Responsible tourism: tips on how to behave in Bali

16 January 2019

Indonesians have some unique cultural traditions that have nothing in common with the western culture. It’s essential to learn them before traveling to Indonesia. We’ll tell you some tips on how to be polite and respectful of Balinese people.

What to wear in Bali

Bali is the island with a warm and humid tropical climate type. If you want to feel comfortable in this climate, it’s necessary to choose the right clothes. The natural fabric is required and try to wear something with long sleeves while walking on sunny days.

In contrast, if you are going to the mountains, you should take some sweaters or jackets because of the extreme temperature day and night rates. And remember: no defiant or vulgar garment is allowed!

ph by  Artem Bali

Entering a temple

Hindu temples of Bali are the world full of secrets and mysteries. But they are fully opened for everyone at the same time. Temple rules for visitors are clear: the first rule is not to stand on the higher place than the priest.

The second one is to cover your knees and shoulders while visiting Hindu temples, sacred sites, or exploring small villages of Bali.

ph by  Artem Bali

The best decision is to wear a Sarong or some long clothes when entering a temple. Do take your shoes off when entering a temple or a person’s house.

It’s evident for tourists – you can see lots of shoes near each temple or public place.

Bali beach

You should always wear a swimsuit on the beach. Swimming or sunbathing topless (without swimsuit top) or naked is a rude impoliteness.

Sunscreen is also required.

Going on the beach, try to notice the signal flags, set there.

  • If there is the red flag - swimming is prohibited in this part of beachline
  • The yellow-red flag indicates that there are lifeguards on the beach and that swimming is allowed.
  • Two flags of yellow and red colors at once symbolize a warning about strong waves and limited swimming allowed.

ph by Harvey Enrile @harveyenrile

Be careful on the street.

Small trays of flowers, fruits, rice you can spot everywhere on the island are called canangs. It’s the Balinese Hindu offering to the Gods.

Try not to step on them and keep them aside.

Drink water in Bali?

Bottled water is a must-have on Bali island. Try not to drink water from the taps, even in hotels.

You should have some stomach disease after drinking it.

ph by Steve Johnson


There is a list of things and doings Balinese people should take as rudeness and impoliteness:

  • To stroke or touch the head of the Balinese man – the head is considered the sacred part of the body.
  • To show something or someone with your finger or foot is a manifestation of disrespect towards them.
  • To convey something in your left hand, in Bali, it is considered offensive.

ph by Wisnu Widjojo

You will be surprised, but everyone is smiling in Bali. You will start regularly smile in response recently, and you’ll get positive emotions while traveling Bali island.


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