Former US president Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Indonesia to open the 4th Indonesian Diaspora Congress initiated by the Indonesia Diaspora Network Global in Jakarta in early July. He has also been invited by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to visit the Bogor Palace in West Java prior to the congress.
Apart from the events, the 44th US president will reportedly also enjoy a vacation in the archipelago. Obama, his wife Michelle and their two daughters arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a five-day vacation on the Island of the Gods.
Bali is the latest spot on the Obamas’ post-White House world tour, an extended holiday that has also seen them visit the Virgin Islands, Tahiti and Hawaii.
Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika was delighted with the arrival of the former United States president and his family. Pastika believes that Obama’s visit is as big as any other head of state visit.
Obama arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a family vacation. His Gulfstream G-V N50JE aircraft landed at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali at 6.52 p.m. local time, or a bit late from its initial schedule of 5.55 p.m.
Journalists did not have access to cover Obama’s arrival at the airport as requested by the former US president’s advance team.
Only four officials welcomed Obama at Ngurah Rai Airport, namely Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Ngurah Rai Military Air Force Base commander Col. I Wayan Superman, 9th regional military command (Kodam IX) Udayana commander Maj. Gen. Komarudin Simanjuntak and Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Hadi Purnomo, who represented Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Petrus Reinhard Golose.
Obama left Ngurah Rai Airport for Ubud at 7.17 p.m., with an VVIP escort comprising Indonesian Military and National Police personnel and his advance team.
On Saturday, the family visited Agung Rai Art Museum (ARMA). Located on Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, the museum exhibits collections of both traditional and modern paintings from foreign and local artists, including Ida Bagus Made and Anak Agung Gede Sobrat.
The next day, the Obamas reportedly went to Jatiluwih village in Tabanan. Known for its breathtaking views of rice terraces, the area is located around 54 kilometers from Denpasar and is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
On Monday, Obama and his family members made their way to Ayung River in Bongkasa Village, Badung, which is located a stone’s throw away from their hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Ubud. Kompas.com reported that Obama and his entourage spent two hours cruising the river, using six boats accompanied by five professional guides.
Obama is scheduled to leave Bali on June 28. The former first family will also visit Yogyakarta before heading to Jakarta for the congress.