a Shopper's Paradise
for the casual holiday shopper and the "shop till you drop"
rarely a motivation to go anywhere that far away from home as
Bali, unless you are doing it for business.
you are visiting the island it can be great fun
to see large ranges of fancy handicrafts and other unexpensive
items that are produced locally on the island. It will keep you
busy for days.
sold here is originally Balinese in nature
however, since the influences of foreign designers and
companies that are producing in Bali are so strong, as you can
see in textiles, ceramics, gift articles or furniture.
rule, "pay only attention if you are interested" is
essential for your survival in the shopping jungle. Your first
contact with the shopping world is most likely after your first
breakfast the first morning after you leave your hotel for a orientation
walk. If this happens to be in the Kuta area, be careful whom
you pay attention to. There are hundreds of road sellers that
are offering small goods like sun glasses
If it's your
first time in Bali, you might be pleased that you are receiving
so much attention, and so many people are eager to talk to you.
If you have been here before, you will already know that a comment
such as "that's too expensive" signals somehow a certain
level of interest to your opponents, and from now on these boys
will be determined to make you buy one
of their goods by asking "what's your last price ?"
If you accidently name a number, they will not let you go without
making a deal.
way to treat them is to look briefly on any
merchandise and only talk if you are interested, as talk means
willingness to negotiate. "No thanks" may sound polite,
but translates into their language as "make me a better offer"
Silence means there is no interest whatsoever on your side, and
they will not bother you.
In the shops
there are non of these hassles, and prices are usually fixed these
days. However in the smaller shops there might still be a possibility
to negotiate the price, try and you will find out. Outside the
main shopping areas without fixed prices, negotiation is a must,
otherwise you will pay
way to much. On markets 25% of the asking price is a good start
for a negotiation, and 35%-40% a good settlement.
carrying large ranges of swim wear, summer wear clothing and textiles,
leather goods, local fabrics and sarongs, jewelry from sea shells
and silver with stones, artworks, woodcarvings and handicrafts
from all around the island. Staff often does not have the authority
to negotiate the price here, you have to talk to the manager or
are of course such things as duty free items and CD's for sale,
here you have to carefully compare the prices if they actually
provide savings or not in comparison to discounters at home.
you should ask while purchasing a nice bottle of duty free wine
for the small celebration tonight on your hotel's verandah: "Can
I take away this bottle straight away, or will I have to collect
it on departure at the airport?" Since the last case happened
to us, you want to make sure before going through the Australian
in Bali have supermarkets, so typical household and bathroom items
are available as well, you do not actuallyb have to bring anything.
Especially clothing sold in Bali is unexpensive and suitable for
the local climate, therefore there is no use to carry around heavy
suitcases from home.
The more interesting
boutique style textile shops are in
Legian and Seminyak, Kuta and Legian have lots of surf wear and
a few good leather shops that tailor custom sized jackets in one
or two days. If you look at the best leather quality available,
savings over a similar jacket bought at home can be substantial.
stores around Kuta Square carry a well organized collection of
shoes and textiles. The general rule goes something like that:
If the available sizes includes XL it has been made for the export
market and prices go along with that.
If the largest size is somewhat smaller than you might expect,
it's local for locals, and if it still fits, great - buy it, or
a few of them because of the low price.
are also Balinese lace, as this type of handmade artistic cloth
is very expensive outside of Bali. As well as silver jewelry,
if you can distinguish between good and bad quality you can really
save a lot of money to buy these here in Bali. Gold jewelry is
sold mainly in Denpasar.
made from wood such as carvings are cheap and toys are also unexpensive.
Interesting is the furniture market however more suitable for
the professional buyer, because the shipping cost for only one
or two pieces might be too high and erase the savings. If you
are buying enough furniture to fill
a complete container however, you would pay several times the
price for a similar furniture collection at home.
shops are in Kerobokan, along the road between Kuta and Sanur
and in the Ubud area. Also in the Ubud area on the way to Tegalalang
you will find countless shops for everything around the "woodcarving"
theme, usually cheaper than in Kuta. Ceramics are also available
in roadside shops.
And don't forget, everything can also be "made to order"
so your 6 foot tall smiling dolphin statue for your entrance hallmight
finally come into realization.
Ubud of course
is a great source of artistic and decorative paintings in all
styles and tastes. Since they can rolled and carried they make
great souvenirs that catches and preserves something unique Balinese.
objects to carry home are also Batiks and Ikat, a handwoven cloth
for decoration and collection. Woven grass baskets, bags and household
items are really cute and keep the"natural touch of Bali"
alive back home.
items such as antiques are for sale everywhere in the larger Kuta
area, but again this requires experience to buy because there
is an equal large industry that produces "made to coder antiques"
that look just as real.
Most of the
larger hotels have their galleries and shopping areas. They have
two advantages, one is they already pre-selected a few high quality
items for you, and secondly therefore save you lots of time locating
them yourself .
This can be
of help because not everybody has the time and the determination
to dig through "tons of average quality" in the villages
to find one nice piece.
really nice things to buy in Bali as a souvenir and you might
find actually many more not mentioned here in the shops, new items
are being created overnight by creative product artists and new
shops are being build all the times.
If you are coming to Bali for a holiday, remember that you don't
have to bring suitcases full of textiles and things. Everything
is available here at low cost, you only have to care about 3 things
on the way to the airport: passport, ticket, money. Everything
else is secondary and can be bought later in Bali. Now the half-empty
suitcase you came with starts making even more sense, and sure
enough will be packed with all sorts of colorful things on your