The Balinese are truly friendly and courteous, even with so many tourists to their small island. They also are conservative, for tradition is the backbone of their culture.
- Menstruating women and anyone with a bleeding wound must not enter temples due to a general sanction against blood on holy ground.
- At temple festivals, photographs without flesh are fine but never stand in front of the seated priest, as one’s head should not be higher than that of a holy person.
- It is impolite and even rude to climb on temples walls to get a better view. You should not remain standing when people are praying, so move to the back and wait quietly until the blessing is finished.
- If Balinese kneel in prayer as a procession goes by, do the same or move out of the way. These events are holy rituals, not for benefit of tourist cameras, and due respect should be observed.
- Unless there is a set admission fee, it is common to give a small donation when visiting a temple. This is used to help with maintenance. So give what you can afford as you would to a place of worship in your own country.
- Don’t make an offer for something unless you intend to buy it. When bargaining, generally start at half the asking price and then try to get compromise.
- Shaking hands on introduction is common nowadays for both men and women. However using the left hand to give or to received is taboo (the left hand is for personal hygiene purposes), as is pointing with the left hand.
- Never touch anyone, even a child, on the head as it could be considered to harm one spirit. Crooking a finger to call someone is impolite, instead, beckon to the person by waving the fingers together with palm facing down.
- Anyone visiting a temple must tie a sash around the waist. As traditions vary on Bali, many temples require exposed legs to be covered with a sarong, especially if a ceremony is taking place. Visitors (especially women) with bared shoulders or exposed midriffs may be denied entrance, so be sure to dress appropriately. Some large temples provide sashes and sarongs that can be borrowed for a small donation.