I sometimes wonder and suddenly a witty smirk takes shape in my mind when people say money can’t buy happiness. Let’s don’t back this up with those philosophical ideas ‘cause I think those folks simply didn’t know where to go shopping. And Bali is one of such places where you can give rest to the shopaholic within you. From manic markets to swanky boutiques, the Indonesian Island has everything for any kind of shopper. Bali has a repertoire of items ranging from fine art and handicrafts, intricately carved jewellery, wooden sculptures, exquisite antiques, and meticulously woven and dyed fabrics. The shopping experiences in Bali are quite unique and it swears to leave more in your suitcase than when you arrived. Here’s is the list of shopping experiences in Bali if you want to get intimate with the Balinese shopping culture:
It is only natural to want to take home a memento of your travels. Bali is one of the world’s top destinations and is teeming with accessory stores, art galleries, souvenir warehouses and curios wherever you look. Sukawati and Ubud markets are a great place to buy handicrafts both retail and wholesale. In Sukawati Art Market, you will find Balinese handicrafts and a wide selection of woven bags, clothing, sarongs and home décor items. Art lovers will love Ubud Art Market. Here you will find traditional and modern Balinese art pieces. You can also be sure to find mats, ceramic pots, sarongs, woven bags, clothing, wood carvings and batiks among others. They come at affordable prices and the selection is quite wide.
Homeware and Furniture Shops
The level of creativity and craftsmanship that Balinese have is applauding. It seems they can make everything that comes to mind. And with an extensive variety of beautiful and cheap furniture Bali is always a good idea. To jazz up your homes you can choose from a range of handmade crockeries that can add color to your kitchen and table, antique furniture and décor pieces that are personally procured by passionate store owners, and silken and embroidered upholstery that’ll undoubtedly give a chic look to your home. Seminayak, Ubud, and Kerobokan has series of furniture and décor showrooms for furniture fanatics and homeware connoisseurs. You can also find stores and outlets that showcase exclusive set of collections produced from their own factory.
Bali maybe be synonymous to shiny sand beaches, ornate clifftop temples, terraced rice paddies, and amazing sunsets, but this idyllic Island destination isn’t often associated with high design. But times has changed and the fashion scene in Bali is exploding and filled to the brim with talented designers. With a strong emphasis on comfort, fashion in Bali is a strong mix of bohemian and sophistication, party wear and chic. Due to unceasing influx of tourists the fashion trend of Bali is hugely influenced by designers who came from world over and set up their boutiques here. European and Australian designers have setup up shops around markets in Bali because of the increased arrival of tourists from these locations. Unless you’re after a wholesale order, haggling in designer boutiques will not fly, but every garment you buy at these great Bali-based designer boutiques, you’re also getting value when compared to the prices.
Local Fresh Markets
Want to catch the glimpses of the daily life of Balineses? Then without a second thought head for the local fresh markets. Amidst the traditional vibes, hard bargaining and transactions underway, these markets will take you on a tour where you can discover, explore and learn about fresh tropical fruits and flowers and causes a sensory explosion of sorts from all the sights, sounds and smells. During the day, the market sells necessities like fruits, vegetables, flowers, household items, meat and other groceries and, after sunset, transforms into a local night market flooded with food stalls offering delicious local cuisine like ‘bakso’ meatball soup, grilled chicken satay, and rice porridge. These markets play a vital role in the daily lives of the locals as these are the places where most rural community members interact and collect their basic necessities for cooking and housekeeping. Taman Sari Market in Seminayak, Pancasari and Candi Kuning Market in Bedugul, Badung Market in Denpasar are some of the paces which can give a kick to your senses.
If International labels, designer boutiques and shopping malls aren't your interest then you must walk down the lanes of Kuta, Legian and Seminayak to discover island's most of the shopping hotspots. Teeming with irresistible goodies, Bali has become home to a plethora of markets where you can find island attire like sarongs, hats and lightweight shirts, prepping you for the Bali way of life. Located in the upscale neighborhood of Nusa Dua, the Jalan Pantai Mengiat shopping street is a pleasant amalgamation of art shops, small bars and restaurants. The shops on this street are teeming with not only souvenirs but also reasonably priced jewellery, spa products and island wear, and are a refreshing change from the high-end boutiques and branded stores Nusa Dua is otherwise known for.
Silver Jewellery Shopping
If you're an accessory nut then jewellery in Seminayak is the one thing that you can't miss. This village just 15 minutes from Ubud is the place to get your sparkly souvenirs. Here you can find bangles, earrings, broaches, key chains, rings and more in silver and gold. You can also request your custom pieces. Due to their unique styles and uncanny ability to incorporate the distinct Bali spirit and character into their designs these boutiques stand out from the crowd. You can also check out the creation process, and learn the craft while the artists hand you the silver beads, tweezers and wireworks in creating your own piece to take home. For centuries Bali's clan of gold and silversmiths are making most beautiful pieces for the temples and palaces of their kings, and throughout the years their skills and designs have continuously improved, as do the handed down crafting techniques, and they have achieved perfection like never before.
Kopi Luwak Coffee and Chocolates
Are you one of them who believes- a yawn is a silent scream for coffee- then believe me Bali is going to be the place where you’ll add a new flavor to your brewing dictionary. The Island of Gods is famous for serving every kind of traveler and has something for the coffee lovers too. Bali and especially Ubud is famous for its Luwak coffee, also known as Cat Poop coffee. Like any other Arabica, Luwak Coffee tastes strong and robust but what makes it the world’s most expensive coffee? The cherries are eaten by Luwak, a type of weasel, and the fermentation process occurs inside the intestines of the animal. When it defecates, the beans are collected and processed further. One can visit plantations and see this out of the world, stomach-turning thing and can learn about local plants for free.
Tegallalang Handicraft Centre
Famous for arts and crafts from the district by the same name just several kilometres north of the main Ubud hub, Tegallalang handicraft centre possibly has the longest stretch of art shops in the world. Home to hundreds of shops selling an eclectic mix of craft and home decor items, this street market scores extra brownie points for the scenic views of the neighbouring rice terrace fields it provides. A perfect mix of shopping and leisure, this market and its adjoining areas are a breath of fresh air for visitors and inspiration to local artists. The art stores lining the route of the Tegallalang handicraft center feature an assortment of colorful and distinctive items of different shapes and sizes, from jewwelry like rings, bracelets, necklaces, furniture, special Balinese curios and much more. It is a great place to do some souvenir shopping for your friends and yourself, and with a stunning background to boot.