Travelers keep falling in love with Bali and many digital nomads are choosing this beautiful destination as their base.
It seems like the time this Indonesian Province had strict entry rules for tourists during the pandemic only made it more desirable, and since entry requirements were eased last year, tourists from all over the world rushed to this paradise.
However, the government is not entirely content with this tourism boom and has been implementing new rules and major changes affecting international travelers in the last few days.
Why? Well, there are multiple reasons.
One of them is that certain travelers have not been behaving properly and it has been publicly reported: from wild tourists getting naked next to sacred monuments to visitors driving scooters without a proper license.
Also, Viral TikToks have also been affecting Bali’s reputation and showing polluted beaches, dirty streets, and poor infrastructure, and local authorities are working hard to change this reputation.
Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster has officially announced new rules that will affect travelers in the upcoming days, including a list of Do’s and Don’ts for tourists.
These are the three main changes announced:
1) Travelers Must Carry Official Licenses To Drive Scooters
Driving scooters is one of the most popular experiences in Bali and almost anyone could do it.
Driving scooters freely—wearing only swimsuits—, without a driver’s license and dealing with the crazy scooter traffic was among the most popular videos shared by digital nomads in the province.
While it is not legal to rent a scooter without a driver’s license, it became common knowledge that visitors could rent a scooter without an official permit as rules were pretty flexible and motorbike rentals were not obliged to verify if a tourist had a driver’s license.
Well, not anymore.
Travelers must have an international driver’s license or the local permit, a SIM.
According to the information shared by The Bali Sun, to ensure that rules will be obeyed, a Tourism Task Force has been deployed in Bali to fine violators, in alliance with the traffic police.
Scooters must only be rented from only certified scooter providers.
2) No One Can Step Foot On Mountains And Volcanoes
Governor Koster has made a more radical decision towards tourism activities in the mountains and volcanoes in Bali that will also affect locals.
As reported by The Bali Sun, It is now forbidden for everyone to visit any of Bali’s twenty-two mountains “unless there are religious ceremonies or disaster management and special activities that are not for tourism activities.”
This measure has been applied after foreign visitors were disrespectful towards the sacred mountains and nature.
Popular outdoor experiences like Mount Batur trekking are now banned, affecting nature lovers and locals that relied on these tourism experiences.
3) Visitors Can Only Stay At Registered Hotels And Villas
Travelers must be careful when booking their accommodation in Bali.
Officials in Bali announced there will be consequences for those staying at accommodations that do not pay taxes —including Airbnb, guesthouses, B&Bs, and guesthouses— and there could be investigations or raids taking place soon.
Tourists staying at official hotels and other registered accommodations shouldn’t have any problem.
However, it can affect digital nomads or villa renters that have arranged informal stays with friends, family or locals.
Visitors should make sure that the property has business credentials and double-check with owners that they have the right permits to avoid any risk.
About The New Do’s And Don’ts
Governor Koster had previously announced a list of do’s and don’ts for travelers and the official guidelines have been recently published.
Certain rules are just common sense for respectful travelers —but due to recent incidents, authorities thought they should clarify.
As mentioned in the list of “do’s’ ‘, tourists must respect sacred nature and religious symbols, as well as Balinese culture and its people, and dress accordingly when visiting holy spaces, in public spaces, and tourist attractions.
Other rules are related to the three main changes, and there’s also been a currency reminder: travelers must pay in Indonesian rupiah, use the Indonesian Standard QR Code, and exchange foreign currency at authorized businesses and banks.
Regarding the “don’ts” list, it has been mentioned that travelers can’t enter holy spaces in temples except for praying and wearing traditional Balinese clothes —women must not have their period.
Travelers can’t touch or climb sacred trees, pollute, or use single-use plastic.
Other rules mentioned just emphasize good behavior and want visitors to not spread hate speeches or act aggressively.
In general, these guidelines just reinforce existing laws and remind travelers to be respectful.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com