From Russian With Love.

Russian presence in Bali.

Lately, Bali has had several new bulletins regarding foreigners. Lack of respect for traffic laws. Lack of respect for Immigration laws and a few more concerning things such as money laundering and fraudulent business.

Bali, Indonesia, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. In recent years, however, the island has seen a significant influx of Russian tourists, expats, and businesspeople.  Leading some to refer to it as “Little Russia in Southeast Asia.” Unsure if this is a good or bad thing, it is what it is.

It’s a relatively recent thing.

This trend has been especially notable in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted many Russians to seek refuge in Bali.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, Russian visitors to Bali have been steadily increasing in recent years, with more than 157,000 Russians visiting Bali in 2019 alone. This figure is a significant increase from just a decade ago when the number of Russian tourists was less than 50,000.

One of the reasons for this growth in Russian tourism is the increasing wealth of Russians, as well as their love for traveling and discovering new destinations. Additionally, the island’s proximity to Russia, combined with a favorable exchange rate, makes it an attractive destination for Russian travelers.

They are here to stay.

I am unsure if this is a blessing or not. Bali has been hit hard by COVID and the desperation from locals has shown. Therefore, the bending of rules and the sometimes one-eye closed approach has been favored for recuperation.

Moreover, many Russians have chosen to live in Bali permanently, setting up businesses, investing in real estate, and integrating into the local community. According to the Bali Tourism Board, there are currently around 5,000 Russian expats living on the island, primarily in the southern part of Bali, such as Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.

This Russian presence has had a significant impact on Bali’s economy and tourism industry. Many businesses now cater specifically to Russian tourists, with Russian language signs, menus, and services. Likewise, many Russian-owned businesses have sprung up, including bars, restaurants, and shops.

However, this trend has not been without controversy. Some have raised concerns about the impact of the Russian presence on Bali’s culture and environment, particularly in areas where Russians are concentrated. Others have also expressed concern about the legality of some Russian businesses, many of which operate without proper permits.

In the news.

Despite these concerns, Bali continues to be a popular destination for Russians, and the island’s tourism industry is likely to continue to benefit from their presence. For many Russians, Bali represents an escape from the harsh Russian winters, a place where they can relax, explore, and build a new life. As such, the Russian presence in Bali is likely to continue to grow, bringing with it new opportunities and challenges for the island’s residents and visitors alike. There will need to be some changes in Bali. Let’s hope the locals and the local government can navigate their way through this somewhat delicate subject of more and more foreign permanent residences.


Published by Zsolt Zsemba

Zsolt Zsemba has worn many different hats. He has been an entrepreneur, and businessman for over 30 years. Living abroad has given him many amazing experiences in life and also sparked his imagination for writing. After moving to Canada from Hungary at the age of 10 and working in a family business for a large part of his life. The switch from manufacturing to writing came surprisingly easily for him. His passion for writing began at age 12, mostly writing poetry and short stories. In 1999, the chance came to write scripts. Zsolt took some time off from his family business to write in Jakarta Indonesia for MD Entertainment. Having written dozens of soap operas and made for TV movies, in 2003 Zsolt returned to the family business once more. In 2018, he had the chance to head back to Asia once again. He took on the challenge to be the COO for MD Pictures and get back into the entertainment business. The entertainment business opened up the desire to write once more and the words began to flow onto the pages again. He decided to rewrite a book he began years ago. Organ House was reborn and is a fiction suspense novel while Scars is a young adult drama focused on life’s challenges. After the first two books, his desire to write not only became more challenging but enjoyable as well. After having several books completed he was convinced to publish them for your enjoyment. Zsolt does not tend to stay in one specific genre but tends to lean towards strong female leads and horror. Though he also has a few human interest books, he tends to write about whatever brews in his brain for a while.

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