2017 Year in Review: A look back at Coconuts Bali’s top 10 most read stories

Things were anything but quiet in Bali in 2017.
Things were anything but quiet in Bali in 2017.

A volcano rumbled back to life and wrought havoc on the island’s economy. Police took a stand against happy endings. An airline forgot to close the cabin door after taking off, and other crazy happenings. It’s fair to say 2017 was a wild year in Bali.

Review the news from the past 12 months and say your goodbyes to 2017. Take a look back at our countdown of the top 10 most read stories on Coconuts Bali this past year and let the memories flood back in.

10. Bali-bound flight diverted after inebriated wife checks sleeping husband’s phone, uncovers affair and has outburst

A flight to Bali from Doha had to be diverted this past November when an Iranian passenger went into a drunken rage after unlocking her sleeping husband’s phone, only to uncover he had been having an affair.

The best part is how she unlocked the phone in the first place; she held her snoozing hubby’s finger up to the phone for the touch passcode which was activated via the device’s security finger-scanning sensor.

Qatar Airways
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

9. Macy Gray sh*t show: Bali beach club refunds GA tickets after singer ‘plays tracks off laptop’ and bombs ‘Happy Birthday song’ in Canggu performance (VIDEO)

Macy Gray gave quite the performance at a beach club in Canggu, Bali this past September and it was one to remember, but for all the wrong reasons. Concert-goers went in expecting the legendary raspy stylings of the singer who put out the hit single “I try” years ago (c. 1999), but instead got one very poorly executed “Happy Birthday” song and a playlist off a laptop, along with other incoherent and incomplete ditties.

Compounding the matter was that the venue initially tried to set up a “Macy Gray Redemption Party,” to which the singer said she didn’t know anything about and called “BULLCHIT.” That’s an actual quote from her Facebook comment on their page.

8. Day of Silence in Bali: At least four tourists caught wandering Kuta streets during Nyepi

Every year, the whole of Bali falls silent and powers down for the Balinese Hindu New Year, Nyepi, the ‘Day of Silence,’ where people must stay inside, keep lights off, and noise down for 24 hours. But of course not everyone always follows the rules.

At least four curious tourists were caught in Kuta by pecalang, traditional village security guards who were on duty to keep watch during this year’s Nyepi which fell on March 28 this year. The whole point of Nyepi is to hide inside while the demons roam the earth for a day, to trick them into thinking no one’s around so they stay away for another year. Thanks for bringing on the wrath of the demons, guys.

Pecalang patrol during Nyepi in Bali. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

7. The ‘Evolution of Bali’: We talk to the artist behind that viral, spot-on caricature you’ve been seeing about foreigner stereotypes

A couple of sketches depicting foreigner stereotypes from different neighborhoods across Bali quickly went viral this past June. In separate female and male sketches, the artwork show a march from left to right, an evolution, if you will, from ‘bogan’ to hippie, progressing from Kuta outwards to Seminyak to Batu Belig to Canggu, and finally to Ubud.

Coconuts Bali tracked down the artist behind the sketch to get the story and inspiration behind the viral sensation.

Evolution of Bali, women
Drawing by Mila Gerber

6. Viral: Indonesian high school students congratulated by Ministry of Education for making international debate competition, relentlessly trolled for ‘showing too much cleavage’

A post from the Ministry of Education, congratulating four Indonesian students on making a big international debate competition that was held in Bali this past August, was taken over by netizens debating the students’ “visible cleavage”.

Instead of appreciating four of Indonesia’s best and brightest students for their achievements in representing the country at the World Debate Championship of 2017 held in Denpasar, internet trolls took over the congratulatory Facebook post, strongly expressing their disapproval over “cleavage-revealing tops” worn by the two female debate team members. Like, seriously?

Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Education

5. LIVE: Watch Bali’s Mount Agung volcano on livestream

Instead of solely bingeing Stranger Things 2 this fall like everyone else, Bali was focused on streaming live footage of the island’s rumbling volcano, Mount Agung. CCTV cams were set up so we could all watch Agung spew ash up into the sky from any device with an internet connection in real time.

The mighty mountain stirred back to life this year and has been giving the island one heck of a time, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes to evacuation centers, while Bali’s economy, which heavily depends on tourism, has taken a huge hit since tourists have been canceling their trips, fearful that ash could strand them, while they remain pretty much unable to get travel insurance now that the volcano’s a “known event.”


Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

4. The Bali ‘happy ending’ raids continue: Spa therapist caught while still serving customer at Legian massage parlor

Police in Bali were working overtime earlier this year to make sure ‘happy endings’ are reserved exclusively for fairy tales. Intensive raids were conducted on “plus-plus” spas offering happy ending massages as a part of police’s Pekat Agung Operation, named to address ‘sickness of society’—targeting various nightlife-related crimes like prostitution, illegal alcohol, and drugs.

Let’s just say they found a ton of people to arrest. Didn’t seem like they had to search Kuta and Legian that hard.

Bali Police spa raid
A photo taken of ‘spa therapists’ from a raid at a Denpasar spa in May 2017. Photo: Bali Police/Public Relations Division

3. Agung Watch 2017: Monkeys and snakes seen coming down the Bali volcano

Back to that Mount Agung. When the volcano started showing increased activity in September, one of the early warning signs was animal behavior. Monkeys and snakes were spotted coming down the slopes right before the volcano’s status was upgraded to the highest alert level for an eruption. 

Can we all just agree that animals know what’s up?

monkey at Mt. Agung
A monkey sits before Mt. Agung. Photo: Flickr

2. Bali-bound plane turned back to China mid-flight when crew realizes front door is still open

A flight headed to Bali from Guangzhou in February had to turn back to China, just 90 minutes into the flight when crew members noticed that the plane’s front door wasn’t closed all the way.

Oh, so we can’t have our phones on flight mode during takeoff, but the door can be open as we jet up into the sky? Ok then.

Sriwijaya Air
A plane from the Sriwijaya fleet. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

And without further ado, the number one most-read story on Coconuts Bali of 2017:

1. Bali police investigate sleazy bule notorious for taping ‘sex diaries’ across Asia

Police in Bali announced an investigation into a man widely known across virtual porn communities for recording ‘sex diaries’ in the region. An entry apparently in Bali, entitled ‘Asd Ria From Bali’ (Asd meaning Asian Sex Diary), prompted the investigation.

As the biggest story of the year in Bali, we have to say the whole “sex sells” thing holds true.

ASD Ria from Bali
A screenshot circulating from ‘Asd Ria From Bali.’

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