Shopping in Bali

Adventure, Wildlife and Cultural Trips in Indonesia

Bali is a shopper's dreamland. The main tourist roads are lined with stores, shops and stalls selling crafts of all types. Splendid local hand woven materials, silver and gold works, woodcarvings, garments and many other interesting things can be found at any market, art shop or art market.

The first price is not the last price in Bali. You should attempt to learn the art of bargaining while you're here. Bargaining forms a large part of the fun of shopping in Bali. Remember to bring your cash, as not all places accept credit cards. Unless you're buying in a shop or hotel arcade (and often here too), it is expected that you join in. Restaurant meals, items in supermarkets or department stores, are generally fixed price.


For the widest selection of souvenirs, go to Jl. Legian in Kuta/Legian, Ubud or the Sukawati Market on the way from Denpasar to Ubud.


Mas and Kemenuh are the main spots for polished wood carvings; check with Tilem Gallery in Mas. Batuan is the place fo wooden panels. Pujung and Sebatu, to the north of Ubud, specialize in painted carvings and giant statues. For masks, go to Mas, Singapadu and Batuan. Traditional Balinese stone carvings made from volcanic pumice are made in Batubulan. Back to the Top


Bali is a weaver's dreamland. The ikat factories are centered in Gianyar, but Klungkung and Singaraja are also known producers. For the fancier songket with gold and silver threads woven into the weft, go to Sideman, Blayu (between Mengwi and Marga), or Singaraja. There are beautiful woven selendang (temple sashes) in Batuan, Ubud and Mengwi, but the exquisite geringsing cloth is made only in Tenganan.
Woven textiles from Sumbawa, Sumba and Sumatra can be found in Kuta and Denpasar.
The batik worn by Balinese and found every where is made in Java. When buying, be sure that you're getting real hand-drawn or stamped batik, and not the manufactured "printing" which employs traditional designs on machine-processed fabric. Balinese-made batik is lighter and brighter, much of it on cool "crincle cotton". Back to the Top


Ubud is the mecca of Balinese painting and the surrounding villages of Pengosekan, Penestanan, Sanggingan Peliatan, Mas and Batuan are all lively breeding grounds for the arts. The Neka Gallery & Museum, the Agung Rai Museum of Art and the Puri Lukisan, all in Ubud, display some of the best work from around the island. Small galleries and art shops in Ubud may be your best bet for reasonably priced local work. You can also visit artists in their homes. For traditional calendar and "wayang-style" paintings, visit Kamasan village near Klungkung. Back to the top


Kuta and Denpasar are hunting grounds for antique dealers on the lookout for keris daggers, omate beds, palm-leaf books, fabrics, masks, chinese ceramics, sculpture and primitive statues from all over Indonesia. Be aware that the antique reproduction market is a lucrative one. The best insurance i s to shop around until you have a good sense of quality and prices. To export anything older than 25 years old you must have a letter from the Museum Section of the Education and Culture Department. Back to the Top


Celuk, Kamasan (south of Klungkung), and Bratan in Buleleng are the traditional centers for gold and siverwork. The silver is 80%-90% pure. If you don't find anything you like ready-made, then custom-order. For modern designs, go to Kuta. Gold is 22K-24K. Sukawati is the traditional gold working village, or try the gold shops in Denpasar on Jl. Hasanuddin and Jl. Sulawesi. Be sure to bargain.

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