Bali Considers New Rules To Attract “Quality” Visitors After Tourists Disrespect Hindu Temples
By Rachel George
Bali is an island to see. Its cool vibes and serene beach atmosphere make for the perfect vacation for visitors. The island has 22,000 temples, including Uluwatu and Tanah, right off the edge of the water, which receive hundreds of visitors a day.
Some of the visitors have rubbed Bali authorities the wrong way climbing on sacred Hindu structures and posing in bikinis. They are considering setting new guidelines in order to draw in more “quality” tourists.
An image of a Danish tourist sitting on the Linggih Padmasana shrine at Puhur Luhur Batukaru temple went viral. According to Newser, the shrine is reserved for the most important deity in Balinese Hinduism, known as the supreme god. Sitting on it is regarded as highly offensive to their faith.
Other offensive behaviors that took place consisted of climbing on temples, structures and a woman posing in her bikini in front of the temple doing the downward dog yoga pose. The Bali local government believed the recent increase of visitors was negatively impacting the island.
Bali’s deputy governor, Cok Ace noticed a different “quality” of tourists than ever before. “It is because we are too open with tourists, so too many come.” Just last year, Bali received 5 million visitors.
The Indonesian Hindu Religious Council have instructed the police to investigate the Linggih Padmasana shrine incident and find the tourist responsible, enforcing their strict blasphemy laws.
Most sacred sites have a code of conduct and a dress code that individuals are expected to adhere to, including Spain’s Sagrada Familia.
These new guidelines are intended to preserve Bali’s culture and customs through the temples. The government is also planning to restrict tourist access shrines and temples.