8 rules Bali tourists must follow or risk having visa cancelled

Indonesian officials have cracked the whip yet again, this time issuing an official dos and don’ts list to control unruly tourists in Bali — and if they don’t abide, their visas could be cancelled.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster has been extremely vocal this year with his frustration over foreigners behaving inappropriately, from introducing a proposed ban on motorbikes, a tourist tax and even getting hotel workers to educate guests on what they can and can’t do.

And as of Wednesday during a press conference, Mr Koster released the administration’s official dos and don’ts guidelines for international tourists — including Aussies.

There is a total of 20 rules — 12 under dos and eight under don’ts and Mr Koster warned tourists that don’t abide will face severe consequences, including penalties and legal proceedings as prescribed by Indonesian law.

Woman detained over ‘trashy’ act in Bali: A woman has allegedly been detained after exposing her genitals on a motorbike in Bali

“Everyone should take this circular seriously, implement it, and disseminate it to all their staff and foreign tourists visiting Bali,” Mr Koster said, as reported by local media outlet detikBali.

He also urged tourism service providers and the Balinese community not to facilitate misbehavior among foreign visitors.

It comes one week after video circulated of German woman, now arrested, stripped naked and stormed the stage during a sacred Balinese dance performance at a temple in Ubud.

She was placed in a mental health facility by local authorities.

But it’s not the first time something like this has happened with two Russian bloggers 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. He has since issued a grovelling apology over his X-rated act.

A woman was also detained, and has since been arrested, after she flashed her genitals while on a motorbike in Seminyak.

However, such acts like climbing and touching holy trees and posing naked at cultural or religious sites is being clearly spelled as prohibited under the new guidelines that applies across the entire island.

Ms Koster said the rules aim to restore “quality and dignity” to Bali’s tourism sector.

Another don’t is uttering offensive words, behaving disrespectfully, causing disturbances, and acting aggressively towards government authorities, local communities.

This comes after a tourist was captured on video arguing with police who stopped him for not wearing a helmet, while an Aussie also went head to head with officers after she was pulled over for the same reason.

Meanwhile, tourists who engage in work or business activities without proper documentation issued by the relevant authorities, can also face penalties.

A special task force made up of local officials and the immigration office was recently set up to monitor foreigners’ activities.

It’s reported that while many visit Bali for tourism purposes at first, some end up opening businesses illegally.

In April, Bali Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair Made Ariandi said non-citizens were not allowed to work, and that starting businesses or taking jobs illegally negatively impacted local entrepreneurs.

Indonesia’s VoA program allows foreigners to visit Indonesia for 30 days for tourism and is open to more than 80 countries. It costs about $50.

Overstaying the visa can lead to fines of $100 per day, or being detained, deported or banned from Indonesia for a specific period.

A second home visa is a non-work visa that came into effect in Bali in December 2022.

It is granted to foreigners and their families who want to live permanently in Indonesia for five or 10 years.

Bali Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Anggiat Napitupulu told the Bali Times that 93 foreigners in Bali had been deported from Indonesia between January 1 and April 17 this year, mostly over visa or permit violations and other legal breaches.

Australians are the third-worst offenders by nation, with six deported.

But Russians were the biggest rulebreakers, with 24 gone so far in 2023, followed by Nigerians with seven, and the US alongside Australia with six.

Bali has always been a popular destination for Aussies with travel to the island having surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to Australia’s 1Cover Travel Insurance.

“Indonesia and Bali especially have experienced some of our highest sales growth, with a 12 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels,” spokeswoman Natalie Smith said.

However, the jump in visitor numbers has brought upon a rise in Aussies being arrested, fined, and deported from the island.

“As Bali finds its feet in the aftermath of the pandemic, there has been a noted increase of troublesome tourists,” Ms Smith said.

“Whether they’re disobeying road rules, drinking excessively, or disrespecting local laws and customs, these travellers are testing the limits of Balinese hospitality.”

Following the official do’s and dont’s list she warned Aussies travelling to Bali should familiarise themselves with local laws and policies before they visit.

“For instance, when riding a scooter, you must carry a valid driver’s license, wear a helmet and abide by all traffic rules,” she said.

“Another key regulation is not to misuse your visa status as an overstay of more than 60 days can result in a hefty fine.

“Visitors should understand, especially if they are visiting a site which holds a sacred value, to act according with local rules. Bali is one of the best destinations for holidaying in Asia as it offers many unique experiences, all travellers need to do is behave well and follow the local rules to enjoy their holiday without any troubles.”

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