Fog was descending on Wanagiri village, Sukasada, Buleleng, when we arrived and soon it started to drizzle and cool air swept in, even though it was high noon. Although the weather was not ideal for taking pictures, we were enthusiastic about taking selfies at the Black Bamboo Tower. This location is one of eight selfie
Fog was descending on Wanagiri village, Sukasada, Buleleng, when we arrived and soon it started to drizzle and cool air swept in, even though it was high noon. Although the weather was not ideal for taking pictures, we were enthusiastic about taking selfies at the Black Bamboo Tower. This location is one of eight selfie attractions in the customary hamlet of Bhuana Sari, in Wanagiri Village. The iconic Black Bamboo Tower stands on the edge of a cliff by the side of the road with Lake Bunyan and verdant hills as a backdrop.
Operator of Bhuana Sari customary hamlet, Ketut Darma, said that bamboo belonging to the local customary village was used to make the iconic selfie attraction and that three security guards are on duty everyday to ensure the security of the increasing number of visitors who come to Black Bamboo Tower. “On a quiet day we get about 30-40 visitors but on holidays there is a 80 percent increase in the number of people who come to take pictures here. According to the customary hamlet’s agreement, visitors are charged IDR 15,000 per person to take as many pictures as they want”, explained Darma.
Black Bamboo Tower is not the only selfie attraction at Bhuana Sari customary hamlet. There are four other selfie spots along 15 meters of this road each offering a different style and which support one and other. There are plans to build another one soon so that more visitors can be accommodated. “Security is guaranteed. Yesterday, a sub-district police chief investigated the location and determined that it was safe”, said Darma. Asah’s hamlet Panji, Ketut Suwena, said that all of the selfie attractions that have been developed over th past 7 years in Wanagiri Village are actually located in protected forest areas.
However, the local villages submitted a request to the National Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) asking that they be allowed to utilize this area. So far, the BKSDA has granted one selfie tourist attraction per customary hamlet. Wanagiri village has 4 customary hamlets namely; Bhuana Sari, Yeh Ketipat, Asah Panji Kaja, and Asah Panji Kelod. “In short, of the eight selfie attractions in Wanagiri village, only the ones at Bhuana Sari customary hamlet have been granted permission by the BKSDA. The others have no agreement with the customary village’s selfie-site management group”, said Suwena.
According to Suwena, the BKSDA has limited the number of selfie-sites to four and has stipulated that such sites should not be managed by individuals or private groups as this could lead to jealousy. This limit is also meant to prevent a saturation of such sites as this could create chaos as lead to possible security risks. “Let the BKSDA determine the limits on such buildings including how far they can jut out off the cliff, how they should be designed and so forth. So far only Bhuana Sari has been given the ok from the BSKDA”, explained Suwena.
Division Head of Tourist Destinations for the Bali Tourism Office, Ida Bagus Adi Laksana, said he strongly supports local people creating selfie tourist attractions adding that management issues should be resolved through discussions. Each village should also have clear guidelines so as to prevent the mushrooming of such sites. “Hopefully such guidelines can be made clear by governing bodies that will be established under village authorities. Management groups should be involved”, he said. (BTN/kmb)