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New Tourist Facilities At Bali’s Mount Batur Raise Questions Over Hiking Ban

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Bali’s Governor Koster recently announced a ban on all activities on the island’s twenty-two mountains in all but a very specific and limited set of circumstances.

The announcement triggered serious concerns among local residents, tour guides, and tourists. But as construction work remains underway to improve hiking conditions on the mountains, questions are being raised about the seriousness of the ‘forever’ ban. 

Couple Look Over Mount Agung From Mount Batur In Bali.jpg

During the initial announcement of the ban on hiking and other tourist activities in Bali’s mountains, Governor Koster said, “This [ban] is in effect forever, and local regulations will be issued to regulate everything. [The ban is] not only for foreign tourists but is including domestic tourists and local residents.”

Speaking to reporters late on Sunday, 11th June, the Head of Tourism for Bangli Regency, I Gede Putu Budiastawa, explained that construction work on new hiking facilities on and around Mount Batur remains underway.

He said that he and his teams have not been given any new instructions since Governor Koster stated the new rules to the media and that there had been no regulation change that would affect the plans. 

@tr4velwithmel A must do if you are travelling to Bali! We were staying in Ubud which was a great location to do it as it only took us an hour to get there! #mountbatur #travellingbali #baliwhattodo #mountbatur #mountbaturbali #mountbaturvolcano #mountbatursunrisetrekking #ubudbali #thingstodoubud #thingstodoinbali #traveltips #travelguide #guisetobali #balitraveltips #balitravelguide ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Budiastawa said that the Bangli Regency Government has a responsibility to use the special allocation funds from the central government for the intended purpose of building new hiking facilities.

The ban on hiking activities comes from the provincial government level.

Budiastawa said the special allocation funds must be used to build the resources as agreed to between the regency government and the central government during the funding tender process. 

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@tristankyro Replying to @Ashlee J442 doable for the average person! it’ll be tough but its worth it. and you dont have to go all the way to see the sunrise #bali #mtbatur #mtbatursunrisetrekking #sunrisehike ♬ Lights Are On (Instrumental) – Edith Whiskers

He outlined that the new hiking facilities on Mount Batur are to ‘increase the comfort for tourists doing climbing activities.’

As agreed between the regency and central government, a new hiking center will be built, consisting of two main buildings; an information center and an equipment facility.

This is in addition to ten small huts along the hiking trail itself that will serve as rest stations. The huts will be built using all natural resources and constructed in alignment with traditional Balinese wisdom in terms of exact location and positioning with respect to the sacred nature of the mountain.

The project has been assigned a budget of IDR 4.9 billion, which must be spent on this project and cannot be dissolved or redirected toward other projects by the Bangli Regency Government. 

@aylinkko__ Not a bad way to start the day 🤪🌋 #sunrise #mountagung #bali #balilife #explorebali #travelbali #travelinspiration #fy ♬ GIVE IT TO ME X PROMISCUOUS – ALTÉGO

Late last week, Governor Koster gave further statements to the press, giving more insights into the reason for his ban on hiking activities in Bali’s mountains.

Governor Koster noted that the tax revenue generated by tourism activities on Mount Batur and Mount Agung did not outweigh the risks associated with the potential desecration incurred by continuing to permit the public to have access to the volcanos. 

He explained, “Very few foreigners have climbed the mountain, mostly [domestic tourists]…Compared to income and risk, if the aura of Bali continues to decrease, the purity of Bali continues to decrease, then the attractiveness of Bali will decrease. If Bali’s attractiveness decreases, the logic is that in the future, people who will visit Bali will decrease.”


Nevertheless, Lake Batur, which sits at the base of Mount Batur in Kintamani, has just received a huge injection of funding.

From investment in cleaning up the water quality of the lake with the introduction of eco-enzymes to the development of three piers and floating jetties that give tourists better access to the lake, there have been over IDR 36 billion in investments distributed in the tourism facilities around the mountain and lakeside in recent months. 


Governor Koster and tourism authorities in Bali are on a mission to increase the quality of tourism on the island after an increase in the number of tourists disrupting the island’s laws and cultural norms.

There is also a clear directive from the Ministry of Tourism to distribute tourism across the whole island of Bali.

With this in mind, the hiking ban is also affecting mountainous tourist destinations like Mount Batukaru. 


Located in Tabanan Regency, directly north of the beachside resort of Canggu, Mount Batukaru attracts travelers keen to get off the beaten track and experience a more untouched side of Bali.

The Head of the Tabanan Tourism Office, Anak Agung Ngurah Satria Tenaya, has announced that work is underway to better guard the mountain.

He explained that new guard posts would be created to monitor the five main trailheads on Mount Baturkaru closely.

These are the trailheads at Sanda Village and Pujungan Village; then from Wongaya Gede Village, Jatiluwih Village and Sarin Buana Village.

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Monday 19th of June 2023

The funds have been allocated and have to be used for that purpose. That the monies could be spent elsewhere on environmental issues doesn't come in to play. Obviously the Bangli Regency aren't concerned by Koster's supposed ban. Extra facilities and rest stations may not seem necessary to some for a few hour's climb. But given the temperature and the physical effort they could play a large part in attracting more hikers. They will also a large part in policing safety, numbers and religious observance.


Friday 16th of June 2023

This is basic corruption scam. "we need this much for blablabla..." you can take the undoing then rebuilding of the wall along the beach in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak, the cost of the stalls and trees (triple from normal price according to the beach boys working there and stalls owners, trust me they know what they talk about) as a perfect example of how some cash in when a project is launched.


Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Quote "He outlined that the new hiking facilities on Mount Batur are to ‘increase the comfort for tourists doing climbing activities.’"

Highly doubtful. The trek takes only a few hours, so no need for fancy facilities. From reading google reviews nobody has asked for this. Instead they fear for their lives due to threats from gangsters and all tired about the high and random priced guide fees.

Let me guess, this project is to justify sky high entrance and guide fees? In addition to the usual shenanigans related to "projects".

Jayne Forrestsr

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Water quality, plastic and traffic are the obvious problems that will affect tourism long term. Is anything being done to responsibly control these problems? It seems lots of new regulations ignore the real and obvious problems. Are any leaders addressing this? My vote will go to them.