Russian and Ukrainian refugees are fleeing the war to this island. But, it has caused problems in the Asian paradise
Many Russians and Ukrainians wishing to escape the horrors of war have flocked to Indonesia's most renowned vacation island ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin started a conflict in Ukraine last year.
Once Bali reopened in 2022 after Covid-19, over 58,000 Russians came, with 22,500 arriving in January alone this year, according to report.
Also arriving in the paradise of Southeast Asia were around 7,000 Ukrainians in 2022 and over 2,500 in January of this year.
Due to their large number of visits, Russians are now Indonesia's second-largest tourist demographic behind Aussies.
Despite a law in Kyiv prohibiting any males between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, a large inflow of Russians and Ukrainians have arrived in Bali. Similar to how Russia has enlisted reservists in the conflict, many young men have fled overseas.
Yet the refugees from the unrest in Russia and Ukraine have caused problems for the Balinese government.
Due to an increase in occurrences involving misbehavior and tourists who overstayed their visas, the authorities have asked Indonesia to cease its policy of issuing visas on arrival to Russian and Ukrainian nationals.
According to the article, a large number of tourists have escaped the fighting and are now employed illegally as hair stylists, tour guides, and taxi drivers. The majority of the events, according to many Ukrainians in Bali, involved Russians, and they feel unjustly that they are being treated the same as Russians.
According to accounts, a police official said that Russians are virtually invariably the foreigners who are reported to be acting poorly.
"When foreigners visit Bali, they act as if the law doesn't apply to them. This has always been the situation, and it must end at this point, he continued.
The majority of the fight is being waged around the world, not only in Bali.
There has been a significant increase of Russian tourists visiting Thailand's Phuket island, which is known for its beaches. To guarantee they can remain for extended periods of time, many Russian tourists purchase real estate.
A former investment banker from Russia who purchased an apartment in Thailand said that "life in Russia is totally different today," adding that "no one wants to remain and live in the heart of violence."
"Considering the potential of going back to Russia and receiving punishment is distressing... Thus, it makes sense to invest in a location that is safer and less expensive than Moscow," he said.