The Bali Breakup Curse: Are Couples Who Visit Bali Doomed to Split?

The Bali Breakup Curse: Are Couples Who Visit Bali Doomed to Split?

It might be a fave destination among young couples, but some believe that it's not worth the risk.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2019. 

I’ll be honest. Curses; myths; superstitions — I’ve never really bought into them. I recall the first time I heard about the Bali Breakup Curse. A friend was throwing out potential holiday destinations for a trip with his new girlfriend at that time. Naturally, I suggested Bali for obvious reasons; is there any other place on Earth whose landscapes are seemingly carved and designed by the gods for romance?

His reaction? Pure horror. “No way! Haven’t you heard of the Bali Breakup Curse?”

I hadn’t, which might have explained a few failed relationships as a result of a few Bali sojourns. Nonetheless, that led to a rather riveting thirty minutes spent on Google reading stories of nervous honeymooners recounting their experiences as well as its naysayers.

Also read: Bali Travel Tips: 20 Do’s and Don’ts That Every Tourist Should Know

What exactly is the Bali Breakup Curse?

Just like its name suggests, legend has it that all unmarried couples who travel to Bali on their own are cursed to break up. While you might initially scoff at the idea, you’d be surprised how many people (like the said friend) testify this to be true. Here’s the backstory: according to lore, a Brahmin Prince and Princess came to visit Bali from Java. While enjoying a romantic sunset together at the iconic Tanah Lot temple (pictured below), the royal couple got intimate.

bali breakup curse

Image credit: Photon-Photos via Canva Pro

It was the princess’ first time and soon after their encounter, the prince left her and refused to marry her. Yup, modern millennial-style ‘ghosting’ goes way back in history, apparently. In a fit, the devastated princess cursed the island, dooming all unmarried couples who visit to break up after.

As it turns out, there are a few different versions of the curse. Also known as the Tanah Lot Curse, the Bali Curse, Bali Breakup Curse, some renditions state that it affects unmarried couples who travel to Bali on their own, while others claim that couples are only vulnerable to the curse if they have ‘premarital sex’ on your trip. There are also versions (i.e., the Tanah Lot Curse), which solely apply to couples who visit the iconic Tanah Lot Temple rather than the whole island.

To get a feel of how legitimate the curse is — and what people actually thought about it — I did a quick poll through our TripZilla team. Here are some anecdotal nuggets I found! 

Testimonies from the TripZilla team

Image credit: Netfalls via Canva Pro

“It took three years for the so-called Bali curse to ‘work’ for my old relationship. I visited in June of 2006 with an ex, and parted ways with her around September of 2009. There were no signs of the relationship failing in the months after the trip, and that is why I don’t believe it. In fact, there was another contributing factor that led to the break-up… and that had nothing to do with the holiday to Bali, on top of the fact that it was way after our return.

In any case, I’ve never been a sucker for superstition, and I’d have no problems visiting Bali with my girlfriend of five years. If the relationship is built on a solid foundation, no folklore can destroy it — not even the Bali breakup curse.” – Sadat Osman, Senior Editor

“I’ve been to Bali with three of my girlfriends, and all three relationships failed. Not immediately after, but at least a good few months after the trip. I was a sceptic when I first heard about the curse, but now that I’ve had a 100% breakup rate after a Bali trip, I can’t help but wonder…” – Shafiq Hameed, Head of Video

“I’ve thankfully never had a relationship fail from a Bali trip – but one of my good friends went to Bali with her now ex-boyfriend and our group of friends. They broke up three months after.” – Anonymous

Also read: How My First-Ever Solo Trip to Bali Healed My Broken Heart

The Bali Breakup Curse: Should you Bali-eve it?

With Valentine’s Day only days away, the paradise island is set to welcome throngs of lovestruck couples. You might be one of them – but should you be worried?

Personally, I’ve known my fair share of relationships that have both failed and survived a Bali trip, which doesn’t seem to lend any credibility to the curse.

As for the strings of breakup stories that happen after a Bali trip, let’s face it: couple vacations can be incredibly romantic experiences. But on the flip side, they can also test your relationship if say, you discover you have completely incompatible travel preferences or end up with an overall underwhelming vacation experience due to poor planning.

bali breakup curse

Image credit: Pilin_Petunyia via Canva Pro

If anything, I’m chalking the curse up to an old wives’ tale intended to scare young couples. (Also, between you and me, it does seem a little convenient to blame the failure of your relationship on a trip to Bali…) As with any other vacation, if you’re planning a trip to Bali with your significant other, manage your expectations, do your research, be open to new experiences and enjoy the ride!

After all, it’s a truly incredible island brimming with so much history, culture and beauty. Hence, it would be a massive shame to rule out a future Bali couples trip experience.

Featured image credit: Oneinchpunch via Canva Pro

About Author

Sarah Khan
Sarah Khan

Loves travel, food and her (mildly obese) flat-faced exotic shorthair Khan Solo.