2 December 2022

Tourist Faces Defamation Charges After Complaining About Catcalling On Gili Trawangan


A tourist was reportedly faced with defamation charges after calling out the catcalling she says she experienced on Gili Trawangan, a diving hotspot just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.


An Indonesian woman and former flight attendant recently shared a video on TikTok about being catcalled on the holiday island Gili Trawangan. The video has now been set to private, but it reportedly got 9 million views in just four days. It has been reported by Radar Lombok that in the video it was said: “[This] catcalling thing is not playing anymore. It also makes me emotional if I remember until now.”

“This is so fucking annoying. I’m really angry. I won’t be going back to Gili Trawangan again, to be honest.”

“Honestly, I’ve travelled everywhere, of course because I used to be a cabin crew, I’ve travelled to various islands, like Love Island in Gorontalo, Papua, Manado, Bali, even every month to Bali, because I love it’s with Bali. Every time I go to Bali I don’t have to be boring about the cat calling thing, because in Bali the people are that kind.”

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The woman also allegedly said (translated from Indonesian): “I never got catcalling in Bali. What kind of clothes do you want me to wear? But when I go to Gili yesterday, that’s so fucking disgusting. The catcalling is really amazing, it’s unbelievable.”

“Just arrived at the port, dragging the suitcase already has a lot of cat calling. Where are you going, sis, beautiful, beautiful; Do you want to snorkel for free or not, I’ll give you free snorkelling; Ms. Asking for your WhatsApp number; Ms. come here first, let me accompany you; do you want to accompany me? And they are so fucking annoying. But they don’t catcall Caucasians, they want Caucasians to use bicycles while wearing bikinis, they don’t care.”

“So if you ask, don’t blame the island, yes, the island is indeed good, but the people should change if they want tourism to progress.”

Later on she posted a follow-up video, which was captioned: “Hopefully the clarification I made can be accepted, I hope Gili Trawangan will be better and take action against these people, because honestly the island is very beautiful. Thank you.” In the comments section of this video she wrote: “The Minister and the local government have intervened. Thank you very much Mr. Minister @Sandiaga Uno [the minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia] may you always be healthy and blessed by Allah SWT.”

“For those who want to take advantage of my problems, remember that karma exists.”

The Gili Islands are a popular diving destination. Image: Getty

Her video also sparked lots of comments from other travellers, with comments like: “Is it true that the local authorities have investigated thoroughly? Want to go there [sic] so I’m afraid where is a solo traveler” flowing in.

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According to news outlet Coconuts (who appear to have sourced this piece of information from tribunlombok.com), “a resident who represents the North Lombok community, filed a complaint… with the West Nusa Tenggara Police over [the video].”

According to Coconuts, the complainant said the video suggested that North Lombok people are perverted and therefore damaged the island’s image as a tourist destination.

“What’s worse is that she claimed that the [harassment] was conducted by many people there,” the complainant reportedly said.

RELATED: The ‘Ugly Truth’ About Staying In An Instagram-Famous Treehouse

Coconuts reported in September that the woman was “now facing defamation charges.”

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This isn’t the first time a tourist has got in hot water by complaining online about a destination. Though a different scenario, an American man was arrested in Thailand after writing unflattering reviews about one of its hotels on Tripadvisor, angered by such issues as a $15 corkage fee and the way managers treated staff and telling other travellers to: “Avoid this place as if it was the Coronavirus!”.

Oh, and who could forget the time tourists tried to blackmail a luxury Italian hotel (not that this story about Gili Tragawan has any similarity to that) or the time two Australian tourists raised hackles in Venice by surfing through the lagoon.

Just another day in the life of tourism in this digital era…

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