Perth is the capital of Western Australia and it is the second most remote capital city in the world, just being nudged out for the ultimate title by Honolulu. The main difference between Perth and Honolulu is that the Hawaiian Islands do attract vast numbers of tourist both from the continental United States and other parts of the world.
Honolulu is remote because it is located on an island, Perth is remote because it is the only major city in the western third of Australia. There are several thousand kilometres of desert and lowly-populated rural areas east of Perth stretching to Adelaide. No one for many thousands of kilometres west of Perth across the Indian Ocean, lots of ocean south to Antarctica, and Indonesia several thousand kilometres north of Perth, where there is a huge population.
In Indonesia the island of Bali is the most developed place that is closest to Perth. It is a three and a half hour flight, which is short by WA standards. Bali is a glorious, tropical island which most West Aussies would consider to be like a second home. As a result of its relatively close proximity to Perth, the friendliness of the locals, and the sheer joy of being there, Bali is by far and away the most popular holiday destination for Perthites.
So popular that Air Asia has added a fourth daily flight from Perth to Denpasar, the capital of Bali, which brings the total number of Perth-Bali flights to 70 per week. As well as Air Asia, Garuda, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have regular flights to Bali, and most of these flights carry significant passenger loads.
It is not unusual for Perthites to make several trips a year to Bali, or to find any excuse whatsoever to make the trip. Just about everyone who goes there develops special relationships with locals be they hotel staff, drivers, stall holders or just locals that they’ve met. By supporting the businesses of these locals, West Australians have a fair impact on keeping the Bali economy buoyant.
Although it is not unusual for West Aussies to indulge in some oafish behaviour in Bali, and that is certainly on display in the main shopping and entertainment area around Kuta, generally speaking, most visitors from the West are respectful of the Hindu traditions and rituals that are practised by the Balinese, which is one reason why two very diverse and different peoples can form true friendships.