Tourists need to be careful when holidaying in Bali. It’s easy to lose oneself in the shopping delights found across the island. There is a huge range of goods, from clothing, to jewelry to ancient art. However, the best part about the shopping culture of Bali is its affordability. Goods are generally priced at around half of the regular prices found in Western stores.
When holidaying in the beach front resorts of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, tourists can spend hours exploring the shopping pleasures that line the streets of these towns. However, the items found in these areas are designed to accommodate tourists, including merchandise like DVDs, CDs, clothing, shoes, souvenirs and handicrafts. These areas are also rife with hawkers, who usually sell shoddy merchandise. Avoid these vendors for anything other than cheap souvenirs.
Local markets are primarily found in the largest city of Denpasar. Kumbasari Market is the busiest and most widely renowned market in Denpasar and Bali. Fruits, vegetables, household goods, dried foods, art and clothing are all available here at affordable prices. In addition to its cheap and varied goods, Kumbasari Market provides cultural insight into the daily shopping habits of local Balinese. Sulawesi Street and Hasanudin Street should also be visited.
Ubud is home to a phenomenal range of art studios and galleries that provide traditional artistic items. Other towns and villages worth visiting for their shopping culture include Celuk, Bono and Tenganan. The Bypass, commonly referred to as Ngurah Rai Street, is a great spot for cheap pottery.
The best part of shopping in Bali is the excitement of haggling. Merchants expect to bargain with customers, so the first price given can always be negotiated. Tourists shouldn’t shy away from this part of the Balinese culture. Plunge headfirst into the water and try bargaining with merchants when buying goods. It is usually done in a good natured manner and can be a memorable experience in itself.