They’re watching: Bali’s iconic Ulun Danu Bratan temple installs 36 CCTV cameras to catch out obscene tourists

File photo of Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul, Tabanan regency. Photo: Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry
File photo of Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul, Tabanan regency. Photo: Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry

As the saying goes: prevention is better than the cure. In the aftermath of inappropriate behavior by tourists at sacred locations going viral on social media recently, Bali’s iconic Ulun Danu Bratan temple has decided to install 36 CCTV cameras to discourage disrespectful behavior from visitors. 

A representative of the popular tourist destination in Bedugul, Tabanan said yesterday that the temple took the measure following the deportation of a Russian yoga influencer after she posed naked by an ancient tree on the grounds of the Pemaksan Babakan temple in Marga Tua Village, which is also located in Tabanan.

“We anticipated it earlier. We don’t want tourists taking selfies but disrupting the sacredness of a place, just like what happened in Marga Tua,” Danu Bratan temple’s spokesman Agus Teja Saputra said.

The 36 CCTV cameras were installed on various locations of the Danu Bratan temple in order to supervise visitors. While acknowledging that the cameras are there to prevent obscene acts, Agus said that the move is also necessary as the temple has been welcoming an increasing number of tourists since Bali reopened its borders this year.

“CCTV cameras are also useful to ensure the visitors’ safety, such as from theft,” he added.

Furthermore, six security guards will be stationed at the main temple. Agus also said that tour guides have been reminded to convey to visitors the dos and don’ts in the premises, including certain sacred areas that are off-limits.

Before the Russian yoga influencer’s controversy, a Canadian man was also deported for performing a naked haka-style dance on the top of sacred Mt. Batur. 

As Bali begins waking up after being dormant for two years due to the pandemic, cases of misbehaving tourists have become a concern. Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has addressed the issue saying the government will inform foreigners on proper conduct when visiting certain locations in Bali.

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