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Traveling Ethics While Vacationing in Indonesian Sacred Destinations

Traveling Ethics While Vacationing in Indonesian Sacred Destinations


Where the earth is stepped on, there the sky is upheld. This proverb is very relevant to be practiced by all tourists when visiting a new place or tourist destination. 

There was a viral news story about a foreign tourist posing indecently on one of the eucalyptus trees which are considered sacred by the Balinese people which eventually drew criticism from various parties. Because this is very contrary to customs in Indonesia, especially Bali. 

Therefore, as tourists, we must better understand the ethics of traveling somewhere. Of course, by respecting the norms and customs that apply in the area visited.

The reason is, in Indonesia itself there are several tourist destinations that are very sacred. So that tourists are expected to follow the applicable rules, so as not to violate existing norms.

Parekraf friends, here are the customs and rules that apply in some popular tourist destinations in Indonesia that must be obeyed:


Almost all areas in Bali are very sacred because they are still thick with customs and culture. In addition to maintaining politeness in speech and behavior while in Bali, tourists are also not allowed to step on or throw away the offerings used by Balinese people to pray. 

In addition, there are several famous tourist destinations that are very sacred in Bali, including: Trunyan Village, Agung Besakih Temple, Uluwatu Temple, Kayuputih Banjar Bali Tour, and many more. For this reason, it's a good idea for Parekraf friends to read the regulations that are often posted at several entrances or tourist destination counters in order to know and comply with the applicable rules.

Two young man from Inner Baduy Traditional Village at outer Baduy areas, Banten, Indonesia. (Photo: shutterstock/cahyadisugi).

Baduy Traditional Village

Until now, the Baduy people still uphold their traditional values. Therefore, tourists who come must also respect and obey the applicable customary regulations. For example, when in the Inner Baduy area it is not allowed to take photos and videos, even just turning on electronic devices. 

Then, tourists are also not allowed to use shampoo, soap, or toothpaste. The goal is to maintain the sustainability and clarity of water around the Baduy Traditional Village. If you violate these rules, tourists will be subject to fines and imprisonment behind bars.

Lake Ranu Kumbolo

One of the tourist icons in East Java, Lake Ranu Kumbolo is very sacred to the local community. This place is believed by local people to have holy water. In fact, religious rituals are often held at Ranu Kumbolo.

Because of this, tourists are required to carry out activities within about 10 meters from the lake's edge, including setting up tents. In addition, hikers who are camping are also not allowed to bathe or wash in Lake Ranu Kumbolo.

Hawang Cave

Located in Southeast Maluku, this one tourist destination is a sacred place. It is said that in Hawang Cave there is a stone that resembles a human and two dogs. According to the myth, the three creatures were cursed to be stone for uttering obscenities in Hawang Cave.

Therefore, tourists are advised not to say dirty words and maintain behavior when visiting Hawang Cave. For those who don't know, Hawang Cave is a unique tourist attraction. This cave is submerged by sea water so that a clear natural pool appears in the middle.


Apart from being ancient objects, several temples in Indonesia still function as places of worship. Such as at Borobudur Temple, Mendut Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Pawon Temple. Therefore, it is proper for tourists to respect tourism ethics when it comes to temples. Such as not committing vandalism, respecting community traditions, being careful in saying and acting, and paying attention to politeness in appearance. 

Yogyakarta Palace

This place is very sacred to the people of Yogyakarta, because it is the residence of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono, tourists are required to wear polite clothes when visiting the Palace. Tourists are also not allowed to wear Parang Garuda batik. The reason is, this pattern is a motif of greatness and can only be worn by the Sultan who holds the throne. 

Not only the above destinations, there are many other tourist destinations in Indonesia which are famous for being sacred. Therefore, before deciding to go on a trip, Parekraf friends are advised to look for information related to tourist destinations and taboos that apply in these tourist destinations, yes!

Cover: Landscape of ceiba pentandra tree in Marga, Tabanan, Bali. (Photo: shutterstock/gekkogallery).

Kemenparekraf / Baparekraf
Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf RITuesday, July 19, 2022
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