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Outrage As Bali’s Canggu Listed As ‘New Moscow’ On GoogleMaps

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Bali lovers have had mixed responses to a new listing on Google Maps.

The booming tourism resort of Canggu has been given a new listing as “New Moscow” on the app, sparking outrage from locals and tourists alike. 

Google Maps Hand Phone.jpg

Although the new listing is unofficial and has not replaced or removed any of the official listings or area demarkations on the app, the listing of ‘New Moscow’ or in Russia’s Cyrillic alphabet ‘New Mokba’ has got the internet in a fluster with netizens citing colonialism and insensitive jokes as the reasons for their outrage. 

The response from the online community has been so intense that top officials have issued statements on the matter.

The Head of Public Relations of the Bali Police, Commissioner Pol Jansen Avitus Panjaitan, has come out to say that the police are going to investigate whether there are any legal ramifications for the listing. 

Commissioner Pol Panjaitan told reporters,  “There has been no change in what applies in Indonesia. The map is still called Canggu.” He confirmed that police are approaching the situation as an ill-judged prank. He said, “We don’t know yet [why this happened]. We will coordinate; who did it, or was it just for fun.”

Speaking separately, the head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, said that he was not concerned about the change on GoogleMaps. He compared the tag to place names like ‘Chinatown’, ‘Little India,’ and ‘Paris Van Java.’ The best hotspot in Canggu, Bali 🌴 #bali #balitravel #balitips #backpacking #indonesia #canggu #hotspotscanggu #tipscanggu #hotspots #tips #beachclubs #restaurant #breakfastspots #lunchspotsbali #balitips #balihotspots ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

Pemayun told reporters, “If in Bali there is New Moscow [used] as a term, it doesn’t matter as long as the residents in that place still obey all the rules and regulations that apply in Indonesia, and don’t cause problems with the local communities around them.”

However innocuous it may first seem for Canggu to have a new GoogleMaps listing as “New Moscow,” the reason for outrage by local communities is rooted in genuine concerns.

Since the start of the Russian-Ukraine war, the number of Russian citizens visiting and staying long-term in Bali, specifically in the Canggu area, has risen dramatically.

The number of Russian-backed property development projects in Canggu and across the province has skyrocketed, too.

With more and more community and agricultural land being sold off to Russian investors (and plenty of other investors, too), more tensions between locals and foreigners in Canggu have arisen over the last year or so. 

@propertia.bali Canggu is not always about the cold bath, gym, and Jungle padel! Here are some of the activities you can try in Canggu, Bali! ✨❤️🌴 #hometour #bali #villa #tiktokproperty #realestatebali #villainbali #baliliving #realestateagent #propertyinvestment #investment #workshop #perfumemaking #pottery #activities #bowling ♬ original sound – Propertia Bali

Many local people feel that a new wave of colonization has hit Bali with Russian investment leading the way, since the pandemic.

Many feel that the New Moscow listing is a representation of a much larger issue at play which is seeing the needs and wants of Russian (and other foreign) investment put before the needs and wants of local people, local communities and Bali’s cultural heritage. 

Ariel View Of Canggu Bali

It is unlikely that the police will find any legal violations with the new listing, despite Indonesia’s strict online censorship rules.

Despite much animosity towards Russian and Ukrainian visitors and investors in Bali, it remains the case that the most frequent international arrivals to the island hail from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and China.


That said, most Russian visitors to Bali are residing on the island on long-stay socio-cultural visas or pre-investment visas.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno recently confirmed that before the war broke out, most Russian and Ukrainian citizens were staying on the island for just 1-2 weeks; since January 2023, data shows that stays are now over 90 days.


Last year with incidences of badly behaved tourists and foreigners on the island rising Bali created the Tourism Task Force who were given the mission to crack down on foreigners breaking the conditions of their visas by working, conducting business activities or even engaging in illegal activities such as drug use. 

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Bez before

Thursday 23rd of May 2024

It's ok. U know how massive Indonesian netizen right? Just wait someone see Saint Petersburg as Renon Denpasar Park in Google map!


Saturday 18th of May 2024

"Many feel that the New Moscow listing is a representation of a much larger issue at play which is seeing the needs and wants of Russian (and other foreign) investment put before the needs and wants of local people, local communities and Bali’s cultural heritage".

Regardless of the feelings toward Russians and Ukrainians, the Indonesian government and local authorities allowed these things to happen. Corruption is the name of the game. Money is more powerful than laws.


Tuesday 21st of May 2024

@JoKer, spot on


Saturday 18th of May 2024

Give it about 10 years and Bali will be on the World Map as NEW RUSSIA.


Sunday 19th of May 2024

@Firechef, wait till Trump gets re-elected in the US. I shudder to think when November comes.


Friday 17th of May 2024

All of the Russians in Bali are kind, sensitive, do not steal from stores, do not make porno films, never fight or get drunk or do drugs. They also never work in online fraud, start illegal businesses of any sort. or are involved in any cybercrime at all, never.


Sunday 19th of May 2024

@sharty, Tell me that YOU are being sarcastic?? Otherwise a Russian troll on here...


Saturday 18th of May 2024

@sharty, You forgot that they also are churchgoers and donate food and clothes to any poor Balinese who asks and their home is always open to the homeless and sick. I should know, I'm the POPE of Bali, the All Knowing!


Thursday 16th of May 2024

Lighten up, it's someone having a bit of fun. A bit like calling the Kuta/Legian area Ozbalia or Sanur Snore.


Monday 20th of May 2024


Expat you miss the point. 'Snore' was and still is for some people the nickname for Sanur. I just used it (and Ozbalia) as a joke and tongue in cheek comment to show how easy it is to amend Google maps. It had nothing to do with reality.

I considered adding graphics, but decided not to, just like the Moscow map. A pissed Australian on deck chair with a smoke and a can of beer for Kuta, and an arial shot with zzzzz as a caption for Sanur.


Saturday 18th of May 2024

@Shorty, Sanur is "Snore"? Not really.

Gullible tourists believe they choose Sanur because it is "family friendly" while areas of Sanur is actually a filthy hotbed of x-rated business including likely human trafficking. Some of this business is well integrated into the tourist zone.

Only a few months ago it was in the news about a raid in one area detaining 30+ of these "workers" resulting in violence and attack on the civil police station.

The local leaders of course blame all this x-rated business on tourists while actually these hot spots are frequented by the locals!



Friday 17th of May 2024


Had some more fun...Sanur has been pinned Snore


Friday 17th of May 2024


Your edit has been accepted Your edit to Ozbali has been accepted. Note that some changes might take up to 24 hours before appearing on Google.


Friday 17th of May 2024


It doesn't take any particular skill. Just follow the Maps prompts. Subject to Google approval, I've just pinned Ozbalia on Kuta Beach.