Bali is the place to practise your bargaining skills. Unless the product is price-tagged, bargaining is the norm. It will prove to be an exciting venture if this is your first time while the experts will find it exhilarating, especially when a good deal was struck. Many come to Bali with a 'shop till you drop' attitude, so you would probably end up buying a few things anyhow. There are numerous western-style department stores and shopping centers in Denpasar, Kuta-Legian, Sanur and Nusa Dua that offer a range of clothing, shoes, leather goods, sports gear, and toys. The service is generally good, and the low value of the rupiah ensures excellent prices. Balinese arts and crafts are the most popular purchases but you can also get value-for-money goods such as clothing, music, musical instruments and watches.
This is known as a farming area and is a great place to buy the choicest fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The home of silver and gold artisans, Celuk presents huge stores that house a wide variety of all types of intricately designed pieces. The silver filigree work is quite unbelievable but bargaining is a must.
The capital of Bali is not exactly a tourist area but there are a few main areas worth checking out. The Kumbasari market near the river gives an interesting overview of Indonesian markets with household wares and clothing on the third level, spices and goods on the second level, and a traditional market in the basement. Nearby is Jalan Hasanudin, a whole street of gold shops selling 18 to 22 carat gold jewellery. Not far is Jalan Sulawesi where all manner of fabrics are available. The entire street has fabric stores on both sides with a few household ware shops in between. If handicrafts are your aim, then move along to Jalan Gajah Mada where items similar to those sold in Kuta are found, but without the presence of hawkers. It is a good idea to visit the government-run handicraft center in Tohpati, Sanggraha Kriya Asti, which offers a range of handicrafts at fixed prices. You can also shop at department stores such as Matahari, Libi, MA, Tiara Dewata, Tragia, or Ramayana.
Duty Free Shopping
Plaza Bali and DFS have duty free shopping outlets in Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, and the airport in Bali. A wide range of designer label boutiques can be found but bear in mind that some products in Indonesia do not have high duties, such as cigarettes.
Located in eastern Bali, Gianyar is a major textile center with a number of factories where you can witness sarongs being woven. You can buy directly from the factories but prices are usually inflated during tourist seasons.
The main road in Kuta boasts of a multitude of shops and restaurants on each side, selling a variety of goods including swim wear, sarongs, handicrafts, cassettes, CDs, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and leather goods. You will also be thronged by street hawkers with their wares, but if uninterested, do not make eye contact. The upper end of Jalan Legian from Seminyak to Krobokan has somehow transformed into an enclave of boutiques, which specialize in fashion, interior decoration, furniture, and a few interesting delis.
Klungkung is home to some of the oldest antique stores in Bali. There are krises, songket sarongs, and good quality 22-carat gold jewelry in Balinese designs to be bought. A busy traditional market is also situated in Klungkung.
Traditional Balinese 'Kamasan' paintings are found here. These paintings use a special technique where black ink is first used to outline the subject and then subsequently colored in with natural pigments. Eggs, banners, bags, hats and other goods are decorated with this unique painting style. The Kerta Gosa or Hall of Justice features impressive displays of Kamasan paintings.
At the entrance to Nusa Dua, there is a small market in which you can still strike some bargains. Outside the gates is Tragia Supermarket and department stores, while a few leather and tailor shops sit around the vicinity. The Galleria, the main shopping complex, has a good selection of restaurants and stores that sell high quality items at fixed prices. The Kris Gallery is worth checking out for unique paraphernalia.
The major shopping street in Sanur is Jalan Danau Tamblingan and it is clearly more peaceful than shopping in Kuta. Hawkers are present but not as aggressive, except at the beach market. There are interesting shops and restaurants in Sanur and an Art Market to appease those in search of art pieces and souvenirs.
Sukawati offers a new art market and a traditional market on the main road and side streets that sell a large assortment of woven baskets and Balinese ceremonial items in prada (gold-leaf decorated cloth), which include dance costumes, fans, umbrellas, clothes worn during tooth-filing ceremonies, and weddings.
A woodcarvers' haven, this village and surrounding villages specialize in the art of carving softwood figures. Subjects featured are usually brightly painted flowers, frogs, fruits and animals.