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Badly behaved tourists prompt Bali to consider a mountain-climbing ban

Tourists could soon be banned from climbing Bali's mountains.
Tourists could soon be banned from climbing Bali's mountains. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
Published on Updated
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The popular Indonesian island is cracking down on badly behaved tourists.

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Bali has proposed a ban on mountain climbing in its latest crackdown on badly behaved tourists.

The Indonesian island is famed for its volcanic peaks and lush rice paddies. But visitors could now be denied access to sunrise hikes on the popular Mount Batur, and 21 other mountains, after a series of disrespectful incidents - typically involving nudity.

Last year, a Russian influencer was deported from the country after posing naked on an ancient sacred tree. In March, another tourist was ousted after a semi-nude photo of him on Mount Agung went viral.

The proposed ban is part of Bali governor Wayan Koster’s plan to curb indecent behaviour on the island.

Is Bali’s mountain-climbing ban being enforced?

At a news conference on 31 May, Koster announced the mountain-climbing ban with “immediate effect”, according to news channel CNN. The ban would reportedly apply to locals as well as tourists - except during religious ceremonies.

However, tourism minister Sandiaga Unoi later said the proposal was still in discussion and would need to be approved by the local parliament, UK newspaper The Independent reports.

A mountain trekking tour operator told National Geographic in June that they had not yet seen any changes on the ground.

What other rules and regulations is Bali introducing?

Tourists visiting Bali could soon be issued with advice on dressing modestly and acting appropriately in holy places under Koster’s plan.

The island has already introduced other measures to curb dangerous and disrespectful tourist behaviour.

Earlier this year, authorities banned tourists from renting motorbikes after a series of traffic offences by foreigners. Visitors are now encouraged to rent cars instead.

Controversial plans to ban extramarital sex in Indonesia will not apply to tourists, however.

While Indonesia is a majority Muslim country, Balinese Hinduism is the main religion in Bali.

The island is home to Hindu temples and sacred sites including Mount Agung, an active volcano revered as the home of the gods. It is one of four sacred mountains, along with Batur, Batukao and Abang.

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