Bali Unveils New Tourist Guidelines: Check Do’s and Don’ts for Travellers

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Bali Governor I Wayan Koster has taken a stand against the growing number of disruptive behaviours exhibited by tourists on the renowned Indonesian resort island. In response, he recently announced a comprehensive set of obligations and prohibitions that tourists must adhere to.

At the top of the list of obligations is the requirement for tourists to respect the sanctity of temples, religious effigies, and other sacred symbols.

Additionally, tourists are expected to dress appropriately at sacred sites, tourist attractions, and public areas, and to behave politely in these locations, as well as in restaurants, shopping areas, highways, and other public places.

It is worth noting that recently, Bali has also imposed a ban on tourist operations in the mountains and volcanoes across the region, effective immediately. This comes amid the aim to protect Bali’s enchanting landscapes, but tourists will now be unable to partake in these iconic experiences.

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New Guidelines For Tourists in Bali

The updated guidelines, outlined in the Bali Gubernatorial Circular No. 4/2023 on tourist obligations and prohibitions, aim to promote respect for Bali’s cultural and religious heritage, as well as maintain a harmonious environment for both locals and visitors. The following are specific instructions and Do’s and Don’ts for travellers visiting Bali;

Dos for Tourists:

Respect for Cultural and Religious Sites:

  • Visitors should honour the sanctity of temples, religious effigies, and sacred symbols.
  • Dress appropriately when visiting holy places, tourist attractions, and public areas.
  • Behave politely in sacred areas, tourist spots, restaurants, shopping areas, highways, and other public places.

Accompanied by Licensed Tour Guides:

  • Tourists are encouraged to be accompanied by tour guides with proper permits and licenses.
  • Licensed guides provide insights into local customs, traditions, and the wisdom of the Balinese people, enhancing the visitor experience.

Responsible Financial Transactions:

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  • Exchange currency at authorized money changers, including banks and licensed non-bank establishments.
  • Utilize Indonesian Standard QR Codes for payments and conduct transactions in the local currency, the rupiah.

Compliance with Traffic Laws:

  • Obey Indonesian traffic laws and regulations, which may include obtaining an international driving license or a national driving license.
  • Utilize legal transportation services, such as cars or motorbikes, for safer and more responsible travel.

Staying at Licensed Accommodations:

  • Ensure accommodation is legally registered and adheres to proper standards.
  • Staying at licensed establishments contributes to a regulated and reliable tourism industry.

Adherence to Specific Provisions at Tourist Attractions:

  • Comply with any special rules or provisions that apply to different tourist attractions, promoting the preservation and sustainability of these sites.

Also Read: Indonesia: Bali Governor Calls for Urgent Review of Visa-on-Arrival Policy

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Don’ts for Tourists

Temple Visits:

Entering the main parts of temples, known as damaging mandala and maddening mandala, is strictly prohibited, except for prayer purposes. Visitors must wear traditional Balinese clothing during such visits and refrain from entering while menstruating.

Protection of Sacred Trees:

Climbing sacred trees is forbidden to prevent damage and maintain the sanctity of these natural landmarks.

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Respect for Sacred Places and Symbols:

  • Engaging in behaviour that desecrates sacred or sanctified places, temples, religious effigies, and symbols is strictly prohibited.
  • This includes climbing sacred buildings and taking pictures while wearing immodest clothing or being unclothed.

Environmental Responsibility:

  • Littering or polluting lakes, water springs, rivers, seas, and public areas is strictly prohibited.
  • Avoid using single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, Styrofoam, and plastic straws, to minimize environmental impact.

Respectful Behavior:

  • Refrain from using harsh language, behaving impolitely, causing disturbances, or acting aggressively toward government officials, local communities, and fellow tourists.
  • This includes refraining from spreading hate speech or false information through social media channels.

Compliance with Legal Requirements:

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  • Tourists must not engage in any illegal activities, including working or conducting business activities without obtaining the necessary licenses.
  • Trading illegal goods, including drugs, is strictly prohibited.

Conclusion

Governor Koster’s introduction of the dos and don’ts guidelines for tourists in Bali reflects the island’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and promoting responsible and sustainable tourism. By adhering to these guidelines, visitors can contribute to the preservation of Bali’s unique identity while enjoying a meaningful and respectful travel experience.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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