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Changes in Indonesia's Visa Policy

Why the Change?

It's said to be too easy for foreign nationals to enter Indonesia, which leads to disorder and public disturbances.

Visa Policy Changes in 2023

Throughout 2023, Indonesia's visa-free entry policy for tourists has seen significant modifications. The visa exemption for 159 out of 169 countries has been temporarily revoked.

Background of Visa-Free Policy

Since 2016, Indonesia had a visa-free policy for tourists from 169 countries, allowing a 30-day stay under specific conditions.

Reasons for Temporary Revocation

The decision is mainly due to public order disturbances and health concerns, including the spread of diseases from countries not yet declared disease-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Recent Incidents in Bali

Recent months have seen various incidents in Bali involving tourists. These include reckless driving, working without permits, and conflicts with locals.

Official Statement by Immigration Authorities

In June 2023, the Director-General of Immigration stated that Indonesia has often encountered issues with low-quality foreign nationals. The ease of entry for foreign nationals into the country has been a concern.

New Decree on Visa Policy

On June 7, 2023, a new decree listed 159 countries whose nationals are no longer eligible for visa-free entry into Indonesia.

Countries Affected by the New Policy

This list includes countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and many others. However, nationals from 10 ASEAN countries still enjoy visa-free entry.


Bali's 2023 Tourism Surge: Everything You Need to Know

Key Statistics from the Year:

In July alone, Bali welcomed a whopping 541,353 foreign tourists, a 13.21% spike compared to June 2023. The total count of international visitors from January to August 2023 reached an impressive 3,418,907. This highlights Bali's incredible recovery in the tourism sector and its evergreen charm for global travelers.

Country-wise Breakdown:

Must-Visit Spots:

Bali boasts attractions for every traveler type. Among the favorites are Waterbom Bali, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Bali Zoo, Tanah Lot Temple, and Uluwatu Temple.

Don't miss out on Ubud, a hub for traditional arts and dance. Kintamani also offers breathtaking views of Mount Batur, Lake Batur, and picturesque temples.

Traveler's Guide:

Looking Ahead:

With the current trajectory, Bali is on track to exceed its 2023 tourism goal of 4.5 million international tourists as set by the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies. Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, has projected a minimum of 255,700 tourists from China by the year's end.

In summary, 2023 has witnessed Bali's resilience and unparalleled allure. The island remains a leading travel choice, captivating visitors with its rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking natural wonders.


Strengthening Bilateral and Regional Cooperation

In a momentous gathering on October 11, 2023, the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea converged in Bali. Their discussions were anchored on bolstering bilateral and regional cooperation. Both dignitaries celebrated the growing ties binding the two nations.

Bali's Vision: Attracting a Different Breed of Tourists

Bali is reshaping its tourism blueprint. Moving away from tourists inclined towards unruly behavior, the island now sets its sights on welcoming digital nomads, retirees, and wellness enthusiasts. To ensure the sanctity of its cultural and natural landmarks, measures such as visitor quotas, entry taxes, and prohibitions against specific activities like mountain climbing, motorbike renting, and touching sacred trees are in play. Furthermore, tourists will now be escorted by licensed tour guides during their exploration.

Nusa Ceningan: Bali's Best-Kept Secret

If you're looking for tranquility paired with luxury, Nusa Ceningan might just be the spot. Touted as one of Bali's under-the-radar jewels, the island is a haven of serene accommodations, chic beach clubs, and cozy cafes.

Unified Visions at the Archipelagic and Island States Forum

The Ministerial Meeting of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum on October 11, 2023, concluded with an agreement to foster unity and joint endeavors. A comprehensive document outlining the same will be presented at the AIS Forum Summit 2023 for further deliberation by the heads of state.

Green Tourism: Indonesia and Tonga Join Hands

In a leap towards sustainable tourism, Indonesia and Tonga inked a pact on October 11, 2023. This alliance, rooted in the AIS Forum's framework, aims at enhancing eco-tourism infrastructure, particularly in Tonga.

Bali Tightens the Reins on Disruptive Visitors

Preserving Bali's tranquil aura remains a priority for the Indonesian government. In a decisive move, stringent actions against unruly tourists have been put in motion. Those venturing to Bali must tread with respect and caution, as the government has set a target to pinpoint and address a minimum of 100 disruptive foreigners monthly.


Bali, with its ever-evolving tourism landscape, gourmet delights, and staunch commitment to peace, stands as a testament to dynamism and cultural integrity. Visitors, while soaking in the island's splendors, are urged to show reverence to its traditions and laws, ensuring a symbiotic relationship between the locale and its global guests.

Renowned for its captivating beaches and profound cultural tapestry, Bali has rolled out fresh regulations for its ever-growing influx of tourists. Aimed at safeguarding its treasured traditions and ensuring that every traveler has a respectful and immersive experience, these updated guidelines are essential reading for anyone eyeing a Bali escape. Here’s your guide to navigating Bali’s new tourism landscape, with an extra boost from the Balicard.

Honoring Sacred Traditions & Local Etiquettes
Bali now emphasizes stricter adherence to its deeply-rooted customs. Travelers are expected to honor the sanctity of Balinese temples, religious emblems, and the island’s overarching cultural aura. This encompasses dressing with modesty, especially within sacred precincts, tourist hubs, and public realms. Additionally, maintaining decorum, avoiding profanities, refraining from touching revered trees or ascending sacred structures, and ensuring non-disruption of local ceremonies are now mandated behaviors.

Lodging and Commute Directives
To streamline the hospitality industry and ensure rightful tax contributions, tourists are now mandated to lodge only in establishments possessing legitimate permits. Furthermore, if you're planning to ride scooters – a quintessential Balinese experience – it's essential to have a valid license.

Revised Entry Protocols
As per the updates on June 9, 2023, Bali has revoked its mandate for vaccination proofs for entry. However, a passport, valid for at least 6 months post your entry date into Indonesia, remains a non-negotiable prerequisite.

Restraining Mountainous Ventures
In a significant policy shift, mountain trekking, a previously favored activity, now faces a blanket ban. This change owes to a few tourists' irreverence towards Bali’s sacrosanct mountains and the environment. Presently, unless there's a religious event or an essential non-touristic activity, ascents to Bali's peaks are off-limits.

Leveraging Balicard for an Enhanced Bali Experience
Introducing the Balicard into this context provides travelers an edge.
This card, beyond being a ticket to exclusive discounts at various attractions and eateries, also doubles up as an information hub, offering guidance on these new rules, ensuring tourists not only save but also travel responsibly.

Wrapping Up While the newly instated rules might appear stringent, they are thoughtfully crafted to maintain Bali's intrinsic allure and rich heritage. Tourists, by abiding by these guidelines, can foster a harmonious and enriching Bali visit. With tourism continuing its upward trajectory in Bali, these proactive guidelines, combined with tools like the Balicard, promise a respectful and rewarding island experience.

Bali, an Indonesian gem recognized for its breathtaking beaches and deep-rooted culture, is also a surf enthusiast's dreamland. The island's consistent waves, tepid waters, and lively surf community have elevated Bali to be a prime haven for wave-riders of all proficiencies. From seasoned veterans to novices eager to embark on their surf journey, Bali's wavescape caters to every surfer's aspirations.

Prime Breaks in Bali
Boasting over 60 diverse surf breaks, Bali is a wave-chaser's utopia. Premier spots include Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Medewi. Uluwatu, nestled in the Bukit Peninsula, lures skilled surfers with its dynamic waves. Meanwhile, Padang Padang, often termed the "Indo Pipeline", entices with its robust left-hand wave. Medewi, conversely, offers a more tranquil vibe, ideal for longboard enthusiasts.

Historic Kuta Beach remains a go-to for novices, attributed to its reliable and manageable waves. Canggu, with its dark sandy shores, presents a spectrum of breaks fitting for varied skill sets.

Surf Academies in Bali
For surfing greenhorns or those keen to enhance their prowess, Bali extends a multitude of surf schools that offer meticulous training under seasoned experts. Leading the pack are schools like Odysseys Surf School, Rip Curl School of Surf, and Pro Surf School Bali.

Padang Padang Surf Camp, especially favorable for newcomers, integrates on-field practice, theoretical insights, and personalized video critiques to expedite one's surfing growth. Their lessons span multiple venues, chosen based on daily surf conditions.

Bali's Surf Ethos & Balicard Benefits
Surfing is interwoven into Bali's contemporary tapestry, cherished by both locals and expatriates. The island fosters a nurturing surf milieu, replete with surf academies, camps, lodgings, and dedicated outlets to guide enthusiasts.

Moreover, Bali's stature as a prominent surf hub is underscored by its hosting of marquee surf tournaments, such as the World Surf League’s Corona Bali Protected Surfing Championship, attracting global talents.

Integrating the Balicard into this surf narrative further enhances the experience. This privileged card offers holders exclusive discounts at various surf outlets, priority access to surf spots during peak seasons, and potential partnerships with surf schools for combined lessons or experiences. It's a tool that ensures not just savings but also a richer, immersive surfing journey in Bali.

Final Wave
Whether you're a surf aficionado scouting for fresh challenges or a newcomer set to embrace the waves, Bali's surf realm promises a blend of thrill and memories. Its elite surf locales, state-of-the-art training institutions, and spirited surf community, augmented by the perks of Balicard, collectively solidify Bali's reputation as a surfer's nirvana.