A Shopper’s Guide for Street Shopping in Bali

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Prominently known as the Island of Gods, Bali bestows a surreal landscape that comprises lofty mountains, rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, verdant rice terraces and volcanic land forms. Nature exhibits an ethereal charm to this vibrant, culturally-rich, and quaint Indonesian island. Apart from the deep-rooted cultural beliefs, adrenaline-charged water sports, stunning sightseeing spots, and the archaeological attractions, Bali has a bunch of street markets that will give you an insight into the Balinese culture and will even please the shopaholic in you.

Here are some of the best street markets in Bali that you must explore on your next voyage to this magnificent Indonesian island: –

1. Ubud Art Market

Nestled in the uplands, Ubud is one of the most mesmerising towns of Bali. So, besides strolling across the Hindu temples and witnessing the picturesque beauty of the terraced rice paddies of Ubud, you must splash out on the vibrant Balinese handcrafted masks, hats, carvings, wooden statues, kites, and the famous Ubud handbags (a round sling made from reeds) at the Ubud Art Market. The market is perfectly located in the heart of the city facing the Royal Palace; this alone makes it one of the best shopping areas in Bali! Hemmed with gaudy rainbow-coloured street stalls, the narrow lanes of this market are bound to take you to a whole new whimsical world.

2. Kumbasari Art Market

Opposite the Badung River, the Kumbasari Art Market is a spectacular place to collect a few travel souvenirs for your kith and kin back home. This 4-storeyed shoppers’ paradise must be a part of your Bali shopping guide if you are looking for some authentic clothing items, handicrafts, and some lip-smacking Balinese delicacies. Do not forget to get your hands on Bali’s special ornate silver crafts and ikkat (a Balinese style of weaving and dyeing on fabric) that will always remind you of your visit to this wonderful island.

3. Tegallalang Handicraft Centre

Ensconced close to lush and verdant rice fields is the Tegalalang Handicraft Centre. The market is known for its artefacts created by the locals in the small village of Pakudui which is merely a stone’s throw away. Some of the must-buys here are the conical hats entwined with coconut leaves, Balinese masks and jewellery strung together with shells, beads, wood, and even pearls. You can even pick up some home décor pieces to revamp your abode during your Bali tour package. Here, you will come across some stupefying wooden carvings made by the locals and effigies of mythical Balinese creatures that you must not miss out on.

4. Jalan Pantai Mengiat Shopping Street

While Nusa Dua is replete with high-end stores and branded showrooms, the Jalan Pantai Mengiat street market gives you a break from the posh life. You can find an amazing blend of antiquated art shops, quiet cafés, rejuvenating spas, small bars, and warung (food stalls selling local Balinese cuisine). Lined with art shops and restaurants on either side, the street market runs parallel to Mengiat Beach which offers a perfect view to the shoppers. This is one of the few reasons that make Jalan Pantai Mengiat Street market one of the best shopping spots in Bali.

5. Kuta Art Market

Located by the Kuta Beach, the Kuta Art Market is a place where you can come across some typical Balinese art pieces and even some antiques from other regions of Indonesia. With six major shop houses and countless street stalls, you will never be short of options. Kuta is another place where you can collect souvenirs like fridge magnets, key chains, I-heart-Bali T-shirts, Balinese masks, and paintings so be sure to explore this shopping market in Bali. You can find some trendy beachwear and other tropical clothing items here. So, do not miss out on restocking your leisurewear for your next vacation.

6. Merta Nadi Art Market

Set at a pedestrian-friendly street of Jalan Melasti in Legian is famous for wayang (shadow puppets), Balinese paintings, ornamental fans, and wood carvings. The shopping street is lined with refreshment avenues like cafés and restaurants where you can relish some Balinese delicacies and even rest a bit during your shopping escapade. A must-pick here is the wayang that is actually a mythological figure propped on bamboo sticks. These are usually used by the locals in the ancient Indonesian art for shadow puppetry. You can easily find figurines of some characters from the epic – Ramayana and Mahabharata at this quaint market in Bali.

7. Sukawati Art Market

Locally known as ‘Pasar Seni Sukawati’, the art market was established in the 1980s and is one of the most long-standing street markets in Bali. If you are looking for some inexpensive trinkets, curios and beachwear, this is probably one of the best shopping areas in Bali. You can get your hands on some scented candles, sandalwood oil-infused fans, incense sticks, sculpted figurines, and vibrant sarongs. You can also splash out on some of the fine Balinese paintings that are essentially the imitation of the signature styles of various maestros like Antonio Blanco, Bonet, Arie Smit, and Han Sne.

The best time to visit Bali is between April and September. At that time, it is undoubtedly a tropical paradise and with these markets, it is nothing less than a shopaholic’s heaven. So once you are done sunbathing at the beach, snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, and rejuvenating in the spa, make sure to explore these amazing street markets and pick a few curios that will help you cherish each moment of your spectacular island sojourn. Also, some of these mini-bazaars might even test your bargaining skills, so be sure that you hammer out a deal that is easy on your pocket. Happy shopping!

Bali, Travel Guide

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