Bali is banning tourists from climbing its mountains

The Southeast Asian country is a popular destination for its rolling volcanic hills – but now you could get deported for climbing them

Charmaine Wong
Written by
Charmaine Wong
Contributor, Time Out Travel
Hiking Mount Batur, Bali
Photograph: Shutterstock

Home to spectacular rolling volcanic mountains, vast paddy fields and some of the world’s best beaches, the Indonesian island of Bali is a magnet for travellers for good reason. 

But this popularity comes at a price. Thanks to reports of entitled foreign tourists misbehaving and disrespecting the locals (and the Gods) of the sacred mountains, the city has officially banned mountain climbing and hiking on all of Bali’s 22 mountains with ‘immediate effect’. This means no more sunrise hikes on Mount Batur – one of Bali’s most popular activities

‘These mountains are sacred and revered. If their sanctity is damaged, it is the same as degrading the sacredness of Bali,’ Bali’s governer I Wayan Koster said at a press conference on May 31, as reported by CNN. ‘This ban is in effect forever and is not only for foreign tourists but also domestic tourists and residents… (except) religious ceremonies or the handling of natural disasters,’ he said.

The ban comes soon after several cases of shitty tourists misbehaving on the islands. Last May, a German woman was arrested after stripping naked and crashing into a Balinese dance show in Ubud. In April, a Russian tourist was deported after posing nude on a sacred 700-year-old banyan tree, while another tourist bared his butt on Mount Agung to the wrath of the mountain Gods. 

Bali has also recently banned tourists from renting motorbikes, and the island nation has long been considering a tourist tax.

Despite positive responses from locals for detaining disrespectful tourists, local Balinese communities – especially those who make a living on these mountains as trekking guides, innkeepers and small business owners – have voiced concerns about how the ban will impact their business.

All this serves as a reminder for tourists to do as the Balinese would. And keep their butts in their pants.  

Did you see that this European country will fine you €36,000 for playing music on the beach 

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world. 

You may also like
You may also like