Bali has issued a new list of ‘dos and don’ts’ for tourists

 Saturday, June 3, 2023 


Bali authorities have come up with 12 rules for foreign tourists, including asking them not to climb sacred structures or take ‘indecent’ photos at holy places.

This comes as incidents of unruly behaviour by visitors have become more frequent in Indonesia’s ‘Island of the Gods’.

Indonesia has had enough of unruly tourists creating a ruckus on its “Island of the Gods”.

Authorities in the resort island of Bali, one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the Asian country, have come out with a set of “dos and don’ts” for foreign visitors.

Bali governor Wayan Koster issued a circular on Wednesday (31 May) outlining these 12 rules.

The step comes amid a spate of incidents of foreigners behaving inappropriately on the island.

List of Do’s

Internation tourists have to respect Bali’s religious symbols, sacred statues and temples. As per The Bali Sun, they also have to regard Balinese culture, customs, traditions and arts, as well as the “wisdom” of the local people.

Tourists must dress modestly when visiting sacred places and tourist attractions, while they have to behave politely in sacred areas and public places including roads and restaurants.

Visitors are also being asked to seek licensed tour guides when arriving at tourist destinations.

If a foreign tourist is visiting Bali, they must adhere to the traffic laws in Indonesia, including wearing a helmet and having a valid international or national driving licence.

Authorities have also advised tourists to exchange foreign currency at authorised money changers, both banks and non-banks, that have a permit number and a QR code logo from Bank Indonesia.

Foreign visitors have been asked to make payments through Indonesian Standard QR Code (QRIS) and use the Indonesian rupiah for transactions.

They also have to stay in accommodations that have the required permits and comply with the specific rules that apply to each tourist attraction.

What not do

Tourists have been asked not to touch sacred trees, or engage in activities that defile sacred places or religious symbols, including climbing sacred structures and taking “indecent or nude” pictures.

Visitors must not trespass holy territories.

Steer clear of utamaning mandala and madyaning mandala, holy and sanctified spots like puras and pelinggihs — unless you’re there for a Balinese traditional ceremony, during which you must wear the appropriate attire, and you’re not menstruating, says the rule, according to an Australia’s news agency.

Using offensive language or behaving aggressively and disrespectfully towards government authorities or locals or other tourists will also not be tolerated.

A foreign tourist must not engage in business activities without proper documentation or carry out illegal activities, such as trading illegal goods or drugs.

Do not pollute lakes, seas or any public areas. The use of single-use plastics such as plastic bags, polystyrene (Styrofoam), and plastic straws is also not allowed.

Recent incidents

As per Australian news agency, Indonesia has deported more than 120 tourists over bad behaviour or for violating laws.

From engaging in public nudity to quarreling with the police, inappropriate acts by foreign tourists have become a headache for the Bali authorities.

Restore ‘dignity’

The Bali governor said the new rules aim to restore “quality and dignity” to the island’s tourism sector.

Tourists will be distributed the card containing the “do”s and don’ts” as they land at Bali airport.

Speaking to a news agency in April, Febria Diah Retnoningsih, a counselor of social, cultural and information affairs at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, said that the majority of the tourists were not unruly, adding that “bad behavior is just one drop in the ocean.”

Retnoningsih urged foreign travellers that wherever they go, “please respect our culture”. “That’s what makes Bali, Bali: its rich culture.”

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