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21 Incredible Photos Of Bali In 1970’s With No Tourist In Sight

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21 Incredible Photos Of Bali In 1970’s With No Tourist In Sight

Can you imagine The Island Of The Gods without a single tourist?

When most people think of Bali, they think of a tourist haven, bustling with holidaymakers wanting to make the most of an island getaway. As a result, most people have never experienced Bali in its original, untouched state.

Not so for Clifford White. In a brilliant photo series, White takes us back to a Bali when, ironically, there wasn’t a single White face except his.


So here are 21 incredible photos of Bali in the 1970’s before tourism took over… 

1) Sanur Beach In A More Peaceful Time
Before the tourists arrived: Australian surfer and photographer Clifford White, 62, travelled to the virtually unknown island when he was 20 in 1975 with several friends (above, Sanur beach, which is now a popular resort town)

Clifford White

2) Local Balinese Boys Who Had Never Seen A Westerner Before

When Clifford first shared these photos on social media, one of these you boys recognized himself and reached out. “One of the children in the pictures is now in his 40s,” White said. He must have seen his island change!

Making a splash: During his stay, White shot images of the rural landscape and a number of Balinese locals who had never even met Westerners before

Clifford White

3) Surfing Hotspots Required A Bit More Trekking Back Then

You see the barefoot man with the straw hat at the front of the photo? That’s former Green Australian MP Ian Cohen – making love, not politics.

Jungle trek: White said some people paid a small fee to have their surf boards carried out to the ocean. He added that the man in the foreground of the above shot, barefoot under the straw hat, is former Australian politician Ian Cohen

Clifford White

4) Jl. Tegal Wangi – Street In The Heart Of Kuta
Flashback: White said he found Jalan Tegal Wangi (above) such a 'nice sleepy small street' when he visited Bali in March 1975 but today it is one of the busiest parts of Kuta beach, with modern buildings and a tarmac road 

Clifford White

5) Quaint Kuta Markets Selling Local Products, Not Fake Ray-Ban’s
Authentic: Kuta beach is now a bustling tourist spot flooded with sightseers. When White visited in the late 70s, he said he encountered small markets, 'selling only local products, long before the days of fake products'

Clifford White


6) Large Resorts Now Line These Formerly Quiet Kuta Street
White notes that a large resort now sits off the road where he took this shot

Clifford White

7) Balinese Local Carrying Clifford White’s Surf Board
On the beach, White was happy to pay locals a small fee to carry his surf board through the wild terrain

Clifford White

8) Poppies Lane Leading To Kuta Beach…
A quiet road leading down to the now wildly-popular Kuta beach

Clifford White

9) A More Traditional Way Of Transporting Supplies
Local girls carrying food supplies down to the beach ahead of a day of surfing

Clifford White

10) Get Your Hands On A Bali Style Shirt From Here, And Your On Hipster Level: Expert
Dying businesses: White returned to this store in 2011 but he found it had disappeared, with lots of tourist stores in its place and a Hard Rock Cafe within walking distance 

Clifford White


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11) Clifford White And A Monkey Just Chillin’
Self-portrait: White sits to have his photo taken while a small monkey perches on his shoulders  

Clifford White

12) Surf Trip To Nusa Dua? Hop in…
At your service: Some of White's fondest memories involved surf trips in the Nusa Dua area of southern Bali. He said they would 'park in a field with no buildings except the small shack that served drinks and snacks. The drivers would wait for hours while we surfed, and they were very honest - I would leave my camera with them'

Clifford White

13) Coastal Cave, Uluwatu
White discovered a coastal cave during a return trip to the Indonesian island in April 1977

Clifford White

14) Let me read your future

“I see tourists… LOTS of tourists.”

Chilled vibe: White said he would see this 'very laid back' fortune teller just about every day on Jalan Pantai Kuta - a road close to Kuta beach 

Clifford White

15) Flying Into Denpasar, Overlooking the Famous Kuta Coastline

Where are all the resorts?

All green and then it was gone: White captured this view as he came in to land at Denpasar International Airport in March 1975. It was his first trip to the 'beautiful unspoilt island'. Today, monster resorts are peppered along the coast line

Clifford White

16) This Guy Don’t Give A Duck.

Ubud before the villas.

Country walks: White came across a farmer casually walking ducks, somewhere close to the town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali

Clifford White

17) Local Surfers In Kuta
Footsteps in the foam: A group of local surfers head out to the water to catch some waves on Kuta beach, widely considered one of the best ocean fronts in Bali

Clifford White

18) The Dartayasa Family Getting Fresh Water For Their Home On Kuta Beach

How much do you want to bet they don’t live there now?

Group outing: White met a local man called Wayan Dartayasa and his family at their home in Kuta beach. It appears that they are sourcing fresh water from a well

Clifford White

19) Denpasar… Well, at least that hasn’t changed.
Hustle and bustle: White took a photo capturing the first time he arrived in the Indonesian capital of Denpasar via a local bemo bus. He said he found it 'scary' how busy the place was even then

Clifford White

20) Clifford White Takes A Break From Surfing To Chill With Some Balinese Woman
Smiles all round: White appears to be surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women as he heads to the water to surf

Clifford White

21) Uluwatu, Before The Holidaying Hordes
Moment of reflection: White takes a break from surfing on the cliffs of Uluwatu and snaps a quick photo of a local  

Clifford White

 

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