After being caught on camera riding a motorcycle in Bali without a helmet, drinking, and toting a big bag, a tourist received backlash online.
The Instagram account Bali Livin’ reposted a video that British traveler Anne Malambo had originally posted, and locals have taken to using it as a means of berating outsiders for breaking the law.
Following the deaths of three foreigners on the roads in their district this month, Buleleng police said just last week that they were going to be tough on visitors riding motorbikes.
Additionally, Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, told news.com.au last month that the well-liked vacation island was subject to tighter regulations.
The visitor in the video received backlash from a large number of social media users, both foreign and domestic, for not tipping the extra money for a taxi.
Others highlighted it was not only dangerous to not wear a helmet but also having so much skin exposed while riding on a motorbike.
“More foolish bule! It never ends!” one person wrote, using the name Indonesians call foreigners.
“She’s having the time of her life. Being young and carefree. Enjoy every moment and building memories,” said another.
A big rumor that tourists will no longer be able to rent motorbikes in Bali had been circulating for more than seven months until Mrs. Marthini set the record straight in October.
The “motorbike ban” or “scooter ban” first made global headlines in March after Bali’s governor Wayan Koster told media that unruly tourists had prompted changes that would see foreigners only allowed to rent cars from travel agents.
It was understood he had asked the Indonesian legal ministry to enact the ban.
But when news.com.au asked Indonesia’s Deputy Tourism Minister Ni Made Ayu Marthini during her visit to Melbourne whether the ban was going to happen, she said there was no flat out ban but rather stricter rules being enforced – meaning it will likely become harder for Australians to rent a motorbike in Bali.
“If you ride a motorbike, just as in Australia, you should have a helmet and a license for your safety as well as that of other motorists,” Mrs. Marthini said, referring to the country’s plea for tourists to respect its local laws and customs.
As for the crackdown on motorbikes, she explained “the laws have always existed, but we [are] just proceeding to push the enforcement of these laws”.
“This is for tourist safety as well as that of our Indonesian community,” she said.
“The laws do not ban tourists from renting scooters, only from renting them from unauthorized rental operators.”
Last week AKP Bachtiar Arifin, head of traffic unit for Buleleng Police, told reporters that changes must be made after three died in separate incidents in the regency.
“What is clear is that we will carry out outreach to rental services and hotels, including limiting and selectively using motorbikes, especially foreign nationals,” he said, as reported by The Bali Sun.
That outlet also reported hotels who provide motorbike rental services will be asked to take preventive steps including accompanying foreign guests on motorbikes.
He said police would “increase patrols in places where there are many foreigners” and “carry out law enforcement” if foreigners are found to be breaking traffic laws, including not having an international driver’s license or wearing a helmet.