Is Bali safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

LGBTQIA+ travellers are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, plus queer or questioning, intersex or asexual individuals. It also includes those who identify beyond these commonly used sexualities and gender expressions. Everyone has the right to feel safe when travelling, and while Bali – and Indonesia – is generally a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers, there are some situations and issues that may present themselves to travellers who identify with one or more of these terms when visiting Bali.

LGBTQIA+ rights in Bali

As a mostly Muslim country, Indonesia's culture is quite conservative. Although homosexuality is legal in most parts of the country, there is still political tension and revisions to the country's criminal code are currently being considered, which could potentially criminalise gay sex and same-sex relationships. If these laws were passed, many advocacy groups fear it would result in a huge setback to human rights and equality. The LGBTQIA+ community in Indonesia has also been known to be targeted and harassed by police. There is increasing pressure being placed on the Indonesian government on moral issues, and in the past few years, public figures and politicians have been using anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric as a means to win votes.  Gay dating apps and media portraying LGBTQIA+ behaviour as “normal” have also been banned. Same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, and adoption are all illegal, and the lack of anti-discrimination laws means that discrimination and attacks against the LGBTQIA+ community regularly go unpunished.

Is Bali safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

Bali is predominantly Hindu and has always been more liberal and accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. That said, sex is a taboo subject in society and public displays of affection are still frowned upon for couples – whether they're straight or LGBTQIA+. It's unlikely that the issue of sexuality will come about while travelling here, but it's best to use discretion when in doubt. When it comes to room sharing for LGBTQIA+ travellers, it's unlikely big hotels will have any issues with same-sex travellers sharing a bed. However, if you're staying at a small, family-run guest house or homestay and are allocated separate beds, you might feel more comfortable not drawing attention to your relationship – though Balinese locals are generally very warm and welcoming towards travellers. 

LGBTQIA+ culture in Bali

There are quite a few LGBTQIA+ friendly bars, restaurants and resorts in Bali, and also an (unofficial) gay strip on Jalan Camplung Tanduk Road in Seminyak at the southern end of the island. Here you'll find a number of trendy gay bars, restaurants, drag shows and LGBTQIA+ friendly beach bars. Outside of Bali it can be harder to find LGBTQIA+ friendly establishments. 

Solo travel and room sharing

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know when you're booking your trip and we’ll arrange the rooming accordingly. There is also the option to book your own room on some tours if you don't wish to share a room.

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