Bali: Island of Yoga, Surfing, Smoothies and Coffee | Tropical Paradise in Indonesia

Bali: Island of Yoga, Surfing, Smoothies and Coffee | Tropical Paradise in Indonesia

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Artists and IT guys, Australian surfers and Hollywood starts come here. Every house here has several shrines, and even small villages are considered 'kingdoms'. Many Balinese have never seen the sea, but they believe that spirits live in trees. This is Bali, an island in Indonesia, often called 'heaven on Earth'. What attracts tourists from all over the world to Bali? Why so many people come here for vacations and decide to stay forever? Hey guys! I am in Bali.

After the start of the armed conflict in Ukraine, a lot of Russians came here. Those who fear for their life or feel anxious being in Russia. In fact, many choose Bali to be their new home.

A lot of people from Russia used to come here to spend winter in a warmer climate, enjoy low prices and exotic fruits. So, a lot of stuff that you won't find in Russia in winter. Now Bali is not only seen as a second home for winter, but also as permanent residence. Today we will meet the Russians, who have been living here for many years and those who have just moved, we'll learn more about the relocation process, check accommodation prices and housing conditions.

I think today, when a lot of people are looking for a place to settle, this video will be useful. So, don't forget to give it a like. Leave comments, ask questions. I think, many people already living in Bali will watch this video too, I'm sure they'll be happy to answer your questions.

Bali is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands and a province of Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the north. Bali is located east of Java and west of Lombok.

The islands are separated by straits. The native Balinese are descendants of Taiwanese settlers. But the majority of Bali's population are natives of Java. In the 16th century, Islam started quickly spreading there, so Java's Hindus fled to the neighbouring island.

The first Europeans to set foot on Bali's land are believed to be Portuguese sailors, who arrived here in 1512. But it was the Dutch who controlled Indonesia for many years. Indonesian kings were economically and politically dependent on the Dutch East Indies campaign. In 1942, Bali and other areas of Indonesia were occupied by Japan. In 1945, having been liberated from Japan, Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands. Today Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country.

There are more than 272 million people living here. Around 4 million of them live in Bali. Another 3 million are international tourists coming to Bali every year. At least, these were the numbers before the pandemic.

A warm climate, diverse wildlife, developed infrastructure, unique culture and cheerful people - that's what millions of people from all over the world come to Bali for. It's always summer in Bali. There are only two seasons here: the wet one and the dry one. The average temperature is around 86°F.

Besides the ocean and beaches, there are mountains, jungles, volcanos and waterfalls. There's also a whole forest of monkeys here, for some reason adored by tourists. So, my friends, this is the monkey forest. And monkeys are the scariest beasts on earth! Because they look cute, like little bald dogs, you know, but they are actually aggressive, they are constantly stealing from people. They aren't scared at all, So they keep stealing. If you carry your phone like this, a monkey can pinch it.

So, guys, beware of the monkeys, cause there are a lot of cases when people get upset after taking a picture with these cuties. They are not as cute as they seem! Most often, monkeys steal sunglasses. Especially when people wear them on the forehead.

A monkey jumps on your shoulder and grabs your shades. They also steal purses, cameras, and their favorite thing is to take a phone when a person is holding it like this. And if monkeys get mad, they can even bite you! - Have you ever been bitten by a monkey? - Yes! - Are you serious? - I am! Besides monkeys, there are other dangers for a cameraman in Bali. In fact, guys. filming in Bali is not that easy.

You see, nobody cares about pedestrians here. So, right now my cameraman is risking his life for you! There may be a an open manhole behind him, or a tree. Watch out! A convenient way to get around here is... I actually don't know one. Maybe a scooter, but it's not very comfortable.

You can go by car, but you'll be stuck in endless traffic jams. There's no adequate public transport either. So, pedestrians must suffer here. Now I am going to be the one risking life.

A couple of words about the architecture. There's an amazing contrast in Bali: on the one hand, there are great religious buildings here, all those shrines, temples - everything is so beautiful. Aesthetically, it looks great! A pleasure for the eye. On the other hand, if we look at the commercial buildings, all these cafes, small shops, etc, it's a hell.

So, it's really hard to find a place like this here, that would look nice. The only good thing about it is that these houses are built from some lousy materials, so all these constructions are temporary. I mean, they are easily dismantled and you can build new shops on their site. So, maybe one day they'll build something nice and leave it like this forever. Here's another advantage of the local climate: it's stable, so it never gets cold. And you know that cold is bad for architecture, because houses need insulation, heating systems and so on.

It's really expensive, as all materials react differently when the temperature drops below 32°F. So, if you're lucky enough to be living in a place where the temperature doesn't drop so low, construction materials are so much cheaper for you! You can literally live in a straw house here, and you will be fine. Building is cheap and fast here.

So, when you look at local villas, that cost around $100,000-150,000, you should understand that building a house with the exact same design in Moscow will be 3-4 times more expensive. That's why in Europe we build, or at least we try to build, houses that last longer, - Hello, kids! People in Bali are very friendly, by the way. So, here they can just decorate some shack, then demolish it a year later. - Welcome to Pison! This is one of the best coffeeshops in the world! Not only in Bali, but in the world! If you come to Bali, you just have to try the best coffee ever! You know what they say, "Life is too short to drink bad coffee". Despite amazing climate and wonderful nature, Bali wasn't always a touristy place.

Artists and film directors were the first to appreciate the beauty of the island. In the 1930s, Balinese landscapes started appearing at art exhibitions in Europe. And in 1932, an American documentary 'Virgins of Bali' was released, in which women of the island were depicted naked. A lot of Hollywood starts got interested in Bali after that. For example, Charlie Chaplin liked spending vacations here. In the early 1960s, a lot of Australians started coming to Bali, and a lot of hotels were built on the island.

In 1970, Bali's first international airport was opened. However, the 21st century was hard for the tourism industry of Bali and the economy of Indonesia in general. In 2020, Indonesia was closed for almost two years due to Covid.

Just last year tourists had to quarantine for 2 weeks on the arrival. But now the island is getting back to life. Quarantine and other restrictions have been lifted. Yegor was born in Vladivostok, Russia. He says he has always dreamed of living abroad.

He started with Thailand and spend two years there, but then he got bored and moved to Bali. In total, he has been living in Bali for five years now. - Here I found what I was missing in Thailand. - For example? - The infrastructure, interesting people, networking, opportunities for growth, etc. I mean, there was less of it in Thailand. At least from what I saw in Thailand, who I worked with, who I met there, I knew there were few opportunities for me.

- Wait, what opportunities are there in Bali? People think that in Bali you can just relax by the pool, drink cocktails... - This is a misconception! People come to Bali thinking that everybody is just chilling here. That's not true. In fact, there are a lot business people here, that are easy to meet, to connect with. You can simply meet them at cafes.

I personally got to know a lot of interesting people here. I get to work with different celebrities here, while in Moscow I didn't have these opportunities. - How do you like the locals? - The locals are great! Both the Russians who live here, I mean people from East Europe, they are mostly cool! And the Balinese are great too. I get along well with them, we laugh together, they are fun. - They are said to be very agreeable. - They are! Even if something happens, like if you hit their scooter with yours, if you get in an accident, they will be like, "Oh sorry, hi there!" They won't get confrontational with you.

- For me this is very unusual. We were at the restaurant, and I wanted to film there. And i though, "Here we go, they'll get angry now" So I thought I should hide my camera not to provoke them. But in reality, nobody cared. You can openly film everyone here. - Exactly! You can ask them to say 'Hello', and they'll say "Hello". People here are like... how do I put it?

They do not feel threatened by you or your camera. Our people would go like, "What are you filming for?" "Are you spying on us or something?" You know, things like this. And people here don't assume anything bad about you, - How much money do you need to live a comfortable life in Bali? Like, to a middle-class youth.

- $1,500. That's the average. You can rent a villa, by the way, accommodation in Bali is really cheap.

And you get used to it. So, when I go back to Russia, I literally cry when I see rent prices there. I could rent a two-bedroom villa with a pool for $700.

To live a comfortable life with my wife, for example. I used to have a villa like this. Then, a motorbike. That would be around $80 a month. Then, food. And it will be a large share of your expenses.

Because there's a cult of restaurant dining. Here, everybody eats out. At least me and all my friends, we work at cafes, we eat at cafes, we hold meetings at cafes, we do everything there. I would say eating out costs me around $700 a month. We are going to a local supermarket.

Let's see how much groceries cost in Bali. We've chosen not the cheapest supermarket, but there's a large selection here. Locally-produced items are the cheapest ones, like meat, fish and fruits. While, for example, raspberries don't grow in Bali, and it shows, if you look at the price tag.

This little box of 4.6 ounces of raspberries costs 73,000 rupiahs. - That's around $4. - It's a lot.

- All berries in Bali... Basically, there are no berries here. Mozzarella is 180,000 per kilo, or 2.2 pounds. Parmesan - 400,000. Fillet is 300,000 per kilo. A strip steak is 3.50 350,000 rupiahs, I mean.

Salmon is 460,000 per kilo. 460,000 rupiahs. A piece like this. That's convenient if you cook only for yourself. You just have to get a small piece, so you don't waste. A kilo of potatoes is $1.5.

A carton of milk is $2.5 A dozen eggs - $1.30 They even have drip coffee here! A box of 8 sachets is $3. Of course, you won't get good quality for this price. Well, high price doesn't guarantee anything either.

Listen, guys... This "Kopi Luwak" is just a tourist scam. They are simply selling you bad coffee for twice the price. - Just because it comes from the butt! Exotic, right? So, the fermentation does not occur naturally... I mean, it goes naturally, but in the stomach of the luwak.

So, there's a lot of hype around it, but I don't recommend it. I'm only taking it to check how they make sachets for drip coffee. - So, look, if you want a simple nanny, it'll be $400. If you want one with certificates and stuff, that'll be $600.

A cook is like $500 a month. - After the start of the war, are there more people coming here? - Yes, of course. A lot of people have come here, including celebrities. And they all come to stay here permanently.

Business visa is one of the most common options to come to Bali. This visa doesn't allow you to start business in Indonesia, but it allows you to come to Bali frequently for your business meetings. It's not very convenient if you plan to live here for a while, because you can't stay in the country for more than 60 days in a row. Meaning that you'll have to leave and re-enter the country every two months. Remote workers usually go for tourist, social and business visas, as they don't earn money FROM the island. They are people from IT, online teachers, copy writers and so on.

Basically anyone who can work online. For those, who wants to work or launch business in Bali, there's a work visa, called KITAS. There's also retirement visa KITAS for people over 55 years old. They can't work with it, but they can enjoy the warm climate for a whole year. And family visa. For those married to Indonesian nationals.

Before getting KITAS, you should obtain a work permit with your job specified in it. So, if your permit says you are a photographer, you can't work as an English teacher with it. This is strictly monitored in Indonesia, and the violator may even face deportation. In fact, the jobs that foreigners can do in Indonesia are limited.

They are mostly teachers, instructors or some creative professions. So that foreigners won't create competition to the locals. Despite the threat of being deported, around 70% of foreigners working in Bali do it illegally. Until recently, there was a scheme of Russians snitching on Russians. - People usually find clients in chats.

They make advertisements about beauty treatments, photography, video-making, etc. Then they get a message from a Russian-speaking account, "I'd like to get your service. Come to this address". And when the person comes to the address, there's a trap: the police is already there to deport them. - What's the point? Why Russians do it? - Why they do it? First, because of competition. Second, to get some cash. Just a year ago, there was a scheme here: they would arrest illegal migrants, set them up, like plant drugs or something and then extort money.

It cost around $20,000 to pay off. - Wait, who extorted money? Policemen or who? - In tandem. So, both the policemen and the Russian guys. The police would arrest them, then the Russian guys would show up "to help", so to say. And they would demand money from these people.

Thanks to the efforts of the Russian community, the extortionist was eventually arrested. But immigration infraction is not the only thing one can be deported for. Also for disrespecting local traditions and nature.

For example, last year Russian blogger Sergey Kosenko was deported for publishing a video of him riding a scooter off the pier into the ocean. And, recently, the Balinese were outraged by the photos of Alina Fazleeva Three years ago, the girl posed naked on a sacred 700-year-old tree in Babakan. First, she and her husband were forced to apologised to the tree and then deported. - Disrespecting nature. What else? Entering a temple without sarongs.

That's one. - But you won't be deported for that, will you? - Not always, but, for example, if you start arguing with them in the temple, like, "That's my culture! I'll wear whatever I want" They can call the police and you may be deported. If you are being disrespectful with them, they can deport you. They are very, very sensitive about their religion here.

They are very protective about it. For what else people have been deported... An OnlyFans model went to the Mount Agung to shoot her content. You know, adult content. She was arrested shortly after. - It's a sacred mountain, isn't it? - Yes.

And they were arrested. Today, a lot of migrants from Russia and Ukraine protest against the war in different countries around the world. And Indonesia stays neutral in Russia-Ukraine conflict.

So, political activism is not welcome here. When Russians and Ukrainians organised an anti-war rally, although local authorities warned them not to hold any rallies, so when our people took to the streets, some of them eventually got deported. For breaking the rule. Don't want deportation? Don't go to rallies.

As I am speaking with Alex, we are heading to the house of his kids' nanny to see how the Balinese people live. On our way we met a local farmer and a waste sorter. - I work nearby, I grow and sell rice.

- Is this your land? - No I'm the manager. I take care of it. But I'm not the owner. - How much do you earn? - 3 million rupiahs a month. - So, you grow rice, sell it and get 3 million a month? - That's right.

- And what's that? - Garbage from Pejeng village is brought here. - And what do you do with it? -We sort it here, separate plastic and other things, and then it is transported to Java Island for recycling So, they sort and recycle waste here! Alex is going to show us some non-touristy places in Bali. Like this temple hidden in the woods.

It never gets crowded here. - This is a more recent construction, it was built by the Hindu. And this cave complex over here, nobody knows when it was built and by whom. So, look at those round holes. Can you see them?

They used to be pillars. And that's soil erosion. - I see. It's about 1.6 feet deep, that was washed by the rains. I am not sure how long it takes to wash away such a thick lawyer of ground, but I guess this construction must be several thousands years old. Dangerous descent! Watch your steps! A question that comes to my mind when I'm walking down these steps is, how good is the medicine here? - If you have money, it is good, don't worry.

If you don't, it's really sad. - What money are we talking about? What if you fall down now and break your leg? - I'll use my insurance. I can go to a good hospital with it, and have everything done there. - How much is your insurance? - Here I pay around 40-50 dollars a month. - What about those who don't have the insurance? What if I have a toothache? - If you go to a local clinic, it'll be cheap, but it will cost you your tooth.

And if you go to a normal clinic, you'll be charged around 200 dollars for a filling. - By the way, where were your children born? - Here. - Here, in Bali? - Yes. The hospital was pretty good. - How much does it cost to give birth here? - It was 2,000 dollars.

We had a hospital room for 3 days. So, we gave birth and spent two more nights at the hospital. Good hospital, good equipment, nice doctors.

True professionals. They were very responsive, gave us a lot of advice. Everything was great. We are only 15 minutes drive away from Ubud, walking around the jungle. There's some abandoned temple here, waterfalls, nature... And absolutely nobody around.

To sum up, it's amazing here! You'll find heaven on Earth, if you don't follow the usual tourist route. Just watch out for scooters on your way here, okay? Here we are! With some gifts! We never show up empty-handed! The idea of this entrance is that you won't be able to enter if you come home drunk. You'll just have to sleep here. Finally, we are at the house of Alex's nanny. Her name is Wayan. Before you get to the house itself, you should pass by the outdoor kitchen and the garden. - This is the house already? - No, that's the kitchen.

- It's outdoors. - Of course, it's outdoors. - They've got a gas stove here, with a small gas tank. And they are cooking something... something tasty! That's a cute kitchen. And I like the jungle around.

- And I would say, this is a mediocre house. Not a poor one, but not rich. - I'm just saying, with all these plants it looks incredibly cozy. - That's common for the Balinese. When you drive in their villages, you see carved doors everywhere, plants, flowers, beautiful trees and so on.

I mean, they really care about it. - Look, they are all in pots. I can imagine how some of our viewers are shocked now, when they are struggling to keep their only plant alive, this lady here has so many plants flourishing, blossoming. That's amazing, that's so beautiful! - In this sense, you can understand why the Balinese are so relaxed. They have food. They put a stick in the ground, 6 months later it's a papaya tree. They always have rice.

They have an agreement here that if someone is run out of food, they can take some from their neighbours without even asking. That's how they eliminated the fear of starvation of the locals. So, there's a large area where members of the same family build their houses. For example, when the son gets married, they build a house for him, where he will live with his wife.

And, basically, yards like this can have 10-15 houses. When you enter, you'll see that the space closest to the Mount Agung is taken by the shrine. Then you'll see the residential area. And the furthest part is for the bins and the kitchen. Every household here must have a shrine and a special place for ceremonies. Rituals play an important role and make up a significant part of the budget of the Balinese.

- This is our family house. We live here together with my in-laws. No matter how many siblings you have, we always stay together. If you have money to move, you can! If not, we stay with our family.

No matter how many we are. This whole place is our home. We call it Bali Daheen. That's where we hold ceremonies, like weddings, for example.

And over there, it's our temple. Our family temple. We pray there everyday or every six months. Each house has a temple here. Everywhere in Bali, they are made in the same style. Like here.

This place is for ceremonies. Or when somebody dies. We spend 10 million rupiahs to cremate one body. - 10 million for a body? - So, if your monthly income is one million, you have to work for one year to afford cremation. This is very expensive. - It is.

I earned 900,000 last month. My income is declining due to coronavirus. And my husband earns a million a month.

That's enough to pay for the electricity, water, Internet... - And how much did you earn before coronavirus? - 1,100,000 rupiahs. - That's your salary. And what about your husband?

I know he makes good money from photography. - Yeah, with the photos he gets a little bit more: around 3 or 4 million. - In a day or in a month? - In a month.

Even the most ordinary Balinese houses have lavishly decorated exterior making them look like shrines. But from the inside, they are pretty simple. Look! It's so fancy from the outside, and so simple inside. - Yes, usually families sleep together on the floor.

Although the house might look complicated at first glance, in terms of architecture, you should remember that the local climate allows you to build houses without any insulation or heating. Moreover, there is no air conditioning system in this house. So, it's just a one-block wall, you can see the rafters on the roof, shingles are ceramic. Unlike metal ones, they don't heat up in the sun, that's why they use ceramic shingles everywhere in Bali, it keeps the house cool. - There's a problem with humidity here. The house is filled with mold.

- Yes, I can see that. Moreover, it seems that bugs have their own life over there. - Yes, there are tons of ants and cockroaches here. - Overall, the construction is pretty simple.

Before we left, Wayan treated us to a local tofu dish. - They leave it for a couple of days, then they press it into bars, cut it and fry. It's an interesting taste, right? - Yes. - And it costs almost nothing. - Very tasty. And nutritious.

- Very nutritious. Basically, it's pure protein. - Tofu, tempeh is one of the staple food here. For those with money, it's chicken.

It turned out, we grabbed a bite before hitting the road for good reason. Due to the collapse on the road, the way back took us longer than planned. - Every wet season it pours so much that the roads are washed away. - The road collapsed! - There's no way to go now! The detour is about 10 miles longer.

- How long will it take them to fix it? - I think a couple of years will be enough. - For real? - Maybe three years. - They will be repairing it for two years? - I think so, yeah. On our way we came across many interesting things again, like this carpentry workshop. - Here they cut the initial shape, polish it, then they burn it somehow.

- So, this is a manufacture of hand chairs. - These guys earn 2-2.5 million a month. That's around 150-200 dollars. - So, they work here all month just to get 150 bucks. And this is their final product. A hand chair.

To find out what housing you can get in Bali I went to visit some Russian guys who live here. Some get affordable houses for around $250 a month, others spend over $5,000 monthly on accommodation. - So, this is your house? - Yes, we are in the middle of Ubud, and this is my house. So, I actually live... with a Balinese family, you know. The Balinese always live in clans, so to say. So, there are several families here.

And they've got a spare house. So, I live with them, in that house. You are going to see it now. Now we are going to pass by the family itself, so you will see them also. Don't forget to say 'hello', okay? - Hello! It's my friend from YouTube.

- You would've never guessed it, but this is the entrance to my house. - Wait, THIS is your house? - Yes, the entrance... No, not this one! - I thought you have a whole palace! - No, let me show you the entrance. Here.

Here we are. You can leave your shoes here. - Houses here are not like in Moscow or in Russia in general. They don't have heating or strong foundation. They all look like summer houses. Here you can work or have a meal.

- So, basically, it's like a living room and a kitchenette. - Yes. - Alright, let's go further! Where did you get a cat from? - I found it in the street around three years ago. I have two cats actually. I took them as kittens.

- Wow! - And this is my little nest. - I'd say, this is an affordable option, since there's only room here. Usually houses here have two and more rooms, you know.

I used to rent a villa with two rooms for 700 dollars, but then, when rouble exchange rate slumped, I got scared and I decided to move to a cheaper house. Maybe I got too scared, but at least now I don't have to worry about what might happen. - How much is this place? - Between 200 and 300 dollars. Around 250.

- Do I get it right: your window view is their grandmother's grave? - You're kidding? That's a temple! - That's a temple? - Of course, it is. Every family in Bali has their own temple. In fact, all supermarkets and malls have their temples too. This temple is next to my house. They leave offerings to me every morning. Okay, fine. Not to me, to their Gods. Now we are at the villa that costs 5,000 dollars a month.

And it used to be 15,000 a month. - That's what they say... - So it must be one of the best villas in Bali.

- It is located kind of in the centre... but not really. You will see. Also, it was designed by famous architects. - This is more of a country style, not something glamorous. - Okay, let's go! So cool! - We are in the very centre and this is the view we have. When the sky is clear, you can see Agung.

And the sun rises over there. For us it's important to see the sunrise. Very important. So we were only considering villas facing the sunrise. - Very cool! - And this is the very centre.

- Very cool! - We chose this villa because of the second floor. - Let's explore the second floor then. - This is where we wake up. We don't need any alarm clock, we just wake up naturally, before dawn.

My wife and I watch sunrise together every morning. This is so precious. And when I saw this table, I knew we were going to stay here.

Since I work for myself, I spend a lot of time on my laptop sitting here. I record meditations here. House cleaning is great here. They clean everyday, seven days a week. Today's Sunday and they are coming to clean the house today too. In fact, this is a hotel, where you can have a normal room or a little villa.

I live in one of those villas. It costs... the Indonesians haven't decided yet how much it costs. When I moved in, it was 12,5 million rupiahs. - That's 1,000 dollars.

- Yes. - A month? - A month. - The next morning, it was 24 million already. We eventually agreed on 17 million.

- So, your accommodation costs you 17 million. That's around 1,500 dollars. - Something like this, yeah.

- Per month. - Yes. - Let's take a look! - Hi! - Say hi! - Can I have a look? So, it's like a hotel room? - Kind of. But there are also regular rooms here, but we have a separate entrance and, like, this area over here. That's why our room is called 'villa'. - So, it's like a huge hotel room.

Basically, just a bedroom, but it fits... how many of you? If not enough, we'll get you more! Can I live with you? - Vanya, can he? - Yes! - I can? Great! Before choosing where to stay in Bali, you have to decide what region you want to live in. - Tell me about different regions of Bali. - Which are better and which are worse? - There's a region called Canggu, not far from Kuta. It's like Bali's California.

People are jogging at the beach, everyone's smiling, having smoothie bowls... Stuff like this. Then there's the Bukit Peninsula. It's a small village for surfers. There're lots of surfing spots there, lots of beaches, you know.

There's also an area called Nusa Dua, it's a good place for holidays with kids. One of the few Bali's beaches without waves. Another good place for kids, mostly inhabited by retired Europeans and young families, is Sanur. White-sand beaches, little waves and a lot of houses, villas and cute hotels. That's Sanur.

And for those who are more into creativity and spirituality, there's Ubud. This is where, let's call them creative intellectuals, live. - So, there's nobody living in the North and in the West? - Very few people. There's little infrastructure there. Speaking about the North, there's only one supermarket for the whole North. It's simply inconvenient to live there. There are a lot of videos about Bali's beaches already, so today I want to tell you more about Ubud, where I currently am.

It is located in the central part of the island. At first glance, it looks like a big colourful village. That's because low-rise construction and plenty of trees in the town. Here you can get a simple house or a whole villa with a swimming pool here. Although Ubud is not a coastal town (the ocean is a 40 minutes' drive away from here), before the pandemic, over million tourists came here annually.

There are a lot of interesting things near Ubud, like the Monkey Forest, ancient temples and picturesque rice fields. Maybe it was the local nature that inspired European artists to come here in the 1930s. Later, a local school of painting was formed here, there are also a lot of jewelers and woodcarvers in Ubud. In the 1960s American hippies came here to reconnect with the nature, and today Ubud is considered to be the centre of Balinese culture and spiritual practices. There is a bunch of galleries, workshops and yoga studios here.

- Hello, may I come in? - Hi bro. Contemporary artists choose Ubud as well. For example, Pokras Lampas, whose studio is located here. For those of you who don't know, this is Pokras Lampas.

People often ask if this is your legal name. It is, right? A super trendy artist, who paint buildings, squares, and pretty much everything that can be painted all around the globe. What are the three works that you are most proud of? - It's the largest calligraphy in the world on the square in front of the Lokomotiv stadium - That's one. - The second would be, for example, my collaboration with Nasdaq on one of the biggest screens in Times Square. And Nasdaq is one of the largest stock markets known all over the world. And the third one would be NFT, in terms of art.

I think this is a very hot topic right now, And finally, the mapping in Baikonur Cosmodrome. I did it with the guys from Evening Urgant, and I think it was one of the best works last year. - You mentioned it and I caught myself wondering where is Evening Urgant now... Where is Baikonur... Okay, it's there for now. But where's Lokomotiv, where's sport in Russia and other things...

All those things from our past life. Pokras came to Bali in December just to relax for a bit. But then February 24th happened, the day that made many change their plans.

To do business in Bali you need to register a legal entity and obtain a special visa, Kitas investor. According to Sergei Domogatsky, it's not that hard. The island currently offers the most favorable conditions for doing business. - You got to apply to register the company, it is not very expensive and can be done in two weeks. As a foreigner, you can start a company with certain types of activities, after that you need to find a space and register the address of your entity. Basically, you need two, three months to start your business here.

If your business is something simple, like a car wash, you can register it in a couple of days. This is the easiest place for starting business. The market here is not yet saturated. It is practically untapped. Whatever you offer, you will be the first one to offer that.

And if you offer an interesting concept, you will be a leader for many years. Rent is cheap here. Labour is cheap. Tourism and services in Bali are now actively developed by foreign investors.

Entrepreneurs from all over the world build villas and hotels, open shops and cafes, make wine. Andre brought me to a store opened by a former American pilot. He came to Bali after retirement and became a successful businessman here. He saw how many hotels and restaurants there were in Bali, and how low the supply of food was.

So he became a wholesale supplier for the tourism industry. And now the profit of his company is hundreds millions of dollars. Basically, he runs the market.

By the way, guys! I didn't know that, but there are several brands of local wine. They have a couple of wineries where they produce it. Wine is bad, but worth trying as an experiment. I would say that if you know wines, you can find a good one among them.

Italians are the ones who make wine in Bali. Italians and Australians. These two nations. For example, muscat wines are not bad here... - Do you mean that Italians own these wineries? - Yes, exactly. Half is owned by Australians and the other half by Italians.

As someone who knows a lot about business in Russia, I couldn't help but ask about corruption in Bali. People say that locals do take bribes, but they do it very gently. He explained it to me like this: The hotel on the left pays $100 monthly in tax, The one on the right pays $200. So, you must pay $150 per month. I asked him, "what if I have to pay $1,500 or $2,000?" If you pay the legal amount of taxes, the hotel on the left will be in jail.

The one on the right - will be in jail too. And I will be in jail too. The tax authority basically says, "Pay less or we'll all go to jail." The Balinese say that living here is like dancing, but foreigner don't know this dance. They say they don't understand the rhythm of this life. At first I also tried imposing my way on them, but at some point I understood that you just have to listen to them.

Nobody ever came to me and said, hey, give us money. Never. "Or else we won't give you permission".

But, for example, if you are building a villa, (in this area you can only have low-rise buildings, you see, all houses have a maximum of two floors) If you want to have three floors, you go to the officials like "Look guys, here is some money. Let me have three floors in my house, please" And they'll give you the required documents, it won't be that hard. But there's no way you'll be allowed to have four floors.

If you want the Balinese to like you and make their hearts melt when they see you, you have to put your hands like this and say Om Swastiastu. Om Swastiastu means "I bless you". Or "bless you". The will adore you if you do it. That way they will think that you are a reincarnation of a Balinese. - You see? You should raise your hands a little higher.

This is impolite, hands should be higher. Yes. - What about "goodbye"? - Sampai jumpa.

- Sounds like a cool language, now I want to learn it. Sampai jumpa, my friends! It's easier to do business in Bali if the Balinese like you. The most important thing is to respect locals and their traditions, sometimes the respect must be expressed in a material form.

If you want to buy a house here, to move to this village permanently, you have to pay to integrate into the village community. 2,000 - 3,000 dollars, on average. It's like your investment...

- Wait, if I want to buy a piece of land here, I have to make a donation to the temple. - Yes. Depending on the village, your contribution may vary, but it's usually around $2,000-3,000. This contribution makes you a member of their community.

I always wondered what I will get for this money, they said they'd cremate me for free if I die. - So you basically invest in your cremation in this temple. - That's right. And I own lands in several towns, so I think they will fight over my body with each other.

Each village in Bali is like a separate kingdom, that locals feel strongly attached to. According to Andre, about half of Ubud's inhabitants have never seen the sea. - Each village is like a kingdom. And leaving one's kingdom is seen as dangerous. - Is it still like this? Tour guides and drivers that take tourists to other places are considered adventurers, and even risky, because they dare to leave their land and go to other kingdoms. - There are a lot of Balinese working for our company, Some make sacrifices one way, others laugh at them and make it other way.

So, if you live here long enough, you can guess where people are from by how they make sacrifices. I asked Andre to tell me more about the Balinese, because during the 14 years of life here he has mastered not only the local language, but also the traditions. The mentality of the Balinese has a lot to do with their religion. So we are going to a temple to understand them better.

This is one of the "lotus temples" of the Ubud royal family. When there are tourists, there's a wonderful night show held here. A different show every night. There are musicians, dancers, a very beautiful stage. It was really difficult to get tickets for the show, before the pandemic.

- If one goes past the guardians without the owner's permission they have a right to beat you or kill you. So, if you don't want strangers in your house you should put these figures in front. They'll kind of protect you... - It's like 'Beware of the dog' sign in Russia. In Bali, these statues serve as that sign. They mean that you can get in trouble if you try entering. - Here, there are even four of them.

But two is enough. To get inside one needs a sherpa or sarong. And a hat to keep bad thoughts and not let them out. - So, bad thoughts stay inside your head? Some Russian politicians need these hats! It's funny, because if you have a knot in front, it means that you are here to pray.

If they are going to a party after praying, they move the hat, but they don't take it off, since they still don't want to fight. The majority of Indonesia's population practise Islam. The Balinese have managed to preserve their religion for 500 years since they left Java. It is a mixture of Hinduism and animism, or faith in spirits. - This plaid cloth means protection. I think, they are trying to protect this tree from evil spirits.

This is for protection. A black and white checkered cloth protects from spirits. - Tell me more about it, because I heard a story that spirits can live anywhere, for example, in this tree.

And it can be a good spirit. So, if you buy land, and there is a spirit living in a tree on your land, you cannot cut it down. - You know, when someone is not very well connected with this world, they usually have a good connection with the other. So, very often, monks are mentally ill. They're crazy. And they do very strange things, for example, a monk may come to the same tree and leave several white knots on this tree. If people notice it, they usually say, "that's because there's a spirit there".

A tree like this can become so sacred that it will never be cut down. When we do construction works, we invite a monk with a special little house, he moves the spirit from the field to this little house so nobody bothers it during the construction. The spirit is released when the works are finished. - How much is this ceremony? - Around 200 bucks. - Not a bad business. Wherever you are, to find something authentic, you should go to a local market, not a tourist one.

- Finally we are at the market! Now we will see what people eat here. - It is one of the small local markets. - Oh, look! She is preparing the offerings: baskets for the spirits.

- Exactly. And each colour in the basket has its meaning. This market opens at 4 in the morning, until 6:00-6:30 they sell meat and fish here. Because they think nothing can go bad, as it's cold at night. Then they take out the fruits, vegetables and some souvenirs for the offerings. - So if you want to buy fresh fish, you should come at night. - Yes, and at night the prices are much lower, maybe half of what it costs now.

They have many weird fruits here. For example, sirsak. The skin feels like snake.

And this is called 'bitake kambar'. Here it costs almost nothing, but if you dry it... It's something like a cucumber. So, if you dry it and pack in plastic bags, a small pack like this will cost 50 bucks.

Because it helps to lose weight. It is considered to be a 'superfood'. And you can buy a ton of them for 50 bucks here. - These cucumbers...

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of different workshops in Ubud. And the Balinese seem to have an innate sense of aesthetics. Because every place here is full of interesting things. Even simple stumps look amazing here. More stumps here. It's really cool what they have here.

Some nice and affordable things for the interior. That's why most villas and houses here are so stylish. What's great about Bali is that they have these stunning interiors. You walk into an ordinary coffee place and it looks like a fancy spot in Moscow or New York.

I don't know how it works, but Bali is one of the few tourist regions in the world where people have very good taste. Because when you go to Turkey or some Arab countries, or some other resorts, you see that people there have money, but have absolutely no taste. They put golden things everywhere, ornaments... it's a nightmare. It makes you sick to be there. Here in Bali, for an unknown reason, I don't know what spirit they pray to, but most people here have very good taste. It is almost impossible to find an artsy or trashy interior here.

The prices for all this stuff are super low, compared to Europe. You see it and you go, "I want that table. I want that chair!" - Funny, right? Something you buy for $200 here will cost $20,000 if you take it to New York.

- Or even to Moscow! There are these solid wood tables, a stone or wooden tub, whatever you want! - This could be Kanye West's coffee table that he would say he bought for $500,000, while he got it here for $300. They bring some items from other islands, where they might have exchanged them for some beads. Often these things are from Papua, Sumba and so on.

Let's take this table. Here it would cost about $500. - It's a table made from a huge piece of wood! - Really huge. If you bring it somewhere in Europe, it would probably cost $50,000. - Yes, absolutely. That's a super table! But don't think Bali is that perfect! I asked Sergei Domogatsky to tell me about the island's downsides. - The most obvious downside: there are no pedestrian areas in Bali.

Now let's try to walk to the ocean. it's only half a mile from here. - Okay, let's try. We must suffer. - If we don't get hit, it will be a miracle - Wait, wait. I think it will be a great experience. - I am seriously worried.

Let's go one after another. In a wheelchair, or with a stroller, it's impossible. All the infrastructure here, whether it's Bali, Jakarta or Surabaya is made for those on motorcycles.

In this sense, Bali is like an ancient city, you know: when you live in your own villa, where you have your own pool, this is your own closed territory, your own little paradise. Even apartments here are like this: you get to enjoy all the goods of civilization: Pools, spa, gym, it's like an oasis. But once you walk out the door, you find yourself in a place where you shouldn't be. Another obvious disadvantage is that there are no good schools or kindergartens. There are long lines to get in, but this education is absolutely useless. - So if you come here with a child, you have to hire a lot of tutors? - Yes. They can even come to your house, there a lot of them here,

even Russian-speaking ones. - They can teach you any language. So, you are the one choosing subjects for your kids. That's very important.

Another big disadvantage is that the roads are very narrow, so if you drive, you'll have to get used to it. The first year I was driving here, I would always scratch something. Bali is not the best place for cars either. Especially if you like speed. The streets are narrow and there are constant traffic jams.

That's why everyone rides a motorbike. Renting it costs only 30-40 dollars a month. Neither locals nor tourists really follow the safety rules.

And still, there aren't so many accidents. It's easy to settle things with the traffic police here, and I'm not even talking about bribery. A girl I know crashed into an Indonesian gut, she basically hit him with her scooter. They called the police, I also came to help my friend. The policeman sat me down and said: "Do you realise this is your girlfriend's karma?" "And also the karma of this young man. Please, settle it yourself, what do you need me for?" And we settled it. We payed the guy a million rupiahs, that's around 80 dollars.

- I don't recommend doing this, but it worked for me several times: if a policeman stops you and demands money for nothing, you can pretend that you are walking towards him, like this, he'll start moving backward, and at some point he'll just tell you, "Okay, just go. Just go". - Advantages of Bali? - First: two oceans. The Pacific and the Indian ones. - The Indian ocean is a bit dirtier and the Pacific one is more blue. - Yeah, more or less. - For example, here, in Canggu beaches are not that beautiful, volcanic sand looks a bit dirty.

But there are really amazing beaches on Bali, in Nusa Penida, for example. The most beautiful beaches in the world. T-Rex, Diamond Beach, Kelinking Beach and so on.

- You were in Melasti today? - Yes. - That's an amazing beach also. Just like in Maldives. You don't even have to fly anywhere. Another advantage is that there are so many different places in Bali, that you can travel all the time without leaving the island, get new emotions and enjoy the places. There are mountains, volcanos, there is Nusa Penida...

Plenty of spots, beaches and other things. Incredible temples, gigantic trees, jungles, waterfalls... There's so much stuff here! I've been living here for 2.5 years and haven't seen half of it! The third advantage is clean air and a healthy lifestyle of those who live here. Look at the beach, have you seen anyone overweight? Everyone's got abs, all guys are fit and toned. I see these people and I say to myself: "I am so going to the gym!" That's a crazy motivation.

We are on a public beach, like the most ordinary beach here, but please look at their design solutions: all commercial buildings, like rentals and cafes, are so stylish! No advertising, no colourful billboards. It's all wood, bamboo, muted tones. Nothing like the madness we usually see in Russian resorts. It's really cool from an aesthetic point of view. I decided to get around on a motorbike like everyone here.

It's convenient to ride to a laundry, for example. So, this is a local laundry. You can leave your clothes here and they'll wash it for you. By the way, it's not that expensive, yesterday I had 4 pounds of laundry and paid only 40,000 rupiahs for an express washing. A motorbike is also the most comfortable way to explore the island.

If we move away from the central part, from all the big cities, this is where we will find ourselves. I am heading North, my friends! You won't see cafes, hipsters or yoga clubs here. This is an ordinary Balinese village.

It's interesting: boys and girls go separately, nobody holds their hands here. No promiscuity here! You can see the roads in Bali: over 90% of people are on scooters. Fuelling up our scooter. How much is gas? - 25,000. - Only 25,000?

That'll be enough for several days. I get gas once or twice a week. - No way! - Let me get some gas too.

- Make sure they don't short-change you, because it happened to me several times. Watch out. Women never tried to fool me, but men sometimes do. Although Bali is small: and you can get anywhere in just over an hour, the island is really diverse. We saw some sandy beaches in the south, where it was relatively hot, and here the weather is completely different: it's cold and rainy, there's fog.

So, even if you come here for a long time, you can go to new places all the time. You will never get bored here. Nature is incredible here, very diverse. It's just that it rains sometimes and riding a motorbike is a bit unpleasant, but every motorbike rider has a raincoat here, so they aren't afraid of the rain. What I love about Bali is that there are cute cafes everywhere here.

So, those who like eating out and making cool pictures, this is a place for you! The interior design here is amazing. Look at the furniture, look at the way they organised the space. It is so cosy here. And it's just one of the cafes with a volcano view. There are more of them over there.

You feel that they put their soul in it. The Balinese are very friendly and kind people. If you follow basic etiquette, everyone will be nice to you. Even if you accidentally walk into someone's house. Amazing things are going on here. So, we climbed a mountain, entered some village, and the whole village looks like this. It's fantastic, don't you think so?

At first I thought it was a temple, but now I think it is actually an ordinary house. Or maybe it's just the most beautiful village in Bali, and that's how ordinary houses look here. This is also an entrance? Yes, this is also an entrance. This must be the most picturesque village in Bali.

So, we accidentally found the most beautiful village in Bali. - Hello! - How're you doing? - Good, thank you. Everybody is so positive here! They are always doing good.

When we came here, I thought we were passing by a huge temple. We were not! It is just an ordinary entrance. This lady lives here. Hello! What a fancy entrance and a welcoming host.

- Can we have a look? We can? They let us in. - This is your house, you live here? Very beautiful. - Thank you! - Can I have a look? Oh, this is a kitchen.

So, just as I said before, from the outside it looks like a palace, but you get inside and you see this: horrible poverty, spider webs, a single light bulb for the whole room. A concrete box, where they cook on an open fire. They are preparing little baskets with feats, I don't know what it's called exactly. The spirits won't leave hungry today. Another fancy entrance! Look at these lions.

They are here so you don't enter without permission. It's got decorations and some stone ornaments. It's like a portal... It looks spectacular. And this is just a residential house. And it's not some kind of an exception, it's not some rich family living here.

All the houses around here are like this. And when I saw it, I asked Yegor, "Is it a graveyard? Are these all temples?" No, it is just a regular village. One of Bali's main attractions are rice terraces. It is an ancient irrigation system, when the fields are situated like steps. It's called subak and is included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list. So, there are many spectacular views here, you can even rent a villa with such a view.

It's a great spot for pictures, it looks so cute. Unfortunately, there are fewer terraces every year, as there is more construction going on on the island every year, and less rice terraces left. There are two large volcanoes on the island Agung and Gunung Batur. Many local beliefs and ceremonies are associated with them.

On the one hand, volcanic soil is fertile, on the other, both volcanoes may erupt. That's why the Balinese try to appease the spirits. And we seem to have angered the weather spirits. Well, my friends, here are the lava fields near the volcano, they're not yet covered with grass and other vegetation, so check them out. You can walk around, take pictures, ride a scooter here. You can even climb the volcano and enjoy the breathtaking view on the island.

The truth is we are only filming this now so you can look at me soaked to the skin. Just for a change, you know. It's a perfect moment to give this video a like. As you are appeasing YouTube algorithms with likes, we are heading to one of the most beautiful temples in Bali. You can't just enter a temple like this, you have to be dressed appropriately not to hurt the feelings of believers.

We are trying to get proper clothes now. You can actually rent this cute skirt here, I don't know what the regular price is, but we've agreed on 30,000 rupiahs for both of us. Yes, I am going to look so good! And, most importantly, I won't disturb people with my unshaven legs. This is the Ulundano Batur temple. Pura means temple, Ulundano is the name, and Batur is also the name of the village.

It is located near Batur, the volcano, Batur the village, and Bali's largest lake, also Batur. This is one of the most important temples here. It is a Hindu temple. It protects the stability and harmony of the entire island.

Now you know: Bali is so peaceful and amazing thanks to this temple. The temple was named after Lake Batur, not the volcano, although the volcano played an important role in its fate. An interesting fact is that now the temple is not where it was originally.

It was initially founded in the 17th century. In 1917 there was a volcano eruption. The lava reached the edge of the temple, which locals took as a good sign. In 1926 there was another eruption, which destroyed the temple almost completely. It was decided to move the temple to a higher level. There are a few relics here preserved from the original temple.

- So this is Odalan? - Yes, it's Odalan. There are a lot of people from Bali praying together here. - What you celebrating today? - We are praying. For 20 days.

- 20 days? - Yes, the whole ceremony will take 20 days. - This is the Odalan ceremony, right? Isn't it one day only? No? It's 20 - 20 days. Today is an important day for this temple. Basicaly, it's like its birthday. It's called Odalan. It marks the day when the temple was inaugurated and the spirits first entered it.

Each temple has its own birthday. Just like people. And since there are a huge number of temples in Bali, there's Odalan happening somewhere every day. Today it's here. People are bringing incense and gifts here, Now they are going to have a group prayer, so, let's take a look at how temples celebrate their birthdays. Since today is a public holiday, it is very important that people bring some treats to the spirits.

Let's see what they brought today. There are these baskets that they usually leave by their front doors as offerings to spirits. Now they brought them to the temple. There are also these huge cakes, looking absolutely incredible. People leave some money also, I can see 10,000 bills. And even 50,000.

The people here compete trying to make the best gift for spirits. For example, spirits really love chicken, so you see, there's a whole chicken for them here. All of this is sent to the spirits to celebrate the holiday.

I think, the spirits should be happy, because people did a good job here. People from all over the world come here looking for a calm and relaxed environment. Especially today, when you just want to hide from scary news. Every time you go somewhere you come across some religious ceremony, And that's great. I really think that's great. And the people here are infinitely friendly, they are always happy to help you to show you around. This magical vibe is so relaxing.

I just wish they also fixed some urban planning issues here. Because with these infinite traffic jams, chaos on the road, no sidewalks... it does get on your nerves. Guys, look at the main street of this village: you can neither walk not drive here. Everything is paralysed, nobody can move in any direction.

And some manage to ride their motorcycles on the sidewalk. Turns out there are even narrower streets here. Let's explore the village since I am here.

No matter how small the house is, there is always a temple in the yard. This one is little. This house looks really poor.

This is what the streets look like here. Really narrow. A car won't fit here,

2023-03-20 02:12

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