Should honeymooners avoid Bali? Why is Bali called “The Breakup Island”? How to avoid the Bali Curse and hold on to your loved one after coming back from Indonesia? I will explain to you what this Bali Breakup Island Course is about and give you 7 ways to avoid. Just like any folk tale, this is some sort a lesson that is supposed to be taught here and you will that is more about taboo pre-marital sex than about cursed sunsets at Tanah Lot temple.
This article is not about scaring you from visiting Bali. I love the island and I believe that, if keep away from the touristy areas like Kuta, you can experience the Real Bali. See for instance my exclusive travel tips about 15 stunning, yet little-known, natural attractions in West Bali, or also my article about 15 unique luxury travel experiences in Bali.
If you google the internet, you will find lots of storied of nervous fiancés heading to Bali for a trip and afraid that their couple will not survive the Bali curse. First, let me tell you about this legend. Grab a cup of tea, sit down comfortable, but be ready to shiver and to be afraid. Have you got attention?
The Curse that made Bali the Breakup Island
There are several variations on this breakup island story. Basically, they all come down to warning young, unmarried people against pre-marital sex. The story has it that a Prince and a Princess from the Brahman caste, the highest one in the Hindu order, came to visit Bali from the neighbor island of Java.
While visiting Bali and watching a romantic sunset at the famous Tanah Lot temple, the unmarried couple had sex (“became intimate” as the legend goes). Sadly, one the Prince had taken the Princess’s flower, he left her and refused to marry.
Devastated and ashamed, the Princess became so enraged that she threw a curse on all unmarried couples visiting Tanah Lot: Should come here, then they would break up within 6 months. Thunder. Lightning. Fear.
1 Curse, several variations, still not pre-marital sex
But there’s more to it: Depending on what version of the Bali Breakup Island mysteryyou hear, the curse applies:
– to the whole island, anywhere you go, as soon as you set one foot on it ( = Don’t go to Bali)
– just to the grounds of the Tanah Lot temple, especially at sunset (= Dont’t visit the most iconic Bali temple)
– just to unmarried couples that visit Tanah Lot alone ( = The curse does not work if you come to the temple with the supervision of chaperons)
I do believe that, no matter what, Tanah Lot is still worth a visit 😉
The Bali Curse is getting trendy
Always eager to bring you real Bali information, I asked a Balinese friend of mine to do some research. He had to tell me what kind of local lore was behind this story. Strangely, we didn’t find anything online that’s would back up the story.
When I looked into a tool called Google Trends, I so that these whole body cursed thing has been emerging around the year 2010 and has been growing since, with a peak in 2013, as illustrated by the graph below:
If you want to read more about the Bali Curse and the Breakup Island theory, you can read these other blogs that tell the same story, not much proof or first-hand testimony either: Busting the Bali breakup myth, Visiting the land the Bali curse, Bali Curse, just a Myth.
So, how to make Bali a no break-up island?
Here my 7 personal tips on how help your relationship survive a trip to Bali :
1. Have realistic and shared expectations about the island
The first way to avoid breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in Bali is to set the right expectation about the island itself.
You would be surprised, but a lot of people come to Bali without even reading either a travel guide or a Bali travel blog. Couples may not have a good idea of what Bali is really like and some are actually disappointed when they reach the shores of the island.
It really helps to defuse tensions if you read up about the island before coming. For example, one of you could be very happy to party hard all-night in Kuta, while the other one would only feel happy at a full-day yoga class in Ubud. Kuta and Ubud are on the island, but cater to very different types of people.
To avoid the Bali breakup curse, make sure that your boyfriend and you agree on what you are both looking for in Bali. Bali can be many things, but you don’t want Bali to be synonymous with the end of your couple.
2. Research your Bali accommodations together to avoid blame games
It may sound trivial, but researching your Bali accommodations together is very important. It prevents blame games. What I mean is that if only one of you chose that villa that eneds up being a nightmare (dirty linens, no hot water, broken air-conditioning, etc.), you can be pretty sure that your other half will make his unhappiness quite clear.
Spending a great night in a great bed is key to a successful holiday. And I am not just talking about sleep. So, if things go wrong, you want to be sure that you had both signed up for this. This way, both of you will team up to find a solution. No blame game, no breakup.
3. Avoid temptations: Beware of flirty Bali cowboys and great looking Aussie girls
The Bali breakup island syndrome can also be attributed to too much beauty around you. I really mean physical beauty here.
For instance, your boyfriend may spend a long time on the beach watching all those young, cute, blonde Aussie girls playing volleyball. Those tiny Bintang tank tops can be quite revealing, indeed.
Similarly, your girlfriend may fall under the charms of the famous Kuta cowboys: These cowboys are young Indonesian males who hang up by the beach and usually use their surfing skills to seduce Western girls and women of all ages. Surfers meet gigolos types.
The best way to avoid temptation is to know it. I am not saying that you should run away from the beach, just that you want to treat it as a potential danger zone for your couple.
4. Do romantic couple’s things
A simple way to avoid the Bali curse is to do romantic things, you know, things that couple in love like to do to reinforce their mutual bonds. If you need some inspiration, you may want to read my list of the top 10 things to do in Bali for a romantic couple.
For instance, I give you suggestions like couple’s massages that can be quite naughty, respectable events like a royal wedding ceremony at the Kerambitan palace or even tantric yoga retreats for couples. Bali can bring a lot of spice to your food and to your couple alike.
5. Set up personal “me-time”
If you have been with your fiancé or with with your husband for some time, you know the importance of respecting your spouse’s “me -time”. For instance, you know how important it is to let him watch football games with his pals. Similarly, you know that your lovely wife likes to spend a few hours each week on her own, working out or running some errands.
Being on vacation together means that you will be spending 24 hours of the day together. For any couple, it can be a challenge. Bali can be disorientating, with all these colors, these sounds, this exotic food, and all the new experiences you encounter.
Give your partner some Me-Time. Before the trip, agree together that each of you will spend a certain amount of time alone, maybe every each other day, just recharge.
6. Listen harder
Bali is a new land for you. For your spouse too, and he or she may be acting a bit differently from usual. Back home, you know very well how to interpret the nonverbal cues indicating that your spouse is getting nervous or angry. But we the jet lag and the new environment, it may be harder for you to notice these cues. Or, your spouse may just be acting differently from usual.
So make sure that you are listening better and observing more attentively than usual your loved one. It will you foresee any breakup dangers.
7. Expenses: Agree on your budget before coming to Bali
If you read on blogs and forums about the infamous Bali Breakup Island syndrome, you will find that a lot of these stores are related to issues about expenses. On holiday, people may allocate their money very differently from usual. Or somebody can be surprisingly stingy when it comes to tipping local staff for who $1 is quite some money.
Before coming to Bali, agree on your overall budget and broadly on how you are going to allocate it: this much for souvenirs, this much for partying, this much for outdoor adventures. You do not have hire an accountant, before just running through this expense list will help you have a shared idea of how much you are going to spend.
In conclusion, I hope that you have now a much clearer idea of what the Bali breakup island curse is about. By using common sense and following my tips, you will avoid the curse and truly feel that Bali is the Island of the Gods.
– The temple of Tanah Lot is located right between my Umalas villa called Adagian and my beach retreat called Bulung Daya
– You do not need to pay any official guide to visit the temple, just entrance tickets
– The temple is a nice 30-minute scooter ride from Seminyak
Now, does this Bali curse affect gay couples as well? I don’t think so, as I could not find information about it. Now, I have a great post on the blog about the gay Bali, which can show how gay-friendly the island is.