Explore

How to Visit a Balinese Temple

By Travel Noire

Share

A trip to Bali isn’t complete without a visiting one of the island’s 22,000 temples.  There is a mode of conduct and dress that Balinese temple-goers must adhere to.  Tourism has steadily increased to the ‘Isle of Gods’ annually, this increase of visitors to the island has led to a surge of travelers seeking irreverent Bali bliss.  Seemingly, respect for the local culture has waned.  In accordance to the rules of dress, many popular temples like Uluwatu and Tanah Lot hand out sarongs to the hundreds of daily visitors.  However, the smaller village temples that are encountered by a wandering motorbike of travelers do not have these resources or the manpower.  These temples are integral to the lives of the rice paddy and vegetable farmers that make their daily offerings and deserve the same respect as the larger, more popular ones.  Here are some things to keep in mind when entering a Balinese temple.

Dress and Act Modestly

Both men and women should wear clothes past the knee and shoulders covered.  A long sarong (kain kamben ) and a temple scarf worn around the waist are mandatory temple attire.  There is no need to buy a new sarong, the one you take to the beach will do. The Balinese frown on open displays of public affection, so keep the touchy feely stuff for the when you exit.  Other conduct tips to follow are:

-Don’t take photos directly in front of worshippers.

-Always give and receive with your right hand.

-Never touch anyone’s head.


Don’t Enter the Temple when Menstruating

Any woman on her period is considered impure.  If it’s any consolation, men with sores aren’t allowed either.  So any type of bleeding is considered impure.  Remember, you are a guest.

Don’t Step Over or Tread on Offerings

Small offerings called canang sari are often left on the ground. Palm leaves are woven into a small box and flower petals herbs, money, snacks are inside. These offerings are to appease the spirits. Be careful where you’re walking.

As long as you remember that the temple you are in is a space of reverence to the Balinese people, and treat it as such, your temple visit is sure to bring you the happiness and enlightenment you seek.

This story was curated by Diana O’Gilvie.

Share
Travel Noire

Travel Noire

A platform of cultivated insights from a global community of black travelers.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

8 Destinations That Are Perfect For Spring Break

8 Destinations That Are Perfect For Spring Break

Spring Break 2019 is just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning your week-long getaway. Here’s a list of some of the best spots around the world where you can enjoy your time off. For The Surfer Located just 45 minutes north of Lisbon, Pedra Branca in Ericeira, Portugal is a surfer’s dream. […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

Bali Considering Charging Tourists $10 To Visit

Bali Considering Charging Tourists $10 To Visit

A tourist dream vacation has to involve traveling to the blissful beaches of Bali to explore all its glorious wonders. Since going to Indonesia is said to be inexpensive, tourism has grown tremendously. This is causing a little bit of a problem. The islands are becoming a little overcrowded with guests, and those guests don’t have […]

Sharelle Burt

Bali Resort Bans Cell Phone Usage Poolside, Wants Guests To Be ‘In The Moment’

Bali Resort Bans Cell Phone Usage Poolside, Wants Guests To Be ‘In The Moment’

Some venues depend on posts from their guests to gain traction, but the Ayana Resort and Spa is putting a stop to it.   The resort in Bali is banning cell phones at the pool through a new program called “In the Moment.” The program calls for visitors to disconnect while they’re at the pool, banning […]

Sharelle Burt