There has been an increase in tourists making trouble whilst on holiday in Bali.
The bad attitude and behaviour of foreign tourists is under the spotlight of many parties and received much criticism.
Bali is indeed one of the favourite destinations for foreign tourists. Yet, when in Bali, tourists must still be conscious to obey the customary rules that exist on the Island of the Gods.
Some places are sacred such as temples. In addition, there is Nyepi Day which must be respected by tourists. Courtesy and good behaviour must also be maintained while in Bali because the local community is very concerned about customs and culture.
Moreover, Balinese people are known to be friendly and maintain the prevailing norms. As a newcomer, one is encouraged to behave the same way out of respect.
The following are the prohibitions for tourists while in Bali, as summarised from various sources:
1. Don’t leave the house during Nyepi
Religious holidays in Bali such as Nyepi should be respected by tourists. When this local holiday comes, tourists are also not allowed to roam or leave their homes, the same as local people. Tourists just need to buy food supplies for the day during Nyepi, and avoid being out on the streets of the island.
2. Don’t be disrespectful in sacred areas
Don’t get into trouble in Bali because you are considered impolite, especially when you are in the island’s holy and sacred places. Tourists must maintain behaviour and not tarnish the sanctity of holy places in Bali. Doing so can lead to harsh criticism and even deportation.
3. Don’t step on and over offerings
While in Bali, many offerings or canangs around the local area are displayed, which are deliberately placed by the local community. It is a part of Balinese culture that must be respected, so tourists must know the rules. The offerings or canangs, may not be stepped on, stepped over, or damaged by anyone and doing so is taken as a major offence to the Balinese culture.
4. Don’t indiscriminately enter sacred areas
Once again, politeness while in Bali really must be maintained, especially for newcomers. Tourists have to be careful when looking around because one might accidentally enter a sacred area in Bali. Do not carelessly enter sacred areas or enter without permission. Some areas in Bali are prohibited from being entered by other people because of their purity.
5. Don’t carelessly urinate
Urinating on trees is illegal in Bali. Tourists should not carelessly choose a place to urinate – try to find the nearest toilet to do so. As well as potentially offending a holy site, urinating indiscriminately also involves impolite behaviour and polluting Bali’s environment.
6. Don’t reside without identity and permission
Foreign tourists must have identity documents and a valid stay permit when in Bali. If one feels at home in Bali, having a clear permit, whether for vacation or work, is crucial.
Several cases show foreign tourists whose visas had expired and were still staying in Bali. If a residence permit expires, foreign tourists will be immediately deported to their country of origin.
7. Don’t disrespect the traditional ceremonies
When the traditional ceremony takes place in Bali, road access in some areas will be closed. Congestion will occur and here tourists are required to be patient and respect the local culture by not acting carelessly. Never act impolite, let alone swear at the activities carried out by the locals.
8. Don’t ignore the rules on the beach
One of the charms of Bali is the beauty of its beaches. However, while on the beach, tourists need to know the rules and obey them such as not throwing trash on the beach and the local swimming prohibitions.
9. Don’t touch a dog’s head
While in Bali, you will see a lot of dogs roaming around. There are local people who consider the head of a dog sacred and can be considered rude and disrespectful to local customs when touched. Therefore, it is better if they’re not touched.