With over 10,000 temples and breathtaking natural wonders, it’s no wonder why Bali has continuously drawn in a number of tourists from all over the world.
But as the years have gone by, many locals and public officials have become worried about the “quality of the tourists” arriving and how their behavior have been nothing but short of disrespectful and insensitive to religious temples, practices, and beliefs.
According to Bali’s deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Sukawati,
“The quality of tourists is now different from before… It is because we are too open with tourists, so too many come.”
This follows after several tourists were snapped disrespecting Bali’s Hindu temples.
Case in point, a Danish tourist sparked outrage when he was photographed sitting on the holy Linggih Padmasana shrine at Puhur Luhur Batukaru temple—the seat is supposed to be left empty for its most important deity.
On the other hand, a woman dressed in a bikini doing a yoga pose in front of a temple also earned the ire of several netizens.
Not only was it pointed out that she had reduced the holy temple to a mere prop, but her attire was also completely inappropriate as visiting a temple entails practicing modesty and covering up with a sarong if needed.
According to Australian expat and Bali resident Rachel Bergma, underdressed visitors have been a problem for quite a while now—especially with the Europeans. She cites “shorts that show actual bum cheek and the crop tops” as “fashion trends” that have unfortunately been increasing over the years.
Because of this, the regional council has begun thinking of ways to curb the poor behavior—specifically what tourists can and can’t do around Bali’s Hindu temples.
This includes banning tourists from visiting them unaccompanied, which deputy governor Sukawati says is a means to maintain the temples, which are the spirits of Bali’s customs and cultures.
It is still unclear as to when the council will come up with the new rules, but until then, hopefully tourists will practice basic courtesy when visiting Bali and its many temples.
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