There is a classic saying, “traveling is like reading a book. They never really travel only by reading the first page.” That is what people say. But for travelers, especially for female ones, there are a few places in this world that are restricted or limited to be visited by women. How could that be anyway?

Actually, such thing has started long time ago. Probably it even have already existed since the human civilization started. It is not difficult to hear stories about women getting forbidden to do this and that, especially when it comes to spiritual factors. For example, they are forbidden to enter a specific places, forbidden to do particular activities, and such thing.

The main reason of it commonly is because women are considered “unholy” as women has a menstrual cycle (which is considered as being a dirty condition), women are considered to be able to distract men’s attention, and such things.

Lately, as the civilization and lifestyle developed, the rules to limit the eaccess for women have been reviewed and adjusted a lot, although there are some that still hold on their tradition to forbid women to enter some particular places.

Gathered from various sources, ladies, here are the places that restrict or limit access for women, including their reason:

 

Indonesia

Let’s start it off with our lovely country, Indonesia. In Indonesia, access limits for woman are commonly found in Bali Island, such as the ones on several shrines or beaches. Waaaiit, don’t be sensitive just yet! Most rules are not intended to all women in general, but only to women who are currently having their menstrual cycle.

That is perfectly normal, because most of those places are considered as holy places, while the women in period is considered to be on an “unclean” situation. By the way, it is not only the shrines in Indonesia that forbid women in period to step inside, because the shrines on India also do the same thing.

Besakih Shrine, Bali [foto: Sean Hamlin/wikimedia]
Besakih Shrine, Bali [foto: Sean Hamlin/wikimedia]
Besides shrines, there is also one beach in Bali that install a warning board so women on period do not swim on the ocean, it is Pandawa Beach. But actually it is not a strange rule, because it seems like almost every beach in Bali forbids women in period to swim on the ocean (although it seems like only Pandawa Beach that have already installed a warning board to forbid swimming for women in period).

Pandawa Beach, Bali [foto: 22Kartika/wikimedia]
Pandawa Beach, Bali [foto: 22Kartika/wikimedia]

Japan

Yes, In Japan, there are several places that forbid women to step inside it. One of the most famous one is Mount Omine. This mountain, that has already been recognized as World Heritage Site, is considered as a holy mountain. The restriction women to hike (or even to approach) this 1709-meters-high mountain has already been applied since 1300 years ago, and it is likely to stay like this forever.

The main reason of this restriction is because women is considered to be able to interfere people from focus worship …. on that holy mountain. By the way, there used to be some other mountains in Japan that forbid women to approach, including Mount Fuji. But since 1872, that rules have got soften, although Mount Omine still keep their tradition of thousands years.

Sign on Mount Omine saying that women are restricted to enter. [foto: zzzstandard/wikimedia]
Sign on Mount Omine saying that women are restricted to enter. [foto: zzzstandard/wikimedia]
There is another place when women are not allowed to enter, it is the sumo sport arena and women are not allowed to participate on that sport either. On ancient years, sumo sport is one of the activities related to Shinto rituals, so the main reason why women are restricted to enter the sumo arena is due to the perception that women is “unholy”. So what if there is a woman who want to enter a sumo arena? Then she needs to ask permission to the ancestors, which can be done through an Itako, a master of spirit.

Sumo arena on Ryogoku Kokugikan [foto: Yves Picq/wikimedia]
Sumo arena on Ryogoku Kokugikan [foto: Yves Picq/wikimedia]

Thailand

There is a shrine in Thailand, Wat Sri Suphan, which is one of the shrines to forbid women to enter the shrine itself. The rules applied on all women, either they are having their period or not. Rumor has it, the rule began when there were a woman on period came and prayed on this shrine (which was actually not allowed), so, in the name of justice, the rule is then applied to all women.

Wat Sri Suphan, Thailand [foto: holeinthedonut.smugmug.com]
Wat Sri Suphan, Thailand [foto: holeinthedonut.smugmug.com]

Greece

In Greece, there is a mountain considered as a holy mountain, it is Mount Athos. This mountain, which can only be accesed with ferry ship, also restricts women, both woman humans and human animals, to come visiting. Even the men who visit require special permission!

The main reason of this restriciton for women, is because women is considered to be able to disturb the concentration of the monks who are currently praying (there are about 20 monks on this mountain). Nonetheless, it is said that there have been several women who successfully sneaked in into the mountain.

One of the church on Gunung Athos [foto: Michael Clarke Stuff/wikimedia]
One of the church on Gunung Athos [foto: Michael Clarke Stuff/wikimedia]

Arab Saudi

Relax, don’t complain just yet. It is true that there are limit for women to visit the country, but that doesn’t mean that women can’t come inside the Arab. Women are still allowed to visit this country and get permission to enter from the government, as long as each of them is accompanied by a man who is her muhrim. But, don’t forget to be informed of what limits that are allowed and not allowed to do by women when visiting the country, because where the Earth is stepped on, that is where the sky is lift upon.

Red sand on Riyadh, Arab Saudi [foto: Ismael Cacharro/wikimedia]
Red sand on Riyadh, Arab Saudi [foto: Ismael Cacharro/wikimedia]

India

Haji Ali Dargah which is in Mumbai, India, is one iconic landmark of the area. This place was actually a mosque as well as a cemetery of Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. At first, women were not allowed to visit the cemetery as it is against the Islamic sharia law, thus, the restriction was applied.

Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai [foto: Ankit.minglani/wikimedia]
Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai [foto: Ankit.minglani/wikimedia]

Germany

The last place on this list is Galaxy Water Park located in Germany. Actually, not every rides at this park are forbidden for women, it is only just the sliding ride called X-Treme Faser.

The rule is applied not for a discrimination, but in order to protect woman. That is because there were a lot of complains from woman visitors that experienced injury on their “lower part” after riding it, thus the ride was then restricted for woman.

Galaxy Water Park, Germany [foto: 1.bp.blogspot.com]
Galaxy Water Park, Germany [foto: 1.bp.blogspot.com]

Please, if anyone of you want to add the list. Just to share the information…

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*All pictures (except ones with source information) were taken through creative commons. There were no editting from the real pictures. Name credits are based in wikimedia username.

 

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