|Shopping in Bali is
not only walking into a shop, picking something from a shelf and
paying, it is considered an art. In every traditional market and
art shop around Bali bargaining is expected.
This traditional way makes shopping fun and exciting,
where you can feel the warmth of human value in every sale. Before
you begin your shopping on this island, it is recommended you obtain
cash since most places do not accept credit cards.
Even if you are not an experienced negotiator be prepared to enjoy
the bargaining process. It is a fun activity and if you're patient
you will get the 'best (and maybe even local) price'.
In some places you can bargain until getting 50% off. Always go
in at less than a 3rd of the price (maybe even a quarter) and possibly
walk away, until you get the price you're happy with.
The capital of Bali is Denpasar and the center
of "market" activity for local people.
The largest traditional market stands near Badung's river, Kumbasari
market. It gives you an insight into the traditional Indonesian
market where local people do their daily shopping. Fruit, vegetables
and meat are sold in the basement; on the 2nd level spices and dried
goods; while clothing, household wares, art and craft is on the
3rd level. You can get a very good prices if you're smart in bargaining.
Gajahmada Street is situated in the northern part
of the city, which offers handicrafts, some shoe shops and restaurants.
In the eastern part is Sulawesi Street, where fabrics
are presented on both sides with some shops providing household
ware in between. The area here is rich with all types of material
from the traditional 'songket' (cloth woven with
strands of gold or silver) to modern stretchy and shiny material.
You can purchase your cloth by the meter and have a suit or dress
made up by a local tailor. To the south is Hasanudin Street
where gold shops, selling jewelry to locals and visitors alike.
The west side of the market presents coconut leaf and ceremony supplies.
As an international village most shops and restaurants here are
geared for tourist market. You can find clothing, jewelry, handicrafts,
CDs, furniture and leather crafts on each side of the road. There
are several street hawkers with their various offerings along the
road. If you do not want to purchase anything, do not make eye contact
and do not look at their products, if you do, they will follow you
and try to convince you to buy something.
The shopping center in Sanur is on Jalan Danau Tamblingan
where it is almost the same as Kuta but with fewer hawkers. Many
products are sold in the shops and nice restaurants.
The Bypass is the name for Ngurah Rai Street, probably
the widest road in Bali. If you travel from Nusa Dua to Sanur you
will see the several antique, pottery, natural stone and furniture
stores. You can get brillant pieces and prices if you shop carefully
and remember to bargain.
Batubulan, is on the border of Denpasar and Gianyar and is the place
for stone sculptures. You can find all kinds of
styles here, from traditional to modern, small to large. The craftsmen
can custom make your order and organize shipping it to your address
On route to Ubud you'll pass Celuk, the place for gold
and silver jewelry. The artisans here are famous
for their quality and various designs. Large art shops along the
main road give you a chance to compare prices.
Sukawati is popular for its Art Market. If you
ask the Balinese where to find arts and crafts with the best prices,
they will recommend Sukawati. Here you can buy
cloth, paintings and statues, jewelry and Balinese ceremonial items.
This famous village offers you fine arts with an
international standard. Respected galleries such
as Agung Rai, Rudana, Sumertha,
Sika and Neka are suggested as
well as the big names of Hans Snel and Antonio Blanco.
Woodcarvings can be found in this village.
Colorful carvings of flowers, animals and other designs are displayed
along the road.
This village is the home of the bamboo products.
Villagers create furniture and mats from bamboo; they also make
articles from the lontar leaf.
Klungkung village is popular with its own
style of painting called Kamasan where drawings
are made in black ink then colored by natural pigments.
Tenganan, the Bali Aga (the original Balinese people)
village in Karangasem, is the only place on the island that makes
Geringsing fabric. All the material for Geringsing
is taken from natural sources and its process is very traditional
and no chemicals are used in the process. There is a myth that when
dying the cloth red, human blood was used. Today a vegetable dye
is used. This fabric can be expensive.
|Useful travel links
on shopping in Bali