Located in the western end of Lesser Sunda Islands, the Indonesian province of Bali lies to the west of the island Lombok. It is the only province in Indonesia with a Hindu majority. Dubbed as the World’s Top Destination by TripAdvisor in 2017, it goes without saying that Bali draws in a lot of revenue, making up 80 percent of the Indonesian economy. Rich in culture and art, people are attracted to Balinese music, dance, leather, and sculptures. If you’re planning to take a trip to Bali, make sure to keep this list of things not to do in Bali handy.
9 Things Not To Do In Bali
It shouldn’t be a big surprise why people all over the world flock to Bali to spend their vacation. To make sure you do not land in trouble while visiting this place, we have put together a list of 9 things not to do in Bali that you should take care of:
1. Do Not Enter The Temples With Your Shoes On
Being a Hindu majority province in Indonesia, you are bound to come across a lot of temples. It is a custom to not wear shoes when inside so remember to leave your shoes outside, or you might risk offending locals that will ask you to leave or return after taking your shoes off. Also, avoid entering temples if you have an open wound. It is considered a taboo and might invite stares from some conservative locals.
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2. Avoid Drinking Tap Water
It is best to buy packaged mineral water if you feel thirsty. The restaurants often serve tap water for drinking water and it would be a better option to choose to buy a packaged bottle. Still a developing country, Indonesia doesn’t have the best filtration systems in place so the water flowing from taps may not be recycled property and may still have some germs or bacteria that might cause stomach upsets. Even if there are no bacteria, the minerals definitely will be absent and it is, therefore, a better alternative to opt for packaged drinking water by reliable brands or labels.
3. Do Not Visit Temples Wearing Revealing Clothes
This is applicable to both men as well as women. You should be aware that when you’re entering a sacred place of worship such as a temple or a mosque, it is best to wear appropriate clothes. It would be best to wear a sarong which is a kind of long clothing that covers your entire body including your feet. It would also be best to leave your shorts at home when you’re entering a temple. If visiting a mosque, it would be advisable that women cover their heads.
4. Avoid Using Your Left Hand For Giving Or Accepting Things
The left hand in Bali is considered an unclean part of the body. Therefore it is the right hand that the locals use most of the time to do something important, such as giving or gifting somebody something, pointing, eating and so on. When in Bali, it is best to use your right hand to do the above-mentioned activities.
5. Drug Possession And Consumption Can Land You In Jail
There are very strict laws when it comes to narcotics in all of Indonesia and not just Bali. They will not take kindly to such offenses. So avoid purchasing or selling drugs, best to steer clear off of those activities because if you get caught you will most definitely end up getting heavily fined and might end up in jail as well. Bali is a beautiful place as it is with all its gorgeous natural beauty and exquisite marine life and corals which are a feast to your sensory world even when you aren’t high so it is best to stay off drugs.
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6. Maintain Decorum During Nyepi
In 2020, Nyepi is scheduled to take place from 6 am on 25th March to 6 am on the 26th, a period of 24 hours. It is a Hindu celebration that occurs on Isakawarsa in the Balinese calendar. It is a ‘Day of Silence’ that is also a public holiday. Balian Hindus observe a fast for the day and perform other religious rituals and stick to the premises of their houses for the entire day. So it goes without saying that when in Bali it is best to respect their traditions and customs and to not make a commotion.
7. Honking Without Reason Is Prohibited
If in Bali you happen to hire a car, bike or scooter, it would be best to not press the honk and create a disturbance. You will notice that the cars often just honk a couple of times and that is enough to send a signal to the vehicle in front. Being aggressive by pressing down on your horn will lead to getting a lot of unpleasant looks from locals who frown upon the noise that the honk produces. A couple of presses would be adequate to make the presence of your vehicle known.
8. Do Not Point Your Toes Towards A Buddha Statue Or Symbol
Do not ever point your feet at someone or do not touch anyone with your feet. If you do so by mistake, do not forget to apologize as such behavior is considered extremely rude. Also never sit with your feet pointing towards the shrine of a god in a temple since you might end up offending the locals who consider it a sign of mockery or disrespect.
9. Do Not Mock Religious Processions
It is advisable to maintain decorum when religious processions are organized on the streets, especially if it is a funeral procession. A Hindu funeral procession is called Ngaben in Bali, also known as Pelebon or Pitra Yadnya. If you happen to come by a Ngaben it is best to not make any noise and maintain silence till it or you pass or you will definitely end up being confronted for your behavior.
Further Read: 10 Indonesian Islands That Will Take Your Breath Away!
Bali is an extremely beautiful place to visit. It would be a pity if you couldn’t enjoy your trip to Indonesia because you were unaware of the things not to do in Bali. Make sure to keep these suggestions in mind for a pleasant journey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Things Not To Do In Bali
A. Bali is an Indonesian island, and not a country altogether. Bali is the only Indonesian Island to be almost completely Hindu which makes it extremely from the rest of the country which is mostly Muslim with a few Buddhists and Christians here and there.
A. Try and avoid raw or uncooked meat. Avoid Unpasteurized dairy products, shaved ice or mobile soft-serve vendors. Eat at popular restaurants with a high turnover.
A. Bali is an island full of beautiful nature, Indian ocean allows you to surf or just lay on the beach, but there is not a great amount of bars. The central Bali is too touristy, of course, because it is very popular among people as an exotic place. And the tickets are not so expensive.
A. Unfortunately, that’s also when the island becomes the most crowded—you won’t be the only one in search of surf, sand, and sun! Bali is just one of more than 8,800 named islands in Indonesia, plus the many more unnamed islands in the archipelago.