Dare to test the Bali Curse?

Idyllic Bali is just the paradise that couples, newly-weds and love birds would flock to, but there is the romance-killer dark side that may stop the lovey-dovey in their tracks.


It’s the Bali Curse that befalls unmarried couples who travel to Bali causing them to split up in a span of six months after their island sojourn.

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Old wives’ tale? Folk tale? Legend? Myth? There are those who swear by it. And those who scoff at it and dismiss it as utter nonsense. Trawl the World Wide Web and there are stories of real-life experiences by those purportedly cursed and accounts by those untouched by the jinx.


From accounts culled from the Internet, there are different versions of the curse, known too by different names such as Bali Curse, Bali Breakup Curse, and Tanah Lot Curse. This curse seemingly affects unmarried couples who travel to Bali on their own. Some claim that couples are only cursed if they have premarital sex during the trip. There are also versions that the curse only works on couples who visit the iconic Tanah Lot Temple.

Photo by Malorie Hibon on Unsplash


However, the story of the origins of the curse is one that remains consistent. It is narrated that a young prince and princess from Java visited Bali and the romantic sunset at the Tanah Lot temple turned out to be an ideal setting for a tryst. Little known to the princess, it was just a fling for the prince as he ditched her after that. The broken-hearted princess reacted by putting a curse that all unmarried couples visiting the island would break up after that.


As this Bali Curse became known, couples have been known to discard their vacation plans to play safe and keep their relationship intact. The charm of the island would be too much a price to pay to jinx their love life.

Photo by Niklas Weiss on Unsplash


I personally would not give credence to such hogwash until I learned of the experience of my friend, Annett. She and her boyfriend took a vacation in Bali in December 2018. On hind side, she recalled that several incidents happened after that trip, contributing to a rocky relationship and leading them to part ways – not six months later, but more than a year after.

Were they cursed? Annett couldn’t help but wonder!


Another friend, Ed, also shared with me that he took his girlfriend to Bali and they broke up a few months after the trip. Guys don’t easy buy into superstition. In the courtship with the new girlfriend, Ed didn’t give much thought to the curse and again went to Bali with her. Guess what, the relationship failed after that!


Was Ed foolhardy to tempt fate, twice at it too!


My good pal, Ker Yee, think not. She visited Bali with her boyfriend of two years in 2019 and till today, they are still a couple. She pooh-pooh the Bali Curse, saying that she and her beau built a relationship on solid foundation that old wives’ tales cannot shake it.

Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash


“We proved it. Curses work only on those who believe in fairy-tale relationships. Such make-belief is no substitute for efforts to mutually give and take; and practice patience, tolerance and understanding for lasting relationships,” added Ker Yee.


She is so right. I’m more prone to believe the break ups after being together in Bali could be more a result of ugly truths of incompatible habitual tendencies surfacing than to conveniently blame it on the curse. Couple vacations can be incredibly romantic and, at the same time, get testy for cracks in relationships.


Would I then put my relationship to the test? That will be another story. Watch this space to know whether I will bali bali* to Bali with the love of my life!


*bali, bali: Korean for hurry, hurry




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