THESE sensational sunset shots showcase the beauty tourists expect of Bali. Taken on the island’s Seminyak Beach, they catch the fiery finale to the day in all its gorgeous glory.
They were taken by Dutch travel guide Stephan van der Meer – a popular figure on the Heygo online streaming platform – during an Indonesian break, during which he led virtual tours.
The three-kilometre stretch of white sand is traditionally a tourist hotspot, and attracts surfers in search of adventure – but the breathtaking beauty of the sunsets masks a problem.
These photos were taken only after the daily tidy-up of the beach, which daily fills with plastic waste, litter and refuse, both from land and blown in from the sea.
“The sunsets are beautiful,” says Stephan. “But the beach had just been cleaned of all the plastic trash. Every morning it is full of plastic. It’s a very sad sight.”
Bali has had issues with waste, especially plastics from landfills washing into the ocean, for some years and back in 2017 even declared a so-called ‘trash emergency’”.
Each day, clean-up crews sweep the sands, many of them employees at the beach-side bars and hotels, who are concerned about the potential damage to the tourist trade.
Born in Delft, growing up in Gouda and studying in Leiden, Stephan lived in Rotterdam before moving to Amsterdam, where he now runs his own private tour agency, Amsterdam Experiences.
On Heygo he leads live-streamed real-time tours of the Netherlands, Belgium and destinations further afield, sometimes by bicycle, which are free to join, although tips are encouraged.
He is no stranger to sunsets, and I previously featured his photos from Gran Canaria in a picture-led post here.