundra, Australia
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78 posts
14 reviews
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Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

My sons are going in April and am worried about alledged problems with the alcohol has this been cleaned up

can anyone who has been there lateley tell me. Thanks in advance

Lombok, Indonesia
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8,312 posts
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1. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Drink bottled beer, or duty free alcohol carried in yourselves, then buy your own mixers locally.

That way you cannot get into any trouble unless you lead yourself into it with some deliberate purpose.

There have been a very limited number of genuine and serious issues of drink contamination or adulteration. Some incidents have involved fatality, or very serious health risk.

The issues are complex and convoluted, they are most certainly not as straightforward and simplistic as the quite sensationalistic AU media are portraying.

The major problems on the islands are generally those arising from excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, the consumption of illicit alcoholic beverages of unknown origins, the consumption of illicit drugs, the consumption of psilocybin (magic) mushrooms, the consumption of so-called 'energy' drinks and high caffeine content drinks in association with very high levels of alcohol consumption, and sometimes ALL of the preceding mixed up in a blender and then consumed as a cocktail.

Surprisingly some people find there is some attraction in ingesting such concoctions.

Especially younger people who are escaping parental supervision often consume the aforementioned and then somewhat unsurprisingly become unwell, or worse.

They then appear to 'forget' what they have consumed.

It should also be understood that the legal drinking age in Indonesia is 21 yo.

The emerging issues of consuming 'Energy' drinks, especially those with very high stimulant composition should be avoided. Co-consuming those drinks tends to circumvent the signals to stop drinking alcohol as they assist to make the drinker 'alert', when high levels of alcohol should be signaling the opposite. Hence more drinks may be consumed.

That is why the high stimulant drinks are dangerous when combined with binge-drinking sessions.

They also further promote critical levels of dehydration, and that is a significant contributor to promoting serious illness associated with alcohol intoxication.

The 3 small islands have plenty of credible and legitimate bar, hotel, restaurant and entertainment venue operators who will not knowingly supply suspect beverages. However serious caution is still warranted.

Beer (local) is not particularly expensive, however spirits have very high excise levels applied to them.

The (cost) prices therefore are not dissimilar to those in Australia, only the bar and staff costs are lower.

So if the drink is inexpensive then it likely does not contain genuine imported spirits, or it may be priced high, but still not contain genuine imported spirits.

The obvious substitution is locallydistilled Arak (from Balinese suppliers) .

That is (or should be) a controlled and legitimate alcoholic spirit drink, but only it is a genuine product provided through legitimate channels and with subscription to regulatory requirements.

However some seek to circumvent legitimate supply by providing bootleg, substituted, adulterated or straightforward counterfeit product. This is when things start becoming doubtful, and potentially dangerous.

Additionally some proprietors, or their staff may make some ad-hoc substitution arrangements of their own, this again introducing a level of risk.

However, if you are concerned about any of this, and it would be wise to have some concern, then the suggestion in the opening paragraph should ensure those concerns are taken care of.

Edited: 20 March 2013, 13:36
Caloundra, Australia
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78 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Thank you J Hurcules for addressing my question.They have seen the stories and have been to gili t before and are wise to the situation. I was just hoping for some confirmation that maybe there has been a crackdown on the sale of Arak as a substitute. They WILL be bringing their own alcohol and sticking to that an beer.

Adelaide
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3. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

I've just returned recently and thank god I'm still alive lol I drank everything from the local spirit arak vodka etc etc each and every day

Western Australia
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4. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Dodgy local brew like arak will always be a problem, not just in Bali. Anywhere you find poverty you will find people using all their available resources to make a little bit of money. Sometimes they cut corners without realising the risks. Cashed up Aussies and Europeans however do not need to cut corners and would be wise to stick to the safe stuff that J Hurc mentions (beer, duty free spirits).

York, United Kingdom
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12 posts
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5. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

i agree with what has been said so far. its important to mention that some of the recent incidents were at western owned bars (rudy's) where arak was mixed in the cocktails and sold as legit. at least thats what i heard. so make sure you only hit the places that garuntee untampered stuff. tir na nog is one of the better bars imo. just keep your eyes peeled and don't binge. and like j_hercules said - dont mix drinks with drugs! cant imagine why anyone would want a shroom and alcohol cocktail...theyre polar opposites!

Caloundra, Australia
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78 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Thanks all for your responses, everything that has been mentioned is my advise for the boys, who thankfully have been there before. I was hoping to hear that some changes had taken place with the serving of the illegal drinks, but sounds like that is not the case as has been reported in Australia. The boys are well aware of the issues and are taking the right precautions, bringing their own duty free over and mainly sticking to the Bintangs. Thanks again for your advice and my God watch over all those including my boys who take their drinking too far. Cheers

Lombok, Nusa...
4 posts
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7. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Dear ozsuey, You're such a caring and sensible parent. We all pray the problem with alcohol in Gili Trawangan will never have to happen again.

Last month at Gili Trawangan, the Lombok government joined with local heads of the Gili villages and all owners/representatives of local businesses have had a formal meeting and discussion regarding this issue and given a strong warning to the businesses about alcohol distribution and quality.

Hopefully through the meeting and the incident, all businesses and also customers will be more caution and enjoy a holiday in the island more responsibly.

The news of the incident had effect strongly towards Gili Trawangan tourism. The island has been more quiet since. Almost 40% of Gili Trawangan visitors are from Australia. Without setting aside my deepest condolences to Liam Davies' families hopefully the Island's reputation and tourism will recover.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Lombok
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2,965 posts
36 reviews
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8. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

What has happened that is positive is that business owners on Gili Trawangan have signed up to be a "APGT Approved Business" where they agree to only purchase alcohol from approved suppliers, not sell arak, not sell or allow drugs to be sold on the premises, and to go to regular APGT meetings. Once signed up they get a sticker to display

Perhaps tell your boys to look out for places displaying the blue APGT sticker.

Caloundra, Australia
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78 posts
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9. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Thank you...this was more like the responses I was hoping for...the response that some sort of action has been taken in the wake of a terrible tragic situation. The response that 1 LIFE is too many, Sudiah and Glady L thank you for giving me the information I needed to hear. All the rest I knew as do my sons who are street wise. I just needed to hear that the process of change has started, Gili T is a great island, and I would hate to think that because of the inaction of the business owners, jobs and also lives would be lost. My boys will continue to go to Gili T and I as a parent must TRUST that all will be fine, but it will make it that little easier with the knowledge that steps are being take to make owners accountable. Thank you all for your input in this forum my mind is somewhat at peace... :)

Perth, Australia
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543 posts
190 reviews
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10. Re: Whats the situation with the Alcohol at the moment

Sudiah is this APGT sticker scenario also being employed in Legian or Kuta or just Gili's?