When 22-year-old medical student André Esho Bagir visited Kanto Lampo Waterfall in Gianyar two weeks ago with his friend, he wanted to get a beautiful shot with the lush scenery serving as a backdrop.
Naturally, there was a queue for the spectacularly photogenic spot. During his wait, the Swede caught an iconic moment on film: a tour guide acting as a posing coach for tourists who were eager to capture an Insta-worthy moment at the waterfall.
Picture this: a skinny Balinese man wearing a black t-shirt, shorts and a baseball cap putting one hand behind his head while another hand points to the sky. Ahead of him by the waterfall is a female tourist in a swimsuit, mimicking his pose.
In two words: he slayed.
In another shot, the man can be seen gesturing for the tourist’s male friend to hold her waist and lift her up (think Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing move, but not as high).
@andrexeb Ohhh you're coming home with me😀 #bali #baliguide #baliwaterfall ♬ original sound – sp33dsongsx
“A lot of people stood in line to be [shot] by him – including me – and all of us watched him so intensely and were amazed by his dedication. I felt that I definitely couldn’t miss recording this, and I had so much fun while recording it,” Bagir told Coconuts Bali via Instagram.
“I’ve traveled a lot but this is my first time in Asia. I’ve never seen something like this. I thought it was so fun but still astonishing that guides like this exist!” he added, noting that he would definitely return to the Island of Gods after experiencing such a wholesome moment.
Bagir posted the video to his TikTok account @andrexeb along with the caption “I want to take this Bali guide home with me” where it quickly went viral, racking up over 2 million likes.
Coconuts Bali managed to track down the Balinese tour guide through his friend.
Born I Wayan Sukanada, the 35-year-old Gianyar native said that he goes by the nickname “Wayan Denis” because “it sounds cool.”
“I’ve been active as a tour guide since 2014 – so that makes it about nine years,” he told us.
“Before that, I worked at a restaurant near my house.”
When asked about his magazine-worthy poses, Wayan Denis said that he studied pictures on social media, especially Instagram, which served as his reference point.
Wayan Denis is not alone – he said there are other tour guides who also offer pose coaching services as part of their photography package.
“In total there are 10 others [in Kanto Lampo Waterfall] – all of them are my friends,” he said.
The industry veteran says he appreciates the viral attention that he is receiving. He hopes that it will help towards his aspiration of becoming “independent and successful” in his one and only job as a tour guide.
Wayan Denis may just embody the ideal Balinese tour guide, who have a well-deserved reputation for not only being warm and approachable but also flexible and empathetic about their guests’ desires to make their experience as memorable as possible.
@aurahousebali This is the kind of tour guide you need in your life 😂 #onlyinBali 📷 @haz_and_loz #bali #waterfallbali #travelbali #photoshootbali #guidebali #funbali ♬ angel baby sped up – lyriclychee
@exoticparadisebali Episode 1 | The tour in guides in Bali going above and beyond 🔥 #balitravel #baliguide #waterfall #baliwaterfall #balivibes #holidaybali2022 #bali #explorebali #baliliving #exoticparadisebali #balidriver ♬ original sound – Exotic Paradise Bali
@medtanos yas #bali #indonesia #balinese #indonesia #balitiktok #vacation #trip #perte #pt #foryou #fy #fyp #baliunited #balisong #photographer #energy #fakebody ♬ suara asli – gabut woi
In the era of social media and the rise of Instagram influencers traveling through Bali, it is natural for tour guides nowadays to have basic photography skills. As Wayan Denis shows, posing knowledge is a very welcome bonus.
“I am one of those people who was told what to do while on camera because I did not know about poses. The results are good so coming here is not a waste of time because there are posing instructors who are very nice and the fees are also not too expensive,” said Instagram user @lensi_djaga in her comment on the viral video.
Sadly, Bagir did not get the chance to be coached and photographed by Wayan Denis, who had already moved on from the spot by the time the Swede reached the front of the queue. Bagir said another guide helped him to snap some “decent” shots by the waterfall, and was happy to receive a tip of IDR100K (US$6.71).
“They are too sweet to even ask for payment,” he said, pleading for travelers to not take advantage of Balinese people’s hospitality.
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