Bali has issued a new set of rules for tourists in a bid to rein in obscene and boorish behaviour by errant foreign visitors.
The guidelines comes amid a string of incidents that hurt the religious sensibilities of Balinese Hindus including a recent one involving a German tourist who stripped herself naked and gatecrashed in to a sacred performance at a Hindu temple.
A Danish woman, accused of appearing in an adult video shot in Bali, was arrested and charged for violating the anti-pornography law passed in 2008.
Two Russian bloggers were deported in recent months, one for posing nude on a sacred tree and the other for dropping his pants at a volcano regarded as holy by Hindu Balinese.
More than 130 foreign tourists have been deported in the first five months of this year for behaving inappropriately or breaching visa conditions.
On Wednesday (May 31), Bali governor Wayan Koster issued a circular that outlined 12 obligations for international travellers to follow, alongside eight restrictions on their behaviour.
The governor says the rules aim to restore "quality and dignity" to Bali's tourism sector, which is still recovering after shutting down completely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 12 Do’s for Tourists in Bali
Tourists must respect the holy, sacred nature of Balinese temples and all other religious symbols on the island.
Tourists must respect Balinese culture, customs, traditions, and art, in addition to the wisdom of the Balinese people.
Tourists must dress modestly and respectfully, especially wearing appropriate clothing when visiting holy places, tourist attractions, and public spaces.
Tourists must behave politely and respectfully in sacred places, tourist attractions, restaurants, on the roads, and in all public places.
Tourists must be accompanied by a tour guide who has a tour guide license when visiting tourist attractions. The tour guide must have a solid understanding of natural conditions [Bali’s way of life], customs, traditions, and local wisdom of the Balinese people.
Tourists must only exchange foreign currency at authorized money changer (KUPVA) organizers. Such money changers can be either banks or non-banks marked with a permit number and a QR code logo from Bank Indonesia.
Tourists must pay for goods, services, and experiences (and all other financial transactions) in Indonesian rupiah.
Tourists may only drive in compliance with the laws and regulations in force in Indonesia. This includes having a valid international or national driving license, driving in an orderly manner on the road, dressing politely, wearing a helmet, following traffic signs, do not load passengers exceeding capacity, and not being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and or illegal drugs.
Tourists may only use official four-wheeled vehicles or two-wheeled vehicles that are registered to a legal business entity or two-wheeled transportation leasing association.
Tourists may only stay in an accommodation business place that has a permit in accordance with the provisions of the laws and regulations of Bali and Indonesia.
Tourists must comply with all special provisions/rules that apply to each tourist attraction and tourist activity.
The 8 Don'ts for Tourists in Bali
Tourists must not enter the holy spaces within temples known as the damaging and madya courtyards or sacred places such as temples and pelinggih, except for the purpose of praying. This must only be conducted while wearing traditional Balinese clothes or praying and only if you are not having your period.
Tourists must not touch or climb sacred trees.
The tourist must not engage in any behaviors that desecrate holy places and sanctified places, temples, pratima (sacred objects within temples), and religious symbols. This includes but is not limited to climbing sacred buildings and taking pictures with immodest clothes or without clothes.
Tourists must not litter or pollute lakes, springs, rivers, the ocean, and public spaces.
Tourists must not use single-use plastics such as plastic bags, polystyrene (styrofoam), and plastic straws.
Tourists must engage in communication with harsh words, impolite behavior, making noise, and acting aggressively towards state officials, government, local communities, and fellow tourists. This is prohibited both directly or indirectly through social media, such as spreading hate speech and hoaxes.
Tourists must not work and or conduct business activities without having official documents issued by the revenant legal authority.
Tourists must not engage in illegal activities such as trading flora and fauna, cultural artifacts, or sacred objects or trading in illegal goods, including illegal drugs.
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