After months-long closures from the end of March, sightseeing spots across Indonesia’s favorite holiday island are gearing up for an influx of domestic visitors.
Two of Bali’s most iconic temples are among the first batch of tourist draws that have just reopened in Tabanan Regency. Locally based travelers can now return to Tanah Lot and the lakeside sanctuary of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, whose pagoda-like meru grace the 50,000-rupiah note.
The pair of religious sites are among five outdoor attractions that began welcoming visitors this week. The others include the Jatiluwih rice terraces, which were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012 as part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali; The Blooms Garden in Bedugul; and the nearby Bali Botanic Garden (a.k.a. Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bali). The latter is the largest garden of its kind in Indonesia, and its 157-hectare grounds harbor what is said to be the world’s biggest collection of begonias.
According to online news outlet detik.com, Tabanan regent Ni Putu Eka Wiryastuti said a visitor quota does not yet apply as Bali is still in a transition period before “new normal” regulations come into force. He added that the regency government had only reopened these five sites as it did not want to rush the implementation of health and safety protocols across the board.
For now, face masks are mandatory, with visitors reminded to wash their hands frequently (or use sanitizer) and maintain a distance of at least one meter between each other. Those planning to check out the Bali Botanic Garden should reserve their tickets online through kebunraya.id.
Bali is gearing up to welcome domestic travelers from next Friday (July 31), while international tourists will be able to visit from September 11. All arrivals, regardless of whether they have flown in from abroad or other Indonesian islands, will need to have tested negative for Covid-19 before departure.