Skip to main content

Journalist Issues Stern Warning About Major Travel Changes in Bali

In most major tourist-friendly countries, visitors should have no problems traveling with a partner whom they aren't married to. Some places may be more strict about public displays of affection than the US, but at the end of the day, going back to your hotel with your unwed partner is no big deal. However, in Bali, that's all about to change. 

CNN reporter Max Foster took to his TikTok (@maxfostercnn) to share unfortunate news about strict new laws passed in Indonesia. Unmarried couples may want to scratch Bali off of their travel lists.

We can't even begin to get into how devastating this new law is, but we'll do our best to sum it up. Indonesia has just passed a new law banning all premarital sex and cohabitation outright, making violations punishable with up to a year in prison. The Indonesian province of Bali in particular is heavily dependent on international tourism, especially from Australia, and this new law will greatly restrict the number of tourists who can safely travel there, potentially devastating an economy that was just starting to recover from covid.

Moreover, this should be recognized as the massive human rights violation that it is for Indonesian nationals. This could potentially put thousands of couples at risk simply for having sex before marriage, or even just sharing a hotel room while unmarried. In addition, this is a massive blow to LGBT rights in Indonesia- because gay marriage is not legal in Indonesia, this new law effictively criminalizes gay and lesbian relationships for citizens. While this has unfortunate implications for tourists and expats, we should consider what a horrific blow this is for personal freedom and human rights for all those living in Indonesia. "A world going utterly mad in all directions," @forskning lamented in the comments.

"Welp, all those romantic proposals planners just started to make other plans," pointed out one user. "Was going to take my wife to Bali for her birthday, but we don't share a surname. Better safe than sorry, so Lake District it is," said @jimmylondon84. "Bali vacation went from bucket list, to “chuck it list”," quipped @therealannam.

Reports are saying that it will likely take about three years for the law to come into full effect. In that time, we hope something can be done to revise or eliminate these draconian laws- for the sake of all who visit or live in Indonesia.

For more WanderWisdom updates, be sure to follow us on Google News!